Which Fabrics Are Best for Wear and Tear?

Choosing strong, high-performance fabrics for clothing means that items like work uniforms will survive the wear and tear of daily use. Some of the most durable fabrics available include natural fibers like hemp, linen, wool, cotton, lyocell, and silk as well as synthetic materials such as rayon, polyester, fleece, nylon, and other blends.

Do you need help picking comfortable, durable, and stain-resistant fabric for clothing your team? If so, all the information you need is right here. However, before delving into how to pick the best durable fabric for your team, let’s quickly look at why your company should invest in wear and tear fabrics for workwear.

Why Would You Need to Invest In Wear and Tear Fabrics?

Buying cheap uniforms for your team may seem cost-effective at first. However, cheap workwear is usually lower quality and wears out faster, leaving you with the high cost of frequently buying replacements.

High-quality wear and tear workwear is a better long-term investment because they are:

  • Safer: Durable fabrics offer better protection against heat or cold in the workplace. Also, quality wear and tear clothing are less likely to have loose threads or pieces that could get stuck in machinery and injure the wearer.
  • More Presentable: Good-quality fabrics are more aesthetically pleasing. When your team looks good, customers will be more receptive and open to patronizing your business.
  • Easy to Maintain: High-quality workwear should be easy to clean. Employees will be more enthusiastic about taking care of their uniforms if they don’t have to spend extra on special detergents or bleach.
  • Durable: The most distinctive characteristic of wear and tear fabric is its resilience. Since the fabric won’t tear or fade quickly, your employees can use it for a long time, allowing you to avoid the expense of buying replacement uniforms.

What Are the Characteristics of Durable Fabrics?

Several kinds of durable fabrics are available, and each one has its unique pros and cons. If you want the best wear and tear fabric for your team, look for one that is resilient without compromising on these features:

  • Odor-Resistant: An employee with a sweaty odor can cause problems for your company, especially if the employee is in a customer-facing role. Avoid such issues by opting for an odor-resistant fabric. The most effective odor-resistant fabrics keep the wearer smelling clean by killing odor-causing bacteria.
  • Stain-Resistant: You don’t want your employees walking around with grease or coffee stains all over their uniforms. Help your employees look their best by providing them with stain-resistant uniforms that are easy to clean.
  • Moisture Absorbent: Moisture absorbent or wicking clothing helps you stay dry and comfortable by absorbing sweat. Such fabrics are an excellent choice if you need sweat-proof clothing for workers in hot and humid locations.
  • Breathable: Breathable fabrics facilitate air circulation over the skin, keeping you cool and comfortable. When layering workwear in winter, wearing breathable clothing as your base layer can minimize sweating and stuffiness beneath your other layers. In summer, breathable clothing is less likely to retain heat, which will help you stay cool.
  • Stretchiness: While working, clothing should not restrict movement. That’s why it’s best to wear a stretchy fabric that ensures maximum range of motion. Besides ensuring free movement, stretchy fabric is less likely to tear and cause an embarrassing situation.
  • Not Prone to Pilling: Fabric pilling occurs when loose strands or balls of fiber form on the surface of clothing. Pilling usually occurs on the parts of clothing that experience the most friction, such as the elbows, knees, and backside. Besides being unsightly, pilling can lead to the affected area tearing faster. You can avoid such issues by opting for pill-resistant fabrics like wool and nylon blends.
  • Won't Lose Their Shape: Some fabric loses shape when wet, dried, or stretched. For instance, silk clothing can shrink in a hot dryer. When a uniform shrinks, it may no longer fit the wearer. You can avoid such issues by opting for polyester or wool blends that retain their shape regardless of how you treat them.

Best Fabrics for Wear and Tear

Below are some of the most popular fabrics for wear and tear clothing:


Rayon is an affordable artificial fabric used to make everything from dresses and skirts to shirts and jackets. The material is lightweight and wrinkle-free, and it feels good on the skin. Even better, the fabric is moisture-wicking and breathable, making it ideal for warm weather.

On the downside, the process of manufacturing rayon isn’t eco-friendly. Also, the fabric is prone to shrinking when washed with hot water or placed in a hot dryer. Lastly, since rayon's elastic recovery is low, the fabric can lose its shape if you incorrectly handle it. The most durable rayon clothes contain a blend of rayon and polyester fibers.


Cotton is probably the least stain-resistant fabric for clothing. On the upside, the material is highly breathable and moisture-wicking, delivering comfortable clothing on hot days. It’s also sustainable, machine washable, and soft to the touch.

While natural cotton isn’t odor-resistant, you can find variations treated to prevent sweat retention and odor buildup. Also, natural cotton isn’t stretchy, but you can find cotton and polyester blend fabrics that deliver year-round comfort without losing their shape.


Natural wool is an excellent thermal insulator that can keep you warm and dry during winter. Also, wool is highly flexible and durable, making it one of your best choices for wear and tear clothing. Since wool is dirt-resistant, keeping it clean is easy. You can also count on the material to retain its shape and not pill.


Polyester is a popular stain-resistant fabric for clothing. Besides being stain-resistant, polyester is moisture-wicking, durable, breathable, stretchy, water-repellant, lightweight, and wrinkle-resistant. The many advantages of the fabric make it a top choice for wear and tear shirts, pants, jackets, and more.


Fleece is a synthetic fabric that offers many of the benefits of wool minus the shortcomings. For example, fleece is flexible, lightweight, breathable, moisture-resistant, and comfortable, but it does not cause itching. The fabric is also moisture-wicking and stain-resistant to a degree.

Our Favorite Durable Custom Apparel

If you need help selecting custom apparel that can stand the test of time, here are our top picks:

Port & Company Essential Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt

Port & Company Essential Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt

The Port & Company Essential Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt is a casual hoodie made with a blend of 50/50 cotton and polyester fleece. The unique fabric blend delivers a durable, comfortable, and pill-resistant sweatshirt that you can wear throughout the year. You can get the hoodie in over ten colors in sizes ranging from small to 4XL.

Carhartt Duck Vest

Carhartt Duck Vest

The Carhartt Duck Vest is a water and wind-resistant vest suitable for outdoor activities on chilly, wet days. The sleeveless design ensures maximum range of motion, and the 100% ring-spun cotton duck canvas material delivers optimal breathability. You can get it in black or brown with an insulated nylon lining on the inside.

Harriton Pilbloc V-Neck Button Cardigan Sweater

Harriton Pilbloc V-Neck Button Cardigan Sweater

The Harriton Pilbloc V-Neck Button Cardigan is a comfortable men’s sweater made with 100% acrylic jersey knit. This sweater is lightweight and comfortable, and you can have your logo embroidered on the breast, arm, or anywhere else you prefer. Since the fabric is durable and does not pill, you can count on this sweater to look good and keep the wearer warm for several years.

Clique Ladies Trail Softshell Vest

Clique Ladies Trail Softshell Vest

The Clique Ladies Trail Softshell Vest is a female jacket that can keep you warm and accentuate your figure. The waterproof fabric consists of 96% polyester and 4% spandex. On the inside of the jacket is a microfleece lining that ensures breathability when you layer with this vest. You can get the vest in five different colors and several sizes.


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About Jeff Taxdahl

With over 20 years’ experience in embroidery and business ownership, Thread Logic owners Jeff and Wenda Taxdahl, and the Thread Logic team, know what it takes to make custom logo embroidered apparel that people are proud to wear.