Polyester is a synthetic fiber known for its low cost and durability. It is a type of fabric made from thermoplastic. Polyester is soft and easy to clean, so it has a lot of uses in both upholstery and clothing. The history of polyester goes back to the mid-1930s when W.H. Carothers, an employee of DuPont, was researching what what would eventually become Nylon. His research was incomplete and had not advanced to investigating polyester that is formed from mixing terephthalic acid and polyethylene glycol.
However, in the year 1939, it was continued by two British scientists. They started from where Carothers had left. In 1941, the first genuine polyester fiber came into existence. It is also known as Terylene. The polyester fabric was developed through scientific research, unlike other materials like cotton and wool. Note that polyester was once the world's most popular fabric. It was also called the Miracle Fibre and is a known substitute for silk.
Polyester fabric has evolved over the years. You might know microfiber that is popular in recent years is a blend of polyamide and polyester. This is commonly used as imitation suede, and is widely used for sofas, couches, chairs, and lounges.
How is Polyester Upholstery Made?
Polyester is a thermoplastic, which means it can be melted and reformed. Polyester upholstery needs a polyester fabric to be formed, and this is how it's done:
1. The first step involves monomers, which are small molecules that can join with other similar molecules. The process starts with the reaction of ethylene glycol with dimethyl terephthalate at high temperatures. This reaction process will lead to the creation of a monomer.
2. The monomer then reacts with dimethyl terephthalate to produce a polymer.
3. The third step is to extrude molten polymer from the reaction chamber. It gets extruded in the form of a ribbon and onto a cooling wheel or casting through.
4. After the ribbon hardens, it gets cut into small pieces that are then dried and placed into reservoirs for melting.
5. Now the fibres will be hot stretched until the reach approximately 5 times their original length. The fibres will then be crimped or wound onto cones as filaments so they can be cut into staple lengths.
Polyester is also known to blend well with other types of fabrics such as cotton. This changes the texture, appearance, and characteristics but can lead to a more desirable fabric depending on personal preference.
Blending polyester and nylon can result in an incredibly strong and durable fabric but it can however be prone to piling. It can even be blended with other materials to make faux leather, a look-a-like material with different characteristics to the authentic version.
Polyester upholstery is widely used because of its durability and versatility. Furthermore, it offers comfort and is a soft material. In addition, polyester fabrics are also hypoallergenic, so it’s great for allergy sufferers.
It has medium heat retention and high moisture-wicking abilities. Furniture that is upholstered in polyester will actually start to look very grubby and dirty over time, and you may even think of getting a new sofa!
Be rest assured, polyester has great abilities when it comes to moisture and exposure to the elements and actually cleans up extremely well when done by a professional upholstery cleaning service.
In addition, a negative aspect of polyester is that lighter shades can appear to get stained more than the darker shades. Also, polyester covers are used more in outdoor furniture so they hold up well to the elements outside as well. Another drawback of polyester upholstery is that the cost tends to rise if it blends with different materials, but the quality should be well worth it.
We actually consider polyester to be one of the best materials you can get for upholstering your furniture. It can last a very long time if properly cared for and getting them professionally cleaned once a year will keep them looking great.
Polyester fabrics are popular for various upholstery purposes. It is highly durable and can sometimes withstand sun exposure. If you have a large family with pets and children, polyester would be a good choice for you. Because of its stain-resistant abilities, it makes a good option for families and restaurants as well and this material is very common in commercial settings. You can also keep it outdoor as it can withstand exposure to the sun.
Polyester upholstery is suitable for any environment. You can secure your sofa or chair with a polyester cover. In addition, polyester covers are also suitable for office chairs, or even ottomans and bed heads. If it gets stained, it can be quickly taken off with proper cleaning solution.
Furthermore, this material is often found in hotels as well. From the furniture in the lobby to the chairs and sofas in the suites, this material really holds up well. You will often see it in pubs and clubs as well, even if you can’t recognise it immediately. This is a fantastic material we highly recommend it for a range of settings around the home or workplace.