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Difference between Polyester and Rayon

Difference between Polyester and Rayon

Are you curious about the difference between polyester and rayon? It can be confusing to try to decipher which fabric is better for your wardrobe, home décor, or other textile items. When comparing these two fabrics side-by-side, it’s helpful to think of what each offers in terms of feel, durability, and other properties. Here we provide a comprehensive overview on the unique advantages of both fabrics along with their distinct disadvantages so that you can make an informed choice as well as find out if either fabric works best for your project needs.

What is Polyester?

  • Polyester is a synthetic fiber that has become a popular choice for garments and home goods around the world. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to wrinkles and shrinking.
  • Pioneered in the 1940s, polyester has been through decades of refinement, resulting in a truly revolutionary material. Polyester has proved invaluable for its resistance to staining, stretching, abrasion, and tears.
  • Polyester fibers can also be blended with other materials making it ideal in situations where a flexible stretch fabric or water resistance is desired. This resilient material will continue to serve as one of the most popular fabrics used worldwide for its versatility and strength.

What is Rayon?

  • Rayon is a synthetic fiber created from cellulose, derived from natural sources such as wood pulp, cotton, and bamboo. Rayon is considered a semi-synthetic fabric because of its origins in natural materials.
  • Rayon is made by breaking down the other sources into components and then regenerating them into fibers that are then woven or knit together to create fabrics used to make clothing and home furnishings.
  • Rayon—notably viscose rayon—is soft, breathable, and highly absorbent, making it ideal for a variety of products including tops, scarves, and bedding. Consumers appreciate its price point, wide availability, and versatile use in their everyday life.

Difference between Polyester and Rayon

Polyester and Rayon are both synthetic fibers, but the similarities end there.

  • Polyester is a petroleum-based plastic material that is heat set, which makes it wrinkle-resistant and water-repellent.
  • It’s a durable fabric that holds its shape well but does not breathe as easily as other fabrics.
  • Rayon, on the other hand, is created by chemically processing wood pulp to yield a silky material with an organic look.

Rayon is not as strong and durable as Polyester, however, its superior softness, comfort, and durability make it more suitable for high-fashion apparel.


Polyester and rayon are two different types of fabric. Polyester is made from synthetic fibers, while rayon is made from natural fibers. Rayon is more absorbent than polyester, so it’s better for hot weather. Polyester is more durable and wrink less than rayon, making it a good choice for travel.

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