Polyester Vs. Cotton: Which is better for sportswear?

Cotton Gin invented By Ely Whitney

Polyester versus Cotton. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that can be made to feel like various types of fabrics, such as cotton. It is used in the production of sportswear because it is durable and comfortable. Polyester can also be made to look like natural fibers, which makes it an excellent choice for clothing that will see regular wear and tear. Cotton, on the other hand, is a natural fiber that breathes well and absorbs perspiration. It does not need ironing after washing and drying, but it wrinkles more than polyester clothing. Cotton shirts are softer than polyester shirts, but they do not last as long before becoming worn out. 

Historical usage of Cotton and Polyester

While there is no definitive dateline as to when cotton was first used in clothing, we do know that there is evidence of its usage as far back as 5000 BC. Evidence of cotton was found in several old worlds of India, Peru, and Mexico. It is also known that BC troops of Alexander the Great started wearing cotton just after its invasion of India, as cotton proved to be more comfortable than wool. Early on the production of cotton was done through a loom and it wasn’t until the 1350s when the spinning wheel was introduced to Europe that cotton began to be manufactured at a must faster pace. 

While during the renaissance and the enlightenment period, Cotton became a global force in Europe, American’s invention of the Cotton Gin in 1793 by American Inventor, Eli Whitney helped to supplant the US as the force behind mass cotton manufacturing and helped launch the American Cotton Industry. 

Polyester wasn’t discovered until 1930, and, in fact, wasn’t truly discovered but created in a Dupont lab, first by scientist WH Caruthers and later his colleagues, who applied his discovery of Polyester plastic and in 1941 introduced the first polyester fibers. Of course, it was the disco revolution that helped introduce polyester to the world.  

Pros and Cons of each material

Cotton and polyester are both common fabrics in sportswear. They each have their own pros and cons, but there is no clear winner between the two. Cotton shirts are lightweight, breathable, absorbent, and cool in warm weather. Cotton is a good option for people who sweat a lot or live in warmer climates. However, cotton clothes don't dry very quickly so they're not great for people who enjoy high-intensity workouts or exercise outdoors. Polyester shirts are quick-drying and odor resistant which makes them better for high-intensity workouts or exercises outdoors.

Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics used for clothing. It's soft, durable, breathable, and inexpensive. Cotton suits are the standard attire at many formal events because it doesn't wrinkle easily and is easy to clean. However, there are downsides to wearing cotton though. These include its lack of water resistance, inability to resist flames or snags on rough surfaces, and its inability to insulate against cold weather. 

Polyester has a number of advantages over cotton in sportswear in regard to performance features such as moisture management, UV protection, anti-bacterial properties, and thermal regulation. Polyester also offers more variety in color than cotton with many shades available for dyeing. This makes polyester a good choice for sportswear. 

 At Amerisport, a large portion of our collection lines is made with either 80% polyester 15% rayon blends, or 100% polyester. We invite you to try the difference.