This post might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

What is Polyester Fabric? (Explained)

The term polyester is not a new phrase to anyone since it is widely used in many categories. What most people do not know though is what polyester fabric is. We are so used to having it present in our daily lives that most people do not stop and think about its origin or any other topic regarding it. If you happen to be one of the people who are interested in polyester fabric, I’m happy to say that you have landed in the right place.

I intend to give you, the reader, a thorough but understandable explanation of this widely used fabric known as polyester throughout this article. As a result, you will leave with all the knowledge necessary about the interesting subject of “What is Polyester Fabric?”.

Key Takeaways

  • Polyester fabric is a synthetically made thread that is made from petroleum, making it an oil-based material.
  • Polyester rose to fame from the traits it possesses and how well they work together.
  • This fabric has a wide range of wonderful properties such as softness, smoothness, wrinkle resistance, breathability, absorption, shine, and so on.
  • Polyester can be utilized in the clothing industry as well as in house design.
  • Polyester fabric is nondegradable and does release toxins in nature throughout its time in landfills.

What is Polyester Fabric?

Starting this off with a direct answer polyester is an artificially created fabric made from petroleum. Yes, you read that right; the most used type of polyester fabric is made from widely used petroleum. The whole process of production is quite fascinating. Polyester fabric is prepared through melting and thorough refining of the compound petroleum and spinning the created thread until hardened in the desired texture. All this was done in the early 1941s.

Now, a majority of people, when trying to understand what polyester fabric essentially is, might start putting off the material. Who at the end of this modern era would want to be wearing and promoting an oil-derived nonrenewable plastic thread? Due to this, the current industry of textiles has created alternatives through recycling. Polyester fabric can be made by using recycled plastic and recycled polyester. A lot of brands today already use this recyclable method to achieve a non-harmful distribution of polyester fabric. We will dive into this topic specifically later on.

This may come across as a harsh introduction to the polyester thread, but it is accurate. The best policy for this article is honesty. So, in order to better understand what polyester fabric is and what makes it so special that it is used so heavily, we will need to go into greater detail.

Also Read: Does Polyester Shrink?

What made Polyester fabric so popular?

The material polyester was introduced to the market in the 1940s, but it did not gain popularity until later on. So, this late bloom of the thread creates curiosity for the question of what made polyester fabric popular.

Well, polyester fabric succeeded with the traits it has. The qualities that were implemented in its creation worked so well with each other and the situation around it that it became the go-to thread. Of course, this was before the need to be environmentally conscious about our fabric. Because of this, polyester fabric gained popularity rapidly and kept that stance until more recent years.

The Qualities Of Polyester Fabric

As mentioned, the feel polyester fabric gave to the consumers was ideal. The numerous traits it possesses are used widely in different fields.

One of these traits is the ability polyester has to not crease. This was also one of its selling points. No matter how you bend and wear an article of polyester clothing, the chances of it getting wrinkled and looking worn out are almost nil. However, polyester fabric provides the user with even more benefits, resulting in a clever innovation in its own right.

Being able to not shrink or stretch makes polyester fabric the first choice for a lot of people. With the added benefit of easy aftercare, polyester has won the hearts of many. Polyester never needs to be worried about during the drying and washing processes. The end user can take care of the item without giving it any thought because of the fabric’s exceptional durability.

The drying quality of polyester comes with a disadvantage. Essentially polyester is quick to dry due to its low absorbency, while good in some cases, it does have a negative impact when it comes to stain elimination. Removing an accidental imperfection is almost impossible.

Last but not least, when talking about the qualities of the fabric, it is important to mention the feel it gives the customer. Some might be surprised to know that polyester is a soft and smooth fabric upon touch. It can appear shiny as well, although this depends on the polyester blend of the item. To top the list off, polyester is breathable and lightweight at the same time, the perfect fabric for active wear.

Also Read: Which Is Hotter Polyester or Cotton?

The Usage Of Polyester Fabric

To understand what polyester fabric is, we must first understand where we come into contact with it. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the clothing industry. However, polyester does not find usage only there. This diverse fabric finds ways to be implemented almost everywhere.

In the clothing industry due to the abundance of traits, we mentioned earlier polyester fabric is used in a lot of departments. This may be as a blend or as 100% polyester. Outdoor wear benefits hugely from the breathability and the feeling of lightweight it gives. Casual and formal wear find great use in the crease resistance feature and all the other amazing qualities. The fabric is an excellent option for children’s clothing as well because of its affordability.

Making clothing for their children’s growth much more affordable for parents. Polyester continues to find ways to improve the customer’s experience and to be the best in its designated department.

As mentioned, polyester fabric is also used someplace else; in-home essentials. This material finds a wide range of possibilities to be used in every room possible. From upholstery to towels and bed accessories, polyester is everywhere in the house. Polyester even provides a great drape effect that makes curtains look phenomenal in such a way most people could not tell that it is polyester.

For better or worse, I cannot emphasize enough how common polyester fabric is. It is given some credit for this because satisfying all areas where you are utilized is not an easy task for a material.

The Effects Of Polyester Fabric

With all this greatness, you would expect a major flaw. Well, polyester does not let you down here, either.

Before getting into the details of how harmful it is as a fabric to the environment, we have to also acknowledge its production process. As mentioned, the main component that created polyester is oil-based. Even though manufacturers are trying to find ways to replace this, nothing produces quite the same effect as the original element.

This element is also non-biodegradable. Besides the damaging trait of not decomposing in nature no matter how many years pass, polyester also releases toxins when left in landfills. It goes without mentioning that the last act damages everything around it. It can be confidently said that polyester is one of the most destructive fabrics in the market today.

Also Read: Is Polyester Prone to Wrinkling?

Final Words/Outro

Coming to the end of the article, I hope you now can understand what polyester fabric is. It does wonders wherever it is applied.

The traits of polyester have worked with one another wonderfully. Sadly, the impact it has on the environment cannot be ignored. At least now you know the good and the bad sides of this manmade fabric.