Polyester Fabric. Detailed Guide

All handy information about the popular material

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on polyester fabric pic

If we take a look at the care tags of our clothing, most of them will surely contain polyester. This material is so versatile that nowadays it is used not only in clothing-making but also in creating home textile and interior designs!

So what is this polyester fabric and what makes it stand out?

Let’s figure this out.

What Is It?

Polyester is in fact a general term used for any material made of polyester yarn or fabric. 

By its nature, this material is a man-made artificial textile that is produced by blending ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. To speak simply, this material is in a certain way a sort of plastic. And owners often note that it really looks a bit unnatural.

Unlike some natural materials, artificial textile has specific characteristics that make it so popular.

  • durability
  • high level of resistance
  • this fabric can stand almost any deformation and restore its shape
  • it is strong yet not heavy at all
  • artificial textile is easily dyed
  • such clothing retains its shape perfectly
  • Super easy maintenance
  • since the material dries fast, it is popular for various outdoor activities

Can You Shrink Polyester?

And probably the main benefit of this material is the shrink-resistance! 

Polyester is not something that can be easily shriveled under usual conditions. It will always restore its initial shape and size so there is no need to worry. However, if the item needs to be made smaller, several ways exist of how to shrink polyester. Only ensure to do it correctly to not ruin the material!

The only issue with polyester is that some people who have sensitive skin often complain that they have some sort of allergy reaction when wearing items made of this material – all because of the chemicals used for producing it.

What Is It
Photo by Tamara Bellis

What If Feels Like to Wear It

If anyone put on apparel made of polyester back then when the material only appeared on the market, that person would be unpleasantly surprised.

Yet very durable and universal, and even quite nice looking, this artificial textile looked somewhat cheap. But the worse would be how it felt on the skin. People mentioned that the original material was almost like soft plastic!

Pure polyester is usually described as quite harsh and even scratchy material rather irritating to the skin, especially sensitive. Even adding natural fibers doesn’t make this feeling better, however, modern polyester is somewhat better to the touch than its “ancestor”.

When Did Polyester First Appear?

This material is rather young. Polyester was invented in 1941 by chemists from Britain, and already in the 1970s, garments made of it became widely popular because of the way they were introduced to the public and advertised. 

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.

It was claimed back then that polyester is stronger than steel and it can be worn for two months in a row without even ironing it. A true find for a busy (well, or lazy) customer!

However, quite many people noted that due to its slightly plastic look, this material looks cheap and unpresentable. 

Well, everything has its price, right?

How We Make Use Of It Today

As we already told, polyester is a multipurpose material. Its silky and smooth surface makes it perfect for garments, especially due to the ability to be modified simply. Moreover, its sensitivity to heat allows to laser-cut patterns on the fabric.

Resistance to stains is another benefit of polyester as a material for clothing.

But do we use it somewhere else? Of course, we do!

This material has plenty of areas of use. The only problem that makes it somewhat worse than natural fibers is the tendency to create electricity – so you might give people static shock! Besides, it often ruins the nice hairstyle when putting on and taking off polyester apparel.

Polyester Yarn Manufacturing ProcessPolyester Yarn Manufacturing Process

Is There Anything Wrong With It?

Not everyone enjoys wearing artificial fabrics, and we can understand those people! Natural fibers are breathable, pleasant to the skin, and hypoallergenic. 

In comparison with those, synthetic polyester does have certain issues.

Is There Anything Wrong With It
Photo by Tamara Bellis
  • It doesn’t breathe well. And if the sweat stays captured on our skin, it can be a good surrounding for bacteria or fungal infections to grow.
  • People with sensitive skin can feel a certain reaction to 100% polyester that may appear as skin allergy.
  • The pure material is very flammable.

So, as you can see, this material has its pros and cons. And it’s your choice whether to prefer synthetic garments or pay more (and spend more time on maintenance) and get natural fabrics that will serve you the same long, or even longer.

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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