The Disadvantages of Cotton Fabric

by Erika Marie ; Updated September 28, 2017

Cotton clothing has disadvantages.

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Pure cotton fabric is a popular choice for buyers seeking comfortable and natural clothing. Cotton fabric has the advantage of softness and comfort, but it also shrinks and wrinkles easily, making it unsuitable for professional clothing. Its tendency to retain water also makes it a poor choice for exercise and sports clothing.

Cotton Shrinks Easily

Cotton clothing will shrink, even if it has been preshrunk by the manufacturer. The fibers in cotton become shortened when exposed to water, which results in the fabric shrinking. Placing cotton in a dryer on a high heat then sets the shrunken size. Drying cotton clothing on low heat can help to prevent extreme shrinking; however, cotton will inevitably shrink a small amount as soon as it has been washed.

Cotton Wrinkles Easily

Cotton wrinkles very easily and needs constant ironing. This is a big disadvantage if using it in professional clothing such as dress shirts, trousers and dresses where a neat appearance is expected. This is also a disadvantage for clothing that is being used for travel, as cotton will crease and wrinkle when packed in luggage.

Cotton Retains Water

Since cotton is typically thought of as a cool fabric to wear in warmer weather, it may be assumed that it would be suitable for exercising and playing sports. However, just the opposite is true. Cotton fabric absorbs and retains large amounts of water. So when you work up a sweat, cotton holds the wetness. Once it is wet, cotton will stretch out of shape and become saggy and feel uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

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About the Author

Erika Marie started writing in 1996 and has covered a variety of topics, including arts, crafts, and home and garden. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from Rowan University.