The Fabrics of Workwear

Choosing the right workwear involves the right cut and fit of a pair of pants, the right sizing of a work shirt, and the right pocket placement to help you get your work done. A big part of choosing the right workwear, however, is choosing the right fabric. Fabric might be the last thing on your mind when looking for uniforms, or heavy duty workwear. However, fabric is really going to determine the comfort of the clothing, the durability of it, and the ease of care. There are a few common fabrics that most workwear is made from, so let’s take a look at them and you can decide which ones are right for you.


100 percent cotton workwear is not only one of the most common, it is also one of the best choices. Cotton is a breathable fiber, so that means comfort on the job. Working in a hot environment? 100 percent cotton garments will help keep you cool. Cotton is a comfortable choice for more than temperature, it is also one of the softest fabrics you can choose. Cotton garments will give you comfort and durability in your workwear. If you are going to be wearing flame resistant workwear, keep in mind that undergarments should be 100 percent cotton. The garments we sell that are 100 percent cotton include denim work jeans, work shirts, coveralls, and more.

Cotton/Polyester Blends

Cotton and polyester blends are another popular choice. Most of our Red Kap items are made from this blend. Cotton and polyester combine the best of two worlds to give you a stronger, more durable fabric. While the cotton maintains softness and breathability in the workwear, polyester makes it stronger and more durable. Polyester is a synthetic fabric, engineered so that your work wear can be wrinkle resistant, have stronger color retention, and be overall more durable. If you are looking for work wear that can stand up to industrial washings, a polyester blend is probably going to be your best bet.

Duck and Twill

Duck and twill fabrics are very common in work wear. Duck is a super sturdy fabric, used to make a variety of of work wear. We sell coveralls, overalls, and jackets in duck. Duck fabric is heavy, and it can be made from 100 percent cotton, or a cotton/polyester blend. Twill is another common choice, and it has more to do with the weave of fibers, rather than the fibers themselves. Most of our twill garments are a cotton/polyester blend, with the weave forming a diagonal pattern.

The above fabrics are just some of the common choices for work wear. Flame resistant workwear comes with an entirely different set of fabrics, including treated cotton and inherently FR fabrics. If you are looking for a specific garment, check out our website to see what it’s made from. Choosing the right fabric for the job is just as important as ordering the right size and cut. Look online, or call a customer service representative with any questions you might have.