Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?
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Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?

Knowing how polyester compares to other materials will help. nylon differ will help you to decide which material is most suited for the clothing you’re creating.

Unlike natural fibers like cotton, which come from a renewable source, fabrics made of nylon and polyester are synthetic and made from petroleum. Both fabrics are strong, durable, and easy to care for. Nylon, however, is more resilient to wear and tear than polyester.

Which material is more suited to you and your family? To learn more, keep reading. We also have compared Modal Fabric Vs Polyester.

What is Polyester?

The list for the fiber billboard charts places polyester fairly high. It is one of the strongest fabrics currently in use because it is non-biodegradable and can last for up to 100 years or longer before it starts to deteriorate.

Research has it that over sixty percent of fabrics in stores today are made from polyester. That’s how versatile it is. The fibers used to make polyester fabric come from a specific class of oil-based polymers. It is one of the most commonly manufactured man-made fibers in the world.

It is a top option for manufacturing clothing or home furnishings in large quantities because of its many benefits.

Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?

What is Nylon?

Nylon is a completely synthetic fiber produced by humans and obtained through the polymerization of petrochemicals. When two big molecules interact, it is created. Diamine acid and dicarboxylic acid make up the molecules. It is used to make our everyday items such as umbrellas, women’s stockings, toothbrush bristles, and many others.

Since nylon’s chemical composition is so strikingly similar to that of silk, it was initially developed as a silk substitute. Since it can be used to make almost anything, nylon fabric is very adaptable.

What is the Difference Between Polyester and Nylon?

We’ll evaluate this versus battle using the properties of both fabrics to get a better idea of how they stack up against one another. Read on to find out which of these two synthetic fibers is superior.

Feel & Performance

The reason why nylon feels so soft and silky is that it was developed as a substitute for silk. Additionally, it has more stretch and shines than polyester.

Polyester is generally a rougher, duller fabric. The feel of polyester has improved thanks to contemporary manufacturing techniques. Today, polyester is available that mimics cotton’s softness while feeling less similar to nylon.

Additionally, polyester is often combined with other fibers like cotton and rayon. This indicates that the yarn has all of the polyester’s wonderful qualities at a lower cost.


Polyester costs less than nylon because it is made from petroleum products and can be produced quickly by machines, whereas nylon must be produced by hand and takes more time. Since nylon lasts longer than polyester despite costing more to produce, choosing this material over polyester will ultimately save you money.

Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?


Both materials are elastic, but depending on their thickness, they are more or less elastic. Nylon has less thickness compared to polyesters so it stretches less when subjected to heat or cold weather conditions but still stretches enough for normal use such as wearing your winter coat in cold.


While nylon is colored with acid dyes, polyester is colored with dispersed dyes. Compared to nylon, polyester reacts much better to dyeing. Polyester has good color fastness and is well absorbed by dyes. Polyester that can be dyed with cations is known as CD polyester. This particular polyester can be dyed in a different way, producing colors that are richer and more vivid.

Since nylon is more difficult to work with, only the best professionals should dye nylon. On nylon fabric, dyes can occasionally absorb unevenly, leading to unsightly striping. Nylon is also not particularly colorfast. Nylon with dyes fades more quickly than polyester when exposed to UV rays.

Dyeing produces a two-tone effect when nylon and polyester fibers have been combined. The acid dye can be used, and nylon will absorb it whereas polyester won’t. Alternatively, disperse dye, which nylon only slightly absorbs.


Both fibers’ durability percentages are fairly similar. Because of this, it is a little difficult to say for sure which fiber is stronger.

When it comes to resistance to abrasion, nylon outlasts polyester. It will also win in any encounter with oils and other chemical substances. On the other hand, polyester is known to be resistant to shrinking as it will remain in its original size irrespective of what they face in the course of being used. Like nylon, they are also abrasion-resistant.

The durability of nylon carpets is higher than that of polyester carpets, though. Additionally stronger and better at stretching than leather is nylon. As a result, nylon-made materials will last much longer than polyester-made ones since the stretchy quality makes them resistant to wear and tear.

They become more durable and less likely to sustain damage from repeated use. The strength and durability of nylon make it a common choice for making ropes.

Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?

Reaction to Water

Nylon can expand by up to 3.5% when it is wet and absorbs water. Nylon will therefore take longer to dry when you’re perspiring or exercising in the rain.

In contrast, polyester is significantly less absorbent. Due to the hydrophobic nature of the fabric, any moisture is forced to the surface where it can evaporatively evaporate. Due to the high rate of sweating involved, it is ideal for high-intensity sports.

Reaction to Heat

Next, let’s talk about how these two fabrics handle heat. The more robust option is polyester. To absorb dyes, it actually needs high heat. This indicates that it is a dependable option for digital or sublimation print. Nylon, on the other hand, can’t be processed under high heat so heat transfer printing is a much more delicate process.

Shrinking Tendency

Polyester and nylon both have a similar tendency to shrink. Nylon is quite resistant to shrinking and will naturally maintain its original size. High temperatures, however, cause it to shrink. So, if you increase the heat in your dryer, your nylon clothing probably won’t come out the same way. Your nylon fabric may shrink if you add fabric softener or detergent to the wash.

While polyester shrinks in hot temperatures as nylon does, it does so without the aid of a fabric softener. The instantaneous shrinkage of polyester is also a result of extremely hot ironing. However, when subjected to extremely high heat, both fibers will permanently shrink. Once it shrinks, there is no turning back, so be sure your dryer’s heat is set to a very low level. This round will be ruled a tie.


Both fabrics are very simple to maintain. They do not stretch, wrinkle, or shrink. And they’re not susceptible to mold, mildew, or staining either.

Polyester Vs. Nylon: What Are the Differences?

A typical washing machine cycle will do when caring for polyester or nylon. Dry cleaning is not advised. They shouldn’t be high heat tumble dried or ironed either. For polyester or nylon with wicking properties, fabric softener should also be avoided.

Which is Best? Polyester Or Nylon?

Nylon and polyester each have their own strengths. Depending on the intended use and fabric design, different materials will work best for different projects.

Nylon is the material of choice for yoga and underwear brands because of its unrivaled silky feel. But whilst nylon is softer and stronger, polyester dries faster, dyes more easily, and is less likely to pill.

All of these factors contribute to the popularity of polyester as a fabric for sportswear in activities like running, basketball, soccer, and football.

Nevertheless, technological advances are improving both fabrics. One such example is the softening of polyester yarn. Nylon can absorb moisture and dry more quickly if it has a wicking finish.

Conclusion: Polyester Vs. Nylon

When used to create things, both fibers’ unique strengths and weaknesses are relevant. Which fiber you choose ultimately depends on the nature of your project and your personal preferences.

We trust that this article has helped you understand the distinctions between polyester and nylon fabrics.


What Does Nylon Polyester Feel Like?

Nylon was created as an alternative to silk, which explains its soft and silky feel. Additionally, it has more stretch and shines than polyester. Polyester is generally a rougher, duller fabric. The feel of polyester has improved thanks to contemporary manufacturing techniques.

Is Nylon Polyester Breathable?

Both of these synthetic materials are used in the majority of activewear. Strong resistance to pilling and abrasion; quickly dries after absorbing moisture. Cons: Not as soft as cotton, retains odor, breathability varies based on yarn size and knit or weave.

Is 100% Nylon With Polyester Waterproof?

Both nylon and polyester resist water, but polyester resists it better than nylon. The ability of polyester to withstand water also gets better as thread count increases. However, unless it is coated with specific materials, neither material is completely waterproof.

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