How Much Does Polyester Cost? A Guide to Budget-Friendly Fabrics

Polyester is a synthetic fiber that has gained immense popularity due to its durability, affordability, and versatility. It is widely used in the textile industry to make clothing, upholstery, bedding, and many other products.

If you’re wondering how much polyester costs, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of polyester, the quality, and the quantity.

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to the cost of polyester fabric:

  • Polyester is generally cheaper than natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and wool. This is because it is made from petroleum, which is a relatively inexpensive raw material.
  • The cost of polyester can vary widely depending on the quality and type of fabric. For example, a basic polyester fabric may cost as little as $1 per yard, while a high-end or specialty polyester fabric can cost $20 or more per yard.
  • Buying polyester fabric in bulk can often result in a lower price per yard. Many stores offer discounts for larger quantities, such as 10 yards or more.

When considering the cost of polyester, it’s also important to keep in mind its environmental impact. Polyester is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. However, some companies are working to create more sustainable polyester fabrics that are made from recycled materials and have a lower environmental impact.

What is Polyester?

Polyester is a synthetic polymer made from a type of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil or fossil fuels.

Here are some interesting facts about polyester:

  • Polyester was first developed in the 1940s and became popular in the 1950s as a cheaper alternative to natural fabrics like cotton and silk.
  • Polyester is made by reacting purified terephthalic acid (PTA) with ethylene glycol (EG) in a chemical process known as polymerization.
  • Polyester can be made from plant-based materials, such as corn, but this type of polyester is not as widely used as the petroleum-based variety.
  • Polyester is a thermoplastic material, which means it can be melted and re-molded into different shapes and forms.
  • Polyester is resistant to wrinkles, shrinking, and stretching, making it a popular choice for clothing and other textiles.
  • Polyester is also resistant to mildew, abrasion, and chemicals, making it a durable and long-lasting material.

Types of Polyester Fabric

There are different types of polyester fabric available, each with its unique characteristics and properties.

DTY (Drawn Textured Yarn) Polyester

DTY polyester is a textured yarn that has a crimped appearance. DTY polyester is also stain-resistant, making it an excellent choice for upholstery and home decor projects.

FDY (Fully Drawn Yarn) Polyester

FDY polyester has a smooth, glossy finish which is perfect for creating curtains, tablecloths and other home decorations. Additionally, its silky texture and drape make it ideal for fashioning garments like dresses and blouses.

FDY polyester is breathable and moisture-wicking, making it a comfortable choice for warm weather.

POY (Partially Oriented Yarn) Polyester

POY polyester is a yarn that is partially oriented, which means it is not fully stretched or drawn.

POY polyester is a great material for carpets and rugs since it is very strong and long-lasting. Additionally, it is perfect for making clothing like coats and jackets due to its water-resistant qualities.

PCDT (Poly-1, 4-cyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate) Polyester

PCDT polyester is a specialty polyester that is known for its high melting point and excellent resistance to chemicals and abrasion. It is commonly used for making industrial fabrics, such as conveyor belts and fire-resistant clothing.

PCDT polyester is great for creating outdoor equipment like tents and rucksacks due to its robustness and water-repellent capabilities.

Microfiber Polyester

It is also used for making clothing, such as athletic wear and swimwear, because of its moisture-wicking properties. Microfiber polyester is easy to care for and is machine washable.

Common Uses of Polyester


Polyester socks are also popular due to their moisture-wicking properties.


Frequently employed for sofas, armchairs, and other pieces of furniture.

Outdoor Wear

Polyester is a favored material when it comes to outdoor wear because of its capacity to draw away moisture and dry rapidly. It is commonly employed to make jackets, trousers, and other garments designed for outdoor use.


Home Goods

Frequently employed to make blankets, tablecloths, and padding for furniture.

How Much Does Polyester Cost?

In this section, we will take a closer look at the factors that affect polyester cost and explore the pricing of polyester in different countries.

Factors Affecting Polyester Cost

The cost of polyester can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Quality: The quality of polyester material can affect the cost. High-quality polyester is more expensive than low-quality polyester.
  • Market demand: The demand for polyester can affect its cost. When the demand for polyester is high, the cost can increase.
  • Country of origin: The cost of polyester can vary depending on the country of origin. For example, polyester made in China is usually cheaper than polyester made in the United States.

Polyester Pricing in Different Countries

  • China: China is the largest producer of polyester in the world. The cost of polyester in China is generally lower than in other countries. In 2020, China exported $2.13 billion worth of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a type of polyester, according to businessanalytiq.
  • India: India is another major producer of polyester. The cost of polyester in India is generally lower than in the United States. In 2020, India exported $737 million worth of PET, according to businessanalytiq.
  • United States: The cost of polyester in the United States is generally higher than in China and India. In 2020, the United States imported $1.04 billion worth of PET, according to businessanalytiq.

Polyester Cost per Yard

In general, polyester fabric costs about $5 to $10 per yard. Many stores offer discounts when buying in bulk, such as 10 yards or more.


The cost of polyester can vary depending on several factors, including quality, market demand, and country of origin. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions when purchasing polyester products.

Polyester vs. Other Fabrics

However, it’s not the only option available. In this section, we’ll compare polyester to other fabrics, including cotton, nylon, and natural fabrics.

Polyester vs. Cotton

While cotton has some advantages over polyester, such as being breathable and soft, it also has some drawbacks. Here are some key differences between polyester and cotton:

  • Polyester is more durable and resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage than cotton.
  • Cotton absorbs moisture better than polyester, making it more comfortable to wear in hot weather.
  • Polyester is easier to care for than cotton, as it can be machine washed and dried without shrinking or fading.
  • Cotton is more expensive than polyester, especially for high-quality fabrics.

Polyester vs. Nylon

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that’s often used in activewear, outdoor gear, and other applications that require strength and durability. Here’s how polyester compares to nylon:

  • Polyester is more affordable than nylon, making it a popular choice for budget-friendly projects.
  • Nylon is more resistant to abrasion and tearing than polyester, making it ideal for rugged outdoor use.
  • Polyester is more resistant to UV rays than nylon, which can fade and weaken over time with exposure to sunlight.
  • Nylon is more lightweight and breathable than polyester, making it a better choice for activewear and other athletic applications.

Polyester vs. Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics like wool, silk, and linen have been used for clothing and textiles for thousands of years. While these fabrics have some unique properties, they also have some drawbacks when compared to polyester. Here are some key differences:

  • Polyester is more affordable than most natural fabrics, which can be expensive due to the cost of production and sourcing.
  • Natural fabrics are often more breathable and comfortable to wear than polyester, especially in hot weather.
  • Polyester is more resistant to stains and damage than natural fabrics, which can be delicate and require special care.
  • Natural fabrics have a unique texture and appearance that can’t be replicated with polyester or other synthetic fabrics.

As you can see, each fabric has its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the right fabric for your project, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Whether you choose polyester, cotton, nylon, or a natural fabric, make sure to select a high-quality option that will last for years to come.

Environmental Impact

Polyester Recycling

Polyester can be recycled, but the process is not as efficient as recycling natural fibers. Recycled polyester can be made from post-consumer waste, such as plastic bottles, or pre-consumer waste, such as scraps from the manufacturing process. The Global Recycle Standard is a certification that verifies the recycled content of a product and ensures that it meets certain environmental and social criteria.

Re-PSF (Recycled Polyester Staple Fiber) is another certification for sustainable polyester. Re-PSF products have a lower carbon footprint and use less water and energy than virgin polyester products.

Certifications for Sustainable Polyester

These certifications ensure that the polyester is produced using sustainable practices and meets certain environmental and social criteria.

One such certification is RISK (Recycled Input Standard for Korea). This certification ensures that the polyester is made from recycled materials and meets certain environmental and social criteria. The RISK certification also ensures that the recycled content is accurately measured and verified.

Another certification is Accuracy, which ensures that the polyester is produced using sustainable practices and meets certain environmental and social criteria.

Other Environmental Impacts

Polyester is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. The production of polyester also requires a large amount of energy and produces greenhouse gas emissions.

When polyester garments are disposed of, they can take hundreds of years to decompose. During this time, they can release harmful chemicals and microplastics into the environment. Microplastics are small particles of plastic that can be harmful to marine life and other wildlife.

Overall, the environmental impact of polyester is significant. While recycling and sustainable production practices can help to reduce this impact, it is important to consider alternative materials and reduce overall consumption to minimize the environmental impact of the fashion industry.


Whether you’re looking for a high-quality fabric for your next project or just need something lightweight and easy to care for, polyester is a great option to consider.

  • Polyester is one of the most affordable textile products in the world, with raw polyester fiber currently priced at around $1 per pound.
  • While the cost of polyester can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the quality of the material and the manufacturing process used, it typically costs between $5-$10 per yard.
  • Polyester is known for being durable and long-lasting, making it a great choice for items that need to withstand wear and tear over time.
  • Polyester is also easy to care for, as it can be washed and dried in a standard washing machine without any special treatment required.
  • Finally, polyester is produced using a spinneret, which is a machine that extrudes the fibers into long strands. This process allows for a wide range of colors and patterns to be created, making polyester a versatile fabric choice for a variety of projects.
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