Polyester is one of the most durable and frequently used synthetic materials today. Since its invention in the 1940s, polyester has been known for its wrinkle and stain resistance, and has been used as a fabric and filler for outerwear such as jackets and winter coats. While its elasticity makes cleaning and maintenance fairly simple, some precautions need to be taken when cleaning polyester jackets.
Tip # 1
Before you open a new bottle of laundry detergent, read the care label attached to the coat. Apparel manufacturers in the U.S. must label each of their products with a “garment care” label, along with cleaning instructions and warnings. Read the care label carefully to determine if your coat is machine washable or dry clean only. While most polyester garments are machine washable, you should always read the label – failure to follow care instructions can cause permanent damage to your coat.
Machine washable coats require you to handle with care. Knitted coats should be turned inside out to avoid obstructions. Set your machine to wash in warm water and use regular cleaners. You can make white polyester fabric by soaking it in a gallon of water, adding 1/2 cup automatic dishwasher liquid or laundry detergent, then washing it in warm water with regular laundry detergent, adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the final rinse Fabric brightens.
Some polyester coats are dry cleanable only; however, you should exercise caution when taking your polyester coat to the cleaners. While polyester resists moisture and liquid stains, oil stains it easily—point out any stains that the dry cleaner needs to remove. Tell your dry cleaner explicitly that the coat is made of polyester, and point out that the outer fabric, padding, or both are polyester. Indicates that it should be handled with care; even dry cleaners can ruin a coat if they don’t realize the coat is padded with polyester.
Tip # 2
At some point, most of us own a polyester garment. This synthetic fabric is generally inexpensive, insect-resistant, and can be woven or woven into many weights and textures. Polyester fibers are frequently used in the fashion industry, and microfibers and high-performance sportswear often contain this material. Additionally, the addition of polyester to cotton fabrics revolutionized easy-care clothing by eliminating the need for ironing.
How often to wash polyester clothes
Polyester fibers are stretchy and can withstand multiple washes. Some clothes, like tops and dresses, need to be washed after each wear. Other loose items can be used longer between cleanings. Polyester is heat sensitive: high temperatures can cause it to melt, shrink or deform. Never select hot water or high heat settings when using a washer, dryer or iron.
When the oil comes in contact with the polyester fabric, the attraction is firm and hard to break. However, oily stains can be removed if treated as soon as possible with a stain remover or a small amount of strong cleaner.
Work the stain remover into the fibers with your fingers and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before washing. Be sure to check that the stain is gone before putting polyester clothes in the dryer—otherwise, the heat will cause any remaining stains to set and become nearly impossible to remove.
Choose a heavy-duty detergent like Tide or Persil that contains enzymes that break down stains and heavy soils. Add the recommended amount for each load size to the washer. Load the clothes and start the cycle.
Remove the laundry from the washing machine and put it in the dryer. Select the permanent print setting and start the dryer. You can also choose to air dry polyester garments on hangers.
You can thank British scientists John Whinfield and James Dickson for developing the first polyester fiber, Terylene, in 1941. Their work was inspired by the findings of DuPont scientist W.H. Carothers, the inventor of nylon. Carothers found that alcohols and carboxylic acids could be successfully mixed to make fibers.
The name comes from the words “poly” (meaning “many”) and “ester” (a basic organic compound). Ethylene, a derivative of petroleum, is the main ingredient in the production of polyester. It can be distilled from oil or recycled from previously manufactured plastics.
Polyester can be made in four different forms:
Filaments are continuous strands that can be woven or woven into smooth surface fabrics of varying weights.
Short fibers are produced by cutting filaments into predetermined short lengths. These fibers can then be combined with other fibers to form blends such as polyester and cotton.
Tow polyester is made from continuous filaments that are loosely drawn together. The tow produces a dense rope-like fiber that can be left long or cut to shorter lengths for carpeting.
Fibrous filler is a very fine, short fiber that creates a fluffy, bulky material used to fill pillows or provide insulation in sheets and coats.