Difference Between Nylon and Polyester (With Table)

Nylon and polyester are both lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and durable synthetic fibers, that are easy to be maintained and are shrinkage and stretch resistant. They are frequently used and have several uses in our daily lives.  The production of nylon is generally not as cost-effective as the production of Polyester.

Nylon vs Polyester

The main difference between nylon and polyester is that nylon is much softer yet polyester. Polyester is rough and its appearance is dull. It doesn’t match the texture of nylon.  The texture of a nylon cloth is smooth and it is adopted as a substitute for silk.

Nylon is a synthetic fiber with a smooth and soft texture, yet strong. The chemical name for nylon is polyamide. It is frequently used in making daily life equipment like carpets, ropes, and clothes. It catches fire very easily and is prevented to be used in the kitchen.

Polyester is a rough and dull-looking fabric. Its texture is being improved but it still is of no match to nylon. The chemical name for Polyester is Polyethylene terephthalate. Like nylon, products made by polyester is also used in day to day life like clothes, hat, blankets, and ropes.

Comparison Table between Nylon and Polyester

Parameters of differenceNylon Polyester
Chemical nameThe chemical name for nylon is polyamide.The chemical name for Polyester is Polyethylene terephthalate.
AppearanceNylon is shiny, elastic, and soft. Polyester is dry, dull, and rough.
CostNylon is more expensive than Polyester.It is more cost-effective than nylon.
Heat-resistanceNylon is not as reliable as polyester.Polyester is more reliable in the heat than nylon.
Moisture-resistantNylon dries up quickly but not as quickly as polyester.Due to its property to resist moisture, it dries up faster than nylon.

What is Nylon?                                                

When two big molecules like hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid are reacted together, it forms a bigger molecule, nylon 66.

Nylon is a purely synthetic fiber, unlike other semi-synthetic fibers like rayon. It is strong, elastic, and durable. It was first synthesized using basic components like coal, water, and air. Several modifications were made later to it. But initially, it did not use any natural component like plant or animal skin.

 Nylon has an important application in making things we use every day. It is used to make ropes, toothbrushes, parachutes, carpets, and clothes. It is wrinkle-free and doesn’t need to be ironed. It has easy maintenance, has a shiny appearance, and is extremely lightweight. Though it cannot be dry cleaned, it is easy to wash and can be dried quickly.

It cannot absorb moisture. Due to this, Nylon fabric is preferred to make swimming costumes and umbrellas. In water parks, nylon clothes are only allowed to be worn by people. It’s also more likely to be sticky or hang to the skin. It is warmer than polyester but is not used in making warm clothes that are worn in winters.

What is Polyester?                                                    

Repeating units of esters make a polyester. Polyester is also lightweight, wrinkle-free, and easy to maintain synthetic fiber like nylon. It is produced from petrol products. Some types of polyester can be nature-friendly and biodegradable, however, the majority affect global pollution. It is recyclable.

Polyesters also play an important role in making things like socks, clothes, hats, blankets, and ropes. It dries quicker than nylon. It can sometimes be dry-cleaned too. It can catch fire easily like nylon, but it is rather more reliable. Polyester is a more long-lasting material. To soak dyes requires a lot of heat. This implies it’s a dependable choice.

They are wrinkle-free, stretch-resistant, and shrink-resistant. They’re also impervious to mould and discoloration. It can be washed easily by a regular washing machine. It is breathable and very comfortable to wear. However, its appearance is duller and not as shiny as nylon.

Polyester is a fiber that is more dry and rough. It is more cost-effective and cheaper, as compared to nylon.  It is also more moisture resistant and water-repelling than nylon. It is often used in making brushes, pillows, carpets, and clothes. Polyester is a very important fabric, as it is a less expensive option and can sometimes replace cotton.

Main Differences between Nylon and Polyester      

  • The chemical name for nylon is polyamide while the chemical name for Polyester is Polyethylene terephthalate.
  • Nylon is shiny, elastic, and soft whereas Polyester is dry, dull, and rough.
  • Nylon costs more than polyester.
  • Nylon can be stretched more and is long-lasting. Polyester does not have elasticity like nylon.
  • Nylon is not as reliable in heat as polyester. Nylon melts after it goes to flames, however polyester melts and burns at the same time.
  • Nylon and polyester both dry quickly, however, polyester is more moisture resistant and water-repelling than nylon.


Both nylon and polyester have their very own advantages. The final usage and cloth design will determine which fabric is ideal for your work. Nylon’s smooth texture is unrivaled.  Polyester, on the other hand, dries faster, colors more readily, and is less prone to wrinkle than nylon. Many of these factors contribute to polyester’s popularity as a fabric for sportswear.

Although both nylon and polyester are synthetic fibers, nylon manufacture is more costly, resulting in a higher retail cost. Nylon is also more sturdy and suitable for various temperatures, which is why it is more commonly employed in outdoor clothing and equipment. Both should be ironed on moderate heat because excessive temperatures might cause them to melt.

Despite this, technical advancements are helping to improve both textiles. Polyester yarn, for instance, is growing softer. Nylon, which has a breathable surface, may absorb moisture and dry faster. Both synthetic fibers are very important to make a lot of things we use in our everyday life and with time the modifications made in the fabrics have made them way better to use.


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