All clothes should have a little bit of stretch so they are comfortable throughout a long day of use. You probably hate feeling constricted by your clothes, so when you try them on at the store, make sure there are some stretch and give to the material.
Then again, you don’t want the clothes to totally lose their shape after a few wears, so it is important to find a balanced middle ground.
Polyester is a manmade material, and because of that, it has been designed to be as comfortable and resilient as possible. Many sportswear items and outerwear pieces are made of at least some polyester, so they need to be comfortable and give the wearer room to breathe.
To find out if polyester will stretch as much as you would like it to while still retaining its shape, you may need to do some research.
If you have been wondering about the qualities of polyester as well, keep reading to find out more.
WHAT IS POLYESTER MADE OF?
In order to know what properties a material has, you need to know what that material is made out of. Polyester is made using a chemical reaction between air, water, coal, and petroleum. Let’s see what this chemical reaction is all about.
A petroleum by-product is mixed with the other ingredients in a high-temperature vacuum. This process is called polymerization, as it creates polymer material.
This material is kept very hot while it is stretched into threads about five times its original length. These threads are then spun, twisting the different fibers together to create a strong and durable material.
This process seems extensive, but it does create a material perfect for sports and cold temperatures. Because polyester is made of hollow fibers, it traps in the user’s body heat and keeps them warm in cold weather.
However, it is also highly water resistant, so sweat will not absorb in the material. That makes polyester perfect for physical activity, which is why so many running clothes are made out of the fabric.
It would be uncomfortable and disgusting to run with sweat-drenched clothes, so the properties that keep the fluids from absorbing into exercise clothes are incredibly useful.
Now that you understand exactly how polyester is made and what is used to make it, you can learn a little bit more about the material. You will soon see whether or not you will be able to stretch it and wear it comfortably.
IS POLYESTER STRETCHY? THE SHORT ANSWER: IT IS!
The good news is polyester is stretchy naturally. This is a manmade material, so it was designed with the comfort of the wearer in mind.
However, clothes made of 100% polyester tend to snap back into shape pretty quickly. Yes, they will stretch when you wear them and do hard labor or exercise, but they will also retain enough shape to still fit your body as they always did.
If you want to ensure your clothing is more stretchy than typical workout clothes, and you do not wish for it to snap back into its original form, you may want them to only be partially made of polyester, blended with other material such as cotton.
Polyester is stretchy because of the petroleum product it is made of, which also makes polyester susceptible to heat. If high temperatures are applied, polyester will be malleable and moldable, allowing the customer to shape and stretch it to some degree.
HOW TO STRETCH POLYESTER
Is polyester stretchy? You now know that it is. But to make sure you are not damaging your clothing, make sure you follow the proper methods of stretching polyester.
First, wash the clothes on the highest heat your washer offers (but make sure the water is not above 178 degrees Fahrenheit! – you don’t want to boil your clothes!).
Next, take the piece of clothing out of the washer, and rather than drying it, put on the damp clothes.
This may sound uncomfortable, but wearing the article while it is still wet will allow the heat from the hot water to mold it to the shape of your body, stretching it the way you like. Once the material has stretched as much as seems possible, hang it up to dry.
But do not let it dry completely the whole way through. When it is still semi-wet, try stretching the material a little bit more. This should make your clothing a little looser, and it will hopefully stretch out to the desired size and shape.
Next time you put it on, you should notice a difference in the way it fits you.
If you do not want to run your garment through the washer, simply wetting it with hot water may do the trick.
Once the material is wet and warm, stretch it out by pulling with your hands near the seams. This should make the material looser and more willing to stretch. Once the garment is the size you want it, hang it up or lay it out to air dry.
Do not put it in the dryer, as this may shrink it back to its original size.
Because polyester is made to retain its shape, it can be a challenge to stretch out the material and keep it that way. Try to avoid putting your polyester clothes in the dryer if you want them to stay loose after you have pulled and stretched them.
If you do not want to go through this process, try to purchase naturally stretchy polyester-blend clothing.
WHICH POLYESTER BLENDS ARE MOST STRETCHY?
When on the hunt for comfortable polyester-blend clothes with lots of stretch and give, try searching for a spandex component. Spandex is low maintenance and is another manmade fiber made to be strong and water resistant.
Many running outfits are made of a polyester/spandex blend, as they should be comfortable for flexible and agile activity. Runners need to be able to move freely and comfortably in their polyester clothing, so it is easy to find running clothes with some spandex added for stretch.
Compression shorts and bike shorts are almost always made of polyester and spandex as they are perfect for staying cool and dry during laborious exercise.
Super comfortable leggings are also usually made of some kind of blend of polyester and spandex, so they’re perfect for lounging around during the day and staying relaxed.
WHAT OTHER CLOTHES ARE MADE OF POLYESTER?
Exercise clothes are not the only ones made of polyester, though.
Anyone who wants to ensure they are comfortable all day and night should see if they can find the kind of clothes they’re looking for in some blend of polyester.
For instance, many dresses are made as a poly blend. Dresses like this are typically made of cotton, polyester, and spandex, and they fit great! They shape to your body while still staying comfortable enough for a long day’s wear.
All different types of dresses are made of polyester, including maxi dresses, fit and flare dresses, sheath dresses, shift dresses, bodycon dresses, sundresses, and wrap dresses. In other words, if you want to find a dress made of polyester, you absolutely can!
Since polyester is so easy to care for with its resistance to stains and its ability to be washed at home, more and more clothes are made of this material today. Dress shirts are often made of a blend of polyester and rayon, another manmade material.
Many people believe that formal shirts like those you would wear to the office are typically uncomfortable, but when they are made of polyester, you can be sure they will stretch to keep you feeling good and looking good all day long.
If you cannot find a polyester/spandex blend you like (although this is unlikely), polyester mixed with Lycra also creates very stretchy and moldable material.
Many pencil skirts are made of a polyester/Lycra blend. This means you will not feel restricted in your movements, even when you are at your very most dressed up.
Maybe you tend to feel uncomfortable and stiff when you get dressed up for a fancy event, but with polyester-blend clothing, you do not have to worry about this.
Several t-shirts are even made of polyester these days, because again, it is so easy to care for, and it keeps its shape. T-shirts made of just cotton will shrink and be unable to stretch back to their original size, but when there is a polyester component, the original shape is not lost after a wear or a wash since polyester is stretchy.
You have learned the answer to the question: “Is polyester stretchy?”, and this makes it perfect for any type of clothes, whether it be exercise wear or formal wear.
No matter what style or function you are looking for, you should be able to find the perfect piece made either entirely of polyester or as some kind of polyester blend.
You are sure to be satisfied with this comfortable, shape-retaining, nonabsorbent material. You’ll probably start checking tags before you purchase clothes to make sure they’re made of polyester, the stretchy, comfortable fabric!