Fabric (Why Polyester Cotton Blends)
Christy & Main used blended cotton polyester or 100% polyester fabrics as they have proven to have the best overall properties for comfort, durability, color retention and easy care. With more that 65 years of management experience in the design, manufacture and procurement of apparel we have seen the good and the bad ideas relating to fabrics. Today’s polyester yarns are not the same as that which was available in the early to late 60’s. The development of various finishes has made it almost impossible to tell the difference in material made with polyester content for that made of 100% cotton. So why use polyester in the construction of fabric? I hope the following will answer this question and help everyone to see the benefits of a cotton polyester blend.
Easy care; fabrics with spun polyester are inherently prone to lay flat and shed wrinkles went processed in today’s dryers. The heat tends to soften the fibers and allow wrinkles to relax. All home laundry equipment on the market today have program cycles that are designed to clean, dry clothes and produce a result with the least amount of wrinkles. The heat produced in home dryers is designed to not exceed temperature that will degrade the fibers in our clothing. (Excessive heat can permanently set wrinkles in polyester fabrics.) Very high heat or super hot dryers are sometimes found in commercial laundries or laundry mats with faulty thermostats on their equipment. Everyone knows that 100% cotton garment require hand pressing with a steam iron to remove wrinkles and obtain a finish that is easily found in a cotton poly blend.
Durability: 100% cotton fabrics will have a shorter life span than a cotton poly blend as every time we wash our clothes some of the fibers that make up the yarn are lost in the process. Cotton will breakdown more quickly and thus wear out in less time. In addition the new wrinkle resistant finish being used on all cotton fabric caused the cotton fibers to become brittle and this speed up the loss of fibers. If you have a pair of pants with the wrinkle resistant finish, you probably noticed that the fabric at the crease or bottom of the hem has become very thin or even separated. Part is due to constant wear at this point but also due the finish. Cotton also loosed it color brightness after the first washing and continues to degrade until it is no longer something we choose to wear. Shrinkage is another problem with all cotton apparel. Even with preshrunk garments one has to accept shrinkage up to 2% and often times much more, depending on the quality of the garment. Cotton polyester garments will loose some of the cotton in each wear cycle, but when starting out with half of the fabric as cotton you still have 75% of the fibers when all cotton is left with 50%. We have blended polo shirts that have been worn 50 to 60 cycles and still are serviceable and holding almost all of the original color.
Garment comfort; We all like the feel and comfort of a 100% cotton shirt. It absorbs perspiration and wicks it away from our skin to evaporate and that makes it feel cool. Softness is also a factor. Many companies are promoting the Teflon finish on both blended and all cotton fabrics. We don’t recommend the finish for a very easy to understand reason, if the finish causes water or soda to not penetrate the outside of the fabric, the same process is happening on the other side. No wants to wear plastic, it becomes a sauna. The current cotton poly or all polyester fabrics have a treatment that wicks away moisture from our bodies just like cotton. It is also helpful in the cleaning process as it allows water to removes soil and grease form the fibers. As noted earlier, most cotton and polyester blended fabrics are both soft and have the same wicking factors as all cotton.
Laundry or Cleaning Tips: Most of these suggestions work equally well with all type of fabrics. Grease stains are the most common problems customers call and ask for our help to solve or eliminate. Once the grease is on the fabric, the less time it remains, the better your chance of getting it removed. We have found that using a prewash stain remover like “Shout” or similar product and then washing in hot (not cold or warm) water will remove the stain. You must be sure to check to make sure the grease stain is removed, as once you put the garment through the dryer cycle the grease will become a permanent part of the fabric. We also recommend that heavy soil grease stains can best be removed by taking it to a dry cleaner and having the garment spotted and dry cleaned. The solvents used in the dry cleaning process can normally remove all grease type stains.
If you have garment with corporate logos or other embroidery make sure you know what kind of thread was used for the embroidery. Many companies use rayon threads and some use 100% polyester. If the embroidery is sew with rayon on a white garment, you can not use chlorine bleach, as the color will be bleached out of the rayon in the first wash. Other than white garment consisting of 100% cotton or cotton poly blends, we recommend that only non chlorine bleach be used in the washing of our garments.