Cotton's exceptional moisture management properties

Cotton, the fiber used for our very first blanket at birth, our first pair of pajamas, is often associated to the softness of our childhood and remains an everlasting feeling of comfort. When looking at product labels of clothing, it is always reassuring to see a percentage of cotton in its fiber content. This natural fiber has a very long history as it is probably the first vegetal fiber to be woven into a cloth. Archeologists believe that cotton was used as early as 12 000 BC in Egypt and in Mexico some 7000 years ago. Already at the end of the 16th century AD, cotton was cultivated throughout the world primarily in dry tropical and subtropical climates; cotton fields were found in Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. Cotton contributed significantly to shape the world we live in as it was responsible for the booming US economy in the 18 and 19 centuries.

Cotton, a natural fiber still widely used today because no man-made fiber has ever been able to replace it. It is so natural that when woven into textile, the cotton seeds are still apparent and can only be removed through a special process.

The exceptional properties of cotton in relation to moisture management makes it the most comfortable fabric to wear next to the skin, even before silk which has a tendency to feel cooler. Highly hydrophilic ,the cotton yarn has the ability to take away moisture from the skin leaving it dryer than any other yarn. The absorption capacity of cotton being 8% , this is sufficient to keep human skin dry in normal wear and weather conditions. This dryness is thus associated with a comfort feeling enhanced by the softness of the yarn structure, the result of millions of loose fibers which are themselves soft and malleable.

To maximize its launderability and durability, cotton is frequently mixed with artificial yarn such as nylon or polyester. The Canadian and US military combat uniform is made from a 50:50 blend of cotton and nylon, thus a happy medium between comfort and durability. With underwear, where the textile is in direct contact with the skin and where tearing and puncture resistance plays a secondary role, it is preferable to maximize the cotton content. This is what you get with Releaf™ with 90% cotton as the main textile component.

footer for cotton page