In our journal piece about cotton last year, we talked about the sustainability of it as a fabric and also, as a whole plant with very little going to waste throughout the entire cultivation and production process. Something that is very important with today’s concerns about our environment.

We now want to talk about the qualities of the fabric and what makes it so good to wear throughout all seasons in the year, making it a great investment for your wardrobe. Also, the characteristics of different cotton fabrics, how to care for it and here’s a little about its history, which goes back a long, long way!

If ever a natural product used for fabric and clothing has stood the test of time, it has to be cotton. Going back to ancient times, the first evidence of cotton use was found in India and Pakistan, and dates from about 6,000 B.C. It is believed to have been introduced to Northern Europe in late medieval time.

All about the fabric. Why is it so special and good to wear?

Moisture Control: There are several interesting qualities to cotton fabric. Firstly, it’s breathable and has an amazing ability to control moisture. It transmits moisture away from the body, absorbing and removing liquid from the skin (think about towels). The International Forum for Cotton Promotion states that cotton can take up to one-fifth of its weight in water before feeling damp. This is one reason it’s so comfortable to wear.

Insulation: Another quality, is its ability to insulate. Cotton clothing protects us from heat in the summer and cold in the winter by providing thermal insulation as the cotton fabric traps air between the fabric fibres. The cotton fibres in clothing hold the fabric away from the skin, further allowing for more air to be trapped between the skin and fabric which helps with insulation and comfort.

Hypoallergenic. Pure cotton fabric rarely causes allergic reactions and wearing cotton is often recommended for those with skin allergies and conditions such as eczema. (Note. Some people are allergic to chemicals used in the production process, so take care as a reaction is still possible.)

Durability: Cotton has a high tensile strength, making it strong, durable and less likely to rip or tear. It is 30 percent stronger when wet, withstanding many washings.

Types of cotton fabric available in our latest collection:

Broderie Anglaise
This cotton fabric with beautiful eyelet detail all over is used in our 100% cotton cream cutwork blouse. Cool and airy with long sleeves, buttoned cuffs and lined in the front and back panels it is a versatile summer piece.

A lightweight cotton fabric woven with two coloured yarns. Our superior quality chambray pieces have a hint of added stretch for shape retention. Both light and easy-going, the jacket and trousers are unlined for cool summer comfort.

Cotton voile
A lightweight and slightly sheer fabric with perfect drape, used for our charming floral print blouse in 100% cotton. It has pretty pintucks at the sides and the long sleeves can be rolled up and secured with a tab fastening. With a gently curved hem and side slits, it can be worn loose or tucked in.

Combed cotton
When cotton is “combed,” the shortest, additional fibres of a batch are removed, producing high-quality yarns with excellent strength and softness, as seen here in our 100% cotton, delicately detailed pointelle knit jumper.

Cotton Jersey
A knit fabric that is made of soft and breathable cotton fibres, with extra “give “or stretch for comfort. It is a light to medium weight fabric, very popular for making dresses and tops such as our plain jersey fit-and-flare dress and our printed jersey top in lovely mauve shades in pure cotton.

Linen cotton mix
The blend of linen and cotton fibres makes a fabric which has all the look and feel of linen with less of its propensity to wrinkle. See our fresh and contemporary coral multi floral blouse in this airy, comfortable fabric blend.

Pima cotton
One of the best grades of cotton in the world with long, luxurious fibres, that resist pilling. Our 100% Pima cotton T-shirts are available in three quarter and short sleeve styles in neutral oyster or snowdrop, or vibrant raspberry.

A woven, light-to medium-weight fabric with a puckered appearance. It is commonly striped or chequered. Our delicately checked blouse is made in Italy in a cotton and viscose blend. It has short sleeves and a shirt collar.

Caring for your cotton garments:

Washing. To be safe you should always refer to the care label for your cotton item before washing. We suggest washing our cotton and cotton blend garments in a cool machine wash. You can give garments a gentle stretch when they come out of the wash to get them back into shape. Always air dry: dry clothes flat and out of the sun if possible.

Try to avoid too much ironing: Refer to the garment care label to know what iron temperature setting is safe. It is best to iron cotton items while they are still slightly damp or alternatively use the steam setting on your iron.

Make sure the items are dry/aired before folding and putting away.

Have you any favourite Cotswold Collections cotton pieces? We’d love to hear your feedback!