Polyester tends to be an inexpensive fabric, because it comes from artificial rather than natural sources. Therefore, its components are not subjected to nature's extremes, such as drought or storms. Polyester is durable, and it stretches, making it hard to tear. It does not shrink or crease easily. On the other hand, the material tends to be shiny, which is not always a desired characteristic. Removing stains is often difficult.
Polyester fabric is recyclable. During this process, little water is required, and toxic chemicals used are recycled back into the system. The re-manufactured fabric has the same quality as the original material.
The color of polyester does not fade quickly in the sun. The fabric is easy to dye. Because it is not an organic substance, it is resistant to mildew. Polyester also resists shrinking, so it holds its shape well. Many, though not all, types of polyester are machine-washable.
One of the biggest drawbacks of polyester is that it does not breathe. Perspiration and heat are trapped next to the skin. Wearers often feel sticky and clammy in humid weather. Polyester is often considered less comfortable than natural fabrics.
Polyester fabric comes in several variations, including knits and jerseys. Some manufacturers create polyester material that resembles cotton or silk.