What is polycotton fabric?
Polycotton material is a combination of both natural cotton and synthetic polyester fibres. The fibres are woven together to create a hybrid yarn of the two. However, the percentage of polyester vs. cotton can vary greatly, depending on the use for the fabric. Polycotton is normally a thin and lightweight fabric, that is surprisingly strong and durable.
A popular choice of fabric for clothing and bedding, poly-cotton has the soft and absorbent qualities of cotton as well as the durable and easy to care for nature of polyester.
Some popular polycotton materials include:
- Boston Pique Knit – water absorbent, pique knit construct, 160gsm, mesh like, flexible
- Lima Cotton Lawn – tightly woven, 145gsm, smooth, cool, durable, soft, breathable
- Lima Cotton Poplin – 200gsm, tight, plain weave, water absorbent, smooth, taut
- Mayfair Herringbone Weave – soft, cotton feel, tight weave, solid, matte, 269gsm
- Mulmul Soft Muslin – muslin weave, super soft, strong, durable, 55gsm, woven
- Panama Flo – 150gsm, woven, durable, solid, strong, taut, half panama
- Cotton Sheeting – tight, plain weave, 130gsm, strong, soft face, breathable, spun yarns
- Woven Canvas – tightly woven, durable, 300gsm & 500gsm, non-stretch, smooth
How is it manufactured?
Polycotton fabric is manufactured by combining the natural fibre cotton with the synthetic or manmade fibre, polyester. The fusing of the fibres can be done at either the fibre stage or at the yarn stage. Although it results in a slightly more expensive fabric, combining them at the fibre stage tends to give a more superior quality.
Purposes of polycotton fabric
The purpose of printed polycotton fabric is to create a material that has the best of both worlds – the natural breathability and beauty of cotton and the durability and longevity of polyester. Mixing the two fibres can utilize the properties of differing strengths, dyeability, breathability and more. Cotton can be added to polyester to help give the polyester more of a moisture wicking finish, and polyester can be added to cotton to give it more durability and flexibility.
By creating a poly-cotton material hybrid, you will get a fabric that has the advantages of both fibres; tough, durable, breathable, soft, and affordable.
The blend of cotton and polyester fibres have a wealth of properties, that makes them a popular choice for many end uses, in particular clothing and bedding. Some common properties of poly cotton include:
- Wrinkle resistant
- Strong and durable
- Can be ironed
- Shrinks less than pure cotton
- Retain colour
- Cheaper than 100% cotton
- Fade resistant
- Can be washed more often
- Easy to sew
Advantages of printed polycotton fabric
The blend of the two fibres is created to afford the advantages of both the cotton and the poly fibres into one fabric. While 100% cotton is fully breathable, it can also be more expensive and not as durable as polyester. On the other side, while polyester is not at all breathable, it has brilliant durability and tends to be tear resistant. It is also a cheaper fibre. One can then see that when the two fibres are combined, they create a hybrid yarn that has all the advantages of cotton and polyester.
The final fabric is normally soft, comfortable, and flexible with a breathable nature. It is also tear-resistant, less prone to pilling and static, and can be made into abrasion-resistant fabrics, such as canvas. Polycotton is also less expensive that 100% cotton, and you can often find different ratios of the fibres, which will suit your end purpose.