Man-Made Fiber

Nylon Fiber |Properties and Uses |

Nylon Fiber was the first man-made organic textile fiber made from the raw materials from the mineral kingdom. Nylon is the name of a family of synthetic polymers that are commonly used to make a variety of different types of apparel and consumer goods.

Origin of Nylon Fiber

Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers, based on aliphatic or semi-aromatic polyamides.  It was invented on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers. This material was announced in 1938.  A toothbrush was the first product made with Nylon Fiber.

Characteristics of Nylon Fiber


  1. Exceptionally strong
  2. Elastic
  3. Abrasion-resistant
  4. Lustrous
  5. Easy to wash
  6. Resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals
  7. Can be precolored or dyed in a wide range of colors
  8. Resilient
  9. Low in moisture absorbency
  10. Filament yarns provide smooth, soft, long-lasting fabrics
  11. Spun yarns lend fabrics lightweight and warmth


Physical Properties


  1. Tenacity: 4-9 gm/den (dry), in wet 90% of dry.
  2. Elasticity: Breaking extension is 20-40%.
  3. Stiffness: 20-40 gm/den.
  4. Moisture regains 3.5-5%; (not absorbent due to crystallinity).
  5. Specific gravity: 1.14.
  6. Abrasion resistance: Excellent.
  7. Dimensional stability: Good.
  8. Resiliency: Excellent.
  9. Softening point: Nylon 6,6 – 2290C, Nylon 6 – 1490C.
  10. Melting point: Nylon 6,6 – 2520C, Nylon 6 – 2150C.
  11. The hand feels: Soft and smooth.


Chemical Properties


  1. Acid: Nylon 6,6 is attacked by mineral acids is disintegrated or dissolved almost. But is inert to dilute acetate acid and formic acids even of the boil. It is dissolved in the concentrated formic acid. Nylon 6 is attacked by mineral acid but resistant to dilute boiling organic acid.
  2. Bleaches: Not attacked by oxidizing and reducing bleaches but may be harmed by chlorine and strong oxidizing bleaches.
  3. Alkali: Nylon is substantially inert to alkalis.
  4. Organic solvent: Most of the solvent has little or no effect on nylon. Phenol meta cresol and formic acid dissolve the fiber but solvents used in stain removal and dry cleaning do not damage it.
  5. Light: No discoloration. Nylon 6 gradually loss strength on a prolonged extension.
  6. Biological: Neither micro organism nor moth, larvae attacks nylon.
  7. Electrical: High insulating properties leads to static charges on the fiber.
  8. Flammability: Burns slowly.


Uses of Nylon Fiber 

Nylon is a popular fiber with useful applications in making shorts, swimwear; track pants, bedspread, draperies, and many more. It is also used in technical textiles for making products such as flak vests; combat uniforms, parachutes, etc. Due to its virtues of easy to care, elasticity; shape-retaining ability, and its resilience and responsiveness to heat setting; nylon retains its reputation and demand in the apparel industry.

Apparel use

High tenacity nylons are used for parachute fabrics, cords, and ropes. Having good dimensional stability is used for ladies’ gloves, ladies’ hose, underwear, swimming wear, stocking, hosiery fabric, etc.

Domestic use

It is used for home furnishing, in carpets, in upholstery, and in ropes and cords.

Industrial use

In finishing nets, tire cords, filtering cloths, sewing threads, tow ropes are made of Nylon Fiber. It is used in the manufacturing of belts of various machines (Flat belt, V-belts).



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