Skip to main content

Key Difference – Cotton vs Polycotton

Cotton is a fabric that is preferred by everyone since it is light, soft and breathable. However, some other materials such as linen, rayon and polyster are blended with cotton to produce more affordable fabrics that contain the best of both fibers. Polycotton is such a cotton blend that is made of cotton and polyester. The key difference between cotton and polycotton is their durability; cotton is prone to wear and tear whereas polycotton is resistant to wear and tear and more durable than cotton.

What is Cotton?

Cotton is a natural fabric that is made from the soft, fluffy substance that is around the seeds of the cotton plant (Gossypium). It is a light, soft and breathable fabric. It is used in the production of various garments such as shirts, t-shirts, dresses, towels, robes, underwear, etc. It is more suitable to manufacture light and casual indoor and outdoor wear. Cotton is also sometimes used for uniforms.

Since cotton is made from natural fiber, it doesn’t cause any allergies or skin irritations, so even people with sensitive skin can wear cotton. Cotton is also ideal for warmer climates; it will keep the wearer light and cool all day long. However, cotton garments are more prone to shrinkage and wrinkles, especially if they are not maintained carefully.

Given below are some tips to maintain cotton garments properly:

  • Ironing can get rid of wrinkles – use high steam or iron while lightly spraying
  • Separate light and dark colors to prevent color bleeding
  • Wash in cold water to prevent shrinkage
  • Don’t dry in the excessive heat for too long

Cotton is blended with other materials such as linen, polyester, and rayon in order to create stronger and wrinkle free fabrics.

Key Difference - Cotton vs Polycotton

What is Polycotton?

As the name polycotton itself suggests, polycotton is a fabric that contains both cotton and polyester fibers. The ratio of polyster and cotton varies, but one of the most common blend ratios is 65% cotton and 35% polyester. 50 % blends are also not uncommon. Polyster and cotton are blended in this way to obtain the maximum advantages of both fibers in one fabric.

Polyester is less prone to tearing due to its elasticity, so it is more durable than cotton. Since it is a synthetic fiber, it is also cheaper than cotton. Although cotton is more comfortable and breathable, it is more prone to tearing, shrinkage, and wrinkles. Polycotton has the strengths of both cotton and polyester. It is more breathable than polyester and tear and wrinkle resistance than cotton. Although polycotton is not as cheap as polyester, it is more affordable than pure cotton.

Difference Between Cotton and Polycotton

What is the difference between Cotton and Polycotton?


Cotton: Cotton contains natural fibers.

Polycotton: Polycotton is made of both natural and synthetic fibers.

Cotton Content:

Cotton: Cotton garments contain pure cotton.

Polycotton: Polycotton usually contains at least 50 % cotton.


Cotton: Cotton fabrics tend to wear and tear easily.

Polycotton: Polycotton fabrics are more wear and tear resistant than cotton.


Cotton: Cotton fabrics are light, soft and breathable. They are ideal for warm climates.

Polycotton: Polycotton is not as soft or breathable as cotton.


Cotton: Cotton should be washed in cold water and ironed at a high temperature.

Polycotton: Polycotton should be washed in warm water and ironed at a lower temperature.


Cotton: Pure cotton garments are expensive.

Polycotton: Polycotton garments are less expensive than cotton, but more expensive than polyester.

 Image Courtesy:

“Blue Cotton Fabric Texture Free Creative Commons (6962342861)” By D Sharon Pruitt – Pink Sherbet Photography from Utah, USA – Blue Cotton Fabric Texture Free Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

“Polycotton ripstop material in Vista All Terrain Pattern (ATP) camouflage” By Sumo664 – PhotoPreviously published: asd (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia