What Is Polyester Made Of And Its Properties
What is polyester?
Polyester designates polymers (set of molecules) used for various needs, including textiles and plastic bottles. Polyester is, therefore, a synthetic fiber (resulting from chemical processes); it is also the most widely used synthetic fiber in the textile industry. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of this fiber, which represents more than 70% of synthetic fibers used in the textile industry.
Polyester material: characteristics and use
Polyester fiber appeared in France in 1954 and today is an essential fiber for the textile industry. This fiber is obtained using a chemical process that assembles several small molecules (monomers) to obtain larger and spinnable molecules: polymers. The colorization of the polyester fibers is done using carriers, molecules that swell the fabric, thus allowing the dyes to penetrate the textile better. Polyester is therefore not an easily coloring fiber and requires an intermediate step in coloring.
Polyester textiles are textiles that get dirty quickly. However, this fiber has an exceptional elasticity which allows the textile not to wrinkle, so no ironing! This fiber is often mixed with other natural fibers of animal (wool) or vegetable (cotton) origin to enhance its characteristics. It’s very low absorbency makes this fiber the queen for textiles intended for athletes because it thus allows, unlike cotton, to wick away sweat quickly.
Polyester fabric advantages and disadvantages
If polyester is used so much nowadays, it is because this textile shows many advantages.
- Low price
- It does not crease easily
- Dries quickly
- Does not fade
- Moth free
- Resists traction
Is Polyester Warm?
Polyester is a warm fabric that can keep you toasty during cold weather. It has the added benefit of being able to insulate your body and protect it from further injury, making this material perfect for any adventure in chilly climes!
In the disadvantages of polyester,
- It does not absorb moisture
- Polyester is polluting
- Highly flammable
Polyester washing and maintenance
How to wash polyester?
Polyester is not a delicate fiber; it does not require special precautions regarding its washing. However, we recommend that you wash your polyester laundry by hand or in the machine if the latter is programmed for synthetic laundry or between 30 and 40 °. Indeed, if the synthetic fiber textile is bathed in too hot water, it risks permanently crumpling.
In addition, there is no risk that your polyester clothes will shrink in the wash. As it is a synthetic fiber, polyester does not shrink in the wash because it has excellent resistance.
How to iron polyester? – Polyester Iron Setting
This fiber generally does not crease and therefore does not require ironing. However, if you want to iron your synthetic fabric clothes, the polyester iron setting is low-temperature iron.
How to recognize a polyester fabric?
It isn’t easy to recognize this fabric if you do not know it, which is why the law requires labeling and tries to control textiles as much as possible. Is polyester soft? Yes, polyester is soft, but can you tell by the softness if the fabric is polyester. We doubt! The qualities of polyester are flexibility, softness, support, and practicality for washing; it is also robust but tends to pill and charge in static electricity.
- To recognize a polyester fabric, you have to burn it; it smells like petroleum, plastic rather bad odor; it will, in fact, melt rather than burn.
- On the touch, it also slips between your fingers while the wool clings.
Is it eco-responsible?
Forty-two million tonnes of polyester are produced each year from petroleum. Non-renewable, it should be banned because it represents a danger for the planet and people. Each machine wash of a polyester garment releases plastic microparticles too small to be filtered, then presented in the ocean. Polyester recycling has its limits and does not solve the release of plastic microparticles present in our oceans and now in our bodies. It requires a large consumption of water, energy and releases toxic vapors.
What are the more environmentally friendly alternatives?
Polyester can be recycled mechanically and chemically. Recycled polyester, increasing use in the fashion industry, is more environmentally friendly than conventional polyester. However, this one is far from the miracle solution because it is not recyclable and energy-consuming, and its origin is untraceable.
The best alternative is to opt for a natural fiber ( cotton, cashmere, silk, or wool ), more durable, hypoallergenic, and breathable, unlike polyester, which does not breathe.