Is Cotton Blend Warm and Good for Winter Cold Weather?

In the winter, sometimes all you can think about is staying warm. When it comes to clothing, we rely on it to keep us cozy throughout the cold seasons, and we layer up when we can. Fabrics like cotton blend can be an excellent choice for clothing, but what about during cold weather? Is cotton blend warm enough for winter?

Cotton blend is generally considered to be a warm fabric, but it will be largely dependent on the type of garment you are buying. Cotton blend can be used in anything from a t-shirt to sweatpants. But, in general, cotton blend is considered to be warmer than normal 100% cotton, and can add additional warmth to winter garments.

It’s also going to depend on what type of cotton blend you are using. For example, cotton blend that incorporates spandex will usually not be as warm as a cotton blend that incorporates polyester.

Although cotton blend is often warmer than normal 100% cotton, don’t expect the difference to be extreme. Cotton blend may provide a small amount of additional warmth, and because of that, can be a nice fabric option for winter garments such as sweatpants and hoodies.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the warmth of cotton blend. Let’s discuss different types of cotton blend and how these blends compare to each other, and to 100% cotton.

Is Cotton Blend Warm Enough for Winter?

As we discussed above, cotton blend is generally considered to be a warm fabric, but it will be largely dependent on the type of garment you are buying. Cotton blend can be used in anything from a t-shirt to sweatpants.

But, in general, cotton blend is considered to be warmer than normal 100% cotton, and can add additional warmth to winter garments. For example, buying a hoodie that uses a cotton/polyester fabric blend is often slightly warmer than a 100% cotton hoodie of the same fabric weight.

But, of course, there is much more that goes into making a garment warm besides the type of fabric. Fit, thickness of fabric, and other features can dramatically impact the warmth of a winter garments.

Why Do Companies Use a Cotton Blend?

More and more, companies have started using cotton blend as a fabric instead of opting for 100% cotton materials. The main reasons companies are beginning to use this fabric are that it is wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, and easier to make.

The best cotton blend materials for winter are made with polyester or wool, as they help trap in heat. Companies often choose to make sweaters and jackets using this cotton blend fabric, as they are more lightweight than regular sweaters and are usually more affordable to make.

For activewear, cotton is often blended with either spandex or elastane to give the garment flexibility. Although this increases comfort, this type of cotton blend is often not as warm as other types of cotton blend.

Certain types of cotton blends are also used for workwear (like cotton/polyester). A cotton/polyester fabric blend can be wrinkle-resistant, and the polyester can also help add some durability to the garment to make it last longer.

You can expect a cotton blend to shrink less than 100% cotton, but it’s still wise to expect some shrinking. Wool is often blended with cotton, and other fabrics, to make it a bit easier to care for the garment. Most all cotton blends are machine washable.

Is Cotton Blend Warmer Than 100% Cotton?

So, is cotton blend warmer than cotton?

The short answer is yes. Cotton blends are made with more than just cotton, and usually, these materials are thicker and more winter-friendly than 100% cotton is. But again, it is important to emphasize that the type of fabric added will impact warmth.

If you’re using a cotton and polyester blend, you’re going to get the added warmth from the polyester mixed with the softness and lightweight attributes of the cotton. This mix provides excellent protection from the elements.

Cotton Blend Material Types

Cotton/Polyester Fabric Blend

Cotton and polyester is the most popular cotton blend type, and it has many benefits, including:

  • Warmer fabric for winter
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Tougher than normal cotton
  • Takes in less moisture
  • Less prone to static
  • Tear-resistant
  • Affordable

You can find this blend in sweaters, shirts, pants, dresses, and more. Big-name clothing stores often use this type, as it is cheaper to produce.

Cotton/Wool Fabric Blend

The cotton and wool blend is used when looking to create warm clothing that doesn’t itch as much as regular wool. Some of the benefits of this type include:

  • Excellent ability to retain shape
  • Softer than traditional wool, but not as smooth as cotton
  • More durable
  • Warm and great for winter

You can usually find this blend in warm winter sweaters and sweater dresses. You can also make fun crafts out of it if you have some on hand. It is very pliable and can be made into many shapes.

Cotton/Nylon Fabric Blend

Cotton and nylon is another popular mix, although it’s not the warmest of choices. Here are some of the main advantages:

  • Retains color very well
  • Solid, strong fabric
  • Fast-drying properties
  • Wrinkle resistance

This blend is often used for activewear and summer clothes. It is cooler than other cotton blends, so it’s not the top pick for winter clothing.

Cotton/Rayon Fabric Blend

Rayon and cotton together make a powerful pairing. Here are some of the benefits of this blend:

  • Soft to the touch
  • Gentle on the skin
  • You can make it into thick or thin fabrics
  • Affordable

This fabric blend is often used for medical scrubs, jackets, and surgical clothing. You can also use it in sheets and blankets. It traps heat but isn’t as frequently used as other blends of cotton.

Cotton/Spandex Fabric Blend

Cotton is often paired with either spandex or elastane. Here are some of the benefits of this blend:

  • Stretches with flexibility
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Great for activewear
  • Great for comfort

This fabric blend is often used for activewear and makes for good workout clothing. But, over recent years this type of cotton blend has become more and more popular in workwear as people opt for comfortable, flexible work options.

Is Cotton Blend Waterproof?

Another added element to wearing cotton blend in winter is moisture protection. Is cotton blend waterproof?

No, cotton blend is not waterproof. If you wear untreated cotton blend fabric in rain expect the garment to get soaked.

However, some companies may choose to treat the cotton blend fabric with a water-resistant spray to make the garment water-resistant. When a garment is water-resistant, that means it can take on light precipitation and repel away the moisture.

Water-resistant fabrics are very common in workwear, and actually reasonably common in winter gear. So if you are shopping for a winter cotton-blend garment, you might double-check to see if the garment is water-resistant.

If you’re looking for a water-resistant fabric, it’s best to go with:

  • Pure nylon
  • Waxed fabrics
  • Polyester and nylon blends
  • Certain types of wool 

However, a cotton blend should be suitable if you’re just looking for a warm fabric for winter and you’re not too worried about moisture. And again, certain types of cotton blend may be treated to be water-resistant.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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