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why cotton

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Hi Jerry-

You're RIGHT ON regarding your advice to wear white cotton in hot environments. I spent many hours (on foot) exploring miles of the incredible Sonora Desert during the hot summer months and quickly learned to wear totally white clothing: white cotton jeans, white cotton long-sleeved Sunday shirt, white cotton baseball hat with a white cotton hanky safety-pinned to the back of the hat to protect the back of my neck.

Even with that good clothing on I still experienced a sort of heat exhaustion one day when I became confused, disoriented, and literally could not read my compass right in front of my face to know which way to backtrack out. Everything was completely blurred. Luckily there was a mountain range to my rear by which I was able to orient back to my Jeep (also white) where I immediately drank all the water I could hold, got immediately into shade and recovered within a half-hour or so. After that experience I carried a LOT more water and forced myself to consume it regularly whether I "felt" thirsty or not. Also increased my intake of salt and electrolytes (Gatorade) upon the advice of a friend who actually RAN in the heat. Never had any more problems.

Rich Landers


You got that right! I tried to wear “Banlon”  (banlon is nylon) shirts 60 years ago to play golf in hot weather. Same stuff today and just as bad.

I wear white cotton dress shirts for both hot and cold weather, tennis, sailing and skiing.

Keep up the good work. I still have the sleeping bags you sent special delivery for a sailboat race 30 years ago. Thanks!

Lynn Adkins

Kansas city, Mo.

I am never surprised to get a letter such as this one from Rich supporting what I have published. Why; because I am only publishing in this case known information.

The Patagonia Company has for years promoted organic cotton garments so they should have knowledge of how good cotton is for this type of garment, but alas if they do they don’t want to spend the money for cotton fabric. Polyester is probably less costly.

Another consideration is the stretch factor with the use of spandex. Cotton does not stretch and the garments would have to be made a little larger so the wearer would have freedom of movement. Of course the looser fit would be beneficial to allow the body heat and moisture to more easily escapes from the inside of the garment.

They are competing with all of the other T-shirt companies that sell synthetic T-shirts that are also supposedly wick moisture and fight off odor and who knows what else they claim.

Recently I have been reading that Cotton Inc. the organization that promotes cotton has been messing with the cotton fiber or fabric to adulterate it so it will function differently than it has for thousands of years. In my opinion a mistake! When something has proven for as long as cotton has why mess with it? Some people never learn and or are trying to prove to a boss they can do something.

My opinion is to only buy cotton that has NOT been adulterated.

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