Noncellulosic man-made fibres, such as polyester, are made with fibre-forming substances. Chemical compounds created from raw materials, such as petroleum and natural gas, along with air and water undergo a chemical process, producing porcelain-like chips that are melt-spun through spinnerets to form fibres. Manufacturers know the end use of the polyester yarn prior to spinning. According to TEOnline, the spinnerets have different shapes, such as round, hexalobal and octalobal, used to produce yarn effects, like opacity, lustre and wicking.
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The direction and number of twists to which the polyester yarn is subjected, as well as the desired end use, determine the tenacity of the yarn. For example, sheer and lightweight fabrics like tulle, voile and organdie have regular tenacity, also referred to as normal tenacity. The spun yarn appears bright, and the tenacity level has a light stretch with sag resistance. The fabric's tensile strength can withstand stretching or pulling. Other versions of regular-tenacity yarn are semi-dull and dull finishes. Semi-dull yarns produce apparel textiles, which include fabrics for lingerie, and dull yarns produce textiles for shirts and blouses.
Polyester yarns manufactured into fabrics using a medium tenacity offer consumers easy care and wrinkle resistance. Medium-tenacity yarns used for apparel textiles are also blended with other staple yarns, such as cotton, wool or rayon, prior to spinning, producing natural stretch. The spinneret shape changes to manufacture different products with the same medium tenacity. For instance, if the spinneret has a trilobal shape, it can produce low-shrinkage yarn used for embroidery and weaving applications.
One of the reasons polyester yarn is referred to as an all-purpose yarn is that it has many uses, including industrial manufacturing. These industries use high-tenacity polyester, referred to as HTP, and super or ultra high--tenacity polyester yarns to make heavy-duty textiles, such as nets, or industrial products, such as conveyor belts and agricultural hoses. Other products, like rope, incorporate different yarn-twisting intensities. For example, hollow polyester yarn is used in cushioning and insulation products. The end use determines the high tenacity level required for strength when the yarn is spun.
Although thread is made from yarn, yarn is not made with thread. High-twisted yarns create multiple-ply threads, such as commonly used three- and six-ply threads. Sewers working with knitted or stretch-based fabrics benefit from using polyester-based thread because of the yarn's tenacity. The thread naturally stretches with the fabric, avoiding thread breaks or skipped stitches. Polyester thread is also available with an outer rayon or cotton wrap, producing different surface finishes. For instance, rayon-wrapped polyester thread adds a sheen, while cotton-wrapped polyester has a matt finish.
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