PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle, 1985.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 15cm x 32cm

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle, 1985.

Hills, Jennie

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Made by Lin Pac Plastic Mouldings. Terylene is the trade name for PET (polyethylene terephthalate), a polyester made from ethylene and terephthalic acid. Terylene was first produced by J R Whinfield and J T Dickson in the laboratory of the Calico Printers' Association Ltd, and patented on 29th July 1941. ICI bought the world manufacturing rights in 1947 and full-scale commercial production of Terylene began in January 1955. The material was found to be stronger than cotton, with better resistance to moisture, and therefore became a popular fibre for use in manufacturing shirts. Today it is a popular material for sportswear and high-tech fabrics.



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