The General Characteristics of Synthetic Nylon Fibre and Why It is Being Used in Socks

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This article (Nylon socks) presents the general characteristics and application of synthetic nylon fibre and why it is being used in socks.


Nylon is one of the most common fabrics found in a broad range of clothing and accessories. It is a thin, rigid, lustrous, elastic synthetic polymer with a protein-like chemical structure, able to be produced as sheets, filaments or embossed objects. It has been used to create everything from carpets, socks, ropes for rock climbing and parachutes to food packaging, string for tyres, conveyor belts airbags and fishing net. It can be blended with other materials such as glass, oil and carbon fiber to enhance certain aspects of its performance, as its wide variety of qualities are often useful, but sadly lacking from the materials that it teams up with.

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Spinning Process of Nylon

  • Nylon is a melt spun fiber.
  •  The chips of nylon polymer fall on electrically heated grid.
  •  The molten polymer is extruded and then is sucked by a pump into spinneret.
  •  As soon as molten filaments emerge out of the spinneret they enter a chimney where they are air cooled.
  •  Spin finish is coated onto the fiber.
  •  Filaments or staple fiber can be prepared by drawing process.
  •  Nylon 66 is synthesized by the chemicals which are:
  • Adipic acid (COOH(CH2)4COOH)
  • Hexamethylene diamine H₂N(CH₂)₆NH₂

Socks are very important part of clothing. They are the caretakers of our shoes and feet, and a fashion quotient to add in our apparel. Since Socks enhance our apparel as well as shoes, they can never be optional. Socks are worn to absorb sweat that is produced by the feet and for warmth during cold seasons. They keep the feet free from bacteria and fungi.

Reasons for Using Nylon Fiber in Socks

Nylon is a flexible, durable and significantly strong fibre that can be smooth, thin or bulky. It is often used with other fibers to provide reliability or added stretch hence it is essential in almost all modern socks.

On crimping, nylon becomes elastic and provide the tensile feature of socks. It can be used as a strengthening or stretching material or as a coating on natural fabrics. Nylon is used in making socks since it is cheap, easy to wash and water repellent.

Nylon socks wick away moisture and dry quickly hence keep our feet dry. Machine knitted socks will always contain nylon as it works well to hold together fine fabrics in fine yarns. Nylon has a soft feel against the skin and it is resistant to pilling and abrasion.

Physical Properties


The nylon is a polyamide with recurring amide group. It contains carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen elements.


In microscopic appearance normal nylon looks like a long, smooth cylinder. Its cross section is circular, and it is lustrous, unless it is delustered. The cross-sectional shape of nylon 66 or nylon 6 can differ to produce fibers with a particularly desirable appearance or performance quality.

Specific Gravity

Nylon is a relatively low density fiber. Its specific gravity is 1.14, which is lower when compared with most other fibers.


The strength of nylon is excellent. It has a high strength to weight ratio. It is the lightest and the strongest fiber. Its strength is lost when wet. It is produced in a variety of tenacities. The regular tenacities of nylon 66 is 3 to 6 g/d; that of regular nylon 6, 4 to 7 g/d.


Despite the fact that it is a strong fiber, nylon has a low modulus so that it stretches effectively with little force. On the other hand this is a plus for sweaters, swimwear, and athleticwear where low resistance to stretch gives comfort and fit.

Elongation and Recovery

Nylon exhibits fairly high elongation and excellent elastic recovery. These properties make it ideal for the apparel purposes. Like other fibers, nylon has its own limit of elasticity. On stretching too much, it does not completely regain its shape. This helps clothes made of nylon, or nylon blended with elastic fibers like spandex, to retain their form and dimensions.

The melting point of nylon 66 is about 500 F. It becomes soft and start to stick at 445 F. Nylon 6 is even more heat sensitive. Ironing at high temperature can cause the fibers to glaze, soften or stick. The fiber burns in a flame but usually self extinguishes when the flame is removed. However, nylon fibers do melt, and as with any fiber that melts, if the molten fiber drips onto the skin, it may cause serious burns.

Like most synthetics, nylon is chemically stable. Dry-cleaning solvents will not harm nylon. It is seriously affected by dilute acids but is soluble in sturdy acids. Prolonged exposures to acidic fumes from pollution can demage the fiber

The avalaibility of a wide variety of types of nylon (from fine to coarse, from soft to crisp, from sheer to opaque) has resulted in the use of nylon in a large range of products for apparel, the home and industry.

For Home Use

  • Nylon has long been of major importance in the manufacture of swimming costumes and athletic clothes.
  •  Its light weight and durability make it ideal for dresses, tops, nightwears, raincoats, combat jackets, and so on.
  •  It is also used in making purse, necklace, beading cord, umbrella, stitching thread, bath sponge and so forth.
  •  For interior decoration, it is used in drapes, carpets, curtains and bed sheets.

For Industrial Use

  • It is used in making of different items, for example, sleeping bag, rope and net, seat belt, hose, tarpaulin, dental floss, tents, parachutes, thread spools, fishing pole and nets, footwear, etc.
  •  Nylon is generally used in the construction industry for a number of diverse applications. It is ideal for the construction industry as a resullt of its low weight, high pressure-bearing limit, high wear and erosion resistance, and excellent effect resistance.
  •  Another advantage is nylon has low coefficient of friction, which implies that it can often be applied with low or no lubrication. It can frequently be used in roads, sheets, tubes, stacks, wear pads, outrigger pads, drapery equipment, roofing boards, fixtures, plumbing fittings, framing spacers, and indeed safety nets.


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