Is Nylon Breathable? (Is Nylon Good For Hot Weather)

Summer means heat. That is when you start to check the closet for the right fabrics to wear. Not every fabric, is perfect for the summertime weather, and knowing which ones work and which ones do not, may mean the difference in comfort and making a good first impression.

Is nylon breathable? No, nylon is not made to be breathable. In fact, it has the exact opposite of that ability and traps heat and sweat next to your body. That may make your exercise time a little more uncomfortable and ruin any first impression you want to make.

To learn more about nylon and its lack of breathing, just continue to read our article. It examines the issue to let you know when the best time is to wear this material. When you are out to impress, nylon is the last fabric you want to wear.

Does Nylon Breathe Well?


Nylon has many positive attributes built into it but breathing is not one of them. Its main job is to be durable and stretch when you need to stretch. That lack of breathing is what makes nylon great for colder weather activities.

What nylon does is trap your heat and sweat making sure you stay warm. This is good if you want to lose weight but not if you want to stay cool as you go about your day. Nylon is not made with high moisture absorption rates as it is made to repel water and sweat.

Those factors do not lend itself to breathing or keeping your body temperature at normal levels. When summer comes or the hot days start in Spring and do not end to mid Fall, nylon is a fabric you should avoid.

It is better to wear when the cool days of Spring and Fall, as well as Winter, appear on your calendar. Summer requires a more breathable fabric that will stretch when you need it to stretch.

Is Nylon More Breathable Than Cotton?

It is pretty hard to beat cotton when it comes to breathability. Cotton is probably one of, if not the most, breathable fabrics you can wear. Along with that capability, cotton is easy to care for and brings a lot of softness and comfort to your activities.

Nylon, on the other hand, is not made like cotton and while it may be a little soft its purpose is not to mimic cotton. Like cotton, the only variable in breathing is how it is made. The nylon fabric comes in different qualities, like cotton, so one style of nylon may be more breathable than another.

Then if nylon is blended with a top breathing fabric you could say that this material is very breathable, but it would have a long way to go to top cotton or cotton blends. Check the brand, the manufacturer to see if the quality of nylon you are buying is top-notch or not.

If it is not good quality, then do not expect to be cool when you wear that material. Better quality nylon should breathe fairly well and meet your expectations.

Does Nylon or Polyester Breathe Better?


Nylon is supposed to be an improvement on polyester but the two share a lot of common manufacturing techniques that make it hard to judge sometimes. Like the previous section said, both materials come in different qualities so their breathing ability will differ from level to level.

Both materials are chosen because they repel moisture very well and nylon dries as quickly, if not faster than polyester. But they both trap sweat and moisture next to the body and allow you to stay hotter than normal.

So the two fabrics are about the same when it comes to breathing. Nylon may beat polyester in the blended category as natural fibers tend to hide when mixed with polyester. The sweat will be trapped even if the polyester is only at 40%.

Nylon is best used when you go swimming as it repels the water letting you swim faster and easier. The nylon in your clothing may allow your skin to chaff during hot summer days and that is not good.

While nylon is durable and stretches, it is not always the best choice when the weather turns hot.

Is Nylon Waterproof?

Yes and no. It would depend on how nylon is made. Usually, nylon is seen as waterproof as its higher quality options absorb water quite well. One problem is that nylon takes longer to dry once it gets wet.

This high moisture absorption rate means that the material is not really waterproof and you may need to spray it with a waterproof coating to keep the moisture away from the contents in the nylon bag.

It is best to say that nylon is more water-resistant than waterproof. The definition of waterproof is preventing the moisture from going from one side to the other and nylon does not really accomplish that goal.

While it absorbs moisture, it does eventually let it get through to the other side. Of course, it will depend on the quality of nylon and how it was made. Polyester would be a better choice of fabrics if you want to have waterproof in its truest form.

Polyester repels water better than nylon does and keeps the contents of your bag, backpack, and so on drier longer. Nylon is soft and strong but it is not really waterproof.

Does Nylon Make You Sweat?


It would be one of the factors involved when you sweat. Normally, the physical activity you are doing, and the heat levels are the main factors that make you sweat. What nylon and similar fabrics do is trap the heat your body produces and makes you hotter.

By not allowing the heat to escape from your body, your body tends to get hotter and you will sweat more. So technically, the answer would be yes, nylon makes you sweat. It is not designed to be breathable like cotton is, so expect to be hotter than normal when wearing nylon clothing.

Also, expect to feel a little bit more uncomfortable when you wear nylon on a hot day. That fabric also traps sweat next to your body and does not absorb it very well. That factor may have you squirming as the sweat makes you feel a little awkward and uncomfortable.

When the summer rolls around, avoid the nylon clothing in your closet and pick something made from natural fiber or for the summer temperatures.

Does Nylon Trap Sweat?

Yes, it does and it does this job very well. When you want to be cool, nylon works against that objective by keeping the hot sweat next to your skin. It doesn't absorb moisture that well so the sweat has nowhere to go but remain by your side.

Even though nylon is used for many different types of activewear, it is not used because it can breathe, absorb moisture, or release heat. It is selected because it is durable, strong, and stretches well.

This opinion may not be shared by all as some people think that nylon wicks away moisture quite well and dries quickly. But those qualities may be due to a higher quality construction than other nylon materials go through.

Then you have to worry about odor. Nylon can retain odor that is not flattering to you or those around you. This factor needs to be considered when you are choosing the outfit you want to wear for the day or your upcoming activity.

Does Nylon Show Sweat?


Let us just say that if you are prone to sweating a lot, even on mildly hot days, then you should wear black nylon instead of any lighter color. Yes, nylon will show sweat stains. There is a good reason why it does.

Synthetic fibers are like polyester and nylon, are often treated with a chemical that stops moisture absorption. If you are wearing a nylon undershirt or t-shirt under your dress shirt, those sweat stains can be transferred from the nylon to the fabric in your dress shirt.

When that happens you have a big problem and your clients may not be too impressed by what they see. One way to avoid this disaster is to wear a nylon undershirt that does not cover the underarm area.

Or you just need to get used to wearing black. That is a good color to help hide any sweat stains that may show through at the wrong moment and the wrong spot. While that color works well for sweat stains, it may not work as well for body odor so invest in a good cologne when things heat up for you.

Does Nylon Smell When You Sweat?

With all of its positive contributions to your life, nylon does have one negative that may overshadow all those positives. It does retain body and sweat odor making life a little uncomfortable for you.

The way to get rid of body odor is through several steps. First, you need to soak the underarm area of a nylon shirt or other area that smells, with liquid laundry soap. Next, rub that soap in gently and let sit for about 20 minutes.

After that, wash the shirt or garment as you would normally wash nylon using an extra rinse cycle to get rid of the soap. Once dry, do the sniff test to see if the odor has disappeared.

If you still smell the odor, then take some baking soda and sprinkle it over the offending area. Let the baking soda sit for 12 to 24 hours and then wash the garment again. By this time, the baking soda should have absorbed all the odor and you can wear that shirt or blouse, etc., again.

Is Nylon Good For Hot Weather?


No, it is not. It is one of the fabrics you should avoid wearing when the weather turns warmer than usual. Then if you are a person who sweats more than others, find a more breathable fabric to wear outside.

With nylon clothing on, your skin may sweat too much and cause chaffing to occur. That is very uncomfortable and may influence your date, business meeting, or work ethic. The time to wear nylon in the summer is when you go swimming.

Other than that, nylon is to be avoided when it is summer or even when the Spring and Fall are hotter than normal. While the fabric wicks away moisture it does tend to hold heat and sweat next to your body making you even more uncomfortable.

Then it also holds on to that body odor you wish no one would detect while you work or get romantically close.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Nylon

Every fabric has its pros and cons and nylon certainly has its share of both. Here some of those positive and negatives that help you determine when you should wear this fabric:


  • It is a light fabric making it good for physical activities.
  • It is a strong fabric making it very durable for those same activities.
  • It is resistant to cuts and scratches.
  • It is easy to wash and it resists wrinkles and shrinkage.
  • It dries very quickly and retains pleats very well.
  • It does resist oil and the damage that product can cause.
  • It accepts dyes very well and allows you to change its color often.


  • It does create static and pills a lot.
  • It does not hold up against the sun or its UV rays.
  • It does not absorb a lot of moisture.
  • It is not very good against the heat.

Some Final Words

Nylon has its place and purpose. It is a strong fabric that works well under specific conditions. But if those conditions change, then nylon may not be the best fabric to wear.

Just choose wisely when you wear this fabric so you stay at your best all day and all night long.

Leave a Comment: