Polyester is used very frequently, especially in sportswear. This synthetic fibre boasts such a large variety of positive characteristics for virtually any application that it is now absolutely essential to the sports industry. The fibre is used again and again for apparel in both cycling and mountain sports.
And it doesn’t make any difference whether the clothes are made for warm or cold weather. Due to the way in which it is made, clothing constructed completely or partly from polyester usually does precisely what you expect it to do.
Polyester transports moisture
As already mentioned, polyester is often used for sportswear, irrespective of the sport. After all, athletes all want the same thing: they want a fabric that doesn’t make them sweat, that keeps moisture away from the body and keeps them warm in chilly weather without making them overheat.
In contrast to cotton, polyester has a low rate of absorbency, so sweat resulting from intense physical activity is automatically drawn away to the outside. As a result, there is no build up of moisture on the interior of the sportswear, eliminating the risk of you cooling down too much after exercise or in windy conditions. The moisture remains on the surface of the fabric where it simply evaporates.
Since polyester doesn’t absorb sweat but instead moves it away from the body, harmful bacteria cannot even begin to form. So, you’ll be able to prevent the dreaded smell of sweat appearing in the first place! Plus, if the garment is washed on a regular basis, then it’ll be particularly hygienic!
Another advantage, which also has to do with moisture, is that polyester dries very quickly. After a hard run, exhausting ascent or tough training session, your polyester shirt or trousers will dry in a flash! This also means that, after you’ve washed your clothing, it’ll be dry and ready to go in no time at all. Plus, you usually don’t even have to iron it for it to look good! What a deal! Yep, it’s true: polyester hardly wrinkles!
Polyester will keep you warm when it’s cold
Apart from being used for moisture-wicking jerseys and sports trousers, this synthetic fibre is also used for linings or insulation, due to its insulating effect. You’ll find it used for linings in winter jackets and sleeping bags. Polyester is now even used for tents and outdoor blankets as well. Basically, when you combine the insulating and moisture-resistant properties of polyester, you get a textbook example of a solid outdoor fabric. This fibre keeps mountaineers, hill walkers and expedition-goers protected at all times, allowing them to achieve their goals without being held back by the elements.
Of course, in order for polyester to have an insulating effect, it needs our body heat. Just like with neoprene, a warm, protective layer forms between your body and the garment. As a result, cold air from the outside hardly comes into contact with your body. This characteristic is also crucial for blankets and sleeping bags, as it’ll help to prevent you suffering from hypothermia when sleeping in the mountains or bivouacking.
The downsides of polyester
Like with any fibre, there are several upsides to polyester but a few downsides as well. The biggest downside is probably that many people are allergic to it. Cotton seems to be much easier for people to take than polyester. Like with sheep’s wool, polyester can cause your skin to itch and redden. Fortunately, most athletes are familiar with the allergy and steer clear of polyester, if necessary.
Other uses of polyester
Apart from being used for clothing, polyester is also used in other applications. You’ll find it in its thermoset form when found in hard plastic objects. In fact, there are several plastic items in the sports industry that are made from polyesters, such as sports equipment. As you can see, it’s a material with a very broad range of applications.
Polyester is also used to make fibreglass. This material is extremely strong and stiff. That’s why it’s often used for manufacturing sports equipment and other sports products, all of which need to be extremely robust, durable and lightweight. Fibreglass is so strong that it is often used for building boats and even appears in helmets, (archery) bows and many other objects.
Thanks to its versatility, polyester is a material that has an incredibly wide range of applications. However, despite all of its excellent properties, it is often perceived as a cheap, low-quality alternative to other higher-quality fibres. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Polyester is used for almost every professional athlete’s jersey, racing suit and piece of sports equipment.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask our experts in customer service. They are available during the week from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. and can be reached by phone at 03 33 33 67058 or via e-mail.