All posts by Polyester

Testing for polyester

There is two methods for testing for polyester in a fabric, the most readily available is a burn test. Polyester will melt, fuses and shrinks away from flame. It smells like chemicals when it burns. Cotton will burn yellow and turns to ash.

For more details see How to identify fabrics with a burn test or download the chart Burn Test Chart

The second method is by chemically dissolving the fabric and from the weight removed it is possible to determine the exact composition of polyester material. This requires a number of lab grade equipment and access to Phenol.

To determine the composition of different fibres in a blended fabric we have to apply chemical test. Because there may consist of both thermoplastic and non-thermoplastic fibres. So we cannot different them by physical test such as burning etc. But in chemical test if it dissolves in a specific chemical we can identify that fibre portion of fabric. Now if we weight the sample before dissolving in chemical and after dissolving in chemical we can easily find out the composition of them in the fabric sample. At last we will apply chemical for the rest fibres to identify it. Suppose the total weight of the fabric sample = a and after dissolving one portion we find the rest weight = b.

Sleeping with a polyester allergy

This article is for all the sources of polyester around sleeping and bedrooms. There is many sources of polyester in your bedroom which would need to be removed. We spend a large amount of time in our bedrooms and being exposed small quantities over time can result in unpleasant results.


  • PJ’s/Night gowns
  • Sheets, duvet covers, comforters, comforter covers, pillows
  • Polyester fill in comforters, pillows, mattresses
  • Carpet in the flooring

It is best to start slowly when replacing your bed items as you don’t want to solve one problem and end up causing another. Here is the steps I have followed starting with the more inexpensive and easy to replace items first. Macy’s, Sears, Winners often carry all the items you need.

  1. Read you labels on your PJ/Bath robe/Night gown and make sure it is polyester free. 100 % Cotton is the easiest to find and other options include silk
  2. Find sheets which are 100 % cotton. Be sure to wash them 5 to 10 times to remove the dye
  3. Replace any blankets or covers. Some people are fine with cotton covered comforter which have polyester fill. Others need either wool blankets or goose down filled comforter

Those three items are the easiest and often enough to prevent direct contact with polyester. To take it to the next level would be replacing your bed which is often covered with polyester fabric, carpets, drapes and furniture coverings.

Beds – many mattresses now are available with wool as a covering, feels good

Flooring – Carpets can be be replaced with wool but wood is more cost effective choice.

Window coverings – Drapes may have to be custom made to not have them in polyester, there are many types of wood, bambo shades, vinyl shades  that could be used instead of fabric.

Furniture – Buying leather furniture or having them reupholstered with a fabric of your choice. The issue with fabric covered furniture is the fill may be polyester much like comforters.

Natural fabrics for cycling

Searching for cycling clothing with out polyester is some what like trying to find a needle in a hundred haystacks. Some of the better items I have are custom made which is not an option for every one.

The fabrics that I can wear are

  • Nylon –  a bit rougher then other fabrics, some people are allergic to Nylon and polyester
  • LYCRA – trade marked version of nylon and tends to be a higher quality
  • Spandex – sometimes, most of the time spandex contains a mix of polyester
  • Elastane / Elasthanne – 100 % Elastane can be quite rough and cause chaffing
  • Acrylic
  • Wool
  • Cotton – not so great for cycling but at one point had a few modified tshirts with pockets and elastic’s put in. This is a low cost solution if you like to sew or have someone that can do it for you.

Here is a list of products that I have no issues with so far, some of them require modification.


Louis Garneau Classic Short – This is labeled as 82% Nylon and 18% Elastane. The chamios is made of nylon and polyester so that needed to be removed.


The same with shorts, the chamios is likely going to needed to be removed and replaced with a leather chamios. To locate try Wool cycling


With jerseys you have to watch out the cuffs and other trims are not polyester. They do not need to be declared. I sent one jersey to my tailor (mom) to swap out the cuffs and collars for a fabric I could wear.