Monday, July 28, 2008


One of the places I like to shop is Ann Taylor Loft. It is interesting to me how they will use polyester lining in wool pants. I actually like poly lining in pants and skirts because it does not wrinkle and it is easy to take care of. You have to be sure to get "non cling" lining. I have lined a dress or two in poly, and don't find it to be as comfortable as a rayon or silk lining. I have some polyester knit dresses that I really like.

Here are a few of them.
The brown dress is made from a poly jersey from Sewing Studio. This is super comfortable and has almost a slinky feel to it.

The floral wrap dress is a Kwik Sew pattern and is made from a buttermilk fabric that I purchased from Emma One Sock. The poly in this dress makes it a little warm for summer. However, I made a tank top from the same fabric, and it is perfectly fine for summer. I think the fact that it has no sleeves makes a big difference.

This dress is the Madison Avenue Dress from Textile Studios. I also purchased the fabric from them as well. This was my first experience with working with polyester knits. This knit is not really a jersey and has very little stretch. It was still super slippery to work with, but a lot easier than jersey. I love this dress, and even though I did not match up the stripes very well on the front (well, I didn't match them at all. I didn't realize until after the dress was made that the dots were even in a striped pattern. Hey, I made this 2 years ago and I've learned a lot since then,) I still wear it a lot because it is comfortable and flattering (moreso than it looks in the picture)

I also have a number of tops that I've made from poly knits that are very comfortable.
On the other hand, I have a few things I've made from polyester that are not that comfortable. Either the fabric is not soft enough, or it doesn't breathe. I think they are making some great technological headway with synthetic fibers, but it is often hit or miss. Sometimes you don't really know how the fabric will behave until you are actually sewing or even wearing it. I have a number of gorgeous knits (yes, from Gorgeous Fabrics) that are waiting to be made into dresses. I try not to be a "fabric snob" - especially since synthetic fibers work well with my lifestyle. They are great for travel, easy to care for as a rule, and comfortable to wear - most of the time. Sometimes a polyester just does not breath and is very uncomfortable. So, I am usually hesitant to put a lot of work into something made from polyester, because if it is not comfortable, I won't wear it. And I don't want to put HOURS into something that I'm not going to wear.

Here is a great article called The Changing Face of Polyester

So, what are your feelings on polyester - terrific, or taboo? (you can use your own adjectives :-) )


cidell said...

I honestly don't mind polyester. I love the knits I've gotten from Gorgeous Fabrics and Metro Textiles. I like my batiste lining with a bit of polyester. I just hate complaining about fiber content when the fabric is nice and works well. I do complain about fiber content when the fabric is cheap, nasty and doesn't want to play nice.

julia said...

My dad worked for the Textile Fibers division of a chemical company for years. Polyester, nylon, lycra were all responsible for sending me to college! They can do such amazing things with those fibers these days. It does get under my skin when you're sold something that turns out to be something else, but a good polyester can be wearable, easy to sew and easy to take care of. Love the catalog of your successes!

Anonymous said...

hank you for a great post and the link.
Issey Miyake had discovered the hidden potential of polyester probably about twenty or so years ago.
He has done some amazing things with the fabric mimicking a myriad of surface finishes and textures so far removed from the icky stuff of the last decade or soa.

Summerset said...

Polyester isn't a dirty word. It certainly has a place in the sewing world just like any other fabric. I've made quite a bit of my work wardrobes from it simply because I knew it would wear like iron and be machine washable/dryable. I also like it for the children, too, because it can imitate some expensive fabrics that I wouldn't dare use for them.

Anonymous said...

I love the poly blend knits that are out there now. They are so easy to take care of. I gotta say, I love the short hair too - it's adorable on you!

Linda T said...

I'll pick rayon/lycra over poly/lycra anytime--the breathability factor. But, it's harder for me to find. I have recently purchased some of the newer poly/lycra to try. I have to have something that breathes. Otherwise, I feel like I'm wearing a plastic bag (and sweating!)