Knowing the differences between fabrics is very important so that you know what you are paying for when you buy or make clothes.
Although polyester and satin can look very different, they can also look quite similar.
They are both used to make clothing and can sometimes be mistaken for each other as they are often used for the same things, but what are the main differences between them?
If you are unfamiliar with polyester and satin, this article will help you to understand more about them and what the differences between them are.
As polyester is a fiber and satin is a type of fabric weave, it can be easy to get them confused, especially as polyester fibers can be used to make satin.
For you to understand the differences between polyester and satin, this article will help you feel more confident with the fabric that you are using in your creations or the clothing that you are buying.
What Is Polyester?
Polyester is a type of fabric that is created by plastic that is made from petroleum, water, and other chemicals that can be used to make these fibers.
Once the plastic fibers are woven together, they create the polyester fabric that we know and come across daily.
The fibers of the polyester fabric are very strong on their own, so when they are woven together, they create an extremely durable fabric that is perfect for sportswear or activities where the clothes need to withstand lots of pressure.
Although the fabric is very strong, it isn’t as soft as other fabrics that are made out of natural materials.
As polyester has become a very popular fabric, you see a lot of it in clothing and household fabrics like bedding.
This is because polyester is very difficult to wrinkle and you can easily get rid of stains, making it the perfect fabric for people with children and pets.
It is also very affordable so people can have a strong fabric without it being too expensive to own.
What Is Satin?
Unlike polyester, satin is used to describe how the fibers have been woven. Satin is an extremely recognizable fabric as it is very soft and shiny, but it is made from lots of materials.
This can seem confusing as lots of things are made from satin, but the name refers to how the fibers are woven to create a shiny appearance.
Satin is often seen as an expensive fabric, but it can be made out of polyester to create affordable satin. The more expensive satin fabrics are made out of silk.
This fabric is more expensive as silk is a natural material, meaning it is incredibly soft and a lot pricier.
To make satin, fibers of silk, nylon, polyester, and acetate are woven together to create the shine that satin is known for.
However, if you have ever purchased a satin skirt, you will notice that the inside fabric isn’t shiny and is matted. Satin made from polyester is extremely affordable and makes a good substitute for silk.
What Are The Main Differences Between Polyester And Satin?
As you are now aware of the basic differences between polyester and satin, what are some of the other differences? Find out more of the differences between polyester and sain below!
Which Is Softer?
As polyester is made from plastic fibers, it doesn’t have the softness of other fabrics.
The fabric is often used for sportswear as it doesn’t tear easily, meaning that the fabric can be a bit stiff and difficult to move in.
This doesn’t create a soft and smooth feel on your skin, especially if the fabric is new. Over time, polyester can become softer from regular washes, but it still isn’t very soft.
On the other hand, satin is incredibly smooth on the skin.
As the fibers are woven together in a specific way to create satin fabric, the shiny side of the satin is soft and shiny.
Although only one side of the satin is shiny, the other side of the fabric is still soft and won’t irritate your skin or be difficult to move in. This is why satin is a popular fabric to sew with.
Which Is Stronger?
As polyester is used in a lot of clothing, it is incredibly strong as it is very difficult to tear or rip. It is made to withstand a lot of wear, so there is no need to be worried about it being too delicate.
Polyester is the perfect material for kids’ clothing as they can play and run around without it getting ruined quickly. The fabric is difficult to wrinkle and it rarely shrinks in the wash.
The fibers that satin is made out of are long and thin, which creates a strong fabric that can be worn for a variety of occasions.
Synthetic satin is stronger than silk as the fibers of silk are extremely delicate, meaning that they can’t withstand the same wear and tear as satin or polyester.
The reason that satin is so strong is due to the way that the fibers are woven, creating a strong and durable fabric.
Which Has Better Breathability?
As polyester is often used to make sportswear, it does have a good level of breathability as it can keep people cool when they are running around.
It can also be used to make bedding, so it needs to have a certain level of breathability to keep you comfortable at night so you don’t overheat.
Cotton and linen are a lot more breathable than polyester, but polyester is still a good choice to keep cool. It might not be the best choice for people who tend to overheat, but it is still a good option.
Similar to polyester, satin is a good choice for breathability, but other fabrics can offer a better level of breathability.
Due to the way that the fibers are woven, polyester might be slightly less breathable than polyester, but silk is a lot more breathable as it is made from natural materials.
Although it isn’t as breathable as polyester, satin bedding is still able to keep you cool during a warm night.
If you would rather have a more breathable fabric, polyester is more breathable, but linen is a lot cooler.
Which Is More Expensive?
If you are looking for a fabric that is good quality but isn’t too expensive, polyester is a very good choice.
Polyester is widely available due to the low costs of the material as it is made entirely from synthetic materials, making it cheap to make and buy.
As synthetic materials can be created, this makes it cheap for the manufacturers to make and cheaper to buy compared to other fabrics.
The price of satin can differ based on what materials it is made out of. Satin is often more expensive than polyester even when it is made from polyester due to how the fibers are woven.
It isn’t as expensive as silk as silk is made from natural materials, but it is an affordable alternative.
Which Is More Versatile?
Polyester is a very versatile fabric as it is often used for clothing. Lots of sportswear is made out of polyester and it is also used to make cleaning cloths, towels, and sofas.
Lots of items can be made from polyester as the polyester can be blended with other fabrics like cotton and can also be made into polyester varieties like microfiber and spun polyester which makes it more versatile.
Satin is often used for clothing as it is very soft on the skin and comfortable to wear. You will find lots of dresses, underwear, and pajamas made from satin as they are soft and delicate.
They are popular to wear out and in the house as the clothing isn’t heavy so you can easily move around and not have to worry about being uncomfortable or too restricted.
Caring For Polyester And Satin
When you are using fabric or you have purchased an item of clothing made with a specific fabric, you need to make sure that you are looking after it to keep it in a good condition.
How do you look after polyester and satin?
Caring For Polyester
Polyester is very resistant to stains, so you don’t need to treat stains on this fabric as often as on other fabrics.
It is an easy fabric to look after and to keep in good condition as you can use it in the washing machine and the dryer.
However, you do need to avoid using high heat in the washing machine and the dryer.
As polyester is made from synthetic fibers like plastic, when the fabric is exposed to heat for a long time, it can start to melt the material.
This means that you should try to avoid using high heat when washing the clothing.
Make sure that you use warm water and use medium heat in the dryer to avoid any damage to the clothing.
Looking After Satin
Satin is a very delicate fabric, which means that you need to care for it differently than the way you care for polyester.
Although satin is made from polyester fibers, the material is a lot thinner than polyester fabric.
Any stains that you get on satin you need to treat quickly to avoid long-lasting damage as stains are very noticeable on satin due to the shiny fabric.
You should never use bleach on satin as this could cause long-lasting damage to the material. Use a stain remover to make sure that you get the stain out straight away.
You should always turn satin inside out before washing it to protect the shiny side of the fabric.
Handwashing satin will protect it from any damage as a normal cycle in the washing machine will be too harsh, so make sure you use a delicate wash.
Leaving satin to air dry is a lot better for the fabric than putting it in the dryer.
Putting it in the dryer can damage the fabric, so make sure that you leave it to air dry in a cool part of the house away from the sun.
If you leave satin in the sun for too long, it could discolor the item. You will also need to use the iron on the lowest setting to make sure that you don’t melt the fabric.
Here are some of the pros of using polyester!
Fast-drying: You don’t have to wait a long time to dry polyester, so you aren’t left with little room for drying other things.
Doesn’t crease easily: Polyester doesn’t easily crease, making it a very good material for kids to wear and to wear if you are sitting down and want to avoid lots of creases in your clothing.
Breathable: Polyester is a very breathable fabric that will keep you cool as well as stop you from feeling overheated or restricted when you are wearing it.
Although polyester is a good fabric to use, there are also some cons to using it.
Flammable: As polyester is made from synthetic materials and chemicals, it is a flammable material, so it is important to keep a safe distance from fire when you are wearing it.
Not very soft on skin: Polyester isn’t very soft on the skin so it could irritate some people as it is a stiff fabric.
Isn’t sustainable: As polyester is made from synthetic materials, it isn’t very environmentally friendly compared to clothing made from natural materials.
Find the pros for using satin below!
A good alternative to silk: As silk can be very expensive, satin offers you an affordable alternative that looks just as shiny and luxurious as real silk.
Soft on the skin: Satin feels very good on the skin, which is why it is so popular for clothing as it is soft and smooth.
Strong: The way that satin is woven means that it is a very strong fabric that can create long-lasting clothing.
There are also some cons to using silk. Find them below.
Can be expensive: Even though satin is made from polyester, the way that it is woven means that it is more expensive than polyester.
Difficult to sew with: Sewing satin can be difficult as it tends to be very slippery due to the silky material that is very soft and easily moved.
Harder to care for: Satin is more difficult to look after compared to other fabrics as it is more delicate, meaning that you can’t just throw it in the wash.
Popular Polyester Items
Here are some items that are very popular and are made from polyester. You might not even realize that these items in your home are polyester!
Polyester Exercise T-Shirt
Polyester exercise t-shirts are very good to own as they are very practical. They aren’t very expensive and they are resistant to stains and odors.
These polyester t-shirts are very good to use for exercise as they allow breathability and can be washed in the machine.
They are also moisture-wicking so you can stay comfortable when you are wearing the t-shirt as you are exercising.
Polyester Shower Curtain
As polyester dries quickly, it is perfect to use for making shower curtains.
It is water-resistant, making it perfect for use in the shower, and it makes your life a lot easier as you don’t have to protect it with any plastic.
The curtains can be washed in the machine as they are moisture-wicking and come in a range of colors to match your bathroom!
Popular Satin Items
As satin is very popular for a soft feel on the skin, you might want to start getting your hands on some satin items. Here are some ideas for satin items that you can enjoy in your home!
A satin scarf can be worn with any outfit and it can either be worn around your neck, in your hair, or on your bag.
The scarves can come in a variety of patterns and colors to match your outfits and they can add an expensive and luxurious style to your daily outfits.
They are very delicate so you will need to look after them properly to keep them in good condition.
Satin bedding is a very popular use for satin and you can get satin bedding from almost any homeware store.
You can get the bedding in any size or color to match your bedroom, including pillowcases, bedsheets, and duvet covers.
Satin not only feels soft and smooth on your skin, but satin pillowcases are very good for protecting your hair from any breakage and keeping it in good condition.
To conclude, there is a big difference between polyester in satin.
The main difference is that polyester is a fabric and satin is made from how the fibers are woven, but they often get confused with each other as satin can be made from polyester fibers.
If you are looking for something soft and luxurious, then you should consider buying satin items.
As satin is very soft and smooth against the skin, it is great for adding luxury to your everyday outfits.
Polyester is very durable and easy to look after, making it very popular amongst parents and sportspeople due to its breathability and moisture-wicking abilities.
Both materials are very popular as they are strong, practical, and both have lots of great qualities.
If you want to try either of the materials, check out the list above of some polyester and satin items you can try at home!
Frequently Asked Questions
Get your last-minute polyester and satin questions answered here!
Is Satin A Fabric?
Lots of people think that satin is fiber, but it is how the fabric is woven that creates satin fabric.
Satin can be made out of lots of different fibers, but as long as they are woven together in a certain way, that is how satin is formed.
So, yes, satin is a fabric, but it is made from lots of different fibers, including polyester fibers that are weaved in a certain way to make satin.
What Is Polyester Used For?
Polyester fabric is used for a lot of things, probably a lot more than we realize.
You will often find clothing, bedding, furniture, and carpets made out of polyester as it is a strong fabric that is long-lasting, stain-resistant, and very affordable.
Is Satin Hard To Sew With?
Satin is very hard to sew with for beginners as it is a very slippery fabric.
The shiny side of the fabric can cause the satin to move around in the sewing machine and it can be difficult for first-time sewers to work with.
The more you practice sewing with satin, the easier it can become for you to handle.
If you choose to avoid using satin to sew with, there are lots of alternative fabrics available.