Winter ushers in that fashion season when we break out heavy coats, sweaters, and scarves. While we love the coziness these garments provide, we don’t always love what natural fibers or synthetic fabrics do to our skin. Itchy wool sweaters, static-y dresses, and even scratchy scarves can leave us feeling uncomfortable all day long.
Your winter wardrobe can be comfy if you take the time to understand the different types of fabrics used to make your clothing and choose accordingly. Here are the major differences between natural fibers and synthetic fabrics to help you make smarter choices while shopping for your winter wardrobe.
Natural fibers can either be plant or animal extracts, and each type of fabric has its unique set of benefits and drawbacks. The most popular natural fibers used in clothing are:
1. Cotton Provides Natural Fibers
Cotton is a plant-based fiber that’s soft, absorbent, and comfortable to wear. It’s also easy to care for since it doesn’t wrinkle easily and can be machine-washed. However, cotton doesn’t insulate well, so it’s not the best for cold-weather garments. Instead, it’s most suitable to use cotton as the base layer, like wearing a cotton t-shirt with wool or polyester coats on top
This Italian Casual Attire uses the comfy and hypoallergenic qualities of cotton while keeping you warm. The cotton forms the base layer of your outfit and other layers complete the outfit.
Linen is another plant-based fiber extract from the flax plant. It’s known for being lightweight, breathable, and absorbent. But like cotton, linen doesn’t provide much insulation, so it’s not ideal for winter weather.
Silk is a derivative of the silkworm protein fibers, and it’s smooth, strong, and lustrous. It’s often used in high-end garments since it drapes well and has a luxurious feel. Silk is also hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for sensitive skin.
However, silk isn’t as durable as other natural fibers, and it’s also one of the more expensive options.
This fabric is a derivative of the fur of sheep and other animals, and it’s probably the most popular natural fiber used in winter clothing. Wool is an excellent insulator and can keep you warm even when wet. It’s also very durable and resists wrinkles and static.
For example, the Striped Crew Neck is a must-have wool sweater to keep you warm over the entire winter.
However, wool can irritate some people’s skin, causing itchiness and discomfort. For sensitive skin, look for wool garments labeled hypoallergenic or superfine wool.
Cashmere is a luxury fabric made from the fur of cashmere goats. It’s softer and lighter than wool, making it a popular choice for high-end sweaters and winter wear. Cashmere is also extra warm and can insulate against cold weather.
The Cashmere Blend Ribbed Sleeve Coat is an elegant and timeless wrap coat to keep eccentric ladies warm during their winter outdoor activities.
Cashmere is one of the more expensive natural fibers. It may also require more delicate care as it’s not as durable as wool.
6. Alpaca Fur Creates Natural Fibers
Alpaca is a fabric extracted from the fur of alpacas, cousins to llamas. It’s soft, hypoallergenic, and pleasantly warm, making it a popular choice for winter garments.
For example, this Frost Cropped Cardigan is perfect for dressing up without the dreaded freeze and shine! Alpaca can be costly and not as widely available as other fabrics. It’s the ultimate Christmas gift for the bougie ladies in your life.
Synthetic fibers are man-made and created from chemicals. Unlike natural fires, most synthetic fibers are not biodegradable. The most popular synthetic fibers used in clothing are:
Polyester is a strong, durable synthetic fiber that’s resistant to wrinkles, shrinking, and fading. It is preferential in sportswear and other garments that need to retain their shape.
Polyester is also relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. For example, this camo-patterned hooded outerwear is easily washable, and it keeps you warm while looking trendy on chilly days.
Polyester isn’t as breathable as other fabrics, trapping sweat and body heat. It’s also not biodegradable like natural fibers.
Nylon is a strong, lightweight synthetic fiber that’s often used in sportswear and activewear. It’s also resistant to wrinkles, shrinking, and fading. Nylon is more breathable than polyester and can wick away sweat, but not as well as natural fibers.
Acrylic is a synthetic fiber similar to wool in appearance and feel. It’s often used as a cheaper alternative to wool in sweaters and other garments. Acrylic is also relatively easy to care for since it can be machine-washed and doesn’t shrink or stretch.
Acrylic isn’t as durable as wool, and it also pills easily. Pills are those little fiber balls that form on the fabric surface and are challenging to remove.
Spandex is a synthetic fiber that’s known for its stretchiness. It is a favorite for sportswear and other garments that need a tight fit, such as leggings and swimsuits. Spandex is also relatively easy to care for since it can be machine-washed and doesn’t shrink or stretch.
Spandex is the least durable among synthetic fibers, pilling easily.
Learn More About Natural Fibers vs. Synthetic Fabrics for Winter Clothing
Your winter look should be warm, comfortable, and fashionable. Thus, prefer natural fibers like wool, cashmere, and alpaca for your sweaters and outerwear. Cotton and linen are great for innerwear, especially if your skin is sensitive.
Go with synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and spandex for sportswear and activewear. And don’t forget to layer! Spandex leggings, polyester pants, a cotton T-shirt, a wooly sweater, and a cashmere trench coat. What a wintertime look! Feel free to contact us for the best prices as we are dedicated to providing you with the ideal winter clothing.