What is polyamide? The best answer

Polyamide and nylon are often used interchangeably. This is not 100% correct as polyamide can encompass more materials but this is how the term is being used.

-There are organic polyamides such as silk and wool.

-When people talk about polyamide, they refer to inorganic (or man-made) polyamides such as nylon. In this post, we are going to do the same and use polyamide to refer to inorganic (or synthetic) polyamides. 

Therefore, polyamides are commonly seen as man-made materials. It is created by combining multiple materials and heating them up. This is quite similar to cooking. This is a very controlled process and has to happen in a plant to make sure that it is done right. A small mistake can ruin the output. The end result feels like plastic. It is a wide range of materials. They are a family of polymers which means that they are multiple elements that are combined. They are strong, durable materials with good chemical resistance. They are also resistant to most biological fluids and have high melting points. Polyamides are used in many areas, including textiles, films, fibers, sheeting, filtration media, and more. They are often used in applications where their high strength-to-weight ratio is desirable such as tire cord fabric.

The term “nylon” is often used to indicate that a material is part of the family of man-made polymers. Polyamide is therefore a type of nylon. Nylon is a synthetic type of cotton.  The family of polyamides includes nylon 6 and polyhexamethylene adipamide (nylon 6-6), which is the material used for the all-buttons surfaces on American banknotes such as the $100 bill. This means that there are several quality levels for this material. This is reflected in the price as well. 

  

Polyamide fiber

Polyamide fiber is a type of polyamide that is stretched out. This is done with an extrusion machine that heats up the material and pulls it. This results in long ‘ropes’ of this material. This stretched nylon is then wrapped on big spools so that it can be used in weaving machines. It’s one of the strongest and most durable materials on the market. This means that it is used in many applications like textiles, films, fibers, sheeting, filtration media, and more. Polyamides are also resistant to most biological fluids and have high melting points. This is why they are often used in sporting clothes such as volleyball or basketball gear.

What is polyamide fabric?

Polyamide fabric is made by blending this material with other types of materials. Polyamide nylon is often combined with other fabrics such as cotton to make fabrics and clothes. This uses the advantages of each of these materials while compensating for their weak points. Modern weaving machines can combine these materials quite easily so this is a straightforward process. There are several qualities of polyamide nylon. This is adjusted to the application. Sports gear needs high-quality polyamide nylon and is, therefore, more expensive. 

The main advantage of this material is that it is durable and cheap to manufacture. It can be made fast and in enormous quantities. This makes it easy to incorporate in a lot of clothes. Furthermore, the production is more predictable than that of natural materials. Cotton and hemp have to be harvested and it is possible that weather-related events impact the production. This can change the price and availability. This is really annoying for companies if they have to make clothes with this as it introduces an element of unpredictability. Polyamide doesn’t have this problem as it is made in multiple factories. If one factory has a problem, another can take over the production. This makes the process more predictable and easier to manage. 

There are a lot of aspects to fabric, from durability, fit and feel. Polyamide is not able to offer all the desired qualities so it has to be blended with other materials so that we can get the optimal results. Researchers are working on further improving this material so that it can be used more broadly in clothing and other applications. They were able to greatly reduce the cost of the material, thereby broadening its applications of it greatly. 

is polyamide waterproof

Yes, polyamides are waterproof. Polyamides are strong, durable materials with good chemical resistance. They are also resistant to most biological fluids and have high melting points. That means they are waterproof. This is great for some applications. For example, a raining coat often has some pieces of polyamide so that people can stay dry. For sporting gear, this has some disadvantages as it is not able to hold sweat that well. Therefore it won’t be used in certain parts of workout gear. 

This property also makes it easy to maintain the material as you can use water to wash it without too much issue. 

Is polyamide stretchy?

Polyamides are typically not stretchy. When you see a stretchy material that is likely polyester, which is another type of polymer. This is the main drawback of this material. Sporting gear often uses Spandex as this has a lot of similar qualities as polyamide but is also stretchy. The fabric would tear if you use polyamide in parts that are meant to be stretched out. 

Does polyamide shrink and how to wash it?

Yes, polyamide does shrink. In fact, it can shrink quite a lot when it is exposed to heat as it is manufactured using high temperatures. You have to be careful when you wash it. Therefore you have to check the washing instructions when you get a piece of clothing that has this material. In most instances, you won’t be able to use the highest temperatures in your washing machine and dryer. It can be even needed to hand wash and air dries the item. 

To conclude, we can state that polyamide is a type of material. It is often used in clothing because it is waterproof and is durable. For this reason, it has a lot of applications from banknotes to sports gear. It also has several disadvantages such as shrinking and being less stretchy. Therefore, it has some applications in clothes and fabrics but it is often blended with other materials to get the most out of it. You probably have a piece of clothing at home that has this material in it. It is always best to check the washing instructions when you do.