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What is Polyester Fabric?

Published: 2019-07-23

What is Polyester?

Polyester is a term often defined as “long-chain polymers chemically composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester and a dihydric alcohol and a terephthalic acid”. In other words, it means the linking of several esters within the fibers. Reaction of alcohol with carboxylic acid results in the formation of esters.

Polyester also refers to the various polymers in which the backbones are formed by the “esterification condensation of polyfunctional alcohols and acids”.

Polyester can also be classified as saturated and unsaturated polyesters.

Saturated polyesters refer to that family of polyesters in which the polyester backbones are saturated. They are thus not as reactive as unsaturated polyesters. They consist of low molecular weight liquids used as plasticizers and as reactants in forming urethane polymers, and linear, high molecular weight thermoplastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (Dacron and Mylar). Usual reactants for the saturated polyesters are a glycol and an acid or anhydride.

Unsaturated polyesters refer to that family of polyesters in which the backbone consists of alkyl thermosetting resins characterized by vinyl unsaturation. They are mostly used in reinforced plastics. These are the most widely used and economical family of resins.

Polyester fabric is a synthetic man-made fabric made from polyester fibers which are manufactured from a category of polymers made from oil. Polyester fiber is the most commonly used manufactured fiber worldwide.

Characteristics of Polyester

Polyester fabrics and fibers are extremely strong.

Polyester is very durable: resistant to most chemicals, stretching and shrinking, wrinkle resistant, mildew and abrasion resistant.

Polyester is hydrophobic in nature and quick drying. It can be used for insulation by manufacturing hollow fibers.

Polyester retains its shape and hence is good for making outdoor clothing for harsh climates.

It is easily washed and dried.

What is Polyester Fabric used for?

Today polyester fabric is used to make affordable, functional, easily maintainable garments and to make low cost and easy to maintain home furnishings like bed sheets, upholstery covers, curtains. 

A blend of cotton and Polyester is used to make shirts, blouses and other clothes; the polyester /wool blend is good as suit fabric. 100% polyester is used to make upholstery cloth, awning fabric, jackets, lining. Polyester fiberfill is used as stuffing in cushions, comforters, mattresses, quilts, and pillows.

Monofilament thread used in sewing and embroidery is made with polyester fiber. Sewing thread made with polyster is very strong.

Polar fleece made with polyester fibers is used to make outdoor clothes. Pleated fabrics are almost always polyester.