Polyester fabrics have come a long way, gone are the days of scratchy fabric, along with that clammy damp feeling which would accompany it as soon as your body heat started to rise.
So it’s interesting for me to note that some people still turn their nose up at polyester, as if to say it is a fabric of inferior quality, which is now far from the case. A lot of fabrics nowadays may have some element of polyester in them, the label tag will read ‘mixed fibres’ or state the percentage of polyester contained, or be 100% polyester.
Polyester fabric, along with other synthetic fibres, was developed in the late 19th century; polyester’s manufacture was seen as an alternative to expensive silks, but also because it had a more practical usage, being longer-wearing and easier to care for. Mixed with cotton, for example, after washing it is relatively easy to iron, bouncing back in vibrancy, whereas some fabrics of 100% cotton or linen can look as though you have slept in the outfit for several days. Have you ever experienced the ironing workout you take part in from what was once a pristine cotton shirt, after that first machine wash? In those instances dry cleaning would be the better option, or if you prefer not to go that route, spray lightly with water making the fabric slightly damp and more pliable (please note that if the care label reads ‘dry clean only’, then that is what’s best for the garment and your peace of mind). Quality always pays its part, as with all things in life and fabric is no exception.
Going through my fabric research archives I found that ‘In Style’ magazine March 2010 reported that “polyester’s come a long way since the Sixties and Seventies and is set to be the last word in luxury”, that reporting was eight years ago!
Polyester fabric graces the catwalk of many haute couture designers today, a cutting-edge synthetic fabric that has the look and feel of silk, as in Organza, Duchess Satin, Taffeta, Crepe Backed Satin, Devore and Georgette to name a few. The price tag is comparable to silks alongside other such luxury fabrics, it’s also cool to wear as in body temperature, and is the height of cool when it comes to design.
I work with a variety of fabrics, and I have to say I am impressed with this fabric as to its usage, and handling; from red carpet ball gown dresses to day to evening dresses it’s a luxury fabric that is soft against the body, whilst breathable.
Pictured: Black Velvet Polyester Devore Dress by Coral Turner.