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Polyester: A History

Woven fabrics have a rich history. And sometimes, after dealing with them so often, it can be helpful to reexamine the history of them and what makes them so useful and a staple part of the textile industry. Let’s take a closer look at polyester – an extremely versatile fabric.



In the early 1940s, the fabric industry was booming. For a few years, polyester took a back seat to the development of nylon - but was introduced to the American public in 1951. It was marketed as a “magic” fabric that needed no ironing and was extremely wrinkle-resistant. The fabric continued gaining traction in the textile industry and became a comparatively inexpensive and very durable option for textile needs.

From there, it only makes sense that different blends and microfibers of polyesters were created that offered a different feel and different qualities. It is especially used in outerwear when durability and tenacity are of the utmost importance. In addition, it can be coated with DWR (durable water repellant), making it even more ideal for outdoor uses. Its ability to keep its shape and refrain from wrinkling also makes it a good option for shirts, pants, suits, and jackets - especially when blended with other fibers.



Polyester has a laundry list of uses today – industrial, outdoor, apparel, bedding, and upholstery to name a few. It has become one of the world’s most popular fabrics. Also, recycled polyester has become an important part of the rise of environmentally preferred fabrics.

MMI Textiles carries a handful of options of polyester and polyester blends. If polyester is what you are looking for, check out our dedicated page. Also, take a look at our EcoThriv® line which features fabrics made with recycled polyester for apparel use.


Interested in learning more? Please contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050 for pricing, samples, and/or questions.

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