The two most used types of polyester are polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and poly-1, 4-cyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate, known as PCDT. PET is the most common type of polyester and is stronger than PCDT, which is more elastic and resilient. PET can be used in combination with other fabrics or used alone. It is often a component of clothing that retains its shape and resists wrinkles and stains.
PET is made of ethylene that comes from petroleum. In making PET, molten polyester flows to a wheel, where it is shaped into a ribbon. The material is dried and cut into small chips, then it is blended and spun into yarn.
PCDT is used in heavier materials, such as drapes and upholstery. PCDT is made by condensing an acid with a chemical.
Polyester is made into various types of yarn or thread and can include both natural and synthetic chemicals. Natural polyesters are biodegradable, but most synthetic versions are not. Products knitted or woven from polyester yarn include clothing, blankets and home furnishings. Industrial polyester fibers are used in conveyor-belt fabrics, plastic reinforcements, safety belts and other applications. Polyester fiber is used as cushioning material in comforters, pillows and upholstery padding. Polyesters are also used in canoes, liquid crystal displays, insulating tapes and many other products.