Ban Lon Fabric
Ban Lon Fabric (sometimes spelled BanLon or Banlon) is a trademarked, multistrand, continuous-filament synthetic yarn used in the retail clothing industry. It was created in 1954 by Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company, by applying a process for crimping yarn to nylon in order to achieve greater bulk than ordinary yarns.
It became popular for outerwear, swimsuits, sweaters, and hose. It is frequently associated with the 1950s and 1960s American clothing and culture.
Ban-Lon came to be used as a punchline for jokes in films and on television shows in the 1990s. In an episode of NBC’s Seinfeld series.
The ban-lon polo has seen a couple of resurgences, once in the late 90s when Swingers made Rat Pack Vegas cool again, and again in the prime of Mad Men, where vintage specimens appeared on Don Draper and Stan Rizzo. For the most part, in the past ban-lon polos were not luxury garments–for many people, they’re familiar from Sears catalogs and thrift store racks, as (apparently) real ban-lon fabric is about as biodegradable as styrofoam.