Is 100 Percent Cotton Better than 50/50? (Explained)

Cotton is one of the popular apparel materials today. Many people use cotton for clothing due to its comfortable texture and pleasant appearance.

Although cotton looks perfect as a sole material, manufacturers tend to blend it with other fabric materials for some valid reason.

Therefore, there are pure and blended cotton fabrics in the market. For someone who has noticed this, you may wonder which is better, out of 100% and the 50/50 blend.

The 100% cotton is better than the 50/50 regarding softness, breathability, and value recognition. On the other hand, the 50/50 blend is better in terms of durability, strength, and reduced wrinkling. Both fabrics are good quality, but the best depends on the wearer’s preference and conditions for wearing it.

In this article, I will explain the best out of 100% cotton and 50/50 blend. You will also know their differences and which percentage makes good quality.

By the end, you’ll understand which is more durable between the 100% cotton and 50/50 blend, the composition of the 50/50 blend, and which is best for summer.

What Cotton Fabric Is Best: 100 Percent or 50/50?

Is 100 Percent Cotton Better than 50/50

Both 100% cotton and 50/50 blend are top-quality materials. People who have worn the two fabric types can testify to their quality.

However, there is always a superior material in every fabric competition. Therefore, it is essential to understand each fabric to pick the best.

#1. 100% Cotton Fabric 

This fabric material contains natural cotton from a crop with a similar name. This material is soft to the touch and has a high breathability.

This quality allows air to circulate through the material. Anyone wearing the material will stay cooler in hot and humid conditions.

However, cotton shrinks during the laundry process. This drawback reduces its lifespan and makes it lose its quality.

#2. 50/50 Blend Fabric

Unlike the former material, this contains 50% cotton and 50% polyester. This blend counters the shrinkage disadvantage in 100% cotton.

The polyester in the fabric increases the cotton fiber’s resilience, allowing it to go back into shape after every laundry cycle.

However, the 50/50 fabric blend doesn’t give much room for air circulation. The wearer can be uncomfortable in humid and hot conditions.

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Although many people go for 100% cotton in most cases, the 50/50 blend longevity and resilience give it a special quality.

In addition, it is more easily accessible and affordable than pure cotton. The 50/50 blend has the amazing quality of polyester and cotton in one fabric.

The former may seem the best option because it has no additional fabric material. However, many fabric producers support the blend because of other qualities.

At the same time, the breathability of pure cotton gives it a superior quality. You can wear it outdoors in hot conditions.

Choosing the best of the two depends on your preference and the purpose of using the fabric. Whichever suits your purpose should be your best choice.

Differences Between 100% and 50/50 Cotton

The major difference between 100% cotton and 50/50 blend is the composition. As their name indicates, the former is purer and more authentic than the latter.

Nonetheless, certain qualities distinguish both materials. Each of these qualities makes the material unique in certain ways.

The table below outlines the differences between 100% and 50/50 blend cotton fabrics:

100% Cotton Fabric50/50 Blend Cotton Fabric
Contains pure natural cottonIt contains a blend of polyester and cotton
More expensiveMore affordable
Shrinks or wrinkles during the laundry processLess likely to shrink or wrinkle during the laundry process
Stains easily and difficult to washEasier to wash
Not eco-friendlyIt tends to be more eco-friendly, especially the color blends
It has a higher recognized valueIt has a lower recognized value compared to pure cotton
Colorful materials are less likely to fade or bleedColor designs may not bond properly to the material
Extremely soft and breathableA bit coarse and less breathable
It is soft to touchIt isn’t as soft to touch

What Percentage of Cotton Makes Good Quality?

The fabric with good quality usually has a higher cotton ratio. In this case, 100% cotton is a better quality.

However, the 50/50 blend may serve your needs and budget. Pure cotton is usually expensive and less accessible due to its high quality.

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It has more perspiration absorption, breathability, hypoallergenic, and softness properties. On the other hand, these qualities are average in the 50/50 blend fabric.

However, the blend has more strength due to the polyester in it. This gives it an edge over the pure fabric’s flexibility.

Therefore, if you need a better quality with lesser durability, 100% cotton would be perfect. You get to express your style with its lightweight burden.

However, the 50/50 blend will be perfect if you need less softness, increased strength, and weight.

Is 100% Cotton More Durable than the 50/50 Blend?

The 50/50 blend is more durable than the 100% cotton. As mentioned earlier, pure cotton is more soft and lightweight.

It is more likely to shrink and wrinkle after every laundry process or when you put it inside a tight bag.

However, adding polyester to the cotton increases its strength and durability. It reduces the shrinking and makes it less wrinkly.

Pure cotton’s flexibility is one of the reasons cloth manufacturers tend to add more material to cloth sizes.

This will compensate for the shrunk material and keep the cloth fit. However, the wearer will notice the size reduction over time.

In addition, 100% cotton fabric is softer and more likely to tear. It can’t hold against the strength of a nail or needle.

So, if your pure cotton fabric gets stuck on a nail or other sharp object, the fabric is likely to tear or have a hole.

On the other hand, the 50/50 blend will still have more strength and may return to normal when you unstuck it from a sharp object.

It will also hold against tugging and squeezing. It doesn’t require much ironing to smoothen it out. 

What Are 50 50 Blends Made From?

50/50 blend cotton combines 50% polyester and 50% cotton. Each of these materials has unique qualities combined in one fabric.

Here are the properties of the materials in the 50/50 blend cotton:

#1. Polyester

This is a synthetic fabric usually obtained from petroleum. It is a popularly used textile for industrial and consumer purposes.

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The synthetic material of polyester primarily contains compounds within the ester functional group.

Ethylene, a constituent of petroleum, is the raw material for some plant-based and most synthetic polyester fibers.

Polyester isn’t eco-friendly as most forms of it are non-biodegradable. The production process and usage of polyester contribute to environmental pollution.

Polyester can be the sole composition of fabric materials, but most apparel manufacturers blend it with cotton or other natural fibers.

This helps to reduce the production cost of blended fabrics. It also helps enhance pure cotton’s durability, wrinkling, and shrinkage properties.

#2. Cotton

Cotton is a natural crop that grows in warmer climate conditions. Like other plants, cellulose is the foundational material of the cotton crop.

It is under the genus Gossypium and grows to have cotton fibers called “Boll.” The cotton boll usually grows to the size of a golf ball under healthy conditions.

Cotton farmers usually harvest the bolls and send them for further production. The cotton company usually cleans and spins the bolls into yarn for fabric production.

Cotton can function as the sole material for fabric production. The result gives a soft and breathable fabric for comfortable wear.

However, the production process is expensive. Therefore, apparel companies mostly blend it with polyester to reduce the cost.

This also makes the product more accessible to everyone. Nonetheless, some high-end clothing apparel contains pure cotton.

Additionally, pure cotton is less durable compared to when blended with polyester. The blend could be 80% polyester and 20% cotton.

It could also be 65% or 60% cotton and 35% or 40% polyester. The most popular blend is the 50/50 ratio.

Many apparel companies use the half-and-half blend for both materials to complement one another.

Is It Better to Wear 100% Cotton than a 50/50 Blend in Summer?

100% cotton is best for summer due to its breathability. Summer is usually hot, and you must wear something that allows air circulation.

Pure cotton keeps you cool both indoors and outdoors. Due to its natural property, it gives room for airflow.

As good as this material sounds, it may not be the best for someone who sweats a lot. It has a low absorption property and leaves sweat marks on the outfit.

The color of the fabric around sweaty areas also tends to change. You will notice how soon it fades around this area.

The 50/50 blend is also breathable but not as pure cotton. Fortunately, it has a better sweat absorption property.

In addition, it doesn’t fade easily, even around sweaty areas. Nonetheless, both materials are comfortable to wear during summer.

However, pure cotton is your best choice if you want breathability over sweat absorption. Whatever you decide to wear during summer depends on your preference.

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