Top 5 Cotton Fabrics That Designers Swear By

Cotton Fabric

Designer Cotton Fabrics

Cotton is a natural fiber that comes of cotton plant, and the fabric is produced by knitting or weaving of yarn. Cotton fabric is a must-have in our wardrobe; it not just adds to the glamour quotient of our wardrobe, but also is very comfortable to put on and carry.

There are many benefits of using cotton clothing, the most important advantage being that cotton fabric comes as a savior in the summer season. Apparently, we tend to sweat a lot during the summer; cotton fabric absorbs the sweat and helps our body to cool down, thereby keeping our body dry and helping to prevent fungal infection or rashes.

In addition to that, cotton fabrics are lightweight and allow light to pass through it instead of absorbing. That is why it is perfect for people with sensitive skin as it brings down the severity of any allergic reactions, unlike synthetic fabrics. However, great care should be taken while choosing and storing cotton fabrics.

There are different kinds of cotton fabrics that are immensely popular among designers. Below are the top 5 cotton fabric types that are recommended and preferred by fashion designers and textile experts across the world.

  • Cotton Voile – This is a lightweight, semi-sheer fabric with great drape.
  • Chambray – This is a soft fabric woven with white and colored yarn.
  • Corduroy – These are ribbed pile fabrics in various weights and weaves.
  • Chintz – These are glazed fabrics often printed with flowers and stripes.
  • Broadcloth – These are tightly woven cotton cloth with fine embedded crosswise ribs.

Cotton fabrics or textiles are highly durable and are advisable by great dermatologists as well as designers. Cotton, being a natural fiber, is gentle on the skin and is well suited for adults as well as babies. In fact, it is highly recommended to go for cotton fabric for infants and newborns, as they do no harm to the baby’s soft skin unlike the polyester clothing that can lead to rashes and allergies.

Apart from the comfort and thermal benefits of cotton fabric, it can also be used to manufacture weather-resistant clothing. After the cotton yarn is weaved into strong and dense fabric, a weather-repellent coating is applied to make the clothing weather-resistant, which assures that the garment has the utmost insulation properties. What’s more, the comfort and breathability of cotton fabric is never lost in the process.

Why Cotton Is the Best Clothing Choice for Babies

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Best Babies Clothing

Newborn babies have very delicate skin and so their clothing should be much delicate. This is the reason why cotton has become the preferred clothing for newborn babies. Fabric wholesalers and experts say that cotton clothing is very soft and so it can be much soft on the baby skin. Doctors recommend using baby receiving blankets that are made of cotton. Below are some of the important reasons that will explain why you should use only cotton fabrics for your newborn.

  • Cotton is 100% organic and natural fiber that will not result in any allergic reactions on the baby skin.
  • Cotton is a very soft fiber, which will not be harsh on the skin of your baby.
  • Fabrics made from cotton are breathable, meaning that they will offer good aeration, thereby helping to keep the baby cool. In addition, cotton clothing can also absorb body moisture easily.
  • Cotton is the perfect clothing material for babies with asthma as unlike other clothing materials, cotton will not release any particulate material that can lead to asthma attacks.
  • As cotton is a natural fiber, it is non-allergenic and can be used safely without worrying about eczema or rash breakouts.
  • Unlike baby blankets made from synthetic material, cotton blankets and fabrics can be washed in hot water, as the fabric is capable of enduring high temperatures without affecting the durability or quality of the material. As cotton fabrics can be sterilized, it is the perfect clothing material for your baby.
  • Textile manufacturers USA say that synthetic materials are often treated with many chemicals to offer them a good finish. These chemicals can be unsafe for your baby and may result in rashes on the skin of the baby. On the other hand, cotton fibers are not subjected to such treatments and make it the perfect for the baby skin.
  • It is very easy to clean cotton fabrics when compared to many other synthetic fabrics. Cotton fibers release grime and dirt very easily. Therefore, you need not use any harsh chemicals and detergents to remove dirt and stains on cotton clothing. You just need to use a mild baby detergent with warm water to wash and clean cotton baby clothes. In addition, you can dry cotton clothes very easily. All you need to do is to tumble dry cotton clothing or hung them up to dry.
  • Plastic diapers can make the baby uncomfortable and hot. Therefore, make sure that you use diapers made of cotton. Additionally, these diapers can absorb much moisture before causing dampness. So, in short, diapers made of cotton can keep your baby dry and comfortable for a long time.

Different Methods of Fabric Dyeing

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Fabric Dyeing Techniques

Dyeing refers to the process of applying color onto the fabric. The techniques by which the dyes are applied differ greatly; hence, there are various methods of dyeing fabrics.

It is one of the most crucial processes done by a textile company on a fabric before it is shipped out of the mill. The process of dyeing enhances the appearance of the fabric by using colors and shades, and lends the fabric a fresh look that bleeds when washed.

Dyeing has a clear advantage over all the other processes as it can be carried out during any stage of textile production. Based on the type of garment produced, textiles are dyed as yarn, fabrics, or as garments. For this process, certain colored components called dyes are used, which are of two types, natural and synthetic. Some of the different methods of fabric dyeing are described below.

Direct Dyeing

In direct dyeing, the dye is applied to the fabric directly without the need of an affixing agent. Before the application, the dyestuff undergoes fermentation in case of natural dyes or chemical reduction for synthetic vat and sulfur dyes. It is mainly used for dyeing cotton and has water-soluble properties, making it suitable to apply directly on the fiber from an aqueous solution.

Yarn Dyeing

Yarn dyeing refers to a method in which the yarn is dyed before it is knitted or woven into fabrics. This method is mainly used for creating patterns, stripes, and checks using different colored yarns. The dyestuff enters deep into the yarn during the process of yarn dyeing. Some important forms of yarn dyeing are skein dyeing, package dyeing, space dyeing, and warp-beam dyeing.

Garment Dyeing

This method of dyeing involves the finished garments and includes clothes like T-shirts, sweaters, pantyhose, sweatshirts, and hosiery. It is incapable of use in tailored fabrics though, as the shrinkage variation can cause misshaping or distortion of the clothes. The process of garment dyeing is carried out by placing the garments together and dipping in a dye bath.

Stock Dyeing

In stock dyeing, the fibers or stock are dyed prior to spinning into yarn. In this method, the loose fibers are put in a dye bath that is heated to a specific temperature. Stock dyeing is mainly used for woolen fabrics. It is used to create color effects like heather used particularly in wool fibers.

Top Dyeing

Top dyeing is similar to stock dyeing, as it is dyed before the fiber is spun into yarn. The top is the fibers of the wool, from which the tiny fibers are removed, and involves selecting the long fibers used for spinning worsted yarn. This top is dyed with dyed tops of other colors to create color effects.

Tips to Care for Cotton Clothing

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Cotton Clothing Care

Cotton is one of the most popular materials in clothing. With proper care and washing, you can use your cotton clothes for a long time. The below tips to take care of cotton clothing can help you keep them in great condition.

Avoiding Discoloration

Knitting mills and wholesale fabric dealers say that hand washing is the best way to prevent cotton clothing from losing their color. To get the best results, you need to hand wash cotton clothes in cold water. If you do not prefer hand washing, then make sure that you machine wash your cotton clothes separately and take care not to mix many colors. You may also use color catcher sheets to avoid colors spreading from one garment to the other.

Treating Stain

You can apply a color safe stain remover on the stained areas of your cotton clothing. It is also a wise idea to focus on the areas lime neckline and armpit areas that are much exposed to sweat. This can help you eradicate both stains and body odors. If you have accidentally spilled coffee on your cotton clothes, you need to keep the stained area under running water for about five minutes, rubbing the area gently every minute. If the stain persists, you can repeat the steps two or three times.

Avoiding Shrinkage and Stretching

You need to understand that cotton shrinks much on the first wash. It is important to read the wash care labels on the garments to understand the cleaning instructions and if you are unsure, use only cold water to wash. If you are using a tumble dryer to dry the clothing, never leave the garments until they are dried completely. Instead, remove them from the dryer while they are still damp and allow drying in shade. This will prevent color loss and shrinkage of the garments.

Ironing Tips

Cotton fabrics are tough and can be ironed at high temperatures. To have a neat and smooth look, you can iron the inside and outside areas of the clothing. You can start ironing the inside of the fabric as this can help avoid creases while ironing outside areas. If there are some preexisting marks or stains on the fabric, it is better to avoid ironing that area, as ironing over the stains can permanently set the stain into the fabric. Another idea is to place a damp cloth over the stained area and then iron it.

The Key Differences between Textile and Fabric

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Different Types of Fabrics

Consumers use different types of fabrics as basic clothing and even to showcase the style and wealth. Many of the fabrics are made taking into account the weather conditions in an area. For instance, woolen fabrics are used to get warmth in winter; cotton fabrics to evade the summer heat. Using umbrellas and raincoats, on the other hand, give protection from raining downpour or scorching sun, and they are made of different fabrics too. In fact, both the terms, textile and fabric, are often used interchangeably, but actually, there are subtle differences between the two.

Textile is a term originated from ‘Texere’, a Latin word that means to weave. Textile traditionally refers to a woven fabric, even though people associate textiles to clothing. However, weaving comprises only one textile manufacturing technique, the other ones being knitting, knotting, and crocheting. Nowadays, textiles are also made by using a technique called felting. While natural fibers are sourced from plants to make textiles in a textile company, synthetic fibers are artificially made in labs with chemicals as well as contemporary technology. The textiles made of synthetic fibers dominate the majority of the clothing segment in the US.

Fabrics, on the other hand, are made of textile fiber with the use of techniques like weaving, knitting, and crocheting. In fact, the majority of the fabric products are either knitted or woven in a knitting mill, but there are also non-woven fabrics made of yarn using felting, twisting, and braiding. The term fabric is a generic phrase often used in reference to cloth material, which is used to make a dress or upholstery. In fact, people use ‘fabric’ when referring to the color, the texture, or the quality of clothes, even though the term has wider implications in actual.

Below are some of the key points that differentiate both textile and fabric in a nutshell.

  • Fiber, yarn, or a combination of both can be used to make textiles. Fabric is often made from non-woven fiber or hand weaved or knitted yarn.
  • Textile is a broad term used in reference to the clothing industry and engineering. Fabric forms a type of clothing.
  • Textile products may be finished or unfinished. Fabric can only be finished.
  • Not all of the textiles are necessarily fabric, but fabrics are indeed textile.

How Cotton Fabric can Prevent and Soothe Skin Conditions

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Cotton Fabric Benefits

Skin is the main integumentary system organ with the largest surface area in our body, so you do not want to mess with it. What you put on plays an important role in ensuring that your skin is free of any infections, diseases, and allergic reactions.

Skin experts and fabric wholesalers say that it is always better to use clothing that is made from natural products like cotton. That is why there is always a huge demand for cotton clothing in the wholesale fabric market. Below is how cotton fabric can help to prevent and soothe skin conditions.

Avoid Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating, which can be very much uncomfortable to any person. Fabric experts claim that using cotton clothing can help prevent hyperhidrosis to a great extent. Moreover, if you suffer from hyperhidrosis, you should try to avoid using clothing made from synthetic fiber like polyester and rayon.

Cotton clothing can allow proper air circulation, thereby helping your skin breathe. This will decrease the chances of overheating and sweating. In addition, cotton clothes are easy to wash when compared to those made from synthetic materials, meaning that cotton clothes will not smell after washing.

Avoid Dermatitis

If you have sensitive skin, or if you suffer from a skin condition like dermatitis, using cotton clothing can help you soothe the skin problem. Many of the skin conditions can be triggered by external factors and allergens such as clothing, jewelry, or fragrances used in the skincare products.

The breathability and comfort offered by cotton clothing can help to ease your skin issues. in fact, clothing made from 100% cotton is hypoallergenic, meaning that they will not cause any irritation to the skin of the user, whereas clothing made from synthetic fibers are likely to irritate your skin.

Avoid Rashes in Babies

Synthetic fibers can lead to rashes in babies, and using cotton can help to make your baby feel more comfortable. Cotton clothing will be soft on the skin of your baby and will not irritate it. This, together with the breathability offered by the fiber, can help in avoiding allergic reactions and rashes on the baby’s skin.

Always make sure to use loose-fitting cotton clothing to provide even more comfort to your baby and do not use synthetic fibers like rayon, polyester, wool, or nylon as they can cause irritation and rashes on the baby skin.

3 Common Types of Knit Fabrics

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Knit Fabrics Types

People who are new to the world of sewing might initially feel a bit scared of sewing knits. However, there is no need to be afraid of sewing knits, because knits are pretty much easy to sew and fit. Nevertheless, it is true that you will need a little bit of practice to master it.

If you are a person who is planning to start sewing knits, then it is best to dedicate a quality amount of your time to learn about the wide varieties of knit fabrics available in the market. This will help you to easily identify the right type of knit fabric that is the ideal choice for your project. Some of the most popular and widely used types of knit fabrics are as follows.

Jersey

Jersey is the most common type of knit fabric and most of the basic T-shirts available in the market are usually made from Jersey. Some of the major characteristics of Jersey fabric are discussed below.

  • The stretch factor is relatively less when compared to other fabrics.
  • They do not recover well once they are stretched too far.
  • Right and wrong sides of this type of fabric are actually different. You can see vertical knit rib on the right side and horizontal purls on the other side.

Rib Knit

Rib knit fabric is actually created with two needles that come with vertical textured lines. This is the ideal type of knit fabric for making wristbands, bubble hems, collars, and neckbands. Some of the most prominent features of rib knit are as follows.

  • Rib knit fabric usually has a number of crosswise stretches.
  • They possess the ability to recover well when they are stretched.
  • The right and wrong sides of this fabric are identical yet different.

Interlock

Interlock knit fabric is actually a variation of rib knit fabric and it is also made by using two needles. This type of knit fabric works exceptionally well with camisoles, tanks, skirts, and T-shirts. Some of the most popular characteristics of interlock fabric are listed below.

  • It is far thicker and stable than jersey fabric.
  • The edges of this type of fabric do not curl usually, which means that they are easier to work with for beginners.
  • It is difficult to distinguish between the right and wrong side of interlock fabric.

These are the most common types of knits, so understanding how to distinguish them would help you gain more confidence while sewing knit fabrics.

How a Cotton T-Shirt is Made

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T-Shirt Production Stages

Usually, 100 percent cotton is used to make cotton T-shirts, although some manufacturers use polyester or a blend of polyester along with cotton for the same. In fact, the use of any of the fabrics varies as per the choice of raw material of the designers and the budget of sourcing. Elastic knit fabrics are affordable and ideal for screen printing and heat transfer applications to make T-shirts. Below is a rundown of the many processes that go into the making of a cotton T-shirt.

Raw Material Sourcing

After the cotton ball is sourced from the crop fields, they are placed into a gin wherein the cotton gets filtered mechanically from the seeds as well as the chaff. Known as ginning, this is a phase that filters the cotton balls and other materials from raw cotton in order to make cotton fabrics. In fact, cotton gins nowadays are capital intensive using multi-powered cleaning cylinders as well as saws.

From the Spinner to the Loom

Cotton fiber bundles are spun in knitting mills once the material is carded, combed, and blended. In fact, prior to the carding phase, which comprises of filtering the fiber material into loose strands of cotton, the material gets removed from a cotton picking machine. Then in the weaving phase, the spun cotton is knit on the loom into a coarse and grayish looking fabric.

The Wet Processing

Wet processing is where the fabric is treated with heat as well as a chemical that imparts it the softness and color. It is usually segregated into 3 stages –preparation, coloring, and applying the finish. The phase also comprises of bleaching, printing, and dyeing, as well as checking the cotton fabric for grey residues.

Cut and Sew and Transformation

Oftentimes, the fabric gets its shape and appearance from a sewing unit. Up to 15 percent of the fabric reaches the facility where the sewers make the cotton garments from the finished fabric. Then, to make the T-shirt appealing, screen printing is done following finalization of the specs regarding the pattern. The color pantone, placement, ink-type, and sizing are also finalized in the screen printing phase.

Each of the color in the artwork is filtered and then printed onto a clear film named ‘film positive’. The films are then used to exert the print onto the mesh screen having a photo-sensitive emulsion – each of the screens is then exposed to an Ultra Violet light table having vacuum sealing. The screens get rinsed, the photos inspected for the accuracy, and then they get put on a screen-press which prints the design and pattern on the T-shirts.

3 Basic Fabric Printing Methods Used in Textile Industries

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Fabric Printing Techniques

Fabric printing refers to the process of applying colors, patterns, and designs to a finished piece of fabric. This printing is different from conventional printing methods as the dye and color is attached to the cloth fibers. This will fasten the ink into the clothing that prevents them from getting removed during washing or due to friction.

Textile printing is a process used right from the ancient times. In fact, some of the ancient methods of fabric printing are still being used in textiles. Nevertheless, there are different printing methods used for textile printing. Each of these methods varies depending on the application techniques and quality of the print. These methods are responsible for the thousands of complex patterns and impressive colors seen in textiles today.

Nowadays, the printing technology has progressed greatly, as current fabric printing relies on computers and advanced printing machines that can deliver patterns and colors into the fabric with astounding accuracy. Below are three basic fabric printing methods used in textile industries.

Block Printing

Block printing is one of the oldest techniques used for fabric printing. This type of printing uses a wooden block where the design is engraved. It is then transferred on to the fabric by dipping it in ink and pressing it onto the fabric surface. This process is repeated for covering the selected regions of the textile. Mostly done manually, it is one of the simplest forms of fabric printing techniques used today.

Roller Printing

Roller printing is similar to block printing, but this method uses a large copper cylinder engraved with the design needed to print on the fabric instead of a wooden block. The textile is then fed into these rollers where it is pressed against the cylinder surface, which will imprint the designs on the fabric. Roller printing can produce repeated prints quickly, and thus, it is used for high-speed fabric printing.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is one of the most commonly used methods for printing designs or patterns onto any fabric. It is a highly versatile method of fabric printing and uses flat or cylindrical screens made from materials like silk, nylon, polyester, etc. The screen has several unblocked areas in it corresponding to the design. Once the printing ink is applied on the screen, it is pressed either manually or automatically to the textile. This forces the ink through the unblocked areas to get imprinted on the fabric surface.

What are the Benefits of Cotton Clothing

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Cotton Clothing Benefits

Statistics show that cotton is the most used natural fiber across the world, which is mainly used to make clothes. Other parts of the plant are used to produce food, paper, and plastic products as per the guidelines set by the National Cotton Council of America. As cotton is a natural product, it has many advantages like the ability to insulate, control moisture, and resist water. Besides, cotton fabric is also comfortable, durable, and hypoallergenic. Some of the main advantages of cotton fabric are discussed below.

Insulation

Cotton is a natural fiber and it offers good protection against heat and cold by offering thermal insulation. The fabric can trap air between the fibers allowing your skin to breathe. The fibers in cotton can hold the fabric away from your skin allowing for more air circulation between the fabric and the skin, which can help with comfort and insulation.

Moisture Control

Cotton fabric is very much breathable and can transmit the moisture away from the body of the user. The fiber is also absorbent so it can easily remove sweat from the surface of the skin, like a towel absorbing the liquid. Additionally, cotton fabric can help you to remain comfortable while working out as it can keep moisture from building up between the clothing and your skin.

Weatherproof

Cotton fibers can be used to make weather resistant garments via finishing of the fabric. For instance, cotton can be made into a dense, tight fabric that has a weatherproof finish, yet retaining the breathability and comfort of the fabric.

Hypoallergenic

Cotton fabric does not lead to much allergic reactions and it is even recommended for people with skin allergies. As cotton is hypoallergenic, it is used in products like gauze and bandages. It is also the fabric of choice when it comes to baby clothing.

Comfort and Durability

Cotton fabric is very soft and stretches easily making it a very much comfortable clothing choice. Due to the comfort and softness of the fabric, it is widely used in the manufacture of undershirts and underwear. In addition, the cotton fabric will not cling, as it cannot hold an electric charge.

Cotton fiber has very high tensile strength, which makes it very much durable, meaning that cotton clothes are less likely to tear or rip. In fact, the fiber is thirty percent stronger when wet and can withstand numerous washings and laundries.