Is Polyester Plastic?

The unknown facts about the popular material

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on The unknown facts about the popular material

Have you ever thought of how many complex and even strange materials exist in the world and, what is even more surprising, how many of those we wear daily?

Polyester, a well-known all over the world fabric, is one of those “hidden surprises”.

Are you eager to find out what exactly it is? 

Then keep on reading!

The Way It Is Manufactured

The widely known polyester fabric  is an artificial material that was first created in the French lab in the 1930s – quite long ago. Nevertheless, after the British manufacturers bought the rights to this invention, the popularity of the material started growing, and soon this artificial textile was already used in clothing. 

The way it is produced is rather time-consuming. It is made of purified terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol using a reaction that happens between the air, water, coal, and petroleum – all to receive those threads that will be woven into artificial cloth.That is why polyester can be 100% called a synthetic fabric.

Distinctive Features Of the Fabric

Like many artificial materials, polyester has certain distinctive features that make it stand out among the natural fabrics. 

For instance, the main peculiarity mentioned by the owners is the way the fabric is felt on the skin. Due to its origin, polyester often feels like a harsh, even scratchy material. Fortunately, modern manufacturers found ways to make it smoother and almost as pleasant as the natural fibers.

Except for this, the fiber has other distinctive characteristics:

WHAT IS POLYESTER? | S1:E3 | Fibers and Fabrics | Beate MyburghWHAT IS POLYESTER? | S1:E3 | Fibers and Fabrics | Beate Myburgh
  • strength
  • durability
  • short drying time
  • high resistance
  • easy maintenance
  • resilience
  • chemicals-proof

The only thing that must be kept in mind is that polyester is highly flammable so wearing such items close to the fire can be dangerous.

Distinctive Features Of the Fabric
Photo by Kenny Luo

Is Polyester Truly Plastic?

It may sound surprising but yes, this material is a sort of plastic! All because to make it, the plastic needs to be heated and passed through the special machines to create fibers. Then those are stretched several times, transformed into yarn, and later weaved to create a fabric we all know.

Another proof that shows polyester is really plastic is the way it melts.

If we take a piece of this material and set it on fire, it will not turn into ash as would a natural material do. Instead, polyester will melt into a black blot of plastic, and the smell will be the same as burning plastic has.

Though this material is a true find and a dream of every human being due to its durability, simple maintenance, and lots of other beneficial traits, polyester is artificial and is often reported to cause allergic reactions on the skin. Moreover, its impact on our bodies is the same harmful as the one of plastic. 

So whether to wear it or not is your choice, but decide reasonably!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is polyester better than cotton?

In a certain way yes, because polyester is more durable, it dries faster, and it’s shrink and chemical-resistant. In addition, taking care of it is simpler.

⭐ Is polyester plastic safe?

No, it’s not. In fact, it may be considered toxic since it has many chemical components included into it.

⭐ What are the pros and cons of polyester?

The positive features are obvious: easy maintenance, resistance to shrinking and deformation, lightweight, and durability. However, the fabric ignites easily, besides, as a result of manufacturing, it contains chemicals that can be harmful to people.

⭐ How dangerous is polyester?

The fabric is often reported to cause skin irritation and even allergy, moreover, this fabric was proved to cause immune system issues.

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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What is Polyester, Actually? (And "Tech Fabric")What is Polyester, Actually? (And "Tech Fabric")