Why I hate polyester (and other synthetic fabrics)

I hate acrylic.  I hate polyester.  And a new goal I’ve set for myself is to never buy anything (clothing, fabric or yarn)  again containing either of these two fibers.  (I’m not tossing out any clothes that I already own, just not buying anything new that has synthetics)

This is not as easy as it may seem.  I received strange looks at Victoria’s Secret once when I said I was looking for pajamas that weren’t polyester.  I think I managed to find one cami and bottoms set in cotton and 0ne pair of shorts in silk.  Everything else was synthetic.

I’m not sure if everything in this article is legit, but it might make you reconsider synthetics.

Personally, I’m not keen on the idea of wearing fabric made from chemicals and or plastic.  I would much rather have a material coming from a plant (cotton, linen) or an animal (wool, silk) any day.

I like to be able to understand where my fiber comes from.  But I still have trouble grasping exactly what polyester is.

For more information about the benefits of natural fibers, I recommend checking out The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.  While it is a book geared towards knitters, there is excellent information in here on different types of fibers, where they come from and what properties they have.  Even if you don’t knit, this beautifully designed and photographed book can teach you a lot about where your clothes come from.

My exception:  Modal is actually made from wood.  I’m still a bit confused as to how it actually works, yet I love this super-soft, cotton like fabric.

What’s your opinion on synthetics vs. natural fabrics?


About Diana

Style maven, knitter, crafter, seamstress, one who does not walk the beaten path.
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12 Responses to Why I hate polyester (and other synthetic fabrics)

  1. Sal says:

    I’m not opposed to synthetics, but I have a dear friend who is violently allergic to ANY unnatural fibers.


  2. ambika says:

    I don’t like synthetics because they’re often cheaper & therefore used in cheap clothing. Some of the clothes at cheap chain stores *feel* like plastic in addition to being of such poor quality that they pill or fall apart after a few wears. It really isn’t worth the money not to mention debatable health risks.


  3. chrispy says:

    I really shouldn’t wear synthetics because I have severe allergies to petroleum products and many synthetics have a “natural” base that comes from that industry.

    I always have people pointing out that I have hives racing across my face or neck when I’m out and about. I just go “yeah I know there is something I’m allergic to in the air”.


  4. Rooi_Skoene says:

    I don’t mind buying second hand polyester clothing but brand new is a no-no.

    I used to have allergic reactions to certain synthetic materials when I had been younger. I no longer have that problem but I prefer buying clothing in natural fibres.


  5. oecotextiles says:

    I think we have to develop a synthetic fiber that is made from something other than fossil fuels because natural fibers can’t hope to meet textile demand on their own. I am afraid we can’t continue to use arable land for fiber crops (or fiber herds, which is even more land intensive) when so many people are hungry. The goal of producing a perfectly toxin free synthetic which is also infinitely recyclable would be a great accomplishment. The Modal you like might be one of those synthetics – it’s a regenerated cellulose which is biodegradable. Modal is based on cellulose from trees, but the cellulose can come from many different things – bamboo is very popular now, for example. I’ve seen articles on the use of plants that grow in salt flats (on land that is otherwise not able to support crops because of the salt) and research is being done in the area of bioplastics. But in the meantime, I agree that ANY natural fiber is a better choice thatn ANY synthetic. Leigh Anne
    Leigh Anne


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  8. I HATE polyester! I can”t believe though how hard it is to find natural fabric clothes that don’t look homely! I search high and low and find one or two pieces that ACTUALLY are not polyester.
    Any great places you shop that has fashionable clothes that are natural?



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