‘Terylene’ Polyester Fibre

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman


Terylene has already established itself as one of the great synthetic fibres possessing qualities such as toughness, resistance to abrasion and to sunlight, and resiliency (particularly in the form of staple fibre) which renders it the equal of, and in someways superior to, Nylon. It was discovered in March 1941 by J. R. Whinfield and J. T. Dickson,1 who, at the time, were research workers at the Calico Printers’ Association. The crucial idea came to the inventors from a study of the work of W. H. Carothers, the inventor of Nylon. As explained elsewhere, the outstandingwork of Carothers on condensation polymers opened up vast new fields to thepolymer chemist. Carothers had at first devoted his efforts to the production offibres from the polyesters but, finding them to possess an impracticably low meltingpoint, he turned his attention to the polyamides and discovered Nylon, the firstsynthetic fibre. Whinfield and Dickson succeeded where Carothers had failed; theydiscovered a polyester with a high melting point, and, by good fortune, the fibrepossessed other important qualities which could not have been predicted but werediscovered later in the process of development.


Polyethylene Terephthalate Terephthalic Acid Polyester Fibre Good Fortune Synthetic Fibre 
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    Hill, Rowland, ‘Polyesters and Terylene Fibr’, Journal of Royal Institute of Chemistry, Jan. 1955.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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