Nylon VS Polyester. How To Choose?

Which one is best? We will explain that 

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on Nylon

It is quite complicated to pick the fabric that your clothing will be made of. The market is filled with all possible variants and fabric blends so that we get easily confused.

One of the most frequent issues is how to choose between polyester and nylon.

Well,  today we will try to clarify it once and for all.

Meet Nylon! A Brief Overwiev 

Nylon is a fully-artificial material that is produced of monomers extracted from crude oil also known as petroleum. The manufacturing process goes through several stages including the acidic reactions and stretching tests to increase the fabric’s elasticity and strength. 

But don’t mistake it to elastane as many people do! Elastane is also synthetic, but it is more durable, exceptionally elastic, tear-resistant, and returns to the initial shape after stretching. It’s used in sportswear and swimwear, corsetry, and anything that requires permanent elasticity.

Originally, nylon was used in WWII for making parachutes, but during the post-war years, people found it usable for sewing dresses and other garments.

However, pretty soon it was discovered than nylon had several quite bad issues, for instance, the material had a tendency to runs and tears, and besides, its liquid-absorbing abilities were also poor.

Nowadays it is mostly used for women’s underwear and tights, yoga pants, and fitting bottoms. As for the sportswear, nylon didn’t show itself well enough. Owners often complain that nylon is quite unable to wick moisture that turns it into a bad choice for serious physical training.

Is Polyester Different?

Polyester is also synthetic, and basically it’s a general name for any material with polyester yarn.

The way the material is produced makes it a kind of plastic in fact. Because of that, rather than polyester, consumers often prefer natural cotton instead of polyester that is way more breathable, softer, absorbent, and sustainable compared to the artificial counterpart. One more beneficial ability of cotton fibers is that they are cool, that is why this material perfect for a hot summer day.

Meet Nylon A Brief Overwiev 
Photo by Joost Crop

Thanks to its origin, polyester has several significant features:

  • it’s very durable 
  • It’s shrinking and stretching-resistant
  • Polyester doesn’t wrinkle and stands abrasions
  • It’s very light 
  • It’s easy to maintain

Because of those reasons, polyester is one of the popular fabrics for outdoor outfits.

Because of those reasons, polyester is one of the popular fabrics for outdoor outfits.

Consumers especially praise its ability to keep the shape and return back to the initial form and size no matter how we stretch or wring the material. It was the low predisposition of polyester to stretching that made it the number one material for sportsmen.

Nylon VS Polyester. A Closer Look At Both Fabrics

Nylon VS Polyester. A Closer Look At Both Fabrics
Photo by Siora Photography

Each of these materials has specifics and nuances. Nylon is softer and pleasant to the skin whereas polyester is meant for outdoor garments. Besides, it is stronger and possesses greater stretchability.

On the other hand, polyester dries faster and absorbs colors way better.

So which one is the best? We offer you to check out the comparative chart.

Feel Durability Water-wicking ability Color Maintenance
Nylon Soft and smooth Strong, with good stretchability  Absorbs some liquid and dries longer Has less dye-bonding to the fibers Easy to care 
Polyester Originally rougher, today it’s almost the same smooth as nylon Less strong but more pilling-resistant Fast-drying fabric Absorbs color faster Easy to care

None of these fabrics can be called the best once since they were originally meant for completely different purposes. Besides, today due to the development of chemistry and clothing manufacturing, even harsh polyester can be the same smooth as the top-quality nylon.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is nylon bad for skin?

In some kind, yes. It doesn’t absorb moisture so sweat gets trapped on the skin creating a perfect ground for fungal infection.

⭐ Which is the best nylon or polyester?

In some way, polyester is better since it dries fast which means your skin will always be dry. On the other hand, nylon is stronger so everything hangs upon what you need the fabric for.

⭐ Is nylon comfortable to wear?

Nylon is a smooth silky fabric that is soft to the skin so yes, it’s comfy to wear.

⭐ Which is warmer polyester or nylon?

Probably, nylon since it tends to trap the body warmth.

⭐ Are nylon flags better than polyester?

They are since the fabric is lighter and brighter requiring a little breeze to fly.

⭐ Which is more breathable nylon or polyester?

Polyester since the fabric also dries faster.

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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Which is better Nylon or polyester?Which is better Nylon or polyester?