Choosing the perfect upholstery fabric requires ample research. Often it becomes difficult for people when they purchase the wrong material and then discover it wasn’t as practical or durable as they thought. Having so many fabric options also doesn't make it easier, so is nylon upholstery a good option?
Nylon is a fabric made from synthetic polymers, and it became a revolutionary invention at the time. Wallace Hume Carothers synthesised the first nylon at DuPont in 1935. It was called 'nylon 66' and synthesised from diamines. Soon after, it became the first synthetic thermoplastic polymer that became a commercial success. The first commercial use of nylon was on the toothbrush as bristles. It also made its way into women's apparel as stockings and was showcased at the famous New York Worlds Fair in 1939.
In 1940, nylon stockings sold over 64 million pairs, and the fabric became a massive commercial success. But the real breakthrough came when the material made its way into military use. The invention came around not long before World War 2, and it proved to be crucial for making materials like parachute strings and other equipment.
Nylon is also a very versatile synthetic polymer. It can be cast, extruded, or drawn through spinnerets into bristles, sheets, fibres, or filaments. Nylon can also be used for making moulded products or manufactured into cordage, yarn, or fabric. However, the most promising characteristic property is the high resistance to heat, chemicals, and wear and tear, making it an ideal fabric for upholstery.
How is Nylon Upholstery Made?
Nylon is not a natural material, and it's manufactured using chemicals and other resources like petroleum and coal. Castor oil is also an option which is vegetable oil. So how's it made?
Nylon is a polymer obtained by reacting two molecules in a vessel called an autoclave with moderate pressure and heat. The two molecules are called adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine. The process is called condensation polymerization, and the two molecules fuse into one giant molecule. The process gives off water, and the polymer formed is called nylon-6,6.
The large molecule contains six carbon atoms hence the name. The final product after the chemical process results in sheets of nylon. It is then shredded and used as the primary material for making plastic products.
However, the nylon used in clothing is made from nylon fibres, but the primary material is shredded nylon. For making the nylon used on apparel and other products, the shredded chips are first melted and fed to a spinneret. Spinneret is a wheel with holes, and different nylon threads are obtained by adjusting the rotation speed.
Nylon can also be made into different types having different characteristics by mixing with other chemicals. It also blends well with other materials. For example, mixing nylon and cotton produces a fabric that is soft yet resilient. It is very flexible, so it can also be woven into different patterns to increase durability.
In the military industry, nylon also has many uses. It can be molded for tire threads, machine parts, and other useful synthetic products.
One of the key characteristics when it comes to upholstery fabric is maintenance. For upholstery work, nylon is a good option. However, most nylon for upholstery is mixed with other fabrics to give it either more softness or texture.
Nylon does not absorb a lot of moisture, so it is water-resistant to a degree, and even if it gets wet, it dries faster than other materials. It also lasts very long because its resistant to abrasion and is an excellent insulator.
Nylon is one of the most durable fabrics you can get, so it’s ideal for areas where there are high levels of exposure to potential food and drink spillages. So if your household has a few kids and pets, it’s a pretty good choice of fabric for this type of environment.
It's actually one of the best choices you can make if your household has a lot of people or visitors, and it can handle everyday usage and even pets. For best durability and practicality, make sure it's blended with another synthetic material and be sure to use expert upholstery cleaners annually to help you maintain it.
There are many uses of nylon fabric in upholstery. The material is excellent for all kinds of upholstery work, such as seat covers, cushions, pillows, outdoor furniture, sofas, lounges, couches, chairs, and more! Nylon is the preferred choice because of its durability and water-resistant characteristics.
It's fair to say that nylon is universally applicable to a lot of things. With properties such as resilience, durability and tensile strength make it an ideal upholstery fabric in many industries. You too can enjoy all the benefits of nylon upholstery at your home or workplace too. There are some incredible designs available too so be sure to look around.