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.
|Heat Conduction (Wet)||High||Low||Low||Low||Medium|
|Comfort Level (Dry)||High||Medium||High||Medium||Medium|
|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
The 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 compression.