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What the Hheck is: Polyester Cloth

Apr 21, 2016

What the heck is: Polyester Cloth

Another article in our: “What the heck is” series, brought to you by OKOrder.com, China's leading B2B E-commerce platform.

What is it?

Polyester cloth is a fabric used extensively in the clothing industry.  It can be 100% polyester or a mix of other fabrics, some natural some artificial, synthetic or laboratory made.  To set the scene, lets take a quick look at fabric options:

Animal based, such as wool, silk

Plant based, such as cotton

Synthetic, such as polyester or nylon.

How is it made?

Polyester itself is a polymer and can be plant or chemical based. Polyester cloth is created by spinning the polyester into a thread and then weaving much the same way as most fabrics, are created. However it is worth noting there are two types of polyester yarn, Filament and  Spun.

In the filament process the polyester is drawn into long threads, gathered together and then twisted. Spinning is the same process as used in wool, the filaments are cut into short lengths called staples, joined together and spun into a thread.  [Remember Sleeping Beauty?] So we could say that spun polyester [or any thread] is made from hundred or even thousands of short filaments.

What is it used for?

In its spun and woven state, polyester fabric or cloth is used to produce a wide range of clothing, such as skirts, trousers and jackets, When blended with cotton it is also found on the label of shirts and bed linen ie, sheets and pillow cases. Polyester, either 100% or a blended can also be found in carpets, curtains and upholstery, in the home and motor car, ships or offices.
Many people chose not to buy garments such as trousers, jackets, skirts or suits made from 100% polyester as they feel it has a low quality look. Other reasons for not buying include the fact it does not “breathe” and becomes sticky and uncomfortable in hot weather. It can also crease easily which is possibly responsible for its lower class image.  This is especially true in China where common labourers, tradesmen and street cleaners are often seen wearing cheap polyester suits.

However, it is an easily washed fabric that quickly dries and doesn't take much care.

 Who uses it?

The biggest importers of polyester  for yarn are China, USA and Western Europe with China importing roughly more than the other two countries combined.  However, China exports on average only 10% whereas the other two regions export closer to 40%.

Who makes it?

The two largest exporters of polyester are Taiwan and Korea, with Malaysia and Indonesia smaller producers.

More related articles:

What is a micro fibre
Reasons to Avoid a Polypropylene Rug
What are the uses for a Microfibre cleaning pad
The History of Polyester

Prev:  The History of Polyester

Next: What is Polished Aluminium?

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