Cotton vs Wool | What is The Difference? Which is Better?

Both cotton and wool are natural fibers. The wool comes from sheep fleece and cotton comes from the cotton plant. Each has its characteristics and can be beneficial for many projects. To compare cotton vs wool, the explanation is as below:

Learn About Cotton

The fluffy part of the cotton plant is the one people harvest. Then they spin them into yarn. Then the yarn is used for weaving or knitting, then made into the fabric.

Cotton is a soft fabric, durable and breathable. It is water absorbent, washes well in a washing machine, easy to iron as well. However, cotton can shrink in the first wash. It can easily be dyed or printed.

What Is Wool

This is a natural fiber that comes from sheep. But today it also comes from goats, llamas, and even rabbits. The fleece is also spun into yarn for weaving or knitting.

The resulting fabric is heavy and thick, which makes it warm to wear. Like cotton, wool is also easy to dye or made into various patterns. Wool is more expensive than cotton. Because the animal source is more limited than plants.

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Cotton vs Wool

Cotton vs Wool, What is The Difference?

Despite all the similarities between the two fabrics, there are some differences as well. But it can be beneficial depending on your purpose. Here is the explanation:

1. Breathability

Both are breathable fabrics, but wool is more than cotton. This is because wool is better at pulling away moisture from fibers. Then keep it out of the fabric structure.

Wool takes longer to absorb water. So, it can feel breathable in damp conditions and longer than cotton.

2. Durability

As natural fibers, both cotton and wool are durable. However, wool fibers can take repetitive movement and more pressure. Compared to cotton which can break or tear more easily.

3. Softness

In this cotton vs wool comparison, cotton is the smoother cellulose fiber. It will become smoother with use and washing. However, the protein structure of wool fibers is scaly. That makes the surface rougher than cotton.

4. Warmth

Wool has a thicker fiber and can keep heat better than cotton. It can capture body heat and air like an insulating layer. Which can keep you warm. Cotton can absorb moisture which decreases the fabric’s warmth.

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5. Weight

Both cotton and wool have various weights depending on the manufacturer. However, the manufacturer tends to make it thicker because wool is better at keeping warmth, hence it has more weight. But in the raw form, wool fibers are thicker than cotton fibers.

6. Moisture Wicking

Comparing both cotton and wool, cotton is not good at moisture wicking. Because of its high absorbency. Water can evaporate easier in cotton than in wool.

7. Easy Maintenance

Cotton vs wool in maintenance? Cotton is way much easier to care for than wool. You can easily use machine washing to wash and dry it in a machine. Meanwhile, wool needs a hand-wash or dry-clean only.

8. Uses of the Fabric

Cotton has more uses than wool. Usually, wool is made into cold-weather apparel. Meanwhile, cotton can be used for warm-weather items, such as casual clothing, socks, pajamas, and even denim. It also has uses as blend with other fibers.

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