Is Polyester Synthetic?

All the truth about the material we all know

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on All the truth about the material we all know

The modern world of clothing is filled with artificial materials. Of course, it’s understandable why people chose them: they are durable, universal in use, they are finally easy to maintain.

Polyester is one of those materials that is now used in almost any apparel.

And if you want to learn more about what you are wearing, we offer you to read this article carefully.

How Do We Get Polyester?

Many people are concerned about artificial materials due to their unnatural origin. 

Indeed, such materials as polyester fabric are manufactured by people with the use of chemicals that – let’s be honest – don’t make them that harmless to our bodies and health. As for polyester, in particular, it is a result of a chemical reaction between petroleum, air, coal, and water. The threads are woven into a flat fabric that is very durable and resistant to many external impacts.

Because of its artificial origin and elements used for manufacturing the fibers, this man-made textile is in fact a sort of plastic. That is why so many owners note the unnatural way their garments of polyester feel being harsh and even scratchy to the skin. Due to this specific feature, the increasing number of people prefer purchasing natural or at least half natural materials.

What Makes It Distinctive From Natural Fibers

Polyester, since being manufactured by people, can’t obviously be a natural material. And this fact makes it stand out among such fabrics as cotton or wool.

Like any artificial material, this men-made textile has significant differences that in a certain way make it somewhat better than natural fibers.

How It`s Made   PolyesterHow It`s Made Polyester
  • durability (polyester lasts longer than natural materials if maintained correctly)
  • resistance to the external exposures (if we twist, wring, or stretch it, the item will get back to the initial shape and size easily. An ability that many natural fibers lack)
  • simple maintenance (no need to bother about special laundering conditions like a gentle cycle or hand wash)
  • stain-resistance (extremely handy for various household items like cleaning cloths)

So even if most of us know it is not 100% made-by-the-nature material, we keep on buying polyester garments and items since – we need to confess – this is a useful fabric.

What Makes It Distinctive From Natural Fibers
Photo by Les Triconautes

Artificial Or Not?

So is polyester synthetic? Apparently yes, it is. As we already mentioned above, it is manufactured by people with the use of certain chemical reactions. For making it, purified terephthalic acid reacts with ethylene glycol.

Artificial Or Not
Photo by Les Triconautes

Moreover, technically polyester is plastic, and if we take a piece of polyester fabric and burn it, we will sense the smell of burnt plastic – just like if we would burn a plastic bottle. Even the burnt material will not look like ash (what would happen if it was a natural material), instead, we will get a black clump of the plastic substance.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐What happens if you wash polyester in hot water?

If polyester is washed in hot water, it will shrink - not badly but quite significantly.

⭐How do you get body odor out of polyester?

Polyester absorbs odors very well. To remove them, add baking soda to the load and run the full wash and rinse cycle.

⭐ Is polyester suitable for synthetic washing?

Yes, you can set the machine to the synthetic regime to wash this fabric.

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?  - We detail what polyester exactly is and what it's benefits are.What is Polyester? - We detail what polyester exactly is and what it's benefits are.