What is Ribbed Cotton?

Malcolm Tatum

Ribbed cotton is a material that is created using a particular weave that creates a surface to the fabric that includes raised lines or ribs. Like most types of ribbed material, this type of cotton can be used in a number of different textile products, ranging from clothing to household accessories. One of the main benefits of it is that the material is easy to clean and also allows for a healthy flow of air through the weave.

Ribbed cotton is a popular material for sweaters.
Ribbed cotton is a popular material for sweaters.

Clothing is one of the most common uses of ribbed cotton. This is due to the fact that cotton creates a material that is soft to the skin and tends to wear very well. Men often choose to wear a cotton t-shirt underneath a dress shirt, as the presence of the material moves easily with the body and also provides an effective barrier to synthetics used in many shirts. Workout clothes are also sometimes constructed of ribbed cotton, as they tend to move with the body easily and do not inhibit the ability to perspire during the workout.

Ribbed cotton may be washed in a washing machine.
Ribbed cotton may be washed in a washing machine.

Both men and women enjoy a wide range of clothing items made of the fabric. Light sweaters made with this type of cotton are often preferable to similar sweaters made with cotton blends or synthetic material. A properly cut ribbed cotton sweater will provide warmth while still allowing the material to breathe, making the garment much more comfortable. The fabric may also be used for nightgowns, pajamas, and even for undergarments such as boxer briefs and bikini briefs.

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Ribbed cotton may be used for pajamas.
Ribbed cotton may be used for pajamas.

Along with clothing, ribbed cotton may be used in various fabric accessories around the home. Ribbed material works very well when creating an attractive presentation for the dinner table. Placemats, napkins, and tablecloths manufactured with cotton hold color well and are easy to care for under normal usage. Simple but durable bedspreads and duvet covers can also be made with it and are especially desirable in warmer climates. It is even possible to make simple window treatments using bolts of this cotton.

Ribbed cotton is a great alternative for people who prefer to use natural material for clothing and other fabric needs. The texture of the ribbed version of cotton fabric adds visual interest that cannot be achieved using brushed or other forms of cotton fabrics. At the same time, it can be washed by hand or in a washing machine, making it possible to get many years of use from the material. Along with use by many commercial manufacturers of clothing and housewares, the material can also be purchased in most fabric shops.

Ribbed cotton may be used in t-shirts.
Ribbed cotton may be used in t-shirts.

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Discussion Comments


I've always liked ribbed cotton tights. Not so much on the ribbed cotton turtlenecks, but the tights are great for keeping your legs warm.


One of my standby wardrobe pieces is a white cotton ribbed turtleneck. I really think that ribbed cotton turtleneck sweaters are a great look for many people because they're sort of elegant, but not stuffy. Of course, my daughter says I have way too many, but I ask you, is there such a thing as too many cotton rib turtleneck sweaters? I think not.


Thanks for this article -- my girlfriend always tells me I'd look good in a cotton rib, and I had no idea what she was talking about. The only cotton I knew about was t-shirt cotton. Now I am all up on cotton ribbing, and can actually know what she's on about.

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