A common question we get: Is nylon waterproof?
It is a common material option for clothes and outdoor equipment due to its performance and durability but although being a very versatile fabric, there is some misunderstanding regarding its waterproof capabilities.
In this blog post we will dive into answering it!
Before we dive into the main subject, what exactly is Nylon?
Nylon is a synthetic material that is commonly used in various industries and applications.
Due to its strength, adaptability, and durability, nylon immediately became a popular alternative to silk after being created in the 1930s.
In the textile sector, nylon is frequently used to create apparel, luggage, and other consumer goods. Plus, its low weight and excellent tensile strength make it the perfect option for a variety of industrial applications.
A very brief but to the point explanation, Nylon is derived from petroleum and is created through a chemical process known as polymerization.
That process leads to a long-chain synthetic polymer with repeated amide groups. That makes nylon’s distinctive qualities, such as its strength, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion, all of them due to its molecular structure.
Nylon, in its untreated form, is not inherently waterproof. It is a hydrophilic material, meaning it has a natural affinity for water and can absorb moisture.
Important to remember that if nylon is exposed to water, it can become wet and take some time to dry.
Yes, it is possible to enhance its water resistance through various methods!
The most common approach is to apply a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to the nylon fabric. This coating modifies the surface tension of the material, causing water to bead up and roll off rather than being absorbed.
Being nylon a hydrophilic material, meaning it has a natural affinity for water and absorbs moisture when exposed to it, that can lead to the fabric feeling damp and retaining the water, which may cause discomfort.
Plus, the weight of nylon increases when it becomes wet due to water absorption which will be noticeable, particularly in items like backpacks or outdoor gear.
Fortunately, nylon fabric tends to dry relatively quickly compared to natural fibers like cotton. However, proper drying is essential to maintain the quality of the fabric.
Nylon is not inherently waterproof but has some water-repellent properties. If you want, it is possible to increase its waterproofness capabilities with a DWR coating, which offers moderate protection against light rain.
It is important to understand the limitations of nylon’s water resistance and take appropriate measures to maintain and enhance its performance when necessary.
Whether you are considering nylon for clothing or outdoor gear, understanding its water resistance characteristics will help you make informed decisions.
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Hope you enjoy this one.