Polyester Fiber: From Its Invention to Its Present Position

Science  23 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3994, pp. 287-293
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3994.287


The use of polyester fibers has grown more rapidly than that of any other man-made fiber. Many factors have contributed to this growth. Polyester's unique physical properties of strength, high modulus, elasticity, and durability are the basis for its success. The tailorability of the fiber makes it possible to generate a whole family of property variants for a wide variety of end uses. The ready availability and low cost of the raw materials, the continuing advances in polymerization technology, and the versatility of the melt spinning process have also been major factors in establishing polyester as the leading man-made fiber.

New end uses have had a major impact on the growth of polyester. Most notable was the introduction of durable press fabrics for clothing and home furnishings. The consumer preference for easy-care fabrics and garments makes the durable press area one of continuing growth. Two relatively new areas where growth is expected to continue at a rapid rate are tire cord and textured knits for women's and men's outerwear.