rolls of cotton fabric

Dress in Cotton

Now that spring has just sprung, my favorite fabrics will be more available. I am a lover of all-natural fabrics, but with each passing birthday, I am becoming more skin-sensitive. I have to be very careful with what I wear, especially in the hotter months. I have always been skin sensitive and with an assortment of allergies, I am very easily irritated with itchy garments and annoying clothing tags! So if anyone starts a conversation about how to dress with comfort and style, I predicate everything with wanting fabric that is comfortable to wear against my skin, then style, fit, color, etc join the conversation. (Have a look at this 100% Cotton dress I try to keep in stock. Store favorite!)

 (Heads up, many tags in clothing are not 100% Cotton, so besides the tag sticking into your skin, it can contain other irritating fibers). 

On top of my fabric list is of course the ever-reliable Cotton.

No one knows exactly how old cotton is. Scientists found bits of cotton balls and pieces of cotton cloth in caves in Mexico. They dated these artifacts to be at least 7,000 years old. These bits of cotton were said to be very similar to the cotton we use now. So it is nice to know our ancestors enjoyed the benefits of this absorbent, breathable, and soft fabric.

All these properties make it a perfect choice and prevent skin irritation, rashes, allergies, etc. 

Additionally, cotton fabric is unlikely to cause any allergic reactions, even to sensitive skin, which is a plus point. Besides being strong and durable, it will remain odor-free, low maintenance, and keep you cool. 

It is a biodegradable, natural, and renewable fiber.

Unlike synthetic fibers, cotton is a natural fiber grown from the earth. In short, the fiber is separated from the seeds, before being cleaned and spun into yarn, which is knitted into fabric. 

Items made from 100% cotton (are biodegradable, and usually take less than 6 months to re-enter the earth. 

Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive.

Other than linen, cotton is my favorite. I know when I buy a garment made from cotton, I am confident it will offer me a day of being comfortable, not being irritable from my skin being irritated. Cotton is a breathable, absorbent, and durable fabric that is made to last, and which becomes stronger when wet. 

Also, a big selling point for me is it is so easy to care for. I personally never wear clothing I have to dry clean. It’s expensive and annoying to send to dry cleaners and unless I use a natural dry cleaner (very expensive), the chemicals are toxic.

Cleaning your cotton garments is straightforward. It is recommended to wash at 30 degrees, but cotton can also withstand higher temperatures if necessary and if stretched out after washing. Ironing can often be avoided for items such as t-shirts if they’re air-dried flat. 

Another consideration is the type of detergent that you use. Detergents can be extremely irritating to your skin, especially the stronger ones like Tide. Unless you are rolling in mud puddles, this type of strong detergent is not necessary. If you are not doing laundry for the football team, start using a milder laundry soap. Scented detergent can also be an irritant. I use a scent-free detergent. Also, using too much detergent is not a good thing. The recommended amount to use is way too much. We really only need a few tablespoons of detergent per load. Using the recommended amount can be difficult to rinse out during the rinse cycle, and the leftover detergent actually settles back into the fibers and traps dirt not released. So if you have ever experienced putting on a garment and it feels like soap, this can happen even if you are not aware.

While I am on the subject, I will tell you what I have been using for the last few years. It is extremely eco-friendly, unscented, and never irritating to my sensitive skin. I use Earth Breeze. This is not an affiliate product. Just spreading the good word!

Lastly, I love the look of cotton. Especially a white shirt in the summer. As I have gotten older, I dress simpler. I think also since the Pandemic, my lifestyle has changed, so I love a simple summer cotton dress with sandals, or a white cotton shirt with a pair of linen cropped pants. My main accessory is a scarf. I think loosely wrapping a pretty summer scarf around my neck makes me feel like I am living in Paris again, like I did in my early 20’s. Hmm, cotton and Paris….have to get back there!

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