From faux leather to velvet fabric, off-white organza to burgundy broadcloth, all fabrics will have a unique set of characteristics that determine their best use. Some of the most prominent characteristics of polyester are that:
It’s durable. Polyester Flag Fabric is incredibly strong, meaning they don’t tear, stretch, or pill easily like cotton and other natural fibers. This strength means polyester clothing can easily handle abrasion from machine-washing and doesn’t require special care. The durability of polyester fabric has made it especially popular for outdoor clothing.
It’s moisture-resistant. Polyester fibers resist liquid droplets, meaning that the fabric will wick away moisture rather than soak it up—making it a popular material for outdoor clothing and gear (like tents) that need to keep off rain and precipitation. Also, polyester’s ability to resist moisture helps it remain stain-resistant. However, polyester’s moisture resistance makes it a less breathable fabric. If you sweat while wearing polyester, the fabric will trap in the moisture (rather than wicking it away) and make you feel hot and sticky.
It retains its shape. While linen and cotton fabrics can retain wrinkles and require ironing, polyester is wrinkle-resistant and will better hold its shape, drape, and rigidity. Polyester’s wrinkle-resistance made it especially popular in the 1970s as an alternative to clothing that required consistent washing and ironing to avoid wrinkling.
It can be coarse. Unlike many natural fabrics, polyester doesn’t have a very luxurious feel; cheaply made polyester can have a slightly coarse feel to sensitive skin. However, there are several different methods of creating and weaving polyester fabric that will affect its texture, making some polyester coarse. Other types of polyester like China silk fabric are almost as smooth as natural silk or satin fabric.
It’s typically non-biodegradable. Many natural fibers are biodegradable, which means they will break down over time and avoid clogging up landfills. The environmental impact of most polyester yarns is quite the opposite—polyester doesn’t easily break down and is not typically biodegradable.