The Revolutionary Textile
Nylon is the most common and strongest fiber found on the market. It is often found in our apparel, toothbrush, and more than you ever know. Nylon has a rich story in history. Its story could be traced back to one of the deadliest wars in history – WW2.
The Invention of Nylon & Hosiery
Before nylon, silk was the main textile in America. It was one of the main imports in America until the surge of nylon, a material that won the hearts of millions of women in the 1930s.
Unlike silk, nylon is a synthetic material made from crude oil, air, and water through a process called polymerization. It was researched by DuPont in 1927 and invented by a young organic chemistry lecturer from Harvard University in 1935 – Wallace Hume Carothers. Soon, its desired properties such as elasticity, strength, and quick dryness caught the attention of many to make it into women’s hosiery. The production of nylon hosiery was a huge success with 64 million pairs sold on the market in the first year and continued to raise its revenue in the coming years.
From Fashion Production to Military Production
This great invention has not only helped to relieve America’s economy during the Great Depression but also became one of the necessities in women’s wardrobes. Unfortunately, the production of nylon hosiery was forced to halt due to the breakout of WW2. To overcome the shortage of silk imported from Japan, nylon became the alternative for the production of military supplies such as tents and parachutes due to its desired properties. Almost 80% of nylon production was diverted for military applications while a very small percentage of nylon hosiery sold at a high price in the black market due to the high demand from women.
Nylon in Fashion
After WW2, nylon hosiery was back on the market and achieved another level of success. Between the end of the war and 1952, the production of hosiery and lingerie took up 80% of the nylon in the world.
No one ever thought that this synthetic material would become a revolution in fashion in the first place. The world was soon wowed by its properties. It is cheap, abrasion-resistant, can be dyed in a wide range of colors, easy to wear, wash, and care for. It has transformed both women's and men's fashion. The presence of nylon is ubiquitous in fashion. It can be found in underwear, socks, coats, sweaters, the drip-dry suits of men, and also the girdles of women.
Nylon in Other Industries
The application of nylon is not confined to clothing and the military. It can be applied widely in other industries such as transportation, mechanical, food packaging, and printing. Despite there are more different kinds of textile with better utility and aesthetic features created, nylon remains the favorite among the professional and domestic in the market due to its desired features. Particularly, its superior tensile strength makes it one of the top candidates for heavy-duty applications.
We are grateful for the early contributions from many.
Without them, we won’t be able to bring the lifetime belt to you.