Posted on by Phyllis Keith

Different Fabrics for Different Applications  Often,  I hear from people who think that the only acceptable fabric for post-surgical recovery is a natural fabric, primarily cotton.  Depending on the patient’s situation, other fabric choices can be  more comfortable and actually speed recovery.  Identifying fabric is important. More important is the comparison of fabrics. This makes us know the true quality of a fabric by differentiating it from its substitutes. 

This table shows the comparison of the characteristics of a few fabrics. For example, water retention is very high in cotton and the lowest in polypropylene. Same with the drying time taken, a very long time for cotton and vice versa for poly- propylene.   Cotton and wool shrinks more than polyester and nylon.

Fabric Characteristics

Cotton Wool Polyester Polypropylene Nylon
Water Retention High High Low Lowest Medium
Drying Time Long Long Short Shortest Short
Heat Conduction (Wet) High Low Low Low Medium
Comfort Level (Dry) High Medium High Medium Medium
Shrinkage High High Low High Low
Durability Medium Medium High Medium High
Nylon Very strong, resistant to both abrasion chemicals. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to it’s original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying,. Women’s hosiery, knitted or woven lingerie, socks and sweaters.
Cotton Cloth made of cotton is more comfortable, durable and suitable to resist all kinds of weather. The comfort quality of the cotton is due to its twisted or coiled shape.  It traps air within the fabric structure and helps for a thermal insulation process, resulting protection from heat in summer and cold in winter. T shirts and all types of underwear
Polyester It is lightweight, strong and resistant to creasing, shrinking, stretching, mildew and abrasion. It is readily washable and is not damaged by sunlight or weather and is resistant to moths and mildew.  It is a major component of microfiber. Vary, depending on blend.
Spandex It is lightweight and flexible. It resists deterioration from perspiration, detergent and body oils. It is characterized by it¹s strength and durability. Athletic wear and foundation garments.

Examples Where  Fabric Content Makes A Difference

 Dawn CamisoleThe Dawn Post-Surgical Camisole by Wear Ease is designed to be worn home from the hospital after breast or chest surgery.  It is made of cotton/spandex jersey.   Cotton is chosen for comfort,  and the 8% spandex also adds to the level of comfort and  facilitates donning and fitting. The Compression Bra is constructed of a special powernet, Naturexx (83% nylon 17% spandex) designed and developed specifically for compressionCompression Bra by Wear Ease.

The Compression Bra by Wear Ease is 83%nylon 17%spandex

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