Type: Man-made fibres | Classification: Organic | Sub-classification: Synthetic fibre

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Fibre structure & physical properties

Fibre composition:

Polyamide 6

Diameter: Can be made to any diameter
Very fine: < 10 μm, Fine: < 20 μm, Medium: 20-50 μm, Course: > 50 μm

Length: Filament

Staple length: continuous filament
short < 26 mm, medium 26-29 mm, long: 30-38 mm, extra long: 39 mm and over

Natural fibre colour: Colourless and translucent

Microscopic Images (Cross sectional and SEM):

Image source: Caption:

It’s cross section determined by the spinneret. Usually cylindrical but can also be made tri-lobal to give greater reflection (luster), or as a bi-component or any other desirable extruded shape.

(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom


Surface is undistinguishable, showing not characteristic markings. Rod-like and translucent. Can be texturized or bulked to imitate crimp. A de-lustrant can be added to make it appear dull.

Fibre properties (Mechanical, Chemical and Thermal)

Mechanical Properties

Tensile strength (cN/dtex) : 4.2-5.7 dry, 3.7-5.2 wet

Chemical Properties

Hydrophobicity: Hydrophobic

Moisture regain (%): 4%

Thermal Properties

Flammability: Polyamide is resistant to burning if the flame source is removed. However, if kept in the flame source it melts and produces a strong plastic or chemical smell. The residue is greyish or brown beads that do not crush.

Sustainability considerations

Derived from petrochemicals.
It is non-biodegradable, can take 10,000 years to break down.
it can be recyled, but generally into a less form of plastic

End uses

Apparel: hosiery, underwear, wind/rain protection outerwear. Often in blended with wool.
Furnishings: Carpets (100% or 80/20%) – Resiliency, stain resistance, abrasion resistance
Industrial textiles: Strength/abrasion resistance; ropes, nets, automotive upholstery, automotive tyre fabric.


nylon synthesis [2m 10s]
Nylon Synthesis Chemistry Demo [3m 30s]
Nylon production [4m 51s]

Materials using this fibre

Additional resources

Taylor MA, 2004. Technology of Textile Properties. Third edition. Forbes Publications, London, UK.

Zhong Z and Xiao C, 2008. Fabric composition and testing. In: Fabric Testing. Ed: Hu, J. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.

ISO/TR 11827:2012 Textiles — Composition testing — Identification of fibres.

Houck, Max M. Identification of Textile Fibers. Cambridge : Boca Raton: Woodhead Pub. in Association with The Textile Institute ; CRC, 2009. Print.