Nylon vs Polyester: Difference in Waterproof, Fire Resistant

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Nylon vs Polyester: Difference in Waterproof, Fire Resistant

nylon vs polyester

Nylon and polyester fabrics are synthetic and come from petroleum, unlike natural fibers like cotton which come from a renewable source. They are produced in both solid and textured forms, and impart exceptional durability to the items they are used in. While both fabrics are strong, each has unique characteristics that make them better suited for different applications.

Nylon and polyester are both synthetic fabrics. Nylon is made from a long chain of synthetic polymers, while polyester is made from shorter chains of synthetic polymers. Both fabrics are strong, durable, and easy to care for. However, nylon is more resistant to wear and tear than polyester.

Which fabric is better for you or your family? Keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents

What is the polyester fabric?

blue, purple fabric cloth polyester texture background.

Polyester fabric is a type of synthetic fabric made from a polymer called polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is often used to make fabrics for clothing and other items. Polyester fabric is known for being strong and durable, as well as being wrinkle- and stain-resistant.

The term “polyester” was first used in 1941 to describe a new type of synthetic fiber developed by chemist Julian W. Hill. The new fiber was made from polymers, which are long chains of molecules that repeat the same sequence of connected atoms (called monomers). The first polyester was made by reacting ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid to create polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used in clothing today.

Polyester fabrics have many advantages over natural fibers such as cotton and wool. They are easier to clean than natural fibers because they do not absorb stains well — instead, they repel water and other liquids so that stains do not set into the fabric’s surface layer. They also dry quickly because they are hydrophobic (water-repelling).

Is polyester waterproof?

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is popular for its wrinkle-resistant and stain-resistant properties. It is often used in clothing and upholstery. While polyester is not naturally waterproof, it can be treated to become water-repellent. Waterproof polyester is often used in outdoor clothing and gear, as well as in certain types of tents and tarps.

Polyester is not naturally waterproof, but it can be treated to become water-repellent. This treatment makes the fabric resistant to water without breaking down the fibers or compromising its flexibility or strength. The treatment can be applied by either coating the fabric with a chemical or by weaving it into the fabric itself. Both methods create a barrier on the outside of the fabric that causes water droplets to bead up and roll off instead of soaking into the material and weighing it down with moisture.

Water resistance varies depending on how much treatment has been applied and how tightly woven it is; generally speaking, tightly woven fabrics are less likely to absorb water than loosely woven ones because there are fewer spaces for moisture to seep through.

How to make polyester fabric waterproof?

To make polyester fabric waterproof, you will need to purchase a waterproofing spray or treatment specifically designed for polyester. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label carefully. In general, you will need to clean the fabric and allow it to dry completely before applying the waterproofing spray or treatment. Once the fabric is treated, it should be resistant to water and stains.

There are many types of products on the market that can be used to make your polyester fabrics waterproof. One such product is Scotchgard Fabric Protector Spray by 3M. This product comes in several different sizes, including a small bottle that can be used at home, as well as larger sizes that can be purchased at hardware stores and other retailers. Scotchgard is designed specifically for use with polyester fabrics such as draperies, upholstery, and other similar items.

Another popular product for making polyester fabrics waterproof is Teflon Waterproofing Spray by 3M. This product has been around for many years and has proven itself effective again and again over time. The good news about this product is that it does not require cleaning before application (as opposed to some others), so it’s great if you’re in a hurry or don’t want the extra work involved in cleaning.

Is polyester flame retardant?

flame retardant fabric

Polyester is known for being durable and wrinkle-resistant, but it is no flame retardant properties. After special FR-treatment polyester fabrics get some flame retardant properties.

The term “flame retardant” refers to how quickly a material will extinguish when exposed to fire. The flammability test used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the U.S. measures how long it takes for a material to stop burning after it has been exposed to a flame source for three seconds.

Polyester fabrics do not have any inherent fire-retardant properties, but manufacturers use special treatments that can make them more resistant to catching fire than untreated fabrics.

How to make polyester fabric flame retardant?

To make polyester fabric flame retardant, you need to add a flame retardant chemical to the fabric during the manufacturing process. The most common flame retardant chemicals used for polyester are brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs). These chemicals work by creating a barrier on the surface of the fabric that prevents the fire from spreading.

Brominated flame retardants are added to polyester fibers during spinning, which will not change their appearance or feel. Chlorinated flame retardants are added after spinning, which means they can change how the fabric looks or feels.

What are the different types of polyesters?

fire resistant fabric

Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from polymers of esters. There are various types of polyesters, out of which three are most commonly used in the manufacturing of diapers: Polyurethane Laminate (PUL), Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), and PVC-coated polyester.

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)

Polyurethane Laminate is a fabric that has a laminated layer fused atop a thin-knit polyester fabric. This laminate layer protects against leakage while having little to no effect on the feel or comfort of the diaper. It also helps prevent wicking and shifting that can happen with non-coated diapers

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

Thermoplastic Polyurethane is manufactured by bonding the polyester fabric with a polyurethane membrane. This membrane provides protection against leakage but does not have any extra benefits like odor resistance or anti-microbial properties.

PVC-Coated Polyester

Out of all the three coated polyesters mentioned here, PVC-coated polyester displays the highest water resistance and is waterproof. However, this coating makes it difficult for air to pass through and hence makes it less breathable.

sunbrella fabric for outdoor sofa is a type of fabric known for its durability and suitability for outdoor use. It is designed to withstand the elements, making it ideal for outdoor furniture, cushions, pillows, and awnings.

What is nylon fabric?

nylon fabric

Nylon is a synthetic fabric made from polymers. It was first developed in the 1930s as a replacement for silk. Nylon is strong and durable, making it ideal for use in clothing, upholstery, and other textile applications.

Nylon fabric is made from polymers that are derived from coal or petroleum. These polymers are then processed into nylon fiber through a process known as spinning. The nylon fiber is then woven into nylon fabric using different weaving techniques.

Is nylon waterproof?

Nylon fabric is not waterproof. However, it is water resistant, meaning it will repel water but not prevent water from penetrating the fabric.

Nylon fabrics can be treated in a number of ways to increase their water repellency (WR). The most common way of treating nylon is to apply a coating that contains fluorocarbons. The coating makes the nylon fabric water-repellent by bonding a thin layer of fluorocarbon onto the surface. This process also helps prevent dirt from sticking to the fabric’s surface.

The amount of time before a nylon garment loses its waterproofing depends on how often it gets wet and how much abuse it takes in between washes.

If you want to extend the life of your nylon garments and keep them looking good longer, try washing them in cold water and line drying them when possible.

How to make nylon fabric waterproof?

waterproof nylon fabric

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is strong, lightweight and resistant to abrasion. It stretches easily, which makes it ideal for clothing such as parachutes and tights. Nylon fabrics are also highly durable, but they can become damaged if they get wet. To make nylon fabric waterproof, you will need to purchase a waterproofing spray or treatment specifically designed for use on nylon.

Step 1: Prepare the Fabric

Before you apply the waterproof spray or treatment, wash the fabric in warm water with mild detergent and allow it to air dry completely. This will remove any dirt or oil from the surface of the material so that it can absorb the waterproofing substance better.

Step 2: Apply Waterproofing Spray or Treatment

If your nylon fabric has a smooth surface (such as parachute fabric), simply apply the product with a sponge applicator or paintbrush until it covers all areas of interest on the material. For items such as tents and tarps that have textured surfaces, spray them with an aerosol-powered sprayer and spread them evenly over the surface using a clean cloth or paper towel. Allow it to dry completely before using your product outdoors again so that no residue remains on its surface.

Is nylon flame retardant?

Nylon is a synthetic fiber that is used in many different applications. It is often used in clothing and other items that need to be flame retardant. Nylon is not naturally flame retardant fabric, but it can be treated to make it more resistant to fire.

Nylon has been around for decades, but its uses have expanded greatly over time. The first use of nylon was in toothbrush bristles, but now it can be found in everything from socks and underwear to carpets and furniture.

Nylon has a soft texture and is often used in clothing because it feels nice against the skin. It also resists wrinkling, which makes it ideal for traveling or wearing while exercising.

How to make nylon fabric flame retardant?

There are a few ways to make nylon fabric flame retardant. One way is to add a flame retardant chemical to the nylon fabric during the manufacturing process. Another way is to treat the nylon fabric with a flame retardant solution after it has been made.

The most common chemical added to nylon is bromine, which makes up about 60 percent of all flame retardants used in textiles. The bromine makes the nylon fabric more flammable, but it also helps prevent combustion and puts out fires faster.

You can also use zinc or magnesium salts instead of bromine to make your nylon fabric flame retardant. These salts are harder on the environment than bromine, but they aren’t as dangerous if they get into water supplies.

Another popular method of making nylon fabric flame retardant is through dyes and pigments that change color when exposed to heat or fire, which alerts people that something is wrong with the material. The dyes change color at different temperatures; for example, one dye might change from blue to red at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, while another might change from yellow to green at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which is more waterproof nylon or polyester?

Nylon is more waterproof than polyester. Nylon is a synthetic polymer that is made from petroleum products. It is strong and durable, making it ideal for outerwear. Polyester is also a synthetic polymer, but it is made from coal and air. Polyester is not as strong as nylon, but it is cheaper to produce.

Nylon can be used to make clothing that resists water, stains, dirt, and mildew. Nylon has a high melting point of 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 Celsius) which makes it difficult for water to pass through. Nylon also has excellent abrasion resistance because its molecules are tightly packed together.

Polyester can also be used to make clothing that resists water, stains, and dirt. Polyester has a lower melting point of 246 degrees Fahrenheit (118 Celsius), which means it does not hold up as well when wet compared to nylon fabric materials that are designed for use in the outdoors like tents or rain jackets where you might encounter rain or snow conditions.

Which is more flame retardant: nylon or polyester?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the flame retardant properties of nylon and polyester can vary depending on the exact composition of the fabric. However, in general, nylon is more flame resistant than the polyester. This is because polyester fibers are less flammable than nylon fibers and they also tend to self-extinguish when the source of the flame is removed.

The chemical composition of nylon fabric makes it more flammable than polyester. Nylon fabric contains carbon atoms in its molecules, which can burn very easily when exposed to an open flame. Polyester fabrics contain carbon atoms too but not in such high concentrations as nylon does so they don’t burn as easily.

Polyester fibers also tend to melt instead of burn when exposed to flames. Melting occurs when a material’s temperature exceeds its melting point causing it to become liquid or semi-liquid (depending on how much heat was applied). The melting point of nylon is higher than that of polyester so nylon melts at higher temperatures while polyester melts at lower temperatures.

Polyester vs Nylon (durability, cost, stretchy, thread)

There are many different types of fabrics that are used in the manufacturing of clothing. Two of the most popular fabrics are polyester and nylon. Both of these fabrics are extremely durable, but they do have some differences in terms of how they feel and their cost.

Durable: Nylon is a more durable material than polyester. It has a longer life span and can withstand more washing cycles than polyesters. The durability of nylon depends on the type of nylon used in making it.

Cost: Polyester is cheaper than nylon because it is made from petroleum products and can be produced easily by machines whereas nylon needs more time to produce and is made by hand. So it costs more to make nylon than polyester but it lasts longer than polyester so you will save money in the long run by buying this material instead of polyester.

Stretchy: Both materials are stretchy but they have different degrees of stretchiness depending on their thicknesses. Nylon has less thickness compared to polyesters so it stretches less when subjected to heat or cold weather conditions but still stretches enough for normal use such as wearing your winter coat in cold.

Thread: Nylon fibers are much stronger than those made from cotton or wool so they do not break easily when pulled on. On the other hand, polyester threads are fragile and break easily when pulled on.

Polyester vs Nylon comparison chart

For more differences between polyester fabric and nylon fabric, check the below comparison chart:

UsePolyester is mainly used in  certain kinds of apparel, including lingerie, tights, raincoats, and swimwear. More wide range of industrial uses.Nylon is most commonly used by yoga and innerwear brands. This is because it is soft, smooth and feels nice next to skin.
FeelDrier and rougherSofter and smoother
CostCheaperMore expensive
DyestuffDyed using disperse dyes.Dyed using acid dyes.
Dyeing and colorfastnessAbsorbs dyestuffs well.Nylon is easy fadeness, Dyed nylon fades quicker than polyester in sunlight.
Abrasion resistancePerforms betterPerforms worse
DurabilityLess durable than nylon but more durable than natural fiber.More durable, stronger and stretchier than polyester.
Reaction to heatMore durable in high heat.Cannot be processed under high heat.
Reaction to waterWater retention ratio: 0.4
Polyester is hydrophobic and quick drying.
Water retention ratio: 4
Nylon absorbs more water than polyester.
CareBoth nylon fabric and polyester fabric are easy to care for. They are not be dry cleaned but they can be tumble dried on a low heat.


In general, polyester is considered to be more durable than nylon, which makes it more desirable in the production of clothing and accessories. However, polyester can also be much less breathable than nylon, depending on the thickness of the fabric.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with nylon or polyester, you are essentially choosing between a fabric that repels water to some extent and one that allows water to get inside. Both are effective for their intended purposes, but being able to differentiate between fabrics is an important first step in making an informed decision about which one you want to wear for the day.

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Arlen Wang

Arlen wang is the author of Anbu safety, he is the manager and co-founder of the Anbu Safety network. He has been in anbu safety company since 2008, with a working knowledge of personal protective equipment, and several unique skills related to the PPE industry.

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