What is Nylon? Production, maintenance, disadvantages

A fiber renowned for its flexibility and resistance, nylon is one of the star materials in the textile industry. Derived from plastic and therefore oil, it nevertheless contributes to the pollution of the planet. What are its advantages and disadvantages ? Zoom on the nylon fiber.

  What'est-ce que le nylon ? Production, entretien, inconvénients

Although it had its advent during the Second World War, used to make parachute fabrics, the nylon democratized very quickly during the post-war period. Less expensive than silk or wool and ultra-resistant, it quickly gained a place in the textile industry, to the point of representing 9% synthetic fibers used in clothing in 2011 according to WWF.

What is Nylon?

Created in 1935 by the American Wallace Carothers, of the Dupont de Nemours company, nylon is a synthetic chemical material, a plastic fiber of the polyamide type widely used in the textile industry. After the Second World War, it very quickly became popular in the United States and then in Europe thanks to the creation of down and of tights made of nylon, less expensive than those formerly made of silk or wool. But it is also its impermeability and its ability to dry very quickly, as well as its properties as a flexible and extensible fiber, while being very resistant, which have made its success. In addition, unlike polyester, nylon fiber is much more gentle .

How is nylon produced?

Produced from plastic and derived from petroleum, nylon is an artificial textile material whose scientific name is nylon6-6. It is obtained by a process of polymerization in different stages. First, a hot polycondensation is carried out between a dicarboxylic acid and a diamine. The goal ? Add a molecule at each step to end up with a chain of molecules constituting the fiber. When the synthesis is complete, the chemical material, molten, will be spun. It is by drying it afterwards that the fiber becomes very resistant. However, she remains very heat sensitive , which can deform it irreparably.

How to maintain nylon?

This is why when washing in the washing machine, it is advisable to put your nylon clothes in low temperature program and D' avoid too violent spinning . The ironing is generally not not necessary since the fiber does not wrinkle, and that is good since she could melt under the heat of the iron.

As part of the polyamide family, nylon fiber has the ideal properties for quickly wick away perspiration but, there is a flip side: bad odor management. She is indeed lipophile , which means that she loves oily substances in which bacteria travel, some of which are smelly. The nylon will preciously preserve these oils by evacuating the water, their concentration will increase in the fabric until form bad odors .

What clothes can you make with nylon?

Soft , raincoat and resistant , nylon has many advantages and is used today in multiple garments, including nylon stockings or tights, in the lingerie , windbreakers, sports clothing , coat linings, dresses, socks… But is also present in everyday objects such as toothbrushes and fishing nets. If manufacturers use nylon so much, it's because it's a textile material cheap to make affordable clothes.

What are the limits of nylon?

Unfortunately, its manufacturing process is extremely polluting and energy-intensive . Its production releases into the atmosphere greenhouse gas . Being a polyamide petroleum derivative , nylon, like polyester and acrylic, pollutes water by releasing plastic microparticles when it goes through the washing machine. And this plastic to pass without incident the filters of water treatment plants and to end up in the oceans... Finally, if they have an average duration of use of 3 to 5 days according to HOP study, the famous nylon tights put between 30 and 40 years to decay . Moreover, to make a single pair, 14 kilometers of wires and 750 liters of water are necessary.

Good news, however, recycled nylon is an eco-responsible alternative to virgin nylon, which is ground and melted to create a new yarn. Among the different fibers obtained, the Econyl help clean the oceans of plastic waste that pollutes them, like fishing nets... made of nylon!

Source journaldesfemmes.fr