What Are the Pros and Cons of Wool and Cotton?

Wool and cotton fabrics have a number of pros and cons. Cotton is a comfortable and breathable material, but it tends to fade and wear easily. Wool is a strong, heavy, flame-retardant material that resists static electricity. Wool shrinks easily, especially when not properly washed.

Cotton is a natural fiber that feels soft against the skin and has hypoallergenic properties. Because cotton is a naturally absorbent material, it wicks sweat from the skin and releases perspiration in the air quickly. Clothes made of cotton can keep individuals cool during the summer. It is easy to dye and can withstand bleaching and exposure to boiling water. Cotton is a bad insulator and dries slowly when wet. It is also less durable than other fabrics and breaks down over time.

Wool is derived from the coat or hair of animals, such as sheep, goat and rabbits. It feels warm on the skin and even retains its warmth when wet. Because of its opaque appearance, wool hides soil or dirt well compared to other fabrics, making it an apt material for making carpets. However, it is a relatively expensive fabric because of the preparation and processing costs necessary to produce wool. Like cotton, it is easy to dye, which also means it stains easily. The fabric doesn't take bleaching and chemicals well, and some liquids with a pH of 9.5 or higher can cause wool to become discolored and brittle.