Fabric 101: Nylon

What is nylon fabric? Nylon is a synthetic material that was first developed during WWII as a substitute for silk, which became impossible to import from Japan. Nylon fabric was first used in clothing for women’s hosiery, or “nylons” if you will.

So what does it mean to say that nylon is a synthetic material? By synthetic, we mean a polymer which is another way of saying a plastic. Nylon is not a natural material, like wood, iron or cotton is. It’s not found in nature, but is made in chemical plants.

There’s a lot of science mumbo-jumbo that’s very technical, and that we won’t get into here; but generally, nylon clothes are made from fibers of nylon – that is, strands of plastic yarn. Nylon is often referred to as a “silky-smooth thermoplastic” because when heated to around 500º Fahrenheit, it melts.

Nylon fabric has several properties that make it a good choice for garments like jackets and sports bags. It’s:

  • Strong
  • Tough
  • Durable
  • It resists sunlight and weathering
  • Highly resistant to molds, insects, and fungi
  • Water resistant
  • Fast drying

Although tough and hardy, nylon fabric will dissolve in harsh chemicals like acids and phenol.

When thinking about nylon fabric, keep in mind that it’s measured in what’s known as denier. This unit of measurement is equal to one gram of mass per 9,000 meters of length. What that basically means is that the more denier, the thicker and tougher the garment is – e.g. a 100d (100 denier) garment is going to be stronger, thicker and tougher than a 10d garment.

At Augusta Sportswear, you’ll most notably find nylon fabric garments like sports bags, garment bags, and jackets. Check out our selection and browse our updated website which combines all three of our brands – Augusta Sportswear, Holloway, and High Five – to make shopping easier.

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