An Overview of Polyester and Polyester Dyeing Part-6

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HIGH/LOW SHRINK FIBERS: The high shrink fibre shrinks upto 50% at 100 degree C while that of low shrinkage is 1%. The high shrink fibre enable fabrics with high density to be produced and is particularly used in artificial leather and high density felt. Low shrinkage fibre is recommended for air filters used in hot air, furniture, shoes etc.

MICRO DENIER: Available in 0.5/0.7/0.8 deniers in cut lengths 32/38 mm. Ideal for high class shirts, suitings, ladies dress material because of its exceptional soft feel. It is also available in siliconised finish for pillows. To get the best results, it is suggested that the blend be polyester rich and the reed/pick of the fabric be heavy.

FLAME RETARDANT: Has to be used by law in furnishings / curtains, etc where a large number of people gather - like in cinema theaters, buses, cars etc in Europe and USA. It is recommended for curtains, seat covers, car mats, automotive interior, aircraft interiors etc.

CATIONIC DYEABLE: Gives very brilliant shades with acid colours in dyeing / printing. Ideal for ladies wear.

EASY DYEABLE: Can be dyed with disperse Dyes @98 degrees C without the need for HTHP equipment. Ideal for village handicrafts etc.

LOW PILL: In 2 and 3 deniers, for suiting end use and knitwear fibre with low tenacity of 3 to 3.5 gm/denier, so that pills which forms during use fall away easily.

ANTIBACTERIAL:It is antibacterial throughout the wear life of the garment inspite repeated washing. Suggested uses are underwears, socks, sports, blankets and air conditioning filters

SUPER HIGH TENACITY: It is above 7 g/denier and it is mainly used for sewing threads. Low dry heat shrinkage is also recommended for this purpose. Standard denier recommended is 1.2 and today 0.8 is also available.

MODIFIED CROSS SECTION: In this there are TRILOBAL, TRIANGULAR, FLAT, DOG BONE and HOLLOW FIBRES with single and multiple hollows. Trilobal fibre gives good feel. Triangular fibre gives excellent lustre. Flat and dog bone fibres are recommended for furnishings, while hollow fibres are used as filling fibres in pillows, quilts, beddings and padding. For pillows silicoised fibres is required. Some fibre producers offer hollow fibre with built in perfumes.

CONDUCTING FIBER: This fibre has fine powder of stainless steel in it to make fibre conductive. Recommended as carpets for computer rooms.

LOW MELT FIBER: It is a bi-component fibre with a modified polyester on the surface which softens at low temperature like 110 degree C while the core is standard polyester polymer. This fibre is used for binding non woven webs

Uses of polyester in garments:
Polyester is used in the manufacturing of all kinds of clothes and home furnishings like bedspreads, sheets, pillows, furniture, carpets and even curtains. The disco clothing of the 70s with all its jazz and flash was made of polyester.
Polyester product
Hydrophobic nature: High tenacity and good durability makes polyester the choice of fabric for high stress outdoors use. Polyester is also a strong fiber that is hydrophobic in nature. It is thus ideal for clothing to be used in wet and damp environments. The fabric is also coated with a water-resistant finish and further intensifies the hydrophobic nature.

Being the most heavily recycled polymer worldwide, it is also used by climbers. Climbing suits, parkas, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear are using the new insulating polyester fiberfill products. One can also do winter windsurfing wearing dry suits lined with polyester fleece.

Creating insulation: By creating hollow fibers it is also possible to build insulation into the polyester fiber. Air is trapped inside the fiber, which is then warmed by the heat of the body. This keeps the body warm in cold weather. Another method to build insulation is to use crimped polyester in a fiberfill. The crimp helps keep the warm air in. Polyester is an ideal fabric for this kind of insulation because it retains its shape. Cotton and wool tend to flatten over a period of time and loose the warming effect.

Wrinkle resistant: Polyester is also wrinkle resistant and is used very often in everyday clothing like pants, shirts, tops, skirts and suits. Used either by itself or as a blend, it is also stain resistant and hence very popular.

Advantages of polyester:
Polyester clothing has a lot of advantages: It lasts a long time and wears very well. It is very hard to stain, holds its shape, and does not wrinkle, It can be washed or dry cleaned. It does not yellow. It takes a smaller amount of laundry soap to clean it. Contrary to popular belief, it generally will not sustain a flame, meaning that if, for example, a cigarette is held to it, the fabric will burn and melt where the cigarette is but will not catch on fire itself. Mold, mildew, fungi, etc. do not live on it. While it does not absorb moisture, it does wick it away for evaporation, so in many cases it is cooler than cotton. Many premium clothes are made of a mixture of polyester and cotton to take advantage of these good qualities.

Disadvantages of polyester:
  • If torn it's hard to stitch it seamlessly.
  • Colour fades after so many washes.
  • Uses more supplies to make.
  • Is not heat resistant.
  • Sticks to other fabrics.
  • If torn it's hard to stitch it seamlessly.
  • Colour fades after so many washes.
  • Uses more supplies to make.
  • Is not heat resistant.
  • Sticks to other fabrics.
Industrial uses of polyester:
While clothing used to be the most popular use of polyester and which made it a household name worldwide, there are many other uses polyester is put to.

PET: The most common use of polyester today is to make the plastic bottles that store our much beloved beverages. Shatterproof and cheap these bottles are an absolute boon to the beverages industry.

Mylar: An unusual and little known use of polyester is in the manufacturing of balloons. Not the rubber kind that you use for water balloons but the really pretty decorated ones that are gifted on special occasions. These are made of Mylar – a kind of polyester film manufactured by DuPont. The balloons are made of a composite of Mylar and aluminum foil.

Miscellaneous: Polyester is also used to manufacture high strength ropes, thread, hoses, sails, floppy disk liners, power belting and much more in industries.

Thus, polyester has many uses for homes and industries as well. 

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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