The method for production of polyester staple yarn having sufficiently low elongation and shrinkage and high tenacity and modulus for use in thread, sewing thread, cord, twine and in cordage products, wherein a tow of conventionally spun polyester filaments is drawn in an aqueous draw zone and then dried at 130.degree. to 140.degree. C, stretched 1.1 to 1.2X and then heat set at 170.degree. to 200.degree. C. The tow is then crimped, cut to staple and spun into yarn. The dwell time between the drying step and the step of stretching 1.1 to 1.2 times is sufficiently low that this stretch can be accomplished before the fibers in the tow can crystallize to the point that this stretch cannot be achieved. Dwell time in the heat set zone must be at least 10 seconds.