In this article, we will talk about cotton and polyester and which of them is a better material for making face masks. When choosing face masks, experts would suggest checking the fit, breathability, and the kind of fabric that is used. The protection that the face mask offers consists of how well it is made and how it seals your face. On the other hand, if the mask is made from fabrics that are not breathable, you might not be able to keep it on.
Cotton vs polyester, which material is better for face masks? Polyester is composed of manmade substances that are heavy and less breathable while cotton is a natural product that is lightweight and breathable. Polyester is synthetic and resists shrinkage but cotton is natural is prone to shrinkage. The best material will have to depend on your preferences. Would you rather have a mask that is heavy but does not shrink or a mask that is lightweight but shrinks after many uses?
This article does not contain any product recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing face masks, here’s our buying guide with products.
What are cotton and polyester? How can I make a face mask from these materials? Can I layer both materials to make a face mask? These are some of the questions that we will answer as we go along in this article. If you are interested in making a face mask from both materials and would like to know more about them, you can read the rest of the article below for more tips and information.
What is Cotton?
Cotton is a natural product that grows on plants. By nature, it is breathable which means that air can flow easily through it. Cotton also helps sweat to evaporate quickly which will make the wearer feel comfortable. Moreover, cotton is hypoallergenic so people with skin allergies that easily get triggered by certain fabrics can wear cotton without much fear of an allergic reaction.
What are the Advantages of Using Cotton?
Cotton is soft and comfortable to the skin. It is also durable and ideal for sensitive skin. Cotton is breathable so you will not feel suffocated as even if you wear the mask for a long time. Take a closer look at the advantages of cotton below.
Soft yet Strong
Cotton fibers are less abrasive so it will feel soft on your skin. There are some cotton fabrics that are designed to be heavy and rough on the skin like heavy cotton canvas. It all depends on the weave and finish of the fabric.
Cotton is a natural fiber that allows your skin to breathe. Moreover, it absorbs moisture to keep the body temperature stable which makes it an ideal material for face masks.
Ideal for Sensitive Skin
Cotton is soft to the skin and those with sensitive skin can tolerate 100% cotton as compared to polyester. It is also made with very little chemical processing.
Cotton will break down over time but with proper care, you can be able to prolong the life of cotton fabrics. To do this, you need to avoid prolonged exposure to excessive moisture and sunlight.
What are the Disadvantages of Using Cotton?
Cotton is a commodity which means that is price can fluctuate. The natural fibers of cotton also tend to wear down a bit faster as compared to synthetic fibers. Because of this, cotton is more prone to shrinking. Below are the disadvantages of cotton fabrics.
- Cotton is expensive
- Natural fibers wear down faster
- Holds moisture longer
- Prone to shrinking
What is Polyester?
Polyester is a natural fabric but it is not classified as natural because it is made with chemicals and other manmade substances. It is heavier and also tends to hold more stains and dirt. Moreover, it is not as breathable or as cool as natural cotton. Polyester is more durable due to its chemical makeup. It can last for a long time and does not break down in landfills. Polyester is popular because of its moisture-wicking properties and strong fibers. For more information about polyester, you can check out this article titled, is polyester good for face masks for an in-depth discussion.
What are the Advantages of Using Polyester?
The fibers of polyester and strong and does not wear down easily. It is resistant to wrinkles and shrinking. Moreover, it resists fading and holds up well to repeated washing and use. Take a closer look at the advantages of polyester below.
Polyester holds dye well which makes it more resistant to fading. High-quality polyester also holds its shape well and does not shrink.
Polyester is a manmade fiber which means that it is resilient and can be able to withstand wear and tear. Basically, it is plastic. As a matter of fact, plastic bottles can be recycled into polyester fabrics.
Polyester is absorbent and dries quickly. There is no need to spin it in a dryer to get dry. You can hang it to dry naturally.
Easy to Sew
Polyester is also easy to sew which makes it an ideal fabric for garments. You easily make a face mask by sewing the fabric with a sewing machine or by hand.
Polyester is more resistant to wrinkles which make it a good fabric option for people who dreads ironing but would like their garments to be smooth and wrinkle-free.
What are the Disadvantages of Using Polyester?
Polyester is prone to pulls and runs. It is not that breathable as compared to cotton and tends to stick to wet skin. The material is also temperature sensitive. Polyester has a slightly rough texture so it may not be ideal for people with sensitive skin. Below are the disadvantages of polyester.
- Can stick to perspiring skin
- Not as breathable
Cotton Vs Polyester, Which is the Best Choice?
There are many factors to consider and the choice will most likely be based on your preferences. There are multiple pros and cons to each type of fabric so it is a matter of weighing what’s important you and what you need. A lot of people are using cotton because it is made from high-quality materials that resist tears and stains. It is hypoallergenic and is also comfortable on the skin. On the other hand, some people may consider using polyester because it is quick-drying, less prone to wrinkles, and is also long-lasting. You can make a list of what you would like to have for a face mask and consider the different features of each fabric so that you can make a decision.
What is Poly-Cotton Mix?
Poly-cotton mix is a blend of natural cotton and synthetic polyester. The blend mixes cotton fibers with artificially made polyester fibers. The mix has usually a ration of 65% cotton and 35% polyester but some 50/50 blends are also available. Poly-cotton blends are popular because it is used to make many types of garment. It is the stronger, more customizable, and more versatile as compared to cotton. On the other hand, it does not stick to the skin like polyester. We have also written this article titled, is linen good for face masks? We have discussed the benefits that you can get from choosing linen fabric.
Is Cotton or Polyester More Expensive?
Polyester is currently more expensive than polyester. On the other hand, that could change due to the changes in the marketplace. Moreover, natural fibers tend to wear down faster as compared to synthetic fibers that make up polyester.
✅ Video – All About Cotton
Fabric Mart shared the video below on YouTube. It talks about cotton fabric. The different types of cotton, what garments to use them for, and how to care for the fabric discussed Check out the video for more tips and information.
Is Cotton Warmer than Polyester?
Polyester is warmer than cotton. It does not wick the moisture and perspiration. Moreover, the tight weave of the fabric keeps the heat trapped inside which provides warmth longer. This is one of the reasons why polyester is used in a lot of outdoor garments.
Does Cotton Last Longer than Polyester?
Polyester lasts longer than cotton. It is basically plastic and as a matter of fact, some plastics are recycled to polyester. As compared to cotton, polyester is also fading and wrinkle resistant. It is ideal for garments that need a lot of wearing and washing like face masks. You can also check out this article that talks about knit fabrics and if it can be used for face masks. It is another fabric option that you can use.
How to Sew Polyester
When sewing polyester, it is important to use a fine needle. Use small, narrow zigzag stitches to sew the seam. Lay the pieces on the cross-grain rather than lengthwise and make sure to reduce the pressure on the sewing machine as you sew.
You have reached the end of this article that discusses cotton vs polyester and which is a better material for face masks. As we have discussed above, there are advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider when making a choice of which fabric to choose when making face masks. When it comes to which fabric is better, the choice will have to depend on your preferences and what you would like the face mask to be. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about both fabrics so that you can make the best decision. Thank you for reading!