What Is Polyester Fabric?

polyester fabric aprons, brightly coloured and patterned

Polyester fabric is one of the most versatile fabrics on the market, and has an extensive range of applications. From clothing to bedding, it’s both a wardrobe and a household staple – and the perfect material for designing and crafting. 

It’s such a diverse fabric, because there are many different kinds of polyester. At Discount Fabrics, we sell a range of polycotton fabrics that offer the best of both materials, polyester and cotton. There is a wealth of choice just a few clicks away – including floral, gingham and star patterns that are fun for all the family. In this post we will be answering the question “what is polyester fabric?”, as well as addressing where it comes from and what you can do with it! Whether you’re a craft savant or just curious about all things fabric, this is definitely a must-read. 

What Is Polyester Fabric 

Polyester fabric refers to any fabric that uses polyester fibres. This means that our popular polycotton fabrics are a kind of polyester fabric. But to answer the question “what is polyester fabric” properly, we need to get a little bit scientific. This is because it is a man-made or synthetic material, typically made from polyethylene terephthalate. You are more likely to know this as PET, and may recognise the acronym from packaging – many water bottles are made from this material. This is because it is a kind of plastic. 

Polyester fabrics combine polyester and natural fibres, such as cotton. This creates the polycotton fabrics that you are likely familiar with in your day to day life, as this is what clothes, curtains and so on, are made of. 

At Discount Fabrics, there is an extensive range of colours and patterns available, which means that you’re spoilt for choice!

How Is It Made?

Polyester fabrics such as polycotton are made by blending the synthetic polyester with the natural cotton, which combines many of their properties. Making polycotton fabrics is relatively easy, as the two are simply woven together. It is the polyester fabric that is significantly more complex, as there is a relatively long scientific and manufacturing process behind it. 

Polyester takes four main forms: staple, filament, fiberfill and tow. 

Staple polyester is the easiest to blend with other fibres, because each strand is cut short. 

Filament polyester is best for smooth fabrics, because each strand is continuous. 

Fiberfill polyester is used for large items such as quilts, because it is the most voluminous. 

Finally, tow polyester is used to provide strength, because the continuous strands are drawn together. 

Which form it takes influences the manufacturing process. Each process consists of at least four or five steps and involves heating, cooling and compressing.

What Can You Do With It?

Now that you have the answer to “what is polyester fabric?” and “how is it made?”, there are so many things that you can do with it! 

Home Decor

This fabric is perfect for all kinds of home decor, from curtains to pillow covers, because it is durable and easy to clean. For these very same reasons, it is also a great addition to any beginners project, easily manipulated by budding designers and decorators. Our children’s fabric would be the perfect addition to any youngster’s bedroom. 


Sports bags and rucksacks are typically made from polyester fabric because it is both easy to clean and quick to dry. This means that it can easily withstand the rough use that these kinds of bags are often subjected to, without fear of causing damage. Polycotton sheeting is a great choice for sports bags, because it comes in a range of block colours – a burgundy bag is exactly what you need to carry your equipment to the gym!


One of the benefits of polyester fabric is that it is lightweight and quick drying. This means that it is a great material for rain jackets and ponchos, because its low absorbency means that it won’t be weighed down by the rain. Our polka dot fabric would make a fantastic rainmac!


Wrinkle Resistance

This fabric is naturally resistant to wrinkles. This is a huge benefit, because it means that you won’t need to iron or steam it! 

Light Resistance

It is also UV resistant. This means that exposure to the sun won’t impair the durability of the fabric – so rest assured, when hanging your washing out on the line, you won’t damage your polyester clothes! 

Chemical Resistance

Polyester fabrics boast a level of chemical resistance that is almost unmatched, which is what makes them a great material choice for work clothes and overalls. Just some of the chemicals that won’t permanently damage this fabric include acids, oxidizers and many solvents. 

High Strength

We’ve already mentioned the durability of polyester fabric, but it is definitely worth mentioning it again, because it is one of its biggest advantages. It’s strength is largely due to it being a synthetic material, as we mentioned in the “what is polyester fabric?” section of this post. 

High Elastic

Polyester is incredibly stretchy, and yet is able to retain its shape without looking worn or stretched out. This makes it a great choice for small children’s clothing, maternity clothing and even flared trousers.



This fabric is notorious for producing static electricity. This is definitely something to be aware of – not only because it may give off small shocks, but because static can cause clothing to fit awkwardly or unflatteringly. 


Pilling refers to the little bobbles of material that occur on materials, which are often more prominent after having been through the wash a few times. They are caused by agitation, and so there are a few ways that you can reduce the likelihood of them occurring – such as by using fabric softener. 

Not Biodegradable

Unfortunately, polyester fabrics are not biodegradable. This is because it is a synthetic material, and typically oil based. However, they are recyclable. This means that the material can be repurposed and reconditioned – which, in some ways, is even better!

Purchasing Polyester Fabric With Discount Fabrics 

Whether you are a practiced seamstress or trying your hand at sewing for the first time, there are so many things that you can do with polyester blends, especially polycotton. 

At Discount Fabrics we offer a range of polyester fabrics, which means that you’re guaranteed to find a material that’s suitable for your next project. With so many colours and patterns to choose from, take all the time you need to peruse through our selection of fabrics

We understand that all of these choices can sometimes feel overwhelming, and so if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today by completing an online form or phoning 0116 40 30 269.

And if you’re interested in learning more about all things fabric, then be sure to take a look at our other blog posts