Fabrics Database - Nylon

Summaries for Nylon

Key: Centre (0) Bad        Outer (6) Good

Characteristics / options defined by the above graphs are proportionally represented and approximate, and are only intended as a guide. As such they do not represent any industry standards. Among other things, fabric construction and weight will influence the perceived ranking.

Data Sheet for Nylon


Oil based synthetic fibre. An oil based synthetic fibre, nylon is probably the most durable of the synthetic fibres used in corporate clothing. It is not used as widely as polyester for several reasons, among which are that it is more prone to staining, it has poorer UV resistance and more prone to creasing during industrial laundering. It is however used in garments such as fleeces and outerwear where the superior abrasion resistance is of benefit.

Available as:

Knitted and woven fabrics with range of weights. Nylon fibre is available as continuous filament and staple fibre. It can be found blended with other fibres though is more often used as a homogeneous fibre. Nylon is available as knitted and woven fabrics.


Easy to dye. Nylon fibres do not usually require bleaching and can be dyed more easily than polyester.

Dimensional Stability

Nylon fabric are shrink resistant. Nylon fabrics are resistant to shrinking but can have natural stretch.

Resistance to pilling

Resistant to pilling, excellent abrasion resistance. Fabrics produce from nylon have very good abrasion resistance and are resistant to pilling.

Moisture regain

Very low. Low moisture absorption, typically 2-4% at 65% RH

Care information

Warm wash. Most items made from nylon are suitable for either machine washing or dry-cleaning. A warm water cycle can be used with the addition of a fabric conditioner during the rinse cycle to minimise potential static build-up. Tumble drying at a low temperature and removal as soon as the garments are dry should overcome a need for ironing. If it is necessary to iron nylon garments then a moderately warm iron should be used. Industrial laundering can lead to crease formation.


Mainly in outerwear. Nylon clothing has a good stability and strength and is resistant to stretching and shrinkage. There is a tendency for UV degradation but the fibre still finds widespread use in outerwear.

End of life Possibilities

Non biodegradable and therefore some limitations. In general nylon is not bio-degradable and is therefore unsuitable for composting. Disposal to landfill is regarded as an option, however as a melt spun fibre it is possible to remanufacture the nylon into more fibre or other applications. Fibres produced from re-processed nylon are available. This process is not however as easy as with polyester. Coated fabrics will have very limited opportunities at the end of life.

Eco aspects

Cost scope (economic impact)

Common trade names

Patagonia (recycled nylon)



Du Pont (U.K.) Limited
Wedgwood Way
Tel: + 0044 (0) 1438 73 4000
Fax : + 0044 (0) 1438 73 4836


Oakdene Hollins Limited, 2017 for the CRR Uniform Reuse Project www.uniformreuse.co.uk


The rationale behind the study has been to provide a means whereby current and potential fibres/fabrics for use in the corporate clothing sector, can be compared. Any such comparison will be dependent on a multitude of factors that will influence the choice. Although application is the foremost factor that will be influencing the material selection, service life and cost will also play an important role.

The information contained within the following data sheets is an attempt to draw together some of the salient points that may be of interest at the specification and design stage without trying to be exhaustive.

De Montfort University produces these data on the fibres/fabric groups and blends on a non exhaustive basis. De Montfort University therefore makes no representation, express or implied that any of the fibres/fabric groups or blends will be unaffected by other treatments or processes. Users of these data must address the possibility of any health and safety issues that may arise personally.