What Is the Fabric Nylon Made Out Of?

fabric-nylon-made-out Credit: Horia Varlan/CC-BY 2.0

Nylon is made from coal, petroleum, air and water. It is a man-made product, often referred to as a polymer. The materials used to make nylon are called polyamides.

Nature does not produce nylon, but nature does produce the materials nylon is made from. Nylon polymer forms when two large molecules react together in a pressurized heated vessel called an autoclave. The two molecules are hexane-1,6 a dicarboxylic acid, and diaminohexane 1,6. When combined, these molecules release a water base chemical and goes through a process called condensation polymerization. The original nylon, called "Nylon 6,6," was patented in the U.S. by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Nylon comes in various strengths, including Nylon 6,12, Nylon 6, and Nylon 5,10.