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What are the advantages and disadvantages of polyester clothing?

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Quick Answer

Polyester clothing is tough and able to withstand rigorous wear, but it also has a low thermal resistance and melts easily when it comes into contact with high heat. Some people prefer polyester clothing, because it does have some advantages, such as sometimes being manufactured from recycled products. Others do not like this material because of its disadvantages, which include a lack of absorption.

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Full Answer

One of the most commonly cited advantages of polyester clothing over clothing made from cotton and other materials is a reduced susceptibility to shrinking. Polyester clothing can be dried in a dryer without losing its shape or dramatically changing in size. It also dries rather quickly, because the material does not absorb or hold on to moisture. Of course, this lack of absorption is also a disadvantage in certain situations, such as when one is trying to re-dye or remove stains from polyester clothing.

A common disadvantage of polyester is that it is not a natural product. It is made from a mixture of chemicals rather than plant material, and thus its production does generate some chemical waste. However, many manufacturers do use recyclable materials, such as PET flakes from plastic bottles, to make their polyester, thus reducing the amount of trash that is sent to landfills.

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