A fashion question I seriously wonder about a lot -

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  1. There is something I wonder about a lot and I am not sure how to word this question but I will do my best - I never asked anyone because I thought I would sound uneducated or something IDK
    cotton - The most used fabric of clothes but there but what's the deal , I mean are there different kinds or something because so often do I see 100 % cotton of the tags of garment but the feel , touch everything about them are 100% different - I mean like there are H&M sweaters that say 100% cotton that feel like total sandpaper but then there are super expensive designer items that will also say 100% cotton - so what is the deal ?
    I am really curious about this .
  2. I'm not an expert, but from what I do know, there's thread count, weight, and how it's weaved. Dyes can make a difference or the chemicals used to treat it the material.
  3. +1

    i was just reading the Juicy Couture biography and they mentioned their famous cotton tee they had.. that the dye process is what made their tee so super soft and lux, so i think that factors into it a lot, along with those other things.
  4. Cotton comes from different countries too. Egyptian cotton is always advertised as softer. Peruvian cotton is often softer. I do think how they treat it while manufacturing has a big effect on the smoothness and softness. It's a great question, because I bought a cotton top online that was unwearable because it was so rough.
  5. Wow, a question I can answer! First off, there are many varieties of cotton and cotton fiber has many different grades based on physical characteristics and color. Before the yarn is even spun, cotton will be graded on fiber length, how fine it is, uniformity, maturity, etc, etc. Then the type of yarn made adds more variables, such as how twisted it is, how many plies there are, and other factors. There are also treatments such as mercerizing that affect the feel.

    So, as an example, a sweater made from short fiber length old cotton, with minimal processing, and chunky yarn will feel scratchier than a pima variety with long fiber length, made into very fine yarn. The reason it would be scratchier feeling is because there are a lot of ends sticking out of yarn made from short fiber length cotton.

    So like wool, cotton varies quite a bit.

    Next time you are near a yarn store, go inside and feel the different type of cotton yarn.
    Hope this made sense.
  6. I think the answer go nailed here
  7. Yep, as mentioned, the production process and make up will effect the end product.

    But you're also correct in that there are different varieties of cotton plant and that will also play a roll. The most used variety is Upland cotton, a white variety, which also has sub-types. Unfortunately, some of the other cotton varieties are being regulated out of existence in order to "protect" the white varieties from crossing with non-white varieties and producing hybrid crops with unreliable color.

    The different varieties will have different strength, staple, color, ect. How and where its grown will also effect what is produced.
  8. I think 100 % cotton never really means a 100 percent!

    It may be a lot less.

    Something like a legally allowed fraud.

    Like "pure wool" is never really nothing but pure wool.
    anitalilac likes this.
  9. While there are some companies that will be dishonest about it. This isn't quite true.
    You can get fabrics & products that are pure wool and pure cotton. I know plenty of women that make pure wool products (they even raise their own rabbits, sheep and goats and spin their own wool yarn). And lots of people buy yard & wool from them for making their own products to sell. Now, some 100% wool products are mixed with different wool sources (for example you won't often find a 100% angora rabbit wool product as it would be much to hot to wear and also very costly to make. So its usually mixed with a different kind of wool, such as from various kinds of sheep, goat, alpaca, ect. All of which will produce a different variety of wool.)

    I think people tend to assume its not "100%" because they have the expectation that being 100% should automatically mean a higher quality, more luxurious product. But as mentioned before, there are so many variables that will effect the end product. Some will be scratchy and poor quality, some will be incredibly soft and luxurious.
  10. As a sewist I use only 100% fabrics in my projects. There is quite a lot of difference between, say, Art Gallery and Cotton & Steel fabric. AG is very smooth without any give to it while C&S is a bit coarser and stretchier. I'm sure it's a thread count issue, nothing more. I don't believe that a fabric labeled "100% cotton" is trying to be deceptive, I think it's just a manufacturing issue.