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Nylon - the story of nylon
Nylons photo
Nylon can be made into stretchy fibres. These can then be woven into soft, stretchy stockings and tights.

A wonderful new material was discovered in America in the 1930s. Its chemical name is polyhexamethyleneadipamide – that's a bit of a mouthful, so they decided to call it nylon!

Nylon is strong, light and great for making fibres. It can be delicate for stockings or tough for bullet-proof vests.

Nylon is made from some of the chemicals we get from crude oil. The same chemicals can also be made into wax for candles or crayons.

Nylon is:

  • the first man-made fibre
  • easy to make into fibres
  • delicate and soft - ideal for stockings
  • light, but very strong – ideal for parachutes
  • springy – ideal for the bristles on a toothbrush
  • long lasting.

Find out where nylon comes from.

Photo of toothbrushes
Nylon can be strong and bendy. This is ideal for the bristles on a toothbrush.