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How to distinguish between polyester and nylon fabrics?

August 28,2023

Nylon  and polyester are two common chemical fiber fabrics in our daily lives, but many people often confuse these two different fabrics and cannot distinguish which one is specific. Today, we will teach you how to distinguish these two fabrics.

Ⅰ.What is nylon?

Nylon fabric is made by pulling nylon material into very fine fibers and weaving them into fabric. The specific scientific name of nylon is polyamide, which is a widely used engineering plastic. Polyamide (PA) was the first resin developed by DuPont Company in the United States for fibers, which was industrialized in 1939. In the 1950s, injection molded products were developed and produced to replace metals to meet the requirements of lightweight and cost reduction in downstream industrial products. There are many varieties of PA, including PA6, PA66, PAll, PAl2, PA46, PA610, PA612, PAl010, and many new varieties such as semi aromatic nylon PA6T and special nylon developed in recent years.

According to the different materials of nylon, the most common ones are fibers made of nylon 6 and nylon 66.

Nylon fabric is known for its excellent wear resistance. It is not only the best choice for down jackets and hiking clothes, but also often mixed or interwoven with other fibers to improve the strength and firmness of the fabric. The characteristics can be summarized as follows:

1. The wear resistance of nylon fabric ranks first among all types of fabrics, many times higher than other fiber fabrics of similar products, therefore, its durability is excellent.

2. The moisture absorption of nylon fabric is a good variety among synthetic fiber fabrics, so clothing made of nylon is more comfortable to wear than polyester clothing.

3. Nylon fabric is a lightweight fabric, which is only listed after polypropylene and acrylic fabrics in synthetic fiber fabrics. Therefore, it is suitable for making hiking clothes, winter clothing, etc.

4. Nylon fabric has excellent elasticity and elastic recovery, but it is prone to deformation under small external forces, so its fabric is prone to wrinkling during wear.

5. Nylon fabric has poor heat and light resistance, and it is necessary to pay attention to washing and maintenance conditions during wear and use to avoid damaging the fabric.

Ⅱ.What is polyester?

Polyester  is a commonly used clothing fabric, chemically named polyester fiber, commonly used in the production of jackets, shirts, and windbreakers. Polyester feels like cotton to the touch, but the material is crisp, wrinkle resistant, and washable. In terms of production, polyester is definitely the biggest player in chemical fibers. In the early days of China's underdeveloped chemical industry, "Dacron" shirts were very popular, which were actually polyester shirts.

Ⅲ.How to distinguish between polyester and nylon

Polyester (straight and wrinkle free):

Features: High strength, good impact resistance, heat resistance, corrosion resistance, moth resistance, acid resistance but not alkali resistance, good light resistance (second only to acrylic fiber), exposure to 1000 hours, maintaining strength of 60-70%, poor moisture absorption, difficult dyeing, easy to wash and dry fabric, good shape retention. Featuring "washable and wearable" features


Filament: often used as low elasticity silk to make various textiles;

Short fiber: Cotton, wool, linen, etc. can be blended, and in industry: tire cord, fishing net, rope, filter cloth, edge insulation materials, etc. It is currently the largest usage in chemical fibers.

Nylon (sturdy and wear-resistant):

The biggest advantage is that it is sturdy and wear-resistant, making it the best one. Low density, light fabric, good elasticity, resistance to fatigue damage, good chemical stability, alkali resistance but not acid resistance!

The biggest drawback is poor sunlight resistance. The fabric will turn yellow after prolonged exposure to sunlight, resulting in decreased strength and poor moisture absorption. However, it is better than acrylic or polyester fibers.


Filament: commonly used in the knitting and silk industry;

Short fiber: mostly blended with wool or woolen synthetic fibers, used for gabardine, Vanadine, etc.

Industry: Cords and fishing nets, also used as carpets, ropes, conveyor belts, screens, etc.

After understanding the characteristics and uses of the above two types of wrens, we can basically determine which fabric we are in contact with. If you have any questions about yarn, please feel free to contact us at any time garyzhao@derun


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