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Cotton polyester properties

Updated April 17, 2017

Polyester was first patented in the UK in 1941 by British chemists John Whinfield and James Dickson. The use of recycled polyester fibres is now common in the 21st century. Increasingly, fashion insiders claim the blend is a "green" one. So manufacturers continue to introduce these well-travelled fibres into fabrics. The benefits of doing so illustrate why. Polyester fibres cost less than their cotton counterparts. They also add wrinkle resistance to otherwise vulnerable yards of cotton. The outcome of the combination is a cost-effective, functional, durable and potentially eco-friendly product.

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Polyester can add a revolutionary amount of stretch to fabric. This makes cotton-polyester blends more functional than pure cotton fabrics.


The polyester fibres add resilience to the cotton ones. Therefore, cotton-poly fabric blends tend to spring back into shape much better than pure cotton. Cotton-polyester fabric is also resistant to shrinkage as well as moth and sun damage.


Polyester-cotton blends require less care, but they do require more care than most pure cotton or polyester fabrics. Cotton-polyester blends resist fading and can be washed at higher temperatures.


The growing demand for cotton-polyester fabrics has been attributed to it being roughly 10 percent less expensive than pure cotton.


The cotton content of a blend can make cotton-poly fabrics more comfortable than their pure polyester counterparts. Of course, the degree of comfort will be dictated by the ratio of the cotton used in the cotton-poly blend.


A polyester-cotton blend is more flammable than pure polyester, but it's not as flammable as pure cotton. On a scale of inflammability, this blend is dangerously at the top.

Eco-friendly potential

Clothing Company magazine reports that polythene terephthalate (PET), polyester recovered from recycled soft drink bottles is currently the most common form of polyester incorporated into cotton blends. The FTC recognises items containing recycled polyester fibres as being eco-friendly (if the fact is not negligible or deceptive).

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About the Author

Christina Hadley

Christina Hadley holds a Bachelor of Arts in design. She writes copy for an assortment of industries. Her work also appears in the "Houston Chronicle" small business section. Hadley is a UCLA-certified computer professional. The British Museum recently featured one of her digital images in an exhibit.

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