What is Polyamide Fabric?
A Polyamide is a macromolecule or polymer in which the monomers are linked together by amide bonds. Polyamide occurs both naturally and artificially and are used in making variety of materials. Naturally occurring polyamide are wool and silk which are nothing but proteins while artificially manufactured polyamides are nylon, sodium poly(asparate) and aramids. As far as Polyamide Fabric is concerned, it is generally sold as nylon in all parts of the world. In fact, nylon is defined as a group of synthetic polyamide polymer. Nylon was discovered as a substitute for imported and expensive silk and the first thing that was manufactured commercially with nylon was the stockings worn by women. Nylon has fibers that are stretchy and hence are used to make carpets, fishing line, ropes and tents as well.
Wallace Hume Carothers who was organic chemist at synthesized nylon for the first time in the year 1935, who at that time was working at a research location of the DuPont Company. He was trying to find a fabric that could replace silk and successfully created nylon as a result.
Characteristics and Features
Nylon is light-weight, but at the same time, a strong fabric. The fibers that are used to make nylon are smooth and non-absorbent meaning, anything that is made up of nylon dries up easily and quickly. Nylon is also dirt resistant and is not affected by any chemicals or sweat. But, nylon melts at high temperature and hence, strict rules should be followed while ironing clothes made up of nylon.
Nylon is chemically chains of amide molecules and the chains are arranged parallel to each other and are attached by hydrogen bonds. A polymerization process takes place that makes nylon fibers strong and since, this is a condensation reaction, no water is retained.
Basically, two types of nylon are considered to be Polyamide Fabric and they are Nylon 6 and Nylon 6, 6.
This is one of the most common forms of nylon that is used in production. This nylon is very easy to dye and is very much resistant to impact. It also absorbs moisture quickly and is highly elastic in nature and also has elasticity recovery properties.
Nylon 6, 6
This is yet another common form of nylon and consists of adipic acid, hexamethylene diamine and six carbon atoms. It is resistant to sunlight and abrasion resistant. It also has a high melting point and offer excellent color fastness.
Uses of Polyamide Fabric
Nylon is extremely versatile and though it can stretch a lot, it quickly regains its shape. It can be dyed in almost all colors and that is the reason why nylon is also used to make clothes. It is a bit shiny and is very durable. It does not get damaged easily. In most of the cases, it can be washed and dried in the washing machine itself.
When nylon was first made, it was made as a replacement for silk. Initially, it was used to make bristles in the tooth brushes though by 1939, the DuPont Company was already selling stockings made from nylon. It is used in making flak vests and parachutes for the military and is also used in the manufacture of vehicle tires. Currently, nylon is used in the production of different types of carpets commercially. It is also used to make clothes, strings that are used in musical instruments, ropes and bridal veils.
In short, nylon has variety of used and is still one of the most important artificially discovered fabrics.
Nylon is easy to maintain and its color retaining property makes it one of the most demanded artificial fabrics. Nylon is also cheap and hence, is here to stay. Oil, alcohol and other liquids may stain your cotton or silk clothes, but that is not the case with nylon. Nylon is not harmed by these liquids and polyamide is very easy to clean if done properly. But diluted acid can weaken the hydrogen bonds we talked about before and therefore, it is important that you keep acids away. Even phenols, alkalis and iodine can destroy this fabric permanently.
Nylon products are available in all markets and nylon is something that is commonly used by designers to design new clothes as well. It is easy to see how nylon is here to say as a staple in the fabric industry to the foreseeable future.