What Kind of Fabric is Nylon?


Nylons are white or colorless and soft; some are silk-like. They are thermoplastic, which means that they can be melt-processed into fibers, films, and diverse shapes. The properties of nylons are often modified by blending with a wide variety of additives. Know more

At the very beginning, in the 1930s, Entered the market with toothbrushes and women's stockings.

As more was developed, Many kinds of nylon are known. One family, designated nylon-XY, is derived from diamines and dicarboxylic acids of carbon chain lengths X and Y, respectively. An important example is nylon-6,6. Another family, designated nylon-Z, is derived from aminocarboxylic acids of with carbon chain length Z. An example is nylon.

Nylon polymers have significant commercial applications in fabric and fibers (apparel, flooring and rubber reinforcement), in shapes (molded parts for cars, electrical equipment, etc.), and in films (mostly for food packaging).

There are many types of nylon polymers.

  •  nylon 1,6;

  •  nylon 4,6;

  • nylon 510;

  • nylon 6;

  • nylon 6,6.

And this article focuses on nylon 6.6 and 6, which used in textile industry. If interested in any other type, can click More Details.

Nylon Fabric in Sportswear Market

1. Nylon 6

This versatile and affordable nylon is lightweight and tough, making it ideal for activewear, undergarments, and carpeting. It's also moisture-wicking, but can absorb moisture, which can affect its dimensional stability.

2. Nylon 6,6

This nylon is known for its durability and strength, and is often used in sportswear, outerwear, and industrial textiles. It's also waterproof and resistant to heat, making it a good choice for swimwear, tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags.

Nylon fabric has a significant presence in the sportswear market due to its unique properties that cater to the demands of athletic and active lifestyles.one of the most commonly used fibers in the textile industry.

Properties of Nylon Fabric

  • Strength and Durability: Nylon is known for its high tensile strength, making it extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear. This property makes it ideal for use in products that require high durability, such as ropes, parachutes, and military supplies.

  • Elasticity: Nylon has excellent elasticity, allowing it to return to its original shape after being stretched. This makes it suitable for use in activewear, hosiery, and swimwear.

  • Lightweight: Despite its strength, nylon is lightweight, making it comfortable to wear and easy to handle in various applications.

  • Resistance to Chemicals: Nylon is resistant to many chemicals, oils, and greases, which contributes to its durability and longevity.

  • Moisture-Wicking: Nylon fibers can wick moisture away from the body, making it a popular choice for sportswear and outdoor apparel.

  • Abrasion Resistance: It is highly resistant to abrasion, which helps in maintaining the appearance and integrity of the fabric over time.

Applications of Nylon Fabric in Sportswear

    1.Athletic Apparel: Used in the production of shorts, leggings, tank tops, sports bras, and t-shirts due to its stretch and moisture management properties.

    2.Activewear: Popular in yoga pants, gym wear, and other active lifestyle clothing because of its comfort and flexibility.

    3.Compression Wear: Essential in compression garments that support muscles, enhance blood flow, and improve performance and recovery times.

    4.Swimwear: Common in swimsuits and swim trunks due to its resistance to chlorine and saltwater, combined with quick-drying capabilities.

    5.Outdoor Gear: Utilized in hiking, climbing, and cycling apparel where durability and weather resistance are critical

Technological Innovations in Nylon Sportswear

1.Blended Fabrics: Combining nylon with other fibers like spandex or polyester to enhance specific properties such as stretch, comfort, and moisture management.

2.Microfiber Technology: Using finer fibers to create softer, more breathable fabrics without compromising on durability.

3.Anti-Microbial Treatments: Incorporating treatments that prevent odor-causing bacteria, enhancing the hygiene and lifespan of sportswear.

4.Eco-Friendly Nylon: Development of recycled nylon from post-consumer waste like fishing nets and fabric scraps, reducing environmental impact.

Market Trends

  • Sustainability: Increasing consumer demand for eco-friendly sportswear is driving innovation in recycling and sustainable nylon production methods.

  • Athleisure: The blending of athletic and leisure wear continues to grow, with nylon being a favored fabric due to its versatility and comfort.

  • Smart Fabrics: Integration of technology into nylon fabrics to create smart sportswear that can monitor vital signs, track performance metrics, or provide enhanced comfort through temperature regulation.

  • Customization: Advances in manufacturing allow for greater customization of nylon sportswear, catering to specific athletic needs and personal preferences.

The consumption share of nylon in apparel fabrics is a key metric that highlights the importance and prevalence of this synthetic fiber in the textile industry. To give consumers a more concrete understanding of nylon trends. Here's an overview of the consumption share and its context within the broader apparel fabrics market

Global Consumption of Nylon Fabric in Apparel

  • Overall Market Share: Nylon accounts for a significant portion of the synthetic fibers used in the apparel industry. While exact percentages can vary, nylon typically represents about 10-15% of the total synthetic fiber consumption in textiles.

  • Synthetic Fiber Market: The synthetic fiber market is dominated by polyester, which constitutes around 55-60% of the market share. Nylon, being the second most common synthetic fiber, holds a substantial but smaller share in comparison.

  • Comparison with Natural Fibers: When considering the entire apparel fabrics market, which includes both synthetic and natural fibers, nylon's share is lower due to the dominant presence of natural fibers like cotton, which makes up about 25-30% of the total fiber consumption.

Segmentation by Application

  • Activewear and Sportswear: Nylon is heavily used in activewear and sportswear due to its durability, elasticity, and moisture-wicking properties. In these segments, nylon can account for up to 30-40% of the fabric consumption.

  • Lingerie and Hosiery: Nylon is a primary fabric for lingerie and hosiery, representing a significant share, often around 70-80%, due to its smooth texture, strength, and elasticity.

  • Outdoor and Performance Gear: In outdoor apparel, such as jackets, pants, and gear designed for hiking or climbing, nylon is preferred for its abrasion resistance and lightweight properties. It constitutes approximately 20-30% of fabric consumption in this niche.

  • Fashion and Everyday Apparel: For everyday fashion items like dresses, blouses, and pants, nylon is often blended with other fibers. Its share in this segment is lower, typically around 5-10%, due to the preference for natural fibers and other synthetics like polyester.


The consumption share of nylon in apparel fabrics highlights its critical role in the textile industry. While it holds a smaller overall share compared to polyester and natural fibers like cotton, its importance in specific segments such as activewear, lingerie, and outdoor gear underscores its versatility and unique properties. Trends in sustainability, technological advancements, and regional consumption patterns will continue to shape the role of nylon in the apparel fabrics market.

Post time: Jul-01-2024