Originally Posted by Xenon
Your post certainly make the most sense, but my experience differs in terms of insulation. The polys are hotter when its hot and colder when its cold to me. Part of the reason is that poly is a simple solid section fiber and acts as a thermal bridge. Cotton is more complex and has voids that trap air and offer no such thermal bridge.
Another reason that poly may be softer is again that it is a solid section smooth fiber with no/less whiskers or fuzz. Typical cotton has alot of whiskers that may feel prickly and that can also trap hard water sediments to a greater degree.
That said no matter how smooth a 100% poly shirt is, it feels very uncomfortable to me when actually wearing even if it has a nice hand. Actually this holds true with most non iron 100% cotton shirts as well.
Also there isn't a poly shirt, even microfiber poly, that is as smooth just to the touch alone once you move into the NE 170 and over range. At that range the only competition in any tactile quality is silk (not even the finest cashmere or wool can compete against the skin). Also remember that many true Sea Island cottons, no matter how shiny/slick are only NE 120 to 140.
Well, a lot of polyester is solid, but it can be made hollow
. Your point about fuzz could be true. Although I thought one reason old cotton clothes are soft is that the fibers break down over time and create more fuzz.
That's interesting about your experience. Mine is pretty much the opposite. IOW, polyester garments feel warmer to me than cotton ones. But a lot of that may be due to the weave of the fabric. For example, I think a relatively lightweight microfleece shirt is warmer than a heavyweight cotton sweatshirt. The only things I can compare directly are jersey-knit t-shirts, and there I'd say the polyester is warmer. Actually, I have a pair of poly/nylon blend corduroy pants and they're warmer to me than cotton ones of about the same weight.
And some of it may be the way they perform when wet. As outdoorsmen like to say: "Cotton kills," since when wet it's very chilly. I'm not sure if that's due to evaporative cooling, an increase of thermal conductivity and/or something else.
I've never owned a 100% polyester dress shirt, but one of my favorite shirts is an old Patagonia silkweight capilene T that's 100% polyester. It's my favorite thing for the hottest conditions, from jungles to deserts. That or one of their Puckerware shirts. After that, I like linen, then an old poly/cotton oxford weave shirt, and then plain cotton. But really, the differences aren't huge imo. The main disadvantage to cotton in the heat imo is how it sticks to me when wet.
Originally Posted by in stitches
2. how is this not a reevolving thread?