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Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is made out of the raw materials raw materials phenol, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. It was intended as a replacement for silk when silk became scarce during World War II. It is light, strong, durable and does not get damaged easily. Nylon became well known when “nylons” replaced silk stockings. It also replaced silk in parachutes and flak vests during the second world war.


What it is used for

Nylon has many uses. It is commonly used to make toothbrushes, pantyhose, fishing lines, musical strings, bridal veils, carpets, fabric, strings of tennis, squash and badminton racquets, flexible tubes, basketball nets, velcro and footwear . It is also used to make parachutes, bullet proof vests, airbags, seat belts and ropes. Solid nylon is used for making auto parts such as gears, petrol tanks, bearings .


Nylon has the following advantages:

  • Highly durable
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • Is resistant to insects, fungi and mildew
  • It melts instead of burning


  • It is not absorbent, unlike cotton. As a result pespiration does not dry. This is especialy a problem with stocking or nylon socks. The increased moisture feels unpleasant and can make the foot slippery as well as lead to bad odor.
  • Nylon pantyhose is extremely prone to runs. Even a finger nail or a toe nail can cause a run or a “ladder”.
  • Nylon is very durable and does not get damaged.
  • It takes about 30-40 years to bio-degrade which makes discarded nylon an environmental problem.
  • Nylon is prone to static electricity.
  • Nylon can have an unpleasant sheen.

Care of nylon

Nylon is sensitive to heat and nylon fabric should be washed and dried on cool settings. It dries quickly and usually does not need to be ironed.

Health risks

  • Women who wear nylon underclothes in warm and damp weather are likely to suffer from vaginal infections because of the increased moisture retention and the restricted airflow. Bacteria mutiples in a warm and damp environment. Cotton is a better fabric to use in warm weather.
  • Nylon clothing melts when exposed to extreme heat, causing it to fuse to the skin and leading to horrific disfiguring burns.

Did you know

Using clear nail polish on a tear or a run in a pair of stocking can prevent the run from growing.


  • wiseGEEK
  • Wikipedia
  • Geniusbeauty.com