(Polyethyleneterephthalate) (Polyethylene Naphthalate) (Polytrimethylene Terephthalate)
Polyethyleneterephthalate refered to as PET is by far the most common type and described below
Polyester Tow Fiber
Polyester Staple Fiber
Polyester Fiberfill
Polyester Textile Filament Fiber
Polyester Industrial Filament Fiber
PEN Fiber (Polyethylene Naphthalate)

First U.S. Commercial Polyester Fiber Production: 1953, DuPont Company

Current U.S. Polyester Fiber Producers: Auriga Polymers; Color-Fi; Beaulieu America; Custom Synthetic FibersDak Americas; Fiber Industries LLC; Fiber Innovators International LLC; Foss ManufacturingEastman Chemicals; Engineered FloorsInnovative Fibers; Mohawk IndustriesMarglen IndustriesNan Ya Plastics Corp.New Generation Yarn; O’Mara(Filtex); Palmetto Synthetics; Pharr Yarns; Poole Company; PolyTech FibersPremiere Fibers; SarlaFlex; Shaw IndustriesSyntec Industries; Sun FiberUnifi; United Synthetics; Universal Fiber Systems; U.S. Fibers; Viam ManufacturingWarp Technologies; Wellman Plastics Recycling

Federal Trade Commission Definition for Polyester Fiber: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of a substituted aromatic carboxylic acid, including but not restricted to substituted terephthalic units, p(-R-O-CO- C6H4-CO-O-)x and para substituted hydroxy-benzoate units, p(-R-O-CO-C6H4-O-)x. (Complete FTC Fiber Rules here.)

Basic Principles of Polyester Fiber Production — The most common polyester for fiber purposes is poly (ethylene terephthalate), or simply PET. This is also the polymer used for many soft drink bottles and it is becoming increasingly common to recycle them after use by remelting the PET and extruding it as fiber. This saves valuable petroleum raw materials, reduces energy consumption, and eliminates solid waste sent to landfills.

PET is made by reacting ethylene glycol with either terephthalic acid or its methyl ester in the presence of an antimony catalyst. The reaction is carried out at high temperature and vacuum to achieve the high molecular weights need to form useful fibers. PET is melt spun. For a detailed production flowchart, go here.

Polyester Fiber Characteristics

  • Strong
  • Resistant to stretching and shrinking
  • Resistant to most chemicals
  • Quick drying
  • Crisp and resilient when wet or dry
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Mildew resistant
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Retains heat-set pleats and crease
  • Easily washed

Some Major Polyester Fiber Uses

  • Apparel: Every form of clothing
  • Home Furnishings: Carpets, curtains, draperies, sheets and pillow cases, wall coverings, and upholstery
  • Other Uses: hoses, power belting, ropes and nets, thread, tire cord, auto upholstery, sails, and fiberfill for various products including pillows and furniture

General Polyester Fiber Care Tips

  • Most items made from polyester can be machine washed and dried. Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle. Machine dry at a low temperature and remove articles as soon as the tumbling cycle is completed.
  • If ironing is desired, use a moderately warm iron.
  • Most items made from polyester can be dry-cleaned. (For specific instructions, refer to garment’s sewn-in care label.)