Why Cotton Fabric Absorbs More Water?
Cotton is considered the most absorbent of all fabrics and for a variety of reasons. Absorption qualities of any fabric depend on a number of factors. A fabric can be a good absorbent of water if its construction allows for the water molecules to penetrate through. It would be a bad absorbent if it repels the water molecules. The ability of a fabric to attract water molecules and bind to them is known as hydrophilia. The ability to dispel them is known as hydrophobia. Cotton is an excellent hydrophilic fabric and the lines below shed more light on that.
Cotton is made of polymer molecules that are attracted to water. This happens because of their distinct cellulose structure, which is actually a repeated pattern of chains in which polymer molecules are held together. The cellulose structure gives cotton excellent absorption qualities. The water molecules find a way to get trapped in the cellulose thus resulting in better absorption. This is not the case with most synthetic fabrics that tend to repel the water molecules due to their dense molecular structure.
Cotton fiber acts like a straw with which you sip water or other drinks. The capillaries absorb water in a sustained fashion thus making cotton the best absorbent of moisture. These capillaries are present in all parts of a cotton fabric. This means that you can be sure of good absorption even if you have used the inner or outer layers of a fabric. The water will be absorbed by the fabric and your skin will be dry.
There has not been a challenger to cotton when it comes to moisture absorption. Some synthetic fibres like rayon emulate the properties of cotton but they fall short on certain aspects. Cotton fabric and variants thus remain the fabric of choice for making towels and other sweat absorbing clothes.