Natural perlite material was added for the first time into a polyester filament yarn structure. The water absorption and heat and sound insulation properties of the fabrics produced from textured and twisted polyester yarns containing 1.25% perlite additive were tested, and the results were compared with those obtained on the fabrics produced from reference polyester yarns. Although there are differences between the mechanical properties of the polyester yarns, the yarns including perlite remained within commercial usage limits. The thermal resistance values of polyester sateen fabrics obtained from perlite-containing yarns were higher than those of the reference fabrics. The contribution of perlite led to a marked improvement, especially in the hydrophilicity and sound insulation of the polyester fabrics. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2016, 133, 43128.