Authored by Cynde Gregory and can also be found here: http://is.gd/8xEouL
Cotton underwear has a number of benefits and a few disadvantages. It is comfortable for most wearers, both because of its ability to breathe and because it has a soft surface that doesn’t irritate most skins. It is a natural fabric and is hypoallergenic. Unlike nylon and other synthetic materials commonly used to make undergarments, cotton does not absorb and hold moisture to become a habitat for fungi; nor does it produce static electricity. However, unless it is treated as a delicate washable, it will stretch out far more easily than synthetic undergarments.
Even when blended with synthetic materials, cotton permits air to pass through it. It is cooler to wear than many other fabrics. It also wicks perspiration away from the skin surface, which keeps the skin drier. This is especially important to women who have a tendency toward developing yeast infections.
Cotton has the capacity to absorb 20% of its own weight. This means that, even when it has carried perspiration from the skin surface, it will not feel damp. In addition, unlike other common fabrics used in the manufacture of underwear, cotton doesn’t pill.
A natural product, cotton doesn’t require a chemical finish to be woven into fabric. Asthmatics and others with skin or breathing sensitivities have far fewer problems with cotton underwear than with underclothes made from nylon, lycra, or polyester. Individuals who do not have allergic reactions to synthetic fabrics or the chemicals used to finish them find that cotton-spandex fabrics combine the best of both worlds.
While cotton underwear lasts well if it is hand washed and air dried, most people want underwear that is easy to care for. Cotton undergarments that are not blended with spandex or another synthetic to help them maintain their shapes can become stretched out very quickly. However, wet cotton fabric is 30% stronger than it is when it is dry; repeated washings will not cause it to wear out.
Among the disadvantages of cotton underwear is the fact that it has a tendency to stretch out unless it is washed by hand and air dried, so the leg openings can lose shape very quickly. Cotton isn’t as smooth as man-made fabrics; it can bunch beneath clothing and show a clear pantie line. Synthetic fabrics can accept a number of surface treatments that change the luster and allow them to hold onto dyes more readily than cotton undergarments can.
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