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Why Is It That Polyester Shirts Are Often Softer Than Cotton Shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ivar, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    The downside to wearing synthetic fabrics has been amply discussed on here, but what is seldom mentioned is that polyester shirts are often amazingly soft in a way that cotton shirts rarely are. Whether from the high street or Jermyn Street, made of poplin or twill -- 100% cotton shirts always seem to lack that velvety quality found in some polyester shirts. Am I alone in thinking this? And if not, does anyone have any idea why that is?
     


  2. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    Polyesters are softer because they are from the northern part of Canada. Their fur is much denser than the cottons which run in the wilds of the southern USA. Both species have been trapped to the point of extinction. It is my hope that the governments of both countries will join hands and ban this useless killing of these harmless little animals!
     


  3. JohnnyLaw

    JohnnyLaw Senior member

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    Synthetic fibres like polyester or nylon can be made into fabrics with all sorts of different properties. Some can be very soft. As far as shirts go, however, cotton is generally considered to be the better option. High quality shirting fabric (Alumo, for example) is very nice to the touch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012


  4. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    :lurk::lurk::lurk::lurk:
     


  5. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    Damn they are killing the Nylons too?
     


  6. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Once upon a time, a thread such as this would have been monitored closely. :sigh:
     


  7. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    I'm actually asking the question in all sincerity. It was occasioned by my recently buying a used poly-cotton shirt for a theme party, a shirt that I found to be noticeably softer than all the "luxe" shirts I have ever owned (including a sea island cotton Turnbull & Asser shirt).
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012


  8. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Wear what feels comfortable on you. No one says you can't wear poly-cotton. I just doubt you'll find many who share your tactile sensitivities.
     


  9. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    Oh dear Is the world so hard and serious for you? I will delete myself in a few short hours.
     


  10. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    I understand that this is a critical and important issue. I will furrow my brow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012


  11. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    I'm not planning on starting to wear them: they're still itchy and smelly and warm. :D I'm just curious why regular cotton shirts aren't as soft to the touch.
     


  12. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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  13. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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  14. HansderHund

    HansderHund Senior member

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    Part of the reason synthetics have the ability of feeling softer initially is due to the fact that they can be uniform. They will always bottle heat against the body and make you sweat, however.
     


  15. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    I think part of it is that polyester threads can be finer than cotton or silk. Part of it is probably just the fact that the shirt is old.

    I've defended poly-cotton blends on here a couple times. I keep a couple old ones for really hot, sticky weather. Old poly/cotton undershirts are loved by many as well.
     


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