Polyester is among the most widely used materials in the textile industry, but what exactly is polyester? It is a fiber of synthetic origin whose use contains numerous benefits, among which we find that it is light, absorbs less moisture, can be combined with other materials, etc. Since polyester entered the fashion industry, it has become one of the main materials for the manufacture of bags, uniforms, and sportswear.
Furthermore, the ease of keeping this material without deformation makes it one of the most present fibers in the textile industry. You likely have one or more garments made of this material at home, so if you are not sure does polyester shrink or stretch, we will tell you about everything you should know.
Does polyester shrink or stretch after washing?
Unlike cotton, polyester does not shrink when washed. As it is a synthetic fiber, there is no risk of it shrinking during washing.
Other benefits of polyester are that it is a fiber that dries quickly and is less sensitive to the impact of ultraviolet light than other fabrics such as nylon or cotton. On the contrary, the great disadvantage of polyester is that it has very low breathability. So if you wonder if polyester shrinks if washed, the answer is no; you can calmly wash your garment without fear of reducing its volume.
Does polyester stretch?
They say that it neither stretches nor shrinks, nor wrinkles. Although polyester is not elastic but relatively rigid, its fabric has a recovery capacity that is very difficult to find in other fibers. Thus, polyester will not give itself in the wash but will only stretch to fit your body when you wear the garment.
Does 50% cotton and 50% polyester shrink?
Garments or objects made with an identical composition of cotton and polyester can shrink in certain circumstances. As they contain the same percentage of each material, the characteristics of both must be taken into account when washing.
To avoid reducing your garment, we recommend washing it with cold water or at a temperature below 95 o C. It is also essential that you avoid using the dryer since due to the high temperatures used by this appliance, cotton also tends to shrink throughout this process.
We have already seen that you should not worry about polyester since it is a very resistant material that withstands all types of washes. However, if your garment contains a% cotton similar to or higher than polyester, we always recommend taking these precautions to avoid putting your clothing at risk.
How to wash polyester clothes?
After solving the doubts about whether polyester shrinks if washed, we believe it is necessary to explain how polyester clothes are washed correctly so that you can clean your clothes with the best possible procedure and without putting your clothes at risk. Are you ready?
- Differentiates well those made with 100% polyester from those that combine this fabric with cotton. Also, distinguish the pieces of clothing by colors (dark and light).
- Treat stains on polyester garments before washing. Use a specific soap for this type of garment to preserve the color. Put soap on the stained areas and wait for it to act for a few minutes before proceeding with your usual washing.
- Before putting polyester clothes in the washing machine, turn the clothes over. This will prevent the fibers from breaking or getting hooked to other pieces of clothing. Keep in mind that you will always have to wash clothes made with synthetic fibers this way.
- Read the directions on the labels of polyester garments before operating the washing machine. As a general rule, you will have to program a short wash cycle with cold or warm water (the latter if you think it is very dirty). Add a specific fabric softener to reduce the effects of synthetic fibers.
- Once the washing cycle of these clothes is finished, it is very important to dry them properly. You can tumble dry on a low heat cycle, but avoid it whenever possible and hang your clothes to air dry. In this way, the fibers will be better preserved.