Polyester vs. Microfiber - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Polyester and Microfiber is that the Polyester is a category of polymers and Microfiber is a synthetic fiber finer than one denier or decitex/thread, having a diameter of less than ten micrometres.

Wikipedia

  • Polyester

    Polyester is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in their main chain. As a specific material, it most commonly refers to a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include naturally occurring chemicals, such as in the cutin of plant cuticles, as well as synthetics such as polybutyrate. Natural polyesters and a few synthetic ones are biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not. The material is used extensively in clothing. Depending on the chemical structure, polyester can be a thermoplastic or thermoset. There are also polyester resins cured by hardeners; however, the most common polyesters are thermoplastics. Examples of thermoset polyesters include the Desmophen brand from Bayer. The OH group is reacted with an Isocyanate functional compound in a 2 component system producing coatings which may optionally be pigmented. Fabrics woven or knitted from polyester thread or yarn are used extensively in apparel and home furnishings, from shirts and pants to jackets and hats, bed sheets, blankets, upholstered furniture and computer mouse mats. Industrial polyester fibers, yarns and ropes are used in car tire reinforcements, fabrics for conveyor belts, safety belts, coated fabrics and plastic reinforcements with high-energy absorption. Polyester fiber is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, comforters and upholstery padding. Polyester fabrics are highly stain-resistant—in fact, the only class of dyes which can be used to alter the color of polyester fabric are what are known as disperse dyes.Polyester fibers are sometimes spun together with natural fibers to produce a cloth with blended properties. Cotton-polyester blends (polycotton) can be strong, wrinkle and tear-resistant, and reduce shrinking. Synthetic fibers using polyester have high water, wind and environmental resistance compared to plant-derived fibers. They are less fire resistant and can melt when ignited.Polyester blends have been renamed so as to suggest their similarity or even superiority to natural fibers (for example, China silk, which is a term in the textiles industry for a 100% polyester fiber woven to resemble the sheen and durability of insect-derived silk). Polyesters are also used to make bottles, films, tarpaulin, canoes, liquid crystal displays, holograms, filters, dielectric film for capacitors, film insulation for wire and insulating tapes. Polyesters are widely used as a finish on high-quality wood products such as guitars, pianos and vehicle/yacht interiors. Thixotropic properties of spray-applicable polyesters make them ideal for use on open-grain timbers, as they can quickly fill wood grain, with a high-build film thickness per coat. Cured polyesters can be sanded and polished to a high-gloss, durable finish. Liquid crystalline polyesters are among the first industrially used liquid crystal polymers. They are used for their mechanical properties and heat-resistance. These traits are also important in their application as an abradable seal in jet engines. Natural polyesters could have a played a significant role in the origins of life. Long heterogeneous polyester chains are known to easily form in a one-pot reaction without catalyst under simple prebiotic conditions.

  • Microfiber

    Microfiber (or microfibre) is synthetic fiber finer than one denier or decitex/thread, having a diameter of less than ten micrometres. This is smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk (which is approximately one denier), which is itself about 1/5 the diameter of a human hair. The most common types of microfibers are made from polyesters, polyamides (e.g., nylon, Kevlar, Nomex, trogamide), or a conjugation of polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene. Microfiber is used to make mats, knits, and weaves for apparel, upholstery, industrial filters, and cleaning products. The shape, size, and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including softness, toughness, absorption, water repellency, electrostatics, and filtering capabilities.

Wiktionary

  • Polyester (noun)

    Any polymer whose monomers are linked together by ester bonds

  • Polyester (noun)

    A material or fabric made from polyester polymer

  • Polyester (adjective)

    Of, or consisting of polyesters

  • Microfiber (noun)

    Very fine synthetic fiber; cloth made of such fiber.

    "The spilled wine hadn't stained the microfiber couch."

Oxford Dictionary

  • Polyester (noun)

    a synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by ester groups, used chiefly to make synthetic textile fibres.

  • Polyester (noun)

    a fabric made from polyester fibre

    "dresses in printed polyesters"

    "swimwear in a range of fabrics including polyester and silk"

Princeton's WordNet

  • Polyester (noun)

    any of numerous synthetic resins; they are light and strong and weather resistant

  • Polyester (noun)

    a complex ester used for making fibers or resins or plastics or as a plasticizer

  • Polyester (noun)

    any of a large class of synthetic fabrics

Illustrations

Polyester

Microfiber

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