WORKING WITH FABRICS

So you’re on the quest for the perfect uniform … you have many factors to consider. There’s size, fit, color, functionality and several others. Don’t overlook the fabric of your workwear. Depending on your work environment, you’ll want to keep in mind the benefits of certain fabrics for your uniforms. If you are primarily outdoors, you may put a higher value on breathability. If you come into contact with fire or chemicals, you may require a fabric that is flame resistant (FR). Let’s explore some of the most common workwear fabrics.

Cotton

  • Natural fiber
  • Worn by Egyptians as early as 2500 BC
  • Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized the processing of cotton
  • Fully breathable, cool and soft

Nylon

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Introduced by DuPont in 1939
  • Second-most used manmade fiber
  • Exceptionally strong

Polyester

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Introduced by DuPont in 1953
  • Most-used manmade fiber
  • More tear resistant, wrinkle resistant and flexible than natural fibers
  • Won’t shrink as much as cotton

Spandex

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Introduced by DuPont in 1959
  • Exceptional elasticity and movement; can return to its original shape after stretching

Fabric Blends

  • Common blends are cotton/polyester, wool/cotton and nylon/wool
  • By blending fibers, you get the best properties of both, such as blending the softness and breathability of cotton with the flexibility and durability of polyester 

Ripstop

  • Fabric innovation
  • Introduced in the early 1940s during WW II where it was used for parachutes
  • Made by weaving nylon threads throughout a base material in a crosshatch pattern; many base materials can be used to make it, such as cotton, silk, polyester or polypropylene
  • Lightweight; resists water, tears and rips

Nomex®

  • Fabric innovation
  • FR meta-aramid material developed by DuPont in the early 1960s
  • Nomex® has been a leader in heat and flame protection for 50 years; Nomex® fiber helps FR clothing maintain size and shape after repeated launderings for a professional appearance
  • Related to nylon but more rigid and durable

A lot goes into choosing the right uniforms. It’s important to make sure fabric is on the list of considerations. Your fabric choice may be a matter of safety, comfort or durability – or a combination. If you’re looking for a particular uniform, let us help pick the best garments for you. Contact us today!


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