Woolen vs. Cotton Clothing | UWM Men's Shop | Salt Lake City, UT

The Cotton industry has revolutionized the clothing industry. It has made clothing cheaper and more available. The question still stands, which is better? Cotton, or wool?


Cotton has many benefits; it breathes better than synthetic fabrics, it is easy to wash and care for, it is soft, and quite absorbent. All these benefits are great, but they don’t hold a candle to wool.

Wool fibers are much more durable and flexible, and because of its natural elasticity, wool clothing tends to keep its shape and look new for much longer. You may have noticed this in clothing and suits already, cotton suits, although light weight, wrinkle very easily and need a lot more care to stay looking fresh and sharp. Cotton, unlike wool, retains odors much more. A recommendation we give to people is to have their wool suits dry cleaned as infrequently as possible. One run through the dry cleaners is almost the equivalent of 50 wears. If you have a stain or smudge, you can still take it to the dry cleaners, but only for a spot clean.


When it comes to insulation, wool wins hands down. Wool is a natural insulator, that’s why you never see sheep wearing cotton sweaters in the winter. Wool maintains its insulating properties even when it gets wet, if you have ever been caught in the rain in a t-shirt or jeans, you know just how cold cotton keeps you.


Much like on a sheep, wool is a natural moisture wicker, which means that it draws moisture up and out of its fibers, away from your skin. In the exact opposite situation, and you happen to be fighting fires, wool is the best lay-man’s clothing to wear****. Wool is naturally flame retardant, where cotton has merely been treated to be so.

Cotton is still a great choice for many clothing options, but when it comes to suits, socks and coats, wool is hard to beat.

****We do not recommend testing wools fire resistance.****