If you get a kaftan that isn’t 100% pure silk, is it just as “good”? In one of our previous Laloom posts ‘The Silk Road’, we briefly introduced you to the background and advantages of Silk. Undoubtedly a wonderful fabric, it also has its small drawbacks. This week we wanted to share with you other viable options to natural fibres like silk which also have attractive qualities in their own right, particularly polyester. For centuries silk fabrics have been considered to be the most elegant and sought for textile materials. However the production of silk fibre couldn’t keep up with the increasingly growing human population, and hence the price of silk also grew considerably. Since World War II, one of the greatest advances in materials has been man-made fibres. Polyester became more and more popular for a number of reasons. Mainly because it was inexpensive, laundered well and draped well.
Why polyester had a bad rap in Australia in the 80s
Living in a hot climate, synthetic fabrics were too hot to wear; they didn’t breathe and produced bad odours after few uses, making many wary of wearing them. Today, many people have this same feeling; however, with the latest textile technologies and fabrics developed, these facts have changed. In the past decade, research and technology have helped to develop fabrics that emulate the properties of silk and silk-like polyester fabrics. It’s the polyester component that gives the garment drape, stability during the laundry cycle, and a more crease-resistant finish. It also brings down the price of the garment. Today polyester chiffon, satin, and other synthetic materials or blended fabrics aim to emulate characteristics of high-quality silk; while some do not absorb moisture well, they do breathe. Customers at Laloom have given feedback in support of this, stating that the poly chiffon kaftans can still be worn comfortably on even the hottest of days.
Here are some of the benefits of man-made fibres
Cost – less than the price of silk, and because of its similar feel to silk, it can sometimes be rather difficult to know the difference between what is silk and what isn’t.
Wash and wear – most can be machine washed, hung to dry with no need for ironing (great for the busy lifestyle or when travelling since its resistant to creasing).
Durability - Materials like nylon and polyester are also a lot stronger than natural fibres. The clothing not only lasts longer but is also more durable than cotton.
At Laloom we use polyester, chiffon, satin and crepe blends - all of which are in the descriptions of our products on our website. We use the best quality, refined man-made fibres, so while they may not be as inexpensive as mass produced ‘plastic polyester’ based garments, ours are uniquely limited and are of the highest quality – you can feel the difference.
The Last Stitch
Thanks to the latest textile technology, the wearability of woven polyester has vastly improved. Combined with the more affordable price whilst still of a high quality, it is a viable option for alternative choices in clothing. In the right fabric rations and the right garments, polyester can be wonderful.