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Polyester Fabric Information




Polyester is a very popular synthetic fabric, often found in combination with natural fibers to provide strength and resistance to both wrinkles and the elements. The material commonly known as polyester, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is actually only one of a group of polymers that contain the ester functional group in their chemical composition, and is derived chiefly from petroleum.
PET, henceforth referred to as polyester, was patented in 1941 by British chemists John Whinfield and James Dickson while employed by the Calico Printer's Association of Manchester, England. The pair developed polyester based on the early research of Wallace Carothers, the inventor of nylon. While DuPont decided to focus solely on the development of nylon in the 1930's and 40's, Whinfield and Dickson created the first polyester fiber, Terylene. DuPont soon purchased the U.S. rights to Terylene and resumed its research into polyester, introducing its own version, Dacron, in 1950.
Due to the source of polyester, petroleum, being so widely available and inexpensive in the mid 1900's, use of the fabric gained in popularity. However, polyester was regarded as being rather uncomfortable and retaining heat, and the proliferation of cheap polyester suits and shirts with massive lapels started to hurt the image of the fabric for garment use.
Recently, polyester has experienced resurgence with the advent of microfibers. A great increase in softness and wearability has been paired with marketing campaigns aimed to promote polyester as a wash and go fabric, as opposed to simply being inexpensive. Polyester fabric can be found in high-quality, wrinkle resistant shirts, pants, and costumes, as well as in bedding and home décor. Polyester fleece is popular in wetsuits and other garments that require heat retention and insulation, and the fabric is immensely popular in outdoor applications, such as overcoats, sleeping bags and climbing suits. Polyester's uses go beyond clothing, as it can be found in plastic bottles, ropes, even fancy balloons. Polyester fabric is a truly remarkable material which lends strength, warmth and durability to any project.