Most nylon is manufactured in China, which produced 1.4 million tons of nylon fiber in 2009. The U.S. is the second-largest producer. Nylon accounted for 40 percent of the synthetic fiber made worldwide in 1970, but it has largely been replaced by polyester in most uses.
Nylon is a synthetic polymer fiber used in everything from clothing and toothbrushes to parachutes and instrument strings. It was invented in 1934 by Wallace Carothers, an employee at DuPont. Nylon is made by combining acid and amine molecules and heating them to a very high temperature, causing them to combine as molten nylon, which is then separated into threads and spun.