A synthetic extruded fibre that is particularly resilient and generally good tempered. Thanks to modern weaving techniques and clever technology it can be made into textiles that, on the face of it, feel and perform just like wool, cotton, linen or silk–although its inherent properties will always be that of polyester. In interiors it is generally used commercially for hotels, offices and for outdoor furniture.

Our preference is always for natural materials, however we must admit that the particular attributes of polyester are at times overwhelmingly convincing:

1. It makes into high quality exterior fabrics that withstand a considerable amount of inclement weather while feeling like any good cotton to sit on.

2. When substituted for silk, polyester fabric works well as under curtains and window seats, where the real thing would perish after a few years. However, it doesn’t feel quite the same, so for bed drapes and where the touch of silk is important, you need the real thing.

3. As it is inexpensive and mixes well with more expensive fibres, it keeps the cost down–for just a few pounds a metre, I’ve made perfectly good curtains for student flats from polyester plaid; they didn’t feel entirely lovely but they were bombproof.

4. A polyester cotton mix means increased durability and washability, which is excellent for a family room, den seats, cushions and beanbags.

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