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The most popular material for clothing is also many travelers go to fabric when selecting clothes for trips. But is cotton the most breathable fabric for hot weather? Find out six pros and cons to help you pack for your summer trips!
Most Breathable Fabric for Hot Weather
Written by: Niki Landry
Table Of Contents
Quince Tencel Jersey Fit & Flare Dress | Sizes XS-XL
The first thought that comes to mind when thinking of cotton clothing is its breathability. Living in a seriously humid climate is often the reason I choose cotton fabrics over all others.
The same goes for traveling, if you know your days will be spent sweating then cotton may be the right choice. Its soft and breathable features will keep you comfortable and cool during hot days.
Take a look at our carefully curated list of dresses that aren’t just pretty, they’ll actually help you stay fresh and cool, too!
Athleta Farallon Jogger
Sizes: Regular XXS-3X | Tall XS-XL | Petite XXS-L
Hypoallergenic and Biodegradable
Cotton is hypoallergenic and is one of the best options for people with sensitive skin. The natural fibers won’t aggravate dry skin or cause any reactions. People who have skin conditions, like eczema, may find it’s the perfect choice for comfort at home and when traveling.
For travelers who prefer to wear natural materials, cotton is the way to go. It’s biodegradable and renewable, and the practice and availability of organic cotton is growing every year. It’s a great choice for anyone with an environmentally friendly approach to shopping and traveling.
Take a look at this round up of the top women joggers that are stylish, soft, and versatile!
Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee | Sizes XXS-XXL
No static cling
Static cling is a huge nuisance for me, and it drives me nuts to wear clothes that are prone to clinging. You don’t have to bother with or worry about static cling with cotton. This may be more important during winter travel where the lack of moisture can increase the static in your clothing.
Discover our readers’ classic picks for the best t-shirts for travel!
J.Crew Cecile Blazer | Sizes XXXS-3X
Doesn’t resist wrinkles
Cotton’s most disappointing flaw is that it doesn’t resist wrinkles. Overstuffed luggage is a breeding ground for wrinkles, and cotton can leave you looking disheveled. Even the most stylish outfit choices can’t compensate for rumpled clothes. Of course, there are ways to combat wrinkles on the road, but no one wants to spend their holiday ironing or steaming if and when those tools are available. Sticking with anti-wrinkle fabrics are your best bet, and luckily cotton blends tend to be more resistant than 100% Cotton.
Unfortunately, pilling is more prevalent in some cotton blend fabrics making them look worn, so keep in mind for long term traveling. These are two major factors that make us re-think the answer to the question: is cotton the most breathable fabric?
Checkout our Packing List directory, for your next travel!
J.Jill Pima Ankle-Length Leggings | Sizes XS-4X
May produce sweaty spots
Also because cotton is porous, it is great for absorbing sweat. The problem arises when the sweat doesn’t evaporate from the clothing. Since the fabric takes longer to dry, you will be left with sweaty spots on your clothing. This can be a big issue when participating in cold weather activities. Your clothes will stay wet and can stop your body from retaining heat.
Style & Co Women’s Twill Jacket | Sizes XS-XXL
Takes forever to dry
Due to its super absorbency, it normally takes cotton much longer to dry than synthetic fabrics, and the time will increase depending on the humidity of the surrounding air. So hanging clothes to dry in tropical climates can be very frustrating. If your holiday is only for a short time it may be fine, but if you plan on hand washing traveling with cotton may be a bad idea.
Read this comprehensive guide covers tips and top picks for the best travel jacket!
How to Pack Your Clothing
Many of our readers use packing cubes to roll up and organize their pants. Compass Rose packing cubes allow you to do so by number and color so you know where you packed everything, even when you use the cubes to separate outfits. Learn more in the video below.
Learn about our hacks with packing cubes in this video!
We also put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!
Is cotton the right choice for your next trip? It really depends on where you are going and what you are doing. Weigh its features with what you need to be comfortable, and you can easily decide if it’s the correct choice.
What do you think? Is cotton the most breathable fabric for hot weather? Comment below!
For more travel tips on travel clothing, please read:
- Best Travel Pants for Women
- Best T-Shirts for Women
- Best Womens Skorts
- Best Convertible Travel Dresses
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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandry.com nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc
Is cotton good for sleepwear in tropical weather..27-30c or 80-85f
I giving 100% Cotton night gown(s) for gift.
This sleepwear will be used year round. Any suggestions.
Hi Leon, thank you for reaching out! Cotton is a popular fabric to wear warm climates as it is soft, lightweight, absorbs sweat, and lets your body heat escape. Paperweight 100% cotton is very comfortable and quick drying for the heat. The cotton clothing to avoid includes items that have thicker cotton fabrics. For the fabrics that work well in the heat, check out this post: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/how-to-choose-the-best-fabrics-for-travel/ You may also find this atricle helpful for our readers recommendations for the best pajamas for travel: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/best-travel-pajamas-for-women/ I would also highly recommend that you join TFG’s free facebook community and post your question there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelfashiongirls/ Its a fabulous group of helpful female travelers that have the best packing advice and recommendations to share. Hope this helps answer your question. Happy travels! ?
I love cotton, but for travelling, pure cotton can crease and be bulkier. I find cotton mixed with something else, like bamboo and/or spandex, works and packs better, tends to take up less space and still has the major advantages of pure cotton.
Thanks for sharing this Jennifer 🙂 I agree that it can crease more than other fabrics! I like the idea of mixed cotton though 🙂 Thanks
Despite the cons, cotton has always been my favorite material for working out and for traveling. It feels so much lighter to me.