Acrylic vs Cotton Beanies

Acrylic vs Cotton: Which is Better? [ A Helpful Guide ]

When deciding on a specific type of material for any piece of clothing or project, the choice can be a very personal one. There have been plenty of debates over the health factors of acrylic vs cotton, and this is usually for good reason. For instance, when it comes to choosing a material for a beanie, you want something that will feel good and provide health benefits since it’ll be in close contact with your skin.

Let’s take a look at the properties of acrylic vs cotton in general. Then, we’ll talk about how those properties and qualities come together to make the right beanie for you.

Properties and qualities of cotton

Cotton fiber is incredibly versatile and widely used for many reasons. It has a unique set of properties that make it a popular choice for clothing of all kinds.

First, cotton is excellent at absorbing moisture and releasing body heat, which can help to keep you comfortable, even in warmer settings.

Also, it takes dye well, so you can get vibrant colors for your clothing using cotton.

Another interesting advantage is that cotton doesn’t generate static electricity nearly as much as some synthetic materials. One reason for this is because it retains moisture better, which keeps static under control. Cotton is also an excellent insulator and can withstand high temperatures.

One big advantage of cotton lies in its easier maintenance. It can be washed without too much fuss, even in the washing machine. It can also be easily ironed.

Cotton is the most widely used natural textile fiber in the world. In fact, the cotton industry represents about half of the world’s consumption of textile fibers. Thanks to industrial advances since the 19th century, cotton has become the first choice of textile fibers in the world.

Cotton hats:

Cotton is one of the fibers used most often for the manufacture of fabrics and yarn. It’s one of the most common materials used around the world for weaving.

Because of the qualities mentioned above, cotton is actually a very comfortable option for beanies and other hats. Its use is very popular in countries with a warm climate too.

Wherever you shop, you can find a wide range of cotton beanies and clothing. And, because of its breathability and moisture wicking properties, its use extends throughout the entire year.

Here’s an example of a cotton beanie that we really like and admire. Check out what they do with their profits. It’s inspiring.

Love Your Melon Beanie for Men & Women, Black, Winter Hats, Unisex Beanies, 100% Cotton Made Lined...
  • PERFECT FOR EVERYDAY USE: Our Unisex Beanie is designed to keep you warm during any adventure. This is perfect for women and men to wear on a daily basis. Its slouchy fit provides the necessary warmth...
  • HIGH-QUALITY DESIGN: This Soft Double-Thick Skully Winter Hat is made with our trademarked zig-zag stitching. Our all-natural cotton Beanie with a leather patch is perfectly stitched making it a...

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Acrylic fabric properties:

Acrylic threads are made of synthetic fibers. The synthetic or artificial filaments go through a series of manufacturing steps, including the mixing of chemicals, heating, and melting. Ultimately, acrylic fabric is based on fossil fuels as it’s produced from either petroleum or coal related products.

For some, this is a dealbreaker. While, for others, the upsides of acrylic fabric outweigh the negatives. Also, there are negatives to the production of cotton as well. The World Wildlife Fund states the following:

Cotton’s most prominent environmental impacts result from the use of agrochemicals (especially pesticides), the consumption of water, and the conversion of habitat to agricultural use.

Acrylic has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For instance, it’s highly resistant to abrasion, which makes it quite durable. Acrylic can also absorb water well, which can be helpful with frequent washing.

One great benefit with acrylic fabric is its resistance to wrinkles and shrinkage, so your garments tend to maintain their shape better.

However, as mentioned, there are a couple of drawbacks to acrylic as well. It has a moderate tolerance to ball formation, meaning it can form pills over time. And no one likes that. Additionally, acrylic has a tendency to retain body odors more than cotton.

Acrylic Beanies:

One of the most favorable attributes when buying acrylic beanies or yarn for knitting beanie projects is the cost. Acrylic yarn varies in price, ranging from basic low-cost options, to expensive novelty acrylics, and blends. Although acrylic hats vary in fiber content, certain blends offer a softer feel, which refers to the softness of the knit material.

The fabric also has less of a natural stretch. Depending on the quality of the acrylic yarn and gauge, the knit hat can have a stiff appearance when it’s finished.

If you’re looking to try a great acrylic beanie, you can’t go wrong with a Carhartt cuffed beanie. They’re super popular for a good reason.

Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie, Black/White, One Size
  • Carhartt label sewn on front
  • Prev. Name: Acrylic Watch Hat

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Does acrylic keep you warm?

The simple answer to the question of ‘Does acrylic keep you warm’ is yes. Acrylic fabric has insulating properties, which keeps heat in leaving you with a warm and toasty feeling even on the chilliest days. Acrylic fabric is the synthetic material that is often used to replace wool, according to the University of California Santa Barbara.

The manufacturing process for this material is as follows:

  • A polymer is dissolved in a solution
  • It’s spun until a filament is formed
  • Filaments are then bound together to form wool-like fibers

Acrylic material offers physical traits similar to wool. Per the studies conducted at the University of Georgia, this fabric is moisture and sun-damage resistant. While acrylic itself does keep the wearer warm, as with all fabrics, this can change from garment to garment.

What makes a fabric a better insulator?

  • The thickness of the fabric

Provided the material is dense enough to suit the season’s conditions, both acrylic and cotton offer wonderful warmth to the wearer. For winter, layers are ideal since they promote even better insulation.

  • Stitching of the material

The tighter the weave, the better the rate of heat retention. Looser stitching allows more airflow; however, it affords more opportunity for cold air to get through the fabric as well. Given that the stitching is sufficiently tight, it should provide great warmth.

  • Proper fit of the clothing

Regardless of the fabric, the proper fit of a piece of clothing will directly impact its thermal properties. An adequate fit keeps warmth in and prevents heat loss through a lack of appropriate coverage. When the item fits properly, acrylic and cotton both provide a thoroughly warm clothing experience.

Acrylic vs. cotton beanie hats:

Under normal circumstances, both acrylic and cotton are unlikely to irritate your skin. However, beanie wearers who are allergic to synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, can find solace in cotton alternatives.

The soft texture and light material of cotton beanies are often better tolerated against very sensitive skin. But, whether you choose acrylic or cotton hats, two key elements should be considered closely, how well the fabric stretches and how well it recovers. These two qualities will help to ensure a proper fit around your head. And, this is what will make a super comfy beanie.

No matter which type of beanie you choose, try to make sure that it isn’t treated with harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or other toxic residues.

Cotton fabric

  • Cotton is a natural fiber.
  • It can be better for sensitive skin.
  • It allows the skin to breathe through the fabric better.
  • Holds colors really well.

Acrylic fabric

  • Acrylic can be very durable.
  • It washes well and holds its shape.
  • Can be very warm because of its tight weave.
  • Often acrylic fabric is cost-effective.

Be aware also that there are garments that have mixed cotton and acrylic fibers. Check the main image of this article for instance. See the label with the recommendations for washing or any other special types of care.

Acrylic vs. cotton beanies: Final thoughts

If you’re trying to figure out which fabric is better for your next beanie purchase, whether it be acrylic or cotton, we really hope this guide helps answer some questions for you.

Acrylic may be warmer than cotton. And, if you live in a country where it snows, acrylic might be a good option for you. If you live in a warmer climate, you may want to opt for cotton.

No matter what fabric you choose, let your style show through and have fun!

One thought on “Acrylic vs Cotton: Which is Better? [ A Helpful Guide ]

  1. Rebecca Kramer says:

    Hi Dear, I love cotton fabric so much. Because cotton is a natural product and because of the way it is designed and manufactured into clothing, the Cotton fabric is breathable and transmits moisture away from the body and is absorbent and removes liquid from the skin, like a towel, according to Cotton Incorporated. Cotton fabrics allow remaining comfortable as you exercise, keeping moisture from building up between your skin and clothing. By the way, your comparison is awesome to choose the right fabrics.

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