What’s in a Blend? A Scrubs Fabric Guide

Picture of fabric fibers under the words what's in a blend? A scrubs fabric guide.

Finding the perfect fabric for your workwear

Here at The Uniform Outlet we answer a lot of questions about scrubs. One of the things people often wonder about is fabric. When purchasing a new pair of scrubs it’s important to know how the scrubs feel, how they will hold up over time, and how they move. Just knowing what kind of fabric your scrubs are made from can answer a lot of those questions.

Unfortunately, people often don’t know how to interpret information about fabric and fabric blends. That’s why we’re creating this handy scrubs fabric guide. After reading our guide you should have a much clearer idea of how the scrubs fabric will affect the feel of the scrubs. This expert knowledge will give you newfound confidence about what you’re adding to your online cart.

Cotton: The traditional scrubs fabric

Pure cotton is a soft, breathable, absorbant and natural choice. It’s easy to launder and takes well to ironing, which is good for sanitizing hospital garments. It’s also durable and won’t build up static electricity. Because of its many good points, cotton remains popular as a traditional choice for scrubs fabric.

However, there are some things that customers can find frustrating about 100% cotton scrubs. For one, the material wrinkles easily in the wash, and so even if you weren’t planning to iron you may have to anyway. Cheap cottons can also shrink with laundering, so make sure you’re purchasing your scrubs from a trusted provider. Any kind of cotton will also fade more quickly than synthetic fibers in the wash.

Polyester: scrubs go high tech

A synthetic fiber made from coal, air, water and petroleum, polyester is a high-tech fabric. It resists stains and wrinkles, it is highly durable, and it does not stretch or shrink. Polyester does not take heat well, and so should only ever be ironed on an appropriately low setting. However, it is less likely to need ironing for aesthetic reasons, since it dries quickly and stays smooth.

Polyester is less comfortable on the skin than cotton. It can feel a bit rough and it builds static easily. Still, the colors in polyester fabric are exceptionally long-lasting and the material easy to care for, as well as being generally cheaper than cotton. This makes it a popular choice for scrubs fabric.

Spandex: scrubs fabric that gives you some stretch

Another synthetic fiber, Spandex shares some of Polyester’s excellent properties. It does not stretch or shrink, it takes dyes well, and has an attractive price point. It also resists perspiration and stains. When it is blended with other fibers Spandex also adds some movement to the fabric without bagging or sagging. It’s what gives your favorite yoga pants their stretch.

Stretchy fabrics usually have between 2% and 7% Spandex blended with some other material. Activewear may have an even higher percentage. However, when a fabric blend is made with more than 10% Spandex it does not wear as well, nor is it very breathable. This means that it’s unusual to see fabric made with a very high percentage of Spandex.

Rayon: Cotton’s absorbency with polyester’s price

Rayon is a man-made fiber, but it is more similar to linen or cotton than other manufactured fibers. That’s because it is made from the regenerated cellulose fiber found in wood pulp, which can be made to mimic the properties of natural fibers like silk, wool and cotton. It’s soft and absorbent, unlike polyester or spandex, but it wrinkles easily and can stretch when wet. Rayon can give blends some of the properties of cotton at a lower price-point.

The science of scrubs fabric blends

When your scrubs or other garments are produced using a fabric blend, the manufacturer is trying to balance the positive and negative aspects of different fibers for an optimal result. For instance, this Sanibel scrubs top is made with 65% polyester and 35% cotton. This way the fabric has the softness and breathability of cotton, but the added polyester makes it wrinkle-resistant, unlikely to fade, and quick drying. It’s also less expensive than a pure cotton item would be.

Finding the perfect scrubs fabric blend is a matter of taste, but The Uniform Outlet has something for every buyer. If you’re looking to try something new this week shop our sale on Cherokee Workwear. The whole line is 20% off until August 9th. And remember, if you have questions about your scrubs fabric or anything else our friendly representatives are here to help you find the right fit.

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