How is Polyester Thread Made?
Polyester yarn is one of the most widely used materials in the textile industry.
As a synthetic material, it involves a complex production process with a certain environmental impact.
One of the advantages of using polyester in the industry is that it is possible to obtain a material with different properties in terms of appearance and resistance.
This is how this material is used to make high quality sportswear. In terms of design, it can have the desired appearance by following certain production techniques.
At the level of colourimetry, polyester yarns come in different colours because this material is dyed. In this way, different designs can be developed with high precision, and their uses at the clothing level are very varied.
What is Polyester?
Polyester is one of the best-known synthetic materials in the world. It is a fibre produced from polyethene terephthalate, a powerful polymer.
In its production, fine yarns are obtained which can have a single filament or several filaments, thus obtaining a more or less dense material.
The polymer is first obtained in a liquid form of high density, but through the extrusion of synthetic fibres, it is synthesised in small filaments presented in cross-section.
Its uses go back hundreds of years because it was known to exist as early as 1830, although it was not widely used in clothing. It was not until 1930 (100 years later) that it began to be used in this industry.
During the heyday of industrial England, the production of polyester yarns was developed for the first time. Its success was not long in coming, so in the following years, it spread to other parts of Europe such as France and then Spain.
It was after the Second World War that the production of polyester fibres faced a radical change. The USA had acquired a patent for the exclusive use of polyester fibres.
Years later, the USA lost the exclusivity of the synthetic material and the production of polyester yarn began to spread to other parts of the world. Even Japan positioned itself as a major producer of this iconic material in the industry.
The Polyester Yarn Production Process
The utilisation of this polymer and its transformation into a synthetic material is mainly due to extrusion, which consists of moulding the liquid into fine filaments.
Producing this material takes time, involving the opening of bales, carding and the subsequent process of assembling the yarn. Perhaps one of the most demanding parts of production is dyeing the yarn.
The dyeing process is carried out with various dyes, some of which are acidic and others dispersed. In addition, the use of petroleum derivatives is very present. A trilobal polymer is used, which is responsible for the outstanding lustre of this material.
One of the advantages of the polyester manufacturing process is that it makes it possible to create a hybrid material by exploiting the properties of other elements such as nylon.
In this way, companies can produce fabrics whose appearance and attributes are distinguished from other options, which is a plus in the industry.
Below, we will highlight some of the main characteristics of polyester yarn:
- It is a material that maintains a high degree of elasticity, which is ideal for making sportswear.
- In addition, polyester yarns are highly resistant to abrasion and mildew.
- If the polyester fibre is treated with other polymers, it maintains a high level of resistance, resulting in durable garments.
Uses and Applications of Polyester Yarn
Although the applications of polyester today encompass a myriad of garments, its history shows that it was not first used for clothing.
The polyester fibre was first used to create sleeping bags. This reaffirms that it is a material that is resistant even to climatic conditions such as humidity or the sun.
It was then used to create anoraks, and its waterproof advantages revolutionised the market. Because it is a high-density material, it is now also used to create curtains, as it helps to keep sunlight out of the home.
Polyester is even used in the manufacture of swimwear and high-performance sportswear. It is very lightweight but does not weaken easily, and it also has breathable capabilities, especially when combined with materials such as cotton.
On the other hand, in the struggle to increase the production of sustainable fabrics, it is valid to ask what the role of polyester is. Although some companies choose to recycle the material, the statistics are not so encouraging.
The sustainability of this synthetic material in textiles can only be achieved in two ways, through mechanical or chemical recycling. In the first option, the synthetic material is melted down to make way for a new polyester yarn.
In the second process, a specialised method has to be carried out to break down the plastic molecules and transform them to their optimum properties as a textile fibre. Chemical recycling maintains a high standard of quality but is very costly.
Conclusion, is polyester yarn important in the textile industry?
Polyester yarn continues to be the industry's greatest ally. And recent innovations in synthetic materials allow its properties to be combined with those of other materials such as nylon or cotton.
In fact, the cotton-polyester comparison has been very present in the market. Aspects such as resistance, comfort and hypoallergenic safety are valued.
Polyester yarn continues to lead the way because, unlike cotton, it is lighter, less expensive and shows greater durability. However, its biggest consideration is the ecological impact of its production.
It is expected that textile technology will continue to evolve and keep pace with current developments to reduce the challenges involved in processing this material. However, the future of polyester continues to show growth in the sector.