How to buy fabrics best for sensitive or allergic skin

Choosing the right fabric for your clothing is important. It is the first protective layer of the skin against the harmful effects of pollutants in the environment.

Designed by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, this cotton print fabric features vibrant floral blooms in cool hues. Country of Origin: Made in the USA - Image courtesy of

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2017 – For people who suffer from skin problems, from burns to allergies and/or sensitivity, extra care should be the priority when it comes to selecting clothes and detergents. Sensitivity may be due to reduced sensation, poor blood circulation, and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and allergies.

The goal when shopping is to find clothes that will be comfortable and that will lessen the risk of further skin damage. But first, take a good look at how you are cleaning your clothes. The type of laundry powder may be the cause of skin irritation and sensitivity. Check your detergents ingredient list. There are many that have no scents, colors or irritants, phosphates and those that are enzyme based, meaning they have no detergent. There are also detergents formulated for baby clothing that will be more gentle on sensitive skin, regardless of age.

For clothing you dry clean, there are cleaners that offer organic processes that will be less aggravating to people with sensitivities.

Regardless of skin condition, the majority of people favor fabric that is soft and smooth on the skin. There are natural fibers such as silk and fine cotton that are comfortable and soothing to wear.  Natural fiber cloth made of linen or wool, on the other hand, may be itchy and rough on the skin. They may also become uncomfortable during warmer weather, when wearing for an extended period, or when in warmer rooms.

Silk is a natural fiber that people sensitive skin often prefers.  It is light, cooling on the skin and it glides across skin without causing further aggravation.

Silk retains body heat which is ideal for people that are often cold. It is also light, flexible, durable, hard wearing and it possesses a natural wicking action that draws body moisture away from the skin. Clothes made out of silk are available in specialist and retail shops.

Clothes made out of silk are available in specialist and retail shops.


Cotton is another natural fabric best for people with sensitive skins. It is cool and highly absorbent. Like silk, it is also excellent in drawing body moisture. Clothing may be marked as organic or bleached cotton, so read your lables and look for clothing that is 100% American Cotton made. One drawback to cotton is that extra care needs to be taken to ward against shrinkage when cleaning.

Viscose is a human-made fiber made out of cellulose. Viscose can have texture’s as silk and cotton. It is a soft and delicate material used commonly in tunics, t-shirts, and dresses. Viscose fiber is also ideal for people with skin sensitivity.

In addition to the type of fabric, is the the style of te clothing. For people with skin problems, dermatologists advise wearing loose fitting clothes. Avoid folds and creases in materials because they can trigger pressure sores which can worsen skin irritations.

It is advisable to avoid fasteners, pockets, accessories and rigid seams in jeans particularly at points where pressure increase.

Another consideration to be taken when it comes to clothing is the weight of the fabric. It may affect the endurance and strength of the material.

Heavy clothes makes dressing exhausting and painful for people with skin sensitivity. It also restricts the movement of the wearer. It’s better to choose garments that are lightweight, and that feels comfortable on the skin. Anoraks and quilted coats are good options because they are comfortable and warm. You can also layer a cotton shirt over a silk body shirt for extra warmth.

A wind-resistant and thin-layer cotton anorak paired with a cardigan is more comfortable and warmer than a thick coat. When the regulation of body temperature is not stable, excessive sweating is inevitable. Fabrics that can absorb sweat either 100% or are blends of linen, cotton, Lyocell and viscose.

It’s best to wear loose-fitting and loosely-knitted clothes during hot weather to let the air circulate and remove heat and moisture from the body.  Another important factor in choosing clothes for people with sensitive skin is the texture of the fabric. Natural fibers give the most pleasant feel against the skin. Modern processing gives human-made fibers the same texture as silk and cotton.

Natural fibers give the most pleasant feel against the skin. Modern processing can give human-made fibers the same texture as silk and cotton.

While wools are soft by nature, processing can make it scratchy, or itchy, to the skin. Linen can also have a rough texture. The wearer will momentarily experience a cold sensation upon wearing a garment made from a smooth fabric like silk.

For people with extensive scarred tissue due to operations and burns, as well as skin complaints, must avoid irritating their skin. Wearing clothes out of fine cotton or silk is advised.

People with chest complaints and asthma need to avoid fluffy and loose yarn clothing as they can intensify breathing difficulties. You need to take note as well that if you order items from online sites such as Seed Heritage, it’s best to wash them first before wearing.

Stockings, tights, and socks have Lycra to make them fit which may cause problems for some people. Elastic hose contains variable amounts of Lycra depending on the necessary support.

Socks and stockings with elastic tops prohibit proper blood circulation if too tight, or too small. Wearing boots is now easier because there are socks with non-elasticated tops. Deep ribbing and patterns on the socks will cause sores on the skin and will trigger uneven pressure.

Wrinkles may create a problem if you wear tube socks. Due to the lack of proper shaping, this leaves the extra fabric in folds in front of the ankle.

Whether you are suffering from skin sensitivity or not, choosing the right fabric for your clothing is important. It is the first protective layer of the skin against the harmful effects of pollutants in the environment.

Whenever possible, choosing clothes made from natural fibers is always best.


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