The battle between cotton and polyester is an age-old one. The conflict has been carried down for decades with fashion designers, printers, and in other industries alike. Before we delve into the argument, let us understand the basic difference between these two fabrics and what their pros and cons are.

All About Cotton

Cotton has been around for hundreds of years and is still a leading fabric in the industry. Soft, natural and super comfortable, cotton is considered one of the most coveted materials among designers. Plus, cotton is a breathable, light fabric that retains color and doesn’t get damaged very easily. One of cotton’s downsides is its tendency to shrink.

What About Polyester?

Polyester is a relatively newer type of fabric that was invented in the 1940s. This artificially created fabric is almost wrinkle-free, smooth, and very strong. It requires little maintenance and is dries faster than other fabrics. Polyester is comfortable, soft, and has a texture that supports colour dyes well. One of polyester’s downsides is its lack of breathability.

What Should You Pick?

Now that you have a basic idea about what these two fabrics are and how they differ from each other, it is time to compare! If you’re looking to place a custom apparel order, we suggest choosing based on two things: purpose and print.

Basing your decision on purpose can be quite easy based on the information listed above. Figure out if you’re looking to order based on texture, breathability, or something else. From there, you can more easily make your decision and work on what print options are available to you. You can also begin to design an appropriate artwork acceptable for printing on various kinds of garments and with different print processes.

Basing your decision on print can affect your garment decision quite drastically. If you’re looking to have artwork containing simple text, shapes, and a low number of colours, you have options to your heart’s desire with the method of screen printing. Most all garments can receive screen print decoration which leaves you with a plethora of options.

If your artwork has many colours, contains fine detail, or is photographic in nature, you will need to resort to a digital printing method. Garments containing high amount of polyester may become scorched while inside the high temperature dryers during digital print production. As well, inks used for digital printing may not adhere or cure properly to polyester fabric even if they do manage to make it out of the dryer unsinged. For these reasons, digital printing requires garments with 80-100% cotton composition. Be mindful – you may have to be flexible with your options and be ok with a heat application or a white coloured garment.

The Bottom Line

Research and decide if garment or print is of more importance to you should you have to compromise. You’d be surprised what options are available to you even when you compromise. That’s what our team at Rogue Star is for! Our reps are knowledgeable about print methods and about various garments from several manufacturers that are available for you to order. If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call! We’d be happy to steer you in the right direction and get your order started. We’ve been happily serving and shipping to Edmonton and all over Alberta for almost a decade!