Medical clothing must meet many criteria, including comfort, breathability and durability. Daily exposure to pathogens, bodily fluids and other substances results in intensive cleaning. The material is, therefore, an influential factor in choosing medical clothing, especially in terms of safety and protection.
Cotton medical clothing
Cotton is one of the most widely used materials in the production of medical clothing. It is breathable, soft and comfortable for the staff who wears cotton clothing. It is also relatively affordable, but has disadvantages when used in healthcare facilities.
Low chemical resistance
Although this material holds dye well, the colours can fade due to laundry chemicals and disinfectants. Moreover, improper washing can cause the fabric to shrink.
Growth of bacteria
Cotton does not provide sufficient resistance to the penetration of microbes and bacteria. It has been found that natural materials can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi that decompose them. Cotton is mainly composed of cellulose. As a result of processing, the strength of the fibres is reduced, making the fabric more susceptible to microbial attacks. These reduce the degree of polymerisation of cellulose and damage the fibre structure.
Cotton has a high moisture retention capacity, and its polymer linkages are more easily accessible to microbial enzymes. This is why it is more susceptible to penetration by microbes. It becomes a breeding ground for them by providing nutrients in the form of proteins or carbohydrates.
Polypropylene medical clothing
Clothing made from Prolen® Siltex and Prolen® Bodyfresh polypropylene yarn has excellent properties for hospital environments, as it is treated with a permanent antimicrobial layer.
Reducing the risk of transmission of infections
Such clothing is resistant to the transmission of infections. This is because it is treated with a layer based on silver and zinc ions, which provides protection against bacteria and viruses. These include E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, SARS-CoV-2 virus and Aspergillus Niger fungus.
Minimal moisture retention
Polypropylene medical clothing has almost zero moisture absorption and dries up within one hour. Compared to cotton clothing, it is more resistant to the transmission of bacteria and viruses.
Clothing made of polypropylene fibre is reusable. It can be washed up to 300 times, giving it a higher durability than cotton. Polypropylene clothing is also 100% recyclable.
You can guess that in terms of protection, clothing made of polypropylene fibre is a better choice. Find out more about Prolen® Medical clothing, which helps reduce the risk of infections.