Description : Polyester is valued for its durability, good shape retention, lack of shrinkage, strength and wrinkle resistance. Polyester fabrics are also crisp and of equal strength whether wet or dry. They do not absorb moisture, and they attract lint, dust or smoke. However, they do not easily absorb body oils or lose their color when abraded. Many polyesters do not breath well, making them poor choices for hot climates and clammy during the winter.
Fabrication : Like nylon, polyester is a petroleum byproduct. It is made be heating hard polyester chips until they melt, then extruding the liquid through spinnerettes to form filaments. Originally all the fibres were made of round monofilaments. Today, many polyester filaments are irregularly shaped so that the fabric breathes better and is more comfortable to wear. Polyester is often blended with other fibres.
Subtypes : Several variants of polyester are protected by trademark, including Dacron, Coolmax, ESP, Microtherm, Polarguard, StretchAire, Fortrel, EcoSpun and Sensura. Additional fabric blends that incorporate polyester include Alcantara.
Dyes, color treatment and washing characteristics : Polyester yarns made from several fibres will breath better than single fibre yarns. Many polyester fabrics will be softer and more pliable if they are pre-shrunk.
Draping properties : The crisp nature of most polyester fabrics means that these do not drape softly. Also, avoid buying off-grain polyester fabrics, as these cannot be straightened. Prints and patterns should be aligned with the grain.
Cutting properties : Polyester fabrics dull needles and scissors quickly. Cut with stainless steel. Press out the fold before spreading the laying out the fabric for cutting. If it cannot be removed, refold and arrange the pattern so it avoids the pleat.
Sewing challenges : Polyester resists the introduction of ease, and may be characterised by puckering and skipped stitches. They are difficult to press and are damaged by a hot iron. Needles will have to be changed frequently when sewing with polyester. To help reduce pucker when sewing, use a wide straight-stitch foot.
Example creations : fashion dress, satin polyester skirt, floral tube dress, polyester georgette pants, polyester/organza dress, stretch knit dress, summer dress, Bella pants, strapless top, poolside dress, slip,
Uses worldwide : Polyester is combined with other fibres and is used to make almost anything.
Origins and history : Introduced in 1951 by Dupont, polyester is the most popular synhetic fibre. During the introduction, Dupont presented a man's suit that had been worn 67 days without pressing, had been dipped into a swimming pool twice and machine washed, and still looked presentable.
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