You can define clothes as pieces of materials that are sewn together and can be worn on the body to cover and protect the body from heat and cold.

Since clothes are used to cover the body, different materials have been used to produce human clothes and today there are about 20 different types of materials that can be used to produce clothes. These materials include cotton, silk, wool, polyester, linen, rayon, nylon, spandex, velvet lace, denim, leather, crepe, yarn, fur, etc.

Have you ever been advised to wear a cotton cloth on a hot or warm day? If you have, then you were told to do so because they believed that clothes made from cotton are much cooler than clothes made from other materials. Is that true? To find out the answer, you can either ask your clothing supplier (and that’s if they are knowledgeable enough) or you can continue reading this blog post. To satisfy your curiosity, I’d employ you to read this article to the very end.

Why are cotton made clothes cooler than others?

The reason why cotton made clothes are cooler than many other fabrics is that it’s more breathable than many other fabrics. By breathable, I mean that cotton doesn’t trap the moist, hot air between you and what you are wearing. That is because the moisture vapour easily flows through cotton more when compared to other materials like polyester.

The moist air is able to easily flow through the cotton because of the shape of the cotton fibres. Cotton fibres bear the same resemblance to twisted ribbons and as such, it prevents the cotton fibres from stacking tightly together when woven. As a result, the woven product will possess more open spaces for air to pass through. 

Cotton is hydrophilic and by hydrophilic I mean that water sticks to the fibres. Due to the hydrophilic property of cotton, it helps in wicking away liquid water (which includes sweat and moisture from the air) from the wearer’s body. When combined with airflow it also helps with the evaporation of that water which provides an evaporative cooling effect that’s greater than the evaporative cooling effect of bare skin.

Why does evaporation matter? Evaporation helps in making you feel cooler because it draws the energy it needs to convert liquid to gas from the surroundings which in turn lowers the temperature of your surroundings.

Note: The structure and shape of synthetic fibres make it possible for some of them to be able to transport liquid water more when compared to cotton which therefore means that they can exhibit a more evaporative cooling effect. Does that make synthetic fibres cooler than cotton? No. However, even though synthetic fibre can transport liquid water more easily, they have a breathability issue which is due to the structure of the fabrics and that’s where cotton has the upper hand. That property alone makes synthetic fibre feel warmer and cotton feel cooler.