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[ICI, England] A trademark for a Polyester fiber made from Polyethylene terephthalate. Polyester fiber was patented by English chemists, John Whinfield and James Dickson, in 1941, but it was not marketed until after the war. In 1951, Terylene® [ICI], along with Dacron® [DuPont] in the U.S., became the first commercially marketed polyester fibers. Polyester is durable and washes well. It has good resistance to bleaches, ketones, alcohols, soaps, detergents, and dry cleaning agents. Terylene® is also resistant to creasing, abrasion, heat aging, sunlight, and insect attack. It is used for clothing, curtains, belts, fire hoses, and filled products.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Dacron® [DuPont]; polyester; polyethylene terephthalate


  • Difficult to ignite.
  • Burns with a yellow-orange, sooty flame.
  • Self-extinguishing

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Resistant to cold acids, weak alkalis, bleach and most organic solvents
  • Degrades in strong alkalis, strong hot acids, cresol
  • Tenacity = 2.8-5.2
  • Elongation = 19-30%
  • Moisture regain = 0.4%
  • Melting Point = 250-260
  • Density = 1.38
  • Refractive Index = 1.54, 1.72


Properties of Synthetic Fibers

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 625
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Marjory L. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Fort Worth, TX, 1986
  • Identification of Textile Materials, The Textile Institute, Manchester, England, 1985
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998