Prioritizing a single fabric is all about comfort. We all love natural fabrics because of their durability and sustainability. When it comes to listing a few cool and relaxing fabrics, cotton and linen are on top of the list. They usually have similar uses, be it for home textiles or our routine clothing. But besides that, what’s the actual difference between these two? Let’s compare.
Difference between Cotton and Linen:
More widely Cotton is used more frequently than linen, but why? Firstly, use your sense of touch because linen feels stronger and thicker than cotton. If you thoroughly examine the fabric and witness a slubby texture, linen is most likely the source because it has longer fibers than cotton. You may also notice an observable lined pattern in the weave of a linen garment, whereas cotton can appear smoother and more uniform. An item made of linen could also naturally wrinkle more than one made of cotton.
Take a closer look at some major differences between these two fabrics.
Both of these materials have some level of breathability because they are typically worn in the summer season. If not, wearing them could make you feel uncomfortable. Additionally, as they are both made up of plant fibers, which “breathe” similarly to humans, they are both already naturally permeable. When it comes to cotton, its breathability determines how the fibers are woven (or knit) together. More loosely woven cotton will be more breathable, but cotton that is tightly woven will be less breathable. So generally, though, linen fabric is more breathable than cotton. Not only is linen woven more loosely than cotton, but flax fibers are also hollower than cotton fibers are.
If proper care is taken, cotton and linen can both last for a very long period. But both of them are prone to shrinking, especially the first time they are washed. As a result, many cotton fabrics are preshrunk and, if washed properly, may no longer shrink. However, linen can shrink more and if you don’t take care of it while laundering, it will likewise keep shrinking. Some cotton that shrinks can be stretched back to its original size, while linen is more difficult to be brought to its original condition. Since linen is also more loosely woven than cotton, it can tear or snag more easily. But, some cotton fabrics are more durable than others, depending on the weave of the fabric.
Cotton is generally softer than linen because the fibers are more tightly woven together. Again, some cotton varieties and cotton textiles are softer than others. Linen doesn’t necessarily have a rough texture, but it is more rigid and stiff than cotton. This is primarily due to the looser weave. Although cotton feels softer on the skin, this gives linen a breezy feel. Additionally, due to the texture of linen, it wrinkles slightly more than cotton does.
Both of these textiles should be relatively moisture-wicking in terms of sweat and other sorts of moisture, such as rain, as they are both worn throughout the summer. Having said that, cotton is not regarded as a fabric that wicks away moisture. Cotton absorbs water and can become saturated easily, making it irritated to wear if it does get wet. It’s not a good idea to wear cotton on really hot days when you may sweat or on rainy days when you’ll be outside because it takes longer to dry.