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What's so bad about polyester?

(15 Posts)
ellesabe Fri 24-May-13 10:42:14

I have never really paid much attention to the fabrics that my clothes are made out of but I have noticed quite a lot of people on here bad-mouthing polyester.

I know this may seem like a really clueless question to some of you but what's so bad about it?

I am thinking of getting a knee-length white skirt for a holiday to Spain next week and I'm not sure what effect a polyester lining would have.
My two options are:

This from Marks and Spencer - £35 and 100% cotton

or this from Matalan - £20 and although the outer layer is 1005 cotton, the lining is 80% polyester.

Is it worth paying the extra money for a skirt that has a cotton lining rather than polyester?

ellesabe Fri 24-May-13 10:43:03

*should say 100% cotton, not 1005!

ZZZenagain Fri 24-May-13 10:46:10

it makes me sweat. I really cannot wear a polyester top or dress. Polyester lining on a skirt would stick in the heat IMO.

A friend of mine wore polyester almost all the time when she lived in the ME. She said the other expat women all wore linen and cotton and consequently look crumpled almost all the time. Polyester doesn't seem to wrinkle as badly but it isn't something I feel comfortable wearing. I stick to natural fibres.

Masai Fri 24-May-13 10:46:56


ZZZenagain Fri 24-May-13 10:47:43

yes that is it really. Sweat -) BO

However not such an issue with a skirt

ToastedTeacakes Fri 24-May-13 11:37:36

I can't stand polyester due to the feel of the fabric, the way it can hang (although some items work very well, I admit). I understand the BO issue, but have never actually experienced it - or at least I never noticed poly fabrics getting smellier than cotton, wool, etc, so maybe I was just lucky.

I own various items which contain polyester in the mix and there's no issue for me. I tend to avoid it when it is trying to imitate silk, in shirts, blouses and skirts.

Polyester works well for some things, I have a cotton & poly parka that looks, washes and wears lovely.

Beware when it is trying to imitate more expensive fabrics. This is when it tends to look cheap.

QueenCadbury Fri 24-May-13 11:48:22

I don't mind it too much either as I tend to sweat in whatever fabrics I wear. One of the things I have become more conscious of though due to people on this board is that if it ever ends in landfill then it takes years to decompose.

FrugalFashionista Fri 24-May-13 12:07:41

Polyester is plastic. It's very durable, crease-resistant, easy to dye and cheap to produce (it's oil-derived).

I think it has its uses - coats, sportswear and outdoor equipment, possibly crease-resistant travel outfits. But in fine clothing it's a poor subtitute of silk and cotton.

Some polyester-viscose mixes can balance the advantages of both fibers quite well, but I have noticed that they are not very good for temperature regulation - they are sweaty when you are hot and chilly when you'd need some extra insulation.

freddiefrog Fri 24-May-13 12:12:47

It doesn't bother me. I don't find it sticks to me or makes me sweaty and polyester clothes hang fine on me so I don't really pay any attentions to what something is made of

Some things do look cheap, but generally if I like it, I buy it. I wouldn't be put off something I really liked because it was polyester anyway

MadBusLady Fri 24-May-13 12:51:27

I don't mind it at all in most items. Loose polyester-mix blouses I can cope with fine, and there's plenty around that don't look cheap. Dresses also generally no problem - if they are pure poly they have to be sleeveless though. The only things I can't wear are those rigid shiny pure polyester skirt linings, which I find really chafey and constricting, especially in a hot climate. The Matalan one is a polycotton mix though, so that might be fine.

kerstina Fri 24-May-13 12:58:10

Attracts static and I hate static!

ellesabe Fri 24-May-13 13:41:04

Thanks everyone!

I'm going to pop into matalan this afternoon and try on the poly-lined one to see what it's like in the flesh.

BanoffeeSplitz Fri 24-May-13 13:53:10

I think there used to be a rule re: slips under skirts that went "cotton under silk, silk under cotton" that was to do with avoiding cling. Which is why some cotton skirts have a pure polyester lining (which in theory is slippy like silk).

I do have a lightweight gauzy cotton skirt, with a cotton lining which I like to wear with opaque tights / leggings but always forget that it clings really badly.

If you are wearing with bare legs then a cotton would be fine, in fact preferable, unless you are really unlucky with the style & the skirt clings to itself. Polycotton will feel like cotton though, so the Matalan skirt should be fine as well.

I can't stand the feel of it, especially printed polyester - yuk. Also the sweaty ness. And can look really cheap.

Also what's already been said wrt landfill. By the way, synthetic/natural mix fabrics are just as bad in this respect as currently the technology doesn't exist to separate the different types for recycling, so they are just binned.

I sweat buckets in polyester, it's horrible

Barely sweat at all with natural fabrics.

I hate the feel and the smell too.

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