Fabric Series

Polyester: The Wild Child

It’s the #1 fiber in some of the most beautiful lace fabric.

It’s also the #1 fiber in our landfills, taking up to 200 years to decompose.

I will be honest, I wasn’t jumping at the thought of writing this post.

On the day I write this, it’s Fashion Revolution week. In honor of that, I thought I’d shed some light on what’s been called a more “controversial” fabric.

At the beginning of this series, I made it my goal to paint a complete picture of the pros and cons, enabling you know what you’re getting with every clothing purchase.

While I can’t rave about the liquid drape of polyester like I can silk, or the wonderful breathability that cotton offers, polyester has some undeniable benefits.

Advantages:

-easy to care for (can be machine washed and dried, doesn’t require ironing)

-incredibly durable

-economical

-resists wrinkles (very attractive to those who travel for work)

-extremely versatile and can be found in everything from clothing to home furnishings to materials for cars and airplanes

-does not absorb moisture, making it great for outdoor gear and exercise clothing

-truly endless array of available forms, everything from floaty chiffon to water repellent coats to beautiful French lace 

Disadvantages:

-not biodegradable: a shirt can take up to 200 years to decompose in a landfill

-dyes are toxic and if mishandled, can result in destroyed water sources and a variety of health problems in those who handle it

-doesn’t breathe, often feels better when lined with a natural fiber (however, this hikes up the price of the garment significantly — always a tradeoff)

-derived from petroleum, whose manufacturing process is the world’s #1 pollutant

With all this being said, the number one goal of any clothing purchase is to feel good in it so we wear it — multiple times.

What’s your opinion on polyester?


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