Choosing the Perfect Fabric: Cotton Guayabera, Silk Guayabera, or Linen Guayabera Shirt?

One of the main characteristics of an authentic Guayabera shirt, besides its elegance and attire, is its comfort. However, to maintain that quality in every person who wants to wear a Cuban shirt, it is essential to carefully select the type of fabric for this garment.

Guayaberas are a type of clothing ideally worn in warm or hot environments as they provide freshness and mobility to the body, thanks to the use of natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen.

Despite knowing this, many distributors choose to use synthetic fabrics that compromise the quality, beauty, and durability of an authentic Guayabera shirt, simply to speed up production processes, facilitate bulk sales of shirts, or reduce costs. At Ramón Puig, selling low-quality items is never the goal.

As English writer John Ruskin said in the 19th century, 'Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.' That is why today, at Ramón Puig, 'the house of Guayaberas', we will explain the most important materials that every Guayabera should have.

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fabrics for guayaberas of different colors

The most important ones: cotton, linen, and silk

Ideally, the Guayabera shirt has a characteristic that should never be modified, like an unwritten law in men's fashion books: the Guayabera must be soft, elegant, and cool. When these factors are lost, the garment loses its value.

To guarantee that style and freshness, the material used to make a Guayabera should be of natural origin and have the least amount of synthetic compounds, such as polyester, for example.

Cotton Guayaberas: What do they have to offer?

Cotton is a natural plant-based textile fiber used in clothing manufacturing since before Christ (specifically in China) due to its easy availability in tropical regions. In addition to its versatility, as it is hypoallergenic, soft, and cool to wear, these characteristics align with the Guayabera shirt.

The most demanded textile product in history and the present has a series of advantages you should know:

Advantages of cotton in Guayaberas

  • Guaranteed freshness: 

Cotton Guayaberas allow air to pass through easily, making them suitable for hot seasons like spring or summer.

  • Breathable: 

This Cuban clothing also absorbs water or sweat easily without causing discomfort when the quantities are low.

  • Softness: 

This is its main selling point. Cotton is soft to the touch and does not cause allergies due to its natural origin.

  • Versatility of use: 

A white Cuban shirt has an extremely easy ability to be dyed in almost any color and be braided to create countless designs.

Now that you know the virtues of this material, let's tell you about other fabrics used to make guayaberas shirts.

multi colored yarn


Silk Guayaberas

Silk is a 100% natural textile product that, unlike cotton or linen, has a complex creation process: it is produced by numerous silkworms that feed on a plant called mulberry for several months, completing their life cycle by depositing cocoons that are used to make silk threads.

Now, silk is a highly elegant, fine, smooth, soft, comfortable, shiny, and resistant material against various bacteria that damage the fabric, such as mold.

The main problem with using silk for Guayabera shirts is the expensive manufacturing process of silk in general. Additionally, among other disadvantages, silk wrinkles easily, sticks to the skin after prolonged use, and, over the years, silk garments develop yellow stains due to deterioration.

Oh, and of course, silk being such a delicate material, it is advisable to take it to the dry cleaner after each use for careful cleaning.

red, blue, yellow and turquoise fabric

Linen Guayabera Shirt: Ramón Puig's recommendation

The house of Guayaberas Ramón Puig manufactures its exclusive shirts using Irish Linen, a completely natural textile material. Why? What sets linen apart from cotton, silk, or synthetic fabrics? Why do we consider it the ideal option? Keep reading, and we will tell you why.

After studying and using this fabric for over 70 years, we consider it indispensable for Ramón Puig's Guayaberas due to the following reasons:

  • Composition: 

The linen used for textile products like the Guayabera shirts, due to its cellulose composition and the treatment it undergoes, can absorb up to 20% of water without feeling wet. This increases its freshness by absorbing heat compared to other fabrics like cotton.

  • Quick evaporation:

 Remember when we mentioned that cotton does not evaporate water quickly? Well, linen does not have this issue as it is hygroscopic. It quickly evaporates moisture from liquids resting on the fabric and absorbs body fluids like sweat without clinging to the shirt.

  • Heat conductivity:

Yes, you read that right. A linen Guayabera shirt has a property called 'heat conductivity,' which is the physical ability of a compound or substance to transfer heat.

With that said, linen is known to be a good conductor of heat, so using it in a Guayabera can reduce body heat by up to 34%. Consequently, a Guayabera made with linen can keep you cool in summer.

  • Soft but durable:

A linen Guayabera shirt is soft to the touch on the skin while also being strong and resistant to tearing. However, it is not elastic.

short sleeve white guayabera

All these details make a noticeable difference. Of course, the Guayabera shirt has a recognizable style in popular culture, but the fabric that makes up the Guayabera adds a distinct experience.

Conclusions: Which is the ideal Guayabera for me?

long sleeve blue shirt Ramon Puig's guayabera

While we have defined the different types of fabrics you will find in your Guayabera outfit, understanding what you gain and lose by using one or the other depends 100% on you. Choose the one that best suits your personality, budget, needs, and the event you want to attend with a white Cuban shirt.

If you ask us, Ramón Puig has always recommended its buyers to use linen Guayabera shirts. Although we also have cotton Guayaberas for people who prefer a lower-priced option or this type of fabric.

Of course, the decision is yours. But if you still have doubts about how our Guayaberas can look on you, visit Ramón Puig's official website at the following link and discover the fine dressing at “The house of Guayaberas".