Cotton vs Polyester – Which Is Best For Your Branded Apparel?

Cotton vs Polyester – Which Is Best For Your Branded Apparel
Cotton vs Polyester – Which Is Best For Your Branded Apparel

Cotton vs Polyester – Which Is Best For Your Branded Apparel?

When it comes to selecting the right fabric for your branded apparel and uniforms, it’s about more than just fashion—it’s about making a statement about your brand. These pieces are not only a visual representation of your brand’s identity but are also going to be a staple in your team’s wardrobe. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a material that checks all the boxes for comfort, durability, and style.

In this blog post, we’re exploring the classic choice between cotton and polyester for your branded custom apparel. Each material brings its own benefits and challenges to the table. We’re here to walk you through the upsides and downsides of both, helping you discover the perfect fit for what you need.

So, let’s explore together and make an informed decision on which fabric will best suit your team, ensuring they feel good and look great, all while proudly representing your brand.


Cotton fabric isn’t just another material; it’s the gold standard for comfort and versatility in apparel, bedding, towels, and hats. Originating from the fluffy cotton plant, it transforms into a fabric that defines softness, breathability, and durability like no other.

Here’s why cotton is a top choice:

Here's why cotton is a top choice - Custom Apparel

  • Keeps You Cool: Cotton lets your skin breathe, so it’s perfect for hot days.
  • Skin-Friendly: No itchy or irritated skin here—cotton is hypoallergenic.
  • Super Soft: Cotton is incredibly comfortable; it’s like a soft hug for your skin.
  • Earth-Friendly: It’s made from natural stuff that can break down easily, so it’s good for our planet.
  • Moves with You: Cotton doesn’t stick to you, so you can move freely and comfortably.


However, cotton does have its challenges:

cotton does have its challenges

  • Costs a Bit More: Since it’s high quality and natural, cotton can be pricier.
  • Not as Long-Lasting: Cotton might not hold up as long as polyester or blends, and it can shrink or wear out with time.
  • Needs Extra Care: Cotton can fade or get stained, so it requires a bit more attention.
  • Slow to Dry: Cotton likes to take its time drying off.


Cotton is particularly ideal for:

Cotton is particularly ideal for

  • Beating the Heat: It’s super breathable, so you stay cool even when it’s hot out (just remember, it dries slowly).
  • Making Awesome Tees: Perfect for events or promotions where you want to feel comfy and look great.
  • Caring for Your Clothes: If you don’t mind giving a little extra love to keep your cotton looking sharp.


Cotton is the top pick if you’re looking for fabric that’s great for the environment, super comfortable, and breathes well. It’s not just nice to wear; it’s also good for the planet. So, for anyone who wants their clothes or brand to be about quality, comfort, and caring for the earth, cotton is the smart choice.



Polyester, crafted from synthetic sources like petroleum, holds a key position in the textile market, finding its use in everything from outdoor attire and bags to diverse clothing options. Its attractiveness comes from being economical to manufacture, durable, and capable of standing the test of time, making it a top choice for a broad range of applications.

Pros of Polyester:

Pros of Polyester

  • Light and Quick to Dry: Ideal for sportswear thanks to moisture-wicking tech.
  • Super Durable: Built to last.
  • No Shrink or Wrinkle: Low maintenance and easy to care for.
  • Moisture-Wicking: Keeps you dry by drawing sweat away.
  • Stain and Odor Resistant: Keeps you looking and smelling fresh.


Cons of Polyester:

Cons of Polyester

  • Less Breathable Than Cotton: Can be warmer to wear.
  • May Irritate Skin: Not as gentle as cotton on sensitive skin.
  • Synthetic Origin: Made from chemical sources.
  • Printing Limitations: Not all printing techniques work well.


Ideal For:

Ideal For

  • Easy-Care Fabric Fans: Perfect for staff who value low maintenance.
  • Hospitality Workers: Resists common stains, making it a smart choice.
  • Outdoor Activities: Great for jackets and raincoats.
  • Athletes: Sportswear and performance polos benefit from its properties.


Poly-Cotton Blends

Poly-Cotton Blends

Polycotton combines the strengths of both polyester and cotton, creating a versatile fabric that offers the best of both materials. It’s an excellent choice for a wide range of needs, making it a favorite recommendation of ours.

Typically, you’ll find Polycotton in blends like 50% cotton and 50% polyester, or sometimes with a higher cotton content at 65% paired with 35% polyester. This mix ensures you get the durability and easy care of polyester with the softness and breathability of cotton.

Polycotton Advantages:

Polycotton Advantages

  • Tougher Than Cotton: More resilient for everyday use.
  • Breathes a Bit: Keeps some of cotton’s cool comfort.
  • Easier to Keep Nice: Stands up to wear and washing better than cotton.
  • Feels Great: Comfy for all-day wear.
  • Lasts Longer: Stays in shape and looks good over time.
  • More Affordable: Typically costs less than pure cotton.


Polycotton Downsides:

  • Good All-Rounder, Not the Best in Any One Area: It’s versatile but doesn’t outshine in specific conditions.
  • Not the Top Choice for Outdoor Jobs: Might not hold up as well in harsh outdoor work environments.


Ideal For:

  • A Wide Range of Uses: Fits most clothing needs well.
  • Those Who Prefer Cotton But Want More: Offers a balanced option for cotton fans seeking better durability and maintenance.

The Takeaways And What We Recommend

The Takeaways And What We Recommend

At Optamark Graphics, we understand the importance of choosing the right fabric for your branded apparel, as there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. This is why polycotton is often our go-to suggestion for clients, blending the strengths of both polyester and cotton to overcome their individual drawbacks.

To help you make the best apparel choices:

  • Selecting Your Corporate Uniform: Discover what truly reflects your brand.
  • Apparel Terms Glossary: Familiarize yourself with the terms for smarter decisions.


Looking for personalized advice on the perfect fabric for your team and customers? Reach out to our branded apparel experts at Optamark Graphics. We’re here to offer top recommendations and advice on how to effectively feature your logo. Contact us for dedicated support tailored to your brand’s needs.

We’d love to hear from you! Request a quote or schedule a call with our representative by filling out this form, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark is an outsourced service provider to a network of experienced, independent distributors of printing and promotional products. The Company’s services include product sourcing and order fulfillment via access to a network of preferred vendors, invoicing, collections, back office support, sales and marketing support, professional development training, and working capital support.

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