Why are Scrubs not Made from Cotton?

Scrubs are normally not made from cotton due to numerous reasons. Cotton tends to absorb moisture with ease, which may be a disadvantage in medical environments where spills and physical fluids are common. Instead, scrubs are crafted from synthetic materials like polyester or a mix of polyester and cotton. These fabrics are extra immune to stains, dry quicker, and are often extra long-lasting, making them better proper for the rigorous needs of healthcare settings. 

Which Fabrics are Usually Used in the Making of Scrubs?

Below is the list of fabrics that could be used to make scrubs.

  • Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material recognized for its durability, wrinkle resistance, moisture-wicking houses, colour retention, and quick-drying nature. These characteristics make it a famous choice for healthcare uniforms like scrubs.
  • Cotton: Cotton is a natural fibre known for its breathability, softness, and comfort. While it may not be as durable or quick-drying as polyester, it is often blended with polyester to provide a balance of comfort and durability.
  • Polyester-Cotton Blend: A blend of polyester and cotton combines the benefits of both substances, imparting comfort, sturdiness, and moisture-wicking homes. This blend is commonly used in scrubs to offer a balance between comfort and performance.
  • Spandex: Spandex, also known as elastane or Lycra, is a stretchy artificial fibre that is frequently introduced to scrubs to provide flexibility and ease of motion. Scrubs with spandex provide superior consolation and variety of movement, which is useful for healthcare experts operating long shifts.
  • Rayon: Rayon is a semi-synthetic fabric made from natural cellulose fibres. It is lightweight, breathable, and has a silky feel, making it a good option for scrubs. However, rayon might not be as durable as polyester or cotton.
  • Tencel: Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is a sustainable and eco-friendly cloth made from wood pulp. It is smooth, breathable, and has moisture-wicking homes, making it a suitable preference for scrubs.

Why No to Cotton?

Well, cotton as fabric for the making of scrubs is a clear no-no. Below are some disadvantages proving this statement.

  • Absorption and Moisture Retention: Cotton has an excessive absorption rate, which means that it may rapidly soak up fluids inclusive of sweat, water, or bodily fluids. While this might appear tremendous in some conditions, in clinical settings, it can result in discomfort and potentially compromise hygiene. Moisture retention can create a breeding ground for bacteria and contribute to unpleasant odours.
  • Slow Drying Time: Due to its high absorption rate, cotton additionally has a noticeably slow drying time. In healthcare environments wherein cleanliness and short turnover of garments are essential, this may be an extensive disadvantage. Slow-drying material can increase the threat of bacterial boom and the unfolding of pathogens.
  • Wrinkling: Cotton is prone to wrinkling, specifically when worn for long hours or subjected to common washing. In a professional setting like healthcare, in which a neat look is important, regular wrinkling can undermine the polished.
  • Colour Fading: Cotton fabrics may also fade through the years, especially whilst subjected to repeated washing with harsh detergents or exposure to sunlight. In healthcare settings wherein preserving a professional look is critical, faded scrubs can detract from the general impression of cleanliness and competence.

Alternatve to Cotton- Polyster Viscose

Polyester-Viscose (Poly-Viscose) blends are indeed a popular alternative to cotton in various applications, including medical attire like scrubs. Here are some reasons why poly-viscose blends are favoured:

  • Moisture Wicking: Poly-viscose blends often have moisture-wicking properties, drawing moisture away from the skin and keeping the wearer dry and comfortable. This is especially beneficial in healthcare settings where professionals may encounter bodily fluids or work in environments with varying temperatures.
  • Quick Drying: Unlike cotton, poly-viscose fabrics tend to dry quickly, making them more suitable for environments where frequent washing or exposure to fluids is common. Quick drying helps maintain hygiene and reduces the risk of bacterial growth.
  • Durability: Poly-viscose blends are generally more durable than pure cotton fabrics. They can withstand repeated washing and wear without losing their shape or integrity, making them well-suited for the demanding conditions of medical settings.
  • Wrinkle Resistance: Poly-viscose fabrics often resist wrinkling better than cotton, requiring less maintenance and ensuring a neater appearance throughout the day. This is advantageous for busy healthcare professionals who need to focus on patient care without worrying about their attire.
  • Colour Retention: Poly-viscose blends tend to retain colour well, maintaining the vibrant appearance of scrubs even after multiple washes. This helps healthcare professionals present a professional and polished image to patients and colleagues.
  • Affordability: Poly-viscose blends are often more affordable than pure cotton or other fabric options, making them a cost-effective choice for medical institutions that need to outfit their staff in functional and durable attire without breaking the budget.

FYI, all Knya made scrubs are Poly-Viscose!


Why are scrubs typically not made from cotton?

Cotton, while comfortable, absorbs and retains fluids, lacks durability, and may not provide adequate stain resistance, making it less suitable for the demands of medical settings.

What are the common alternatives to cotton for scrubs?

Common alternatives include polyester, poly-cotton blends and antimicrobial fabrics, each offering distinct advantages in terms of durability, moisture management, and stain resistance.

What factors influence the choice of fabric for scrubs?

Fabric choice is influenced by functionality and performance requirements, cost-effectiveness, environmental considerations, and trends in fashion preferences among medical professionals.

Is cotton not comfortable for scrubs?

While cotton is known for its softness and breathability, it lacks some of the practical qualities required for scrubs worn in healthcare environments. Polyester blends offer better durability, moisture-wicking properties, and colour retention, which are essential for scrubs used in busy medical facilities.

How can I ensure the fabric of my scrubs meets my needs?

Consider factors such as the demands of your work environment, your personal comfort preferences, and any specific performance requirements when selecting scrubs. Consulting with peers or trying out different fabrics can also help in determining the best option for you.