Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Cotton is King Of The Men’s Clothing World
The world’s most important apparel fiber makes up over 50% of the fabric sold throughout the world to including men’s cotton suits, cotton dress shirts, hosiery, underwear, and just about every piece of casual wear to include jeans and sweatshirts.
The popularity of cotton is no accident. Cotton fiber has a long history with man, and it has endured because its unique properties make it ideal for clothing.
Cotton fabric is attractive, durable, comfortable, takes to dyes, and most importantly has proven itself to be a superior fiber for men’s clothing manufacturing.
Physical Characteristics of Cotton Fiber
Cotton is divided into various groups depending on its physical characteristics; we will focus on two of the most important characteristics, the length of the cotton fiber and its fineness.
Cotton Fiber Length in Menswear
Cotton fibers vary in length considerably, from half an inch to 2 inches. Higher quality is often associated with longer length, and achieving this desired state is more expensive due the risk of a longer growth cycle and an increased demand on resources.
Long fibers make up only 3% of the worldwide output, and their use is typically reserved for high end shirt fabrics and other luxury.
A few varieties of this long fiber cotton used in shirt fabrics are American Pima, Egyptian, and Sea Island Cottons.
Cotton Fiber Fineness in Menswear
Cotton fiber fineness (the fiber’s diameter) is the second important quality of this king of fabrics.
High end fabric producers look to weed out irregularities and immature cotton fibers – these latter tend to be 20% thinner than mature fibers and can lead to early wear in shirtings fabrics due tot he fact they are less durable. Between length and fineness, even a bale of quality cotton can lose a large percentage of it’s fibers to QC. Thus the cost of high end cotton used in quality mens clothing can rises substantially.