Difference Between Polyester and Rayon (With Table)

Polyester vs Rayon

Polyester and Rayon are among the most popular and preferred fabrics. Because of their easy availability, these fabrics are preferred more as compared to the other fabrics.

Both of these fabrics are being used for a very long time now because of their strength. They are used in a number of products such as clothing, houseware, industrial applications and so on.  These fabrics may serve the same purposes and may have the same strengths, but they are different.

The difference between Polyester and Rayon is that Polyester is composed of refined petroleum, while Rayon is made from artificial silk. Also, Polyester has a synthetic fiber, whereas Rayon has a semi-synthetic fiber, it is neither wholly natural or wholly synthetic.


 

Comparison Table Between Polyester and Rayon

Parameter of ComparisonPolyesterRayon
TexturePolyester has a stiff and hard appearance. Rayon has a soft and silky appearance.
Fiber typeIt has a synthetic fiber.It has a semi-synthetic fiber.
UsesPolyester is used for outdoor clothing to oppose the utmost weather conditions.Rayon is used for melting materials in factories and such high heat situations.
ClimateIt is favored more in the cold climates.It is favored in warm climates
WashingOne can wash and wear polyester.Rayon has to be ironed after washing, since it stretches and shrinks after a wash.

 

What is Polyester?

Polyester is one of the most famous fabrics in the world and is used in a variety of household and industrial appliances. It is a fiber that is synthetic. It is mostly obtained from petroleum. The ester group connects the polymer units to constitute this fabric. A negative perception has been formed about this fiber because of the over intensity of polyester in the last 25-30 years.

Polyester has a stiff and hard appearance and is used for outdoor clothing to oppose the utmost weather conditions.

Types of Polyesters:

Primarily, there are two types of polyesters. One is PCDT, Poly-1, 4-cyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate. The other is PET, Polyethylene Terephthalate. 

Features of Polyester:

  1. It has a synthetic fiber.
  2. Polyester can maintain its shape.
  3. It can be dyed easily.
  4. It is resistant to chemicals and is durable.
  5. It has light yet strong fibers.
  6. Polyester does not stretch and shrink, which makes it one of the best fabrics.
  7. It can be washed at home.
  8. Polyester has a stiff and hard appearance. 
  9. To remove stain can be a problem since it has low absorbency.

Uses of Polyester fabric:

  1. For garments, it is used in jackets, suits, socks, eveningwear, underwear, pants, and shirts.
  2. For industrial applications, it is used in bottles, boats, holographic films, tarps, and LCD displays.
  3. For homeware, it is used in cushioning pillows, chairs, and sofas. It is also used in blankets, curtains, face towels, bath towels, kitchen towels, rugs, and upholstery.
Dusk scaled
 

What is Rayon?

Rayon is a comfortable and soft fabric. It is generated from natural sources obtained from cotton or wood pulp. Since it is one of the most soaking fabric, it is perfect for summer wear. One definitely has clothes and accessories that are made of this material. It is a convenient and low cost fiber that has many uses.

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Types of Rayon: There are four main types of Rayon- Regular rayon, High wet modulus rayon, Cuprammonium rayon, and High tenacity modulus rayon.

Features of Rayon:

  1. It is cool, soft and smooth to the skin.
  2. Rayon is moisture soaking.
  3. It has a semi-synthetic fiber.
  4. It has the ability of drapping well.
  5. Rayon has a soft and silky appearance.
  6. It has the capability to mix with other fibers.
  7. Rayon is not very expensive, but it looks luxurious.
  8. When washed, it might shrink and so it must be dry cleaned.
  9. The production of Rayon is damaging to the environment.

Uses of Rayon:

  1. Rayon is used to make sarees, blouses, socks, dresses in the textile industry.
  2. It is also used to make blankets, curtains, carpets and bed-sheets.
  3. It is used in the production of tyre cod in the tyre industry.
  4. It can be used to make surgical dressing and bandages in the medical industry.
  5. Rayon is used for melting materials in factories and such high heat situations.

Rayon

Main Differences Between Polyester and Rayon

  • In Polyester, the luster of the fabric has a false or unartificial gloss. On the other hand, Rayon has a subtle and fine shine, like that of silk.
  • Polyester is stiff and rigid and it supports its shape. It is also stronger and more durable in comparison to Rayon. 
  • Polyester has a synthetic fiber, whereas Rayon has a semi-synthetic fiber.
  • Polyester is used for outdoor clothing to oppose the utmost weather conditions. It is also used to make hiking articles such as tents, sleeping bags, and a backpack. On the other hand, Rayon is used for melting materials in factories and such high heat situations.
  • Polyester is favored more in the cold climates, while Rayon is favored in warm climates
  • Polyester can be washed at home and it does not stretch and shrink, unlike Rayon which shrinks and stretches after washing and hence should be dry cleaned or ironed after washing.

 

Conclusion

The two fabrics, Polyester and Rayon may seem to have the same purpose, but they differ in many aspects. From the features and type of each fabric to the uses and form, both are different. A fabric savvy can easily choose between them. These fabrics can also be differentiated by being where they have been used. If one is using a water-resistant cloth, it can be said that it is made from polyester. However, if some fabric is being used in a high temperature area, it is most likely to be Rayon.

One can differentiate them by observing their texture. Polyester has a stiff and hard appearance, whereas Rayon has a soft and silky appearance. In Polyester, the luster of the fabric has a false or unartificial gloss. On the other hand, Rayon has a subtle and fine shine, like that of silk.


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