Fabric 101: Polyester

So, there a lot of online clothing platforms out there, but how can you feel confident ordering clothes online without knowing how the fabric feels and functions? I get it! That's why I've started this four-part series of blog posts to inform you about the main types of fabric used in clothing to help you order like a pro! 


First up, Polyester. Polyester is considered the king of fabric because it is durable, doesn't stretch or fray easily, and can be blended with many other fabrics to achieve the desired effect. It is also easy to care for and is machine washable. 


What is polyester? It's a synthetic fabric. While most fabrics have a soft feel, polyester does not. But when polyester is blended with other fabrics like spandex, cotton or acrylic, the texture changes and can feel like a soft satin, a gauze-like chiffon, or even crimped crepe. The processing technique can also make polyester fabrics vary drastically. For example, both blouses shown below are made with 100% polyester, but the navy blouse has a textured crepe feel, while the floral top has a satin finish.



Polyester can also be blended with spandex. The result is a soft fabric that has stretch. Think athletic and sports apparel. It dries quickly, drapes well without clinging to your body. Show below is a polyester/spandex blend top. This top is one of my favorites because of the combination of stretch and durability you get with this blend. 



Polyester and rayon are often blended together in a popular blend resulting in a fabric that feels like silk, wool, or linen, depending on the technique used to weave the fabrics together. Rayon helps create a soft feeling, while polyester gives it durability. The top shown below is a great example of polyester/rayon blend. It looks and feels soft like linen and is very durable and machine washable and easy to care for.  



So, what happens when you take polyester, rayon, and spandex and blend them together? You get my personal favorite blend, and a very popular one because it has it all: durability, softness, and stretch. It can look and feel like cotton, like the blouse I'm wearing below. From the moment I put this blouse on, I knew I would be looking for more tops with this blend. It is so soft and comfortable.  



There you have it: polyester 101. I hope this blog post helps you when trying to decide how a fabric will feel when ordering online clothing. My next fabric 101 will be all about "rayon."



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