Polyester is often blended with other fibers like cotton to get the best of both worlds.
Polyester is the most commonly used synthetic fiber. DuPont introduced its Dacron brand of polyester in 1951, but the material itself was patented earlier in 1941.
It’s made by reacting dicarboxylic acid with dihydric alcohol. This base material can be used to make many things, from soda bottles to boats, as well as clothing fibers. Like nylon, polyester is melt-spun – this process allows the fibers to be made in different shapes and sizes for specific applications. Chemists can now alter the size and shape of polyester fibers to look and feel more like natural fibers. Ultra thin microfibers can give polyester a smoother, softer feel than the polyester of twenty years ago.
Properties and Uses
It can be used for fashionable dresses; but it is most admired for its ability to resist wrinkling and for its easy washability. Its toughness makes it a frequent choice in children's wear. Polyester is often blended with other fibers like cotton to get the best of both worlds.
Characteristics of Polyester Fibers and Products
- Resists abrasion (but can "pill")
- Very resilient (springs back into shape)
- Resist wrinkling
- Very high heat can "melt" the fabric
- The right amount of heat can be used to permanently "heat set" a crease or pleat
- Easy to wash and wear
- Does not absorb water (can be uncomfortable when worn next to the skin in warm weather unless loosely woven)
- Dries quickly
- Attracts static electricity which also attracts dirt and lint
- Although they do NOT absorb water, they DO absorb oil and grease. This means synthetics
- resist soiling, but once an oil based stain soaks in, it can be difficult to clean.
- Strong fiber (but nylon is stronger)
- Often blended with cotton or even wool to add crease resistance
- Polyester does not absorb water, but it can be produced in such a way (as in polypropylene and microfibers) as to "wick" water away from the skin
- Polyester is the most used synthetic fiber.
- The fiber can be manufactured in different shapes and sizes for specific purposes.
- Polyester is a tough fabric used in clothing