Polyester also known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a common synthetic fabric made up of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid that was invented in 1941. Basically plastic, polyester grew popular in the 70’s disco era due to its shininess. As you can imagine, being popular it has its advantages and being synthetic has its disadvantages.
Advantages of wearing polyester:
Highly stain resistant – This is always a good one – polyester is stain resistant, for the most part. It easy to clean so this might be your go to when you might get messy.
Quick drying – For those using clotheslines, you don’t have to wait too long for your polyester garments to dry. Some even prefer wearing it during sweaty activities for this reason.
Wrinkle resistant – Life is a bit easier without having to iron every day! You won’t have to worry about wrinkles with this synthetic fibre.
Inexpensive – This could be a good or bad thing depending how you look at it. Polyester is inexpensive to other fibres especially natural ones, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is cheap.
Disadvantages of wearing polyester:
Unbreathable – Many complain that when wearing polyester they feel hot and sticky – this is because the fabric’s moisture absorption is low. It’s definitely not something you would want to wear on a summer day!
Highly flammable – You can’t get too close to any flame when wearing this fibre – it’s dangerous considering how highly flammable it is.
Non hypoallergenic – If your skin is sensitive, you might experience an irritation or allergic reaction when wearing or being near polyester since it’s not a natural fabric and contains various chemicals.
There’s no doubt that polyester fabric is beneficial in various uses. Like most synthetic materials, it can have its downsides & cause unpleasant reactions, but these aren’t as strong or common when it’s combined with other fibres such as cotton (polycotton). At the end of the day, not all polyesters are created equal. Do your research, check labels, and always try on!