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Polyester: A Much Improved Blast from the Past

by Amanda Vida

in Product Spotlight

Ever wish you knew more about the fabrics used to make our products?  Thought you did, so I’ve dedicated this blog post to schooling you on polyester – a “go-to” fabric in many of our athletic and t-shirt styles.  It’s come a long way since the very “colorful” clothes of the 70s (that was the nicest way I could say it). And with the growing popularity of performance wear and blended tees, polyester’s comeback is stronger than Britney’s!

Polyester is a synthetic material that is used in a number of our styles.  Its breathable quality – yes, I said breathable polyester – makes it a great fabric for a lot of our athletic styles and performance wear.  It can have anti-microbial properties to keep you from smelling musty post-work out and can be treated to dry quickly and wick (pull) moisture away from the skin.  Polyester can shrink when exposed to extreme heat but, in most cases, will keep its original shape.  Popular styles like the Badger B-Dry Performance T and the Sport-Tek Colorblock Performance T are both great examples of 100% polyester athletic choices.

Poly can also be used in combination with other fabrics – most often cotton – to produce a blend.  On our site you’ve probably noticed styles like the Hanes 50/50 T or the Jerzees 50/50 T.  Maybe you’ve thought, “Wow, they really take liberties with their naming process” instead of connecting the term “50/50” with the materials used in the shirt – 50% cotton and 50% polyester.  This blended fabric is popular among t-shirt makers and used for a number of reasons.

1)      Soften the texture of the fabric – There are many ways to soften cotton but one of the most direct ways is to add some poly to it.  The polyester can improve the way the material lays on the body and can help prevent wrinkles.  This softer feel can make a brand new shirt feel worn in, like you’ve had it for years.  A perfect example being the Next Level 60/40 T.

2)      Prevent shrinkage – As I said before, polyester (unless exposed to extreme heat) pretty much keeps its shape as it is a synthetic fiber.  A tee made of blended material will be much less likely to shrink than one made of 100% cotton.

3)      Increase durability – Since polyester is a man-made fiber, man decided to make it extremely strong.  This is why poly and poly blend shirts can wash and dry so well – they can hold up to a lot of man-handling.  This is another reason why 100% poly shirts are great for teamwear– they can withstand a lot of abuse on the field.

Hopefully this will make you fall in love with polyester, either for the first time or all over again.  Now just because it’s making a comeback doesn’t mean you can revive that polyester suit from 1975.  But it does mean that, hopefully, you can look at 100% poly and blended shirts in a whole new light.

About the Author - Amanda Vida

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