What Are Some Disadvantages of Cotton?

While cotton offers several advantages, it is not wrinkle resistant, dries slowly, fades in sunlight and shrinks. Cotton is a natural fiber that grows on plants. Ginning cotton removes the seeds from the fibers, so it is ready to weave into cloth.

Cotton fabric is naturally absorbent, making it a good choice for hot days. However, cotton garments wrinkle easily and often require ironing to provide a crisp look. After laundering cotton, remove the garment from the dryer at the end of the cycle to reduce the number of wrinkles that form.

The same factors that make cotton absorbent also make it difficult to dry. In a machine dryer, the fabric must tumble longer than many other types. Fortunately, cotton fabric is durable and able to withstand the additional wear the longer drying cycles cause.

While cotton fibers readily absorb dyes to create brilliant colors, bright sunlight causes fading. If line-drying a cotton garment, remove it from the sunlight as soon as it is dry to reduce fading. Cotton window dressings often show signs of fading within a few months.

If cotton fabric is overdried, the fibers tend to shrink. Wearing cotton when wet causes it to stretch. A garment that fits perfectly in the store can easily lose its shape after a few laundry cycles.