Temperature Properties of Cotton vs Rayon Fabric

Written by melanie fleury
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Temperature Properties of Cotton vs Rayon Fabric
Cotton clothing is often the first choice for a hot day. (cotton image by arklite06 from Fotolia.com)

When it is hot outside, many people immediately reach for their cotton clothing. Cotton is known to be a breathable fabric that will keep you cool. It is less well-known that rayon is breathable as well and makes a great choice for a hot day as well. Both have properties that keep you cool on hot days.


Rayon is a man-made fibre that is composed of a natural material--wood pulp. What this means is that it is not considered synthetic because it contains naturally occurring materials. Rayon is breathable, like cotton, but can actually absorb more moisture than cotton. By wicking the moisture away so that it can evaporate, rayon keeps your body cool.


Cotton is a natural fabric that is man-made as well. Just like rayon, it pulls moisture away from the body so that it can evaporate, leaving the body cooler.


When looking for a clothing item to keep you cool, check the tag for the material content. Having cotton or rayon in a blend will not help. Synthetic fabrics blended in with cotton or rayon do not have the same properties as rayon or cotton alone

Types of Clothing

While both rayon and cotton have cooling properties, their effect will vary depending upon the cut of the item that you wear. The looser the clothing, the easier it is for the moisture to be pulled away from the skin. Clothing that hugs the body won't be as breathable.

Rayon vs Cotton

While cotton is still very popular, rayon is better at pulling away moisture, as it naturally drapes away from the body and is cool to the touch, making it a good choice to keep you cool on a hot day.

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