Cotton vs. Nylon vs. Wool Sweater

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Difference between Cotton Sweater, Nylon Sweater and Wool Sweater

Sweaters are articles of clothing that are designed in varying styles, materials and colors and generally are packed away until the fall when the weather changes. Sweaters are also defined for the quality of warmth that they lend and are usually something that you put over your clothing during cold or inclement weather to keep you warmer. Sweaters can come in a variety of materials and come in many different styles, both long sleeve and short. Most of them, however, are made from either cotton, nylon or wool. The material that it is made from really affects the durability, style and warmth that the garment supplies to the person wearing it. 

Cotton Sweater
Wool Sweater

Warmer Weather Sweaters

Normally sweaters are something that you put on to keep warm when it is cool or cold outside. They can be long sleeved or short, have buttons as in a cardigan, or not as in the pullover. You can put a sweater on over something or wear it all on its own. The material of the sweater really defines the reason you wear it, when you wear it, and what you wear with it. Sweaters made from cotton and nylon have a tendency to create less warmth, are more breathable, and are more suitable to wear in weather that is not very cold. Cotton and nylon sweaters are also comfortable and usually can be worn all by themselves with nothing underneath. Most warm weather sweaters are made from one of these two materials. Cotton is the more breathable and softer of the two, while nylon is the most resistant to staining.

Cold Weather Sweaters

Wool sweaters are normally worn during inclement weather only.  Wool is made from a courser and warmer natural material and because of it’s texture, is usually worn over something.  Wool has a tendency to be abrasive and not all that comfortable up against the skin, so wearing it over clothing is usually the best choice.  It is also not a very breathable material which is why it is such a good material for cold weather, as it holds heat in, as opposed to cotton and nylon.  Wool is also tricky to wash. You are usually able to machine wash both cotton and nylon sweaters, while wool usually needs to be dry-cleaned or has more specific instructions for care.  Both wool and cotton sweaters will shrink when washing, nylon, will retain its size pretty consistently no matter how it is cleaned but could result in fuzzy beading which would need to be removed manually.  Wool can be expensive to maintain, while cotton and nylon sweaters are pretty inexpensive and require less care.

Bundle Up or Breezy Weather

The definition of a perfect sweater is really impossible because it can come in so many different styles, sizes, materials, colors, the possibilities are endless however choosing a designer known for solid or classic construction should be your best bet. More expensive sweaters are usually worth the investment because people like to hold onto them for many seasons and shopping during the winter is a bit more of an ordeal than shopping during fair weathered seasons. Ultimately, the best deals can be found online after Christmas if you're willing to spend some time shopping around. 

Similarities and Differences

  • Wool sweaters are itchy and usually need to be worn with something underneath
  • Cotton and nylon sweaters are more breathable materials than wool
  • Wool sweaters are harder to maintain and sometimes more costly
  • Wool sweaters are for cold weather while nylon and cotton sweaters can match any climate
  • When layering in cold weather, nylon keeps the body warmer than cotton. Cotton tends to collect sweat and makes the body colder. 

Which sweater material is best at wicking sweat?
  • Cotton Sweater
  • Nylon Sweater
  • Wool Sweater

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