Polyester is the general name for any group of widely used synthetic products. Polyesters are strong, tough materials that are manufactured in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
History of the use of polyester
The first commercial production of polyester was by the du Pont de Nemours Company. It is the most used fibre in the United States.
Production of polyester
Polyesters are made from chemical substances found mainly in petroleum. Polyesters are manufactured in three basic forms - fibers, films and plastics.
Polyester fibers are used to make fabrics. Poly (ethylene terephthalate, or simply PET) is the most common polyester used for fiber purposes. This is the polymer used for making soft drink bottles. Recycling PET by re-melting it and extruding it as fiber saves much raw materials as well as energy.
PET is made by ethylene glycol with either terephthalic acid or its methyl ester in the presence of an antimony catalyst. In order to achieve high molecular weights needed to form useful fibers, the reaction has to be carried out at high temperature and in a vacuum.
Care of your polyester garment
- Machine-wash your fabric in cold water.
- Wash with light colors.
- Use a gentle cycle while washing.
- Tumble dry with the setting low.
- Do not bleach.
- If needed, iron with a cool iron.
Properties of polyester
- It resists wrinkling.
- It is easy to launder.
- It dries quickly.
- It is resistant to stretching and shrinking.
Polyester is used to make most forms of clothing like shirts, running shorts, track pants, windbreakers, and lingerie. It can also be made into curtains and draperies.