An Ultimate Guide on Polyester Fabric: Explore Look and Feel of Different Types of Polyester Fabric
There are various fashion fabrics available in the market with their own history, properties, and uses. Be it denim, crepe, chiffon, or poplin, you can find fabrics as per your sewing project.
Many of the fabrics fall into two basic categories as Natural and Synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics are not obtained from natural sources. One such popular synthetic fabric is polyester.
Table of Contents
What Is the Polyester Fabric?
Polyester fabric is one of the world’s most popular textile fabrics used in numerous consumer and industrial applications. It is a synthetic woven fabric that is popular for its high durability and cost-effective production.
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Different types of polyester fabrics were first introduced by British chemists and brought to the market by DuPont in the USA in the year 1940. Polyester fabric became popular as an inexpensive fabric in the 1970s for suiting and other sewing projects.
Various types of polyester fabrics and polyester blends are considered the most popular man-made fabrics in the world.
Some types of polyesters are biodegradable, but most of them are not. Polyester fabric is resistant to environmental conditions, which makes it perfect for outdoor clothing. Polyester is made from polymer obtained from coal, water, petroleum, and air.
Polyester is one of the most utilized and produced fabrics in the world. It’s difficult to find any clothing item that doesn’t contain polyester blend fabric. Just like natural fibers, apparel that has polyester will melt in the heat.
What Type of Fiber Is Polyester?
If you’re wondering what type of fiber is polyester, then it’s a synthetic fiber. It is made from chemical reactions that involve petroleum, water, and air. This ethylene glycol is purified by terephthalic acid and melted down to produce PET.
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Many textile manufacturers push molten PET via spinneret to make a semi-crystalline fiber. Sometimes they are treated with chemicals before weaving together to make beautiful material.
4 Popular Types of Polyester Fabric
Did you know that polyester is known as one of the best artificial fibers used in the world? Since its first launch, this versatile synthetic fabric has been used in making home décor, clothes, upholstery, and outdoor covers.
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The production method used in making polyester fabric differ based on the type of polyester fabric is made. There are different types of polyester fabric available in the market. Here are a couple of polyester fabrics by the yard.
These types of polyester fabric utilize a chemical combination known as poly-1, 4-cyclohexylene dimethylene terephthalate. While PCDT is a not-so-popular type of polyester fabric, it is still used because of its excellent elasticity and resilience.
PCDT polyester is perfect for heavy textile applications such as curtains and furniture coverings. PCDT polyester is mixed with ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate, and different production methods are used in making these variations.
A chemical reaction occurs when an acid mixes with chemicals, and it is known as spin melt.
Ethylene Polyester (PET)
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PET is one of the most produced types of polyester fiber. Petroleum-derived ethylene is the main element of PET. Ethylene acts as a primary polymer that interacts with other chemicals to make a fibrous compound.
PET is the same fabric that is used in making soft drink bottles and disposable water. The production process of PET differs based on the method used: There are four main ways to make PET fabrics.
Polyester staples are a kind of staples which is used in making cotton yarn. They are spun into a yarn-like material just like cotton staples are processed.
The polyester filaments are continuous fibers that are used in making smooth and soft fabrics.
Fiberfill comprises continuous filaments, but they are made to give bulk volume to different products such as outerwear, pillows, and stuffing for stuffed animals.
Polyester tow is just like a filament, but the filaments are arranged in a loose way.
An antimony catalyst produced in China causes the chemical reaction that produces these types of polyester fabric. If you are using it as fabric, then it should have a high molecular weight. The reaction occurs at a high temperature in a vacuum.
One of the biggest advantages of PET polyester fabric is that they are recyclable, saving considerable time in the production process.
Many plant-based polyesters are made from ethylene glycol when reacted with dimethyl terephthalate. Plant-based polyesters use ethylene sources such as sugar cane.
There are various types of fabrics available in the market that are made from this type of polyester. Textured yarns, filament yarns, and spun yarns pass through a unique process known as “spinning the yarns.” These types of polyester fabrics look just like natural fabrics.
7 Incredible Properties of 100 Polyester Fabric
From off-white organza to faux leather, each fabric has its own specific set of properties that makes it perfect for a particular application.
Here are some fantastic properties of 100 polyester fabric you should know for starting with 35 intermediate sewing projects.
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Polyester fabric is strong, which means they don’t tear when stretched. They can also pill with ease, just like cotton and other various natural fibers.
This strength means polyester sewing fabric can handle abrasion from machine wash and does not require special care. Before you purchase polyester fabric, make sure you check woven labels and care labels.
It Retains its Shape
Cotton and linen fabrics are known for their wrinkle-retain properties, while polyester is resistant to wrinkle and can hold its original shape, rigidity, and drape.
Wrinkle-resistance properties of 100 polyester fabric became popular in the 1970s and started as an alternative to clothes that require ironing and washing to avoid wrinkles.
Natural fibers are biodegradable, which means they can break down in some time and avoid clogging up landfills. Most polyester yarn’s environmental effect is different. Polyester is non-biodegradable, which means it does not break down with ease.
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Did you just drop liquid on polyester fabric? Don’t worry. Polyester can resist liquid drops, which means it can wick away moisture instead of soaking it.
Polyester’s moisture-resistant property makes it perfect for sewing outdoor clothing and tents that should keep off the raindrop and protect you. With some sewing threads, types, and tips, you can learn to sew these types of clothes.
Polyester’s moisture-resistant property also makes it less breathable fabric. When you sweat wearing polyester fabric, the fabric will trap in the moisture and make you feel hot and sticky.
It can be Coarse
Just like natural fabrics, polyester cannot give you a luxurious feel. Polyester is a cheap fabric and can give a coarse feel to sensitive skin.
You can learn some advanced sewing hacks and weave polyester fabric that can affect its texture. China Silk fabric is another type of polyester fabric that is smooth as natural silk or satin.
Polyester fabrics are sold at an affordable price. This fabric is made from synthetic fibers and therefore reducing the cost of the fabric. Read top 10 reasons to start sewing clothes from polyester fabric.
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Polyester can give you a smooth plain surface since it is wrinkle-free and allergen-free fabric. When you sit on furniture covers made from this fabric, you will feel a soothing sensation.
4 Popular Uses of Polyester Fabric
Polyester is a synthetic fabric. This fabric is used a lot in the fashion industry. Here are some of the popular uses of polyester fabric.
Bags and Backpacks
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Popular workout bags, tote bags, and backpacks are made from different types of polyester and polyester blend fabrics since they are durable, moisture-resistant, and cheap.
Upholstery and Home Furnishing
Polyester is a popular choice in home décor and interior designing items. It can be used for everything from tablecloths to drapery and cheap bed sheets.
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Polyester fabrics are moisture-resistant and durable, making them ideal for outdoor clothing that can keep you dry in a wet climate.
Windbreakers, parkas, and some other outerwear are made from different types of polyester fabric. Read best sewing tips and tricks to make outdoor apparel.
Nylon/polyester blends and 100% polyester fabrics are essential for polyester microfiber fabrics. Microfiber fabrics are perfect for cleaning glass surfaces or deterring moisture.
How Is Cotton Polyester Blend Fabric Made?
When people shop for work clothes, they often choose cotton fabric. There are different types of fabrics available in the market apart from cotton. The amazing blend of fabrics, patterns, styles, and various manufacturers might confuse you.
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Two of the popular types of fabrics people choose are 100% cotton and poly-cotton blend. In this section, you can learn more about cotton and cotton-polyester blend fabrics.
Cotton is obtained from the fibers of the cotton plant. Cotton is grown in a natural way and harvested as a crop. Different types of cotton are popular in the world, but a cotton fabric that comes from South Africa, Africa, and South America is remarkable.
Once the cotton plant is harvested, then cotton fibers are obtained from the plant. These soft and squishy cotton fibers are washed, dried, and woven into yarn by the machine.
The yarn is brushed to remove impurities and is kept on a loom to make cotton fabric.
If you’re wondering, “what types of material is polyester” then here is your answer. Unlike cotton fibers, polyester fibers are made from a chemical reaction that includes dimethyl terephthalate and ethylene glycol.
Both are reacted at a temperature of 150 to 210 degrees Celsius. The chemical result is then combined with terephthalic acid to melt polyester. The siphoned ribbons obtained from this result are kept for drying and cut into chips to melt at 260 to 270 degrees Celsius.
Molten polyester is once again passed through a spinner to form small and round openings in polyester and turn it into yarn. When needed, other chemicals can be added at this point to increase the strength.
Poly-Cotton (Polyester Cotton Blend)
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Polycotton is made up of a combination of polyester and cotton. It is 60% cotton and 40% polyester fabric, but the ratio can vary.
Sometimes 50/50 blend can also be found. The blend is made to benefit from breathability and absorbency from cotton and toughness and wrinkle-resistance from polyester.
To make a poly-cotton blend, yarns of both of these are kept on a loom, and the loom is woven on a single fabric to form a new fabric called poly cotton. This fabric is popular for making work clothes because of its affordability and various color selection.
Make sure you check environmental factors before choose to wear poly cotton fabric.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cotton Polyester Fabric
Polycotton is a popular man-made fabric. It combines the impressive benefits of cotton and polyester fabric.
Cotton polyester fabric is used in the consumer clothing industry, and you can find it in any retail store. Lightweight cotton-polyester fabric shirts are popular among men, while heavyweight polyester-cotton blends are reserved for pants and skirts.
Poly cotton blend is more affordable than 100% cotton and becomes a perfect combination to get cotton’s feel and polyester’s price. Below are some of the pros and cons of cotton polyester fabric.
Advantages of Poly Cotton
Here are few advantages of polyester-cotton blend fabric.
Cotton is a soft fabric but not popular for its strength, while polyester is a durable fabric known for its strength. A recent study from the European textile service association state that those who wear poly-cotton clothes require 25% fewer clothes than those who wear 100% pure cotton clothes at work.
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Polyester cotton blend fabric is wrinkle-free and doesn’t need ironing.
Can be Washed Often
As poly cotton is a durable and robust fabric, it can be washed often than cotton and polyester fabric. This is one of the top reasons why poly cotton is popular in the clothing industry.
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As per the ETSA study, drying poly-cotton fabric requires less than 50% gas than drying pure cotton. Polycotton is easy to dry, which makes it perfect for the environment.
Polyester and cotton blend fabric is comfortable and more breathable than polyester material.
The cotton-polyester blend is more comfortable and softer than polyester. The softness property of poly cotton fabric can be obtained from pure cotton fabric.
Disadvantages of Poly Cotton
The disadvantages of poly cotton fabric are given below.
The cotton-polyester blend is prone to attract dust and other debris and needs to be wash often.
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Poly cotton blend fabric is cheaper than cotton fabric but expensive than polyester fabric because cotton and other blends are required in the production process.
Not Resistant to Fire
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Hot temperature can damage the poly-cotton fabric as this fabric melt when kept at a high temperature. This fabric is not resistant to fire.
Prone to Skin Allergy
Polyester and cotton blend fabric with a high amount of polyester can be cheap, but they might cause severe skin allergies since this synthetic fabric is made from chemicals.
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Polyester and cotton blends are slippery than pure cotton. Bed sheets made from poly-cotton are more slippery and will keep slipping off the bed. It might be annoying to keep adjusting the bedsheet.
A hot iron can change the shape and damage poly-cotton clothing and bedding.
Not So Popular in High Fashion
In the fashion world, polyester was known as a cheap fabric and thus, avoided by most designers. Polyester is much more popular than pure cotton in modern fashion and has ranked as the most popular textile fiber.
Many people do not prefer poly-cotton blend, and thus, dresses made from poly-cotton have been avoided for a long time. The time has changed now. Many designers are still trying to make unique dresses, and use hang tags to personalized their brand clothing.
How to Dye Polyester Fabric – With Pictures
Whether you’re a cosplay professional making another version of wonder woman’s vibrant costume or just want to design your clothes, you might be interested in dyeing material.
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Many of today’s clothing is made from polyester material, but synthetic fabrics are not reacted to most colorants the way natural fibers do. This might leave you thinking about how to dye polyester fabric.
This section teaches how polyester fabric dye is performed and which coloring products will work best.
Dyeing with Disperse Dyes
Disperse dye is a fine powder that can be suspended in any liquid. The small pigments do not melt in a liquid the same way acid-based colorants or water-soluble do.
These pigments rely upon heat to open up so that the dye bath can penetrate the fabric. Many manufacturers use dispersed dyes for polyester.
You can also use these products to dye polyester fabric at home. Make sure you read the product description and label before trying to disperse dyes at home.
Dye Polyester with Acrylic Paint
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Acrylic paint is considered one of the best methods to dye polyester fabric. You should take thin to medium polyester fabric and start painting and prevent it from cracking.
You can also contact a reputed acrylic painter who can help you dye a polyester couch as well. Many artists in the market use acrylic paint to create stamp designs on polyester fabric.
Make sure you check the fabric medium to prevent the design from cracking and crumbling at some times.
Dyeing Polyester with Rit
Rit is one of the popular DIY disperse dyes nowadays. Rit-all-purpose dye does not work on 100% polyester fabric. Make sure you need a bit of preparation to get your fabric ready for the dye bath.
Inspect the product to find any stains and remove them as they might mar the finished product. Wash items with soap but do not use fabric softener. You can also utilize a kitchen scale to weigh the item. If you have two pounds of dry cloths, you should take one Rit DyeMore.
Make sure you wear hand gloves and cover your hands and everything with plastic or paper. To start the process, you need a metal pot with three gallons of water.
- Measure the water in an appropriate amount of white polyester fabric you are planning to dye and add one dish detergent.
- Boil the water by using a cooking thermometer at 200-degree Ferehnhit.
- Shake up a sealed dyed pot and stir it in boiling water. Keep the fabric in the pot for around 30-minutes.
- Carry your pot to the kitchen sink and remove the item from the pot. You can use tongs or hand gloves to cover your hands while holding the pot in the sink.
- Rinse with water multiple times and put in cool water until you see the clean water.
- In the last step, run polyester fabric dye in a warm cycle in the washing machine and air dry it. It’s ready now.
Dyeing Polyester with Dylon
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Dylon dyes do not work on 100% polyester fabric. Dylon brand offers a method for dyeing poly-cotton blend fabric that contains about 50% polyester.
Dyeing polyester fabric with Dylon is easy and much simpler. Boiling water is also not required since colorant can dissolve in water. To start the process, follow the below-listed steps:
- Weigh polyester fabric couch or cloth you plan to dye. Wash the fabric with soap and remove it from the washer.
- Fill the metal pot with two and a half cups of water for each dye pack.
- Now you can stir and mix in the dye and add a fabric into the dye bath. Stir it with gentle care for around 15-minutes and keep it for 45-minutes.
- Make sure you use gloves to remove fabric from the water and let it run with warm water in the washing machine. You can also make black polyester fabric using this method.
Dyeing Polyester with Food Coloring
A small piece of polyester fabric can be dyed with food colors, but it can fade away in some time. Many artists use water and vinegar to pre-treat natural fabrics that can hold food coloring methods. This method works on silk and wool fabric as they have rich protein to hold onto colors.
Food coloring can not be appropriate for polyester since the water-soluble colorants cannot soak in polyester. These colorants are hydrophobic and repel water.
A poly-cotton blend can be dyed with food colors for temporary use.
Guide on Polyester Mesh Fabric
One of the popular polyester knit fabrics is polyester mesh fabric. This versatile fabric has been used in the textile industry for a long time.
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Polyester mesh fabric is a type of fabric that is made with an open hole structure using a knitting process. The designs of these polyester knit fabrics can vary based on material weight, color, width, aperture openings, and yarn.
Properties of Polyester Mesh Fabric
Polyester mesh fabric has more beneficial properties than pure mesh fabric. Here are a couple of properties and characteristics of polyester mesh fabric.
Easy to Use
Polyester is a common fiber available in the textile industry, but when it is treated with lightweight mesh material, it becomes easy to sew and clean. If you’re wondering how to sew it, check these easy beginner sewing projects to learn easy sewing.
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Polyester mesh fabric has high resilience properties. They are resistant to damage from acidic and alkaline chemicals, heat, flames, light, and mildew.
Polyester mesh fabric tends to repel water which means it translates to great absorbing pigments.
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Polyester mesh fibers show excellent elasticity, which permits the fabric to retain its shape and stretch polyester fabric up to 5 to 6%. One can learn some advanced sewing techniques to design hi-stretchable material.
All About Stretch Polyester Fabric
If you’re having a question like, “does polyester fabric stretch?” then you’re at the right place. Yes, polyester fabrics are stretchy by nature.
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This elastic and soft fabric does not lose its original shape when stretched. The amount of stretch depends on several things. A normal polyester-spandex fabric has 95% polyester and 5% spandex.
The stretchability of polyester fabric depends on the density. Here is what you need to know.
This dense fabric is used in making sports and tourism clothes, yarns, and threads.
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It is another polyester and spandex fabric used to make tents, bags, backpacks, and tarps.
This density is resistant to an aggressive environment. They can be used just like other polyester fabrics, but the products are made one class higher.
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This high density does not allow water to pass through, which makes it ideal for extreme conditions.
7 Different Types of Stretchable Polyester Fabric
There are different types of stretchable polyester fabrics available in the market. Based on the density of the stretch, these fabrics are used in different applications.
Check these seven types of stretch polyester fabric.
Dispo Polyester fabric
Dense polyurethane-impregnated fabric repels water and stretches more than Jordan polyester fabric. These types of stretchable polyester fabric can protect you from dirt in the wild wind.
Prince Polyester Fabric
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Prince polyester fabric is one of the silky fabrics with excellent stretch and waterproof and windproof properties.
This dense and breathable stretch polyester fabric can protect against cold. Children’s outerwear is made from bonding fabric since it gives warmth and comfort in the winter season. Bonding fabric can stretch well and is ideal for toddlers.
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Jordan fabric comes with polyurethane stretch property. This waterproof and windproof polyester fabric has a smooth surface with high wear resistance.
Taffeta Polyester Fabric
Taffeta fabric is moisture-resistant and chemical-resistant with a low stretch factor. They are used in making numerous equipment for tourists and rescuers.
Trilobal Polyester Fabric
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Trilobal fabric comes with sparkling shine, making it ideal for making children’s and women’s clothes. This fabric has the worst stretching property.
Memory Polyester Fabric
Memory fabric has low stretch properties and is prone to creasing effect.
All About the Recycled Polyester Fabric
Recycled polyester fabrics are used a lot in different industries. Here is everything you should know about recycled polyester fabric.
What is Recycled Polyester Fabric
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Recycled polyester fabric is just like traditional polyester fabric, which is a man-made fabric manufactured from synthetic fibers. To make recycled polyester fabric, existing plastic is used instead of utilizing new fabrics.
Existing plastics bottles are your old water bottles that are broken down into small pieces to process.
It is then transformed into rip-resistance and unique recycled polyester fabric. The manufacturing process varies based on the specification.
This soft and tough fabric is sustainable to the environment, and it is convenient. The recycled polyester fabric offers great durability, from saving water bottles to degrade for years to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Benefits of Recycled Polyester Fabric
Polyester that was considered to be the bad boy of the textile industry, is changing now. Nowadays, doing something for the environment is every companies motto.
Many brands have started choosing recycled polyester fabric for different purposes. Here are some of the fantastic benefits recycled polyester fabric brings to the table.
It Is Better for Planet
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100% polyester fabric is obtained from a petroleum-based chemical reaction, and more than 65% of these fibers are used in the apparel and textile industry. When rPET (Recycled Polyester) fabric is used as a replacement, it decreases the load of using finite resources.
A 2017 analysis found that rPET is also less polluting and generates 79% less carbon emission gas than other man-made synthetic fabrics.
It Generates Microfibers
Polyester is non-biodegradable, which means it persists in the environment and never degrades. A California-based study found that a synthetic fleece jacket release around 1.7 grams of microfibers.
5 Types of Waterproof Polyester Fabric You Should Know
If you’re wondering, “which fabric is waterproof?” then you are at the right place to get an answer. It is an affordable and durable fabric that is used in many clothing items. Is it waterproof fabric?
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Polyester is a water-resistant fabric. Its individual fibers are waterproof, and when it is woven together, it can soak water. Fabric is known as 100% waterproof fabric when it is able to hold water on the surface.
Polyester is one such fabric that repels water and keeps you and your phone dry. Different threads are used in making water-resistant polyester fabric.
To make waterproof polyester fabric, different methods are used to increase its tightness. Denier and coating are some of the popular methods.
Just like other fabrics, waterproof polyester fabrics can be used in many applications. Here are some of the popular applications of waterproof polyester fabric:
- Shower Curtains
- Bean Bag Chairs
- Outdoor Furniture Items
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Polyurethane Laminate fabric is made up of a laminated layer on the top of thin polyester. The lamination can be glued or fused on it. Sports gear, upholstery, and shower curtains are made from PUL fabric.
This fabric is 100% waterproof. This fabric is processed by poly and vinyl chloride on the polyester fabric’s back since it is a bit stiff. This waterproof polyester fabric helps in making luggage, raincoats, and banners.
Nylon and Polyester Blend Fabric
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Nylon and polyester blend fabrics are not 100% waterproof, but they are water-resistant due to their tight weave pattern. They are less breathable than any laminated polyester fabric and are used in making umbrellas.
Polyester fleece is another water-repellent fabric. It is not waterproof polyester until you mix some sprays. Polyester fleece is often used in making cloth diapers.
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TPU is known as Thermoplastic Polyurethane fabric. It is similar to PUL but made by combining polyurethane membrane with polyester fabric.
TPU is softer, UV resistant, flexible, and less durable fabric than PUL. It is used in making survival suits, waterproof cloth diapers, and outwears.
Polyester is one of the popular synthetic fabrics that accounts for around 55% of all fiber demand. It is used in making home furnishing items, clothes, and many industrial fabrics.
The demand for polyester fabric is increasing due to its affordability, versatility, and growing usage. Make sure you choose the right types of polyester fabric for your next project. This guide will help you understand everything about polyester fabric, types, and their application.