What Is Polyamide Fabric Material? (Is It Toxic-Safe-Warm?)

Understanding the different fabrics and how they are made will help you design your wardrobe a lot better. Knowing which ones will keep you cooler, warmer, healthier, and safer is a big plus when you want to look good all the time.

What is polyamide fabric? To be technical, polyamide fabrics are those materials that are made from polyamide monomers. The example of this fabric you should be most familiar with is nylon and you know how safe that product can be. it will keep you warm as well.

To learn more about polyamide fabrics just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about to make sure you stay safe and healthy all year round. While made from the same sources, polyamides are not the same as polyester. (Read our Polyamide vs Polyester guide)

What is Polyamide Fabric?

Is a synthetic material that is made from petroleum products just like polyester. But the chemical compounds used are different so while it can be called polyester, it is not the same as that synthetic fabric.

Don’t be confused though, the polyamides used in making nylon and other polyamide materials aren't the same as the naturally occurring polyamides found in wool, silk, and other protein-producing fabric materials.

Usually, all the ingredients to make polyamide fabrics are synthetic or have their source in different chemicals or petroleum products. Then there are aliphatic polyamides, which are classed as nylons, and aromatic polyamides classed as aramids.

Then there are several classes of nylon and different versions are made for different applications. What makes these products so popular is that it is possible to recycle the polyamides and reuse them again in other applications.

What is Polyamide Made Out Of?


If you want to get down to basics. polyamide fabrics are made from petroleum and chemicals. These polyamides are extracted from crude oil and are called diamine acid. it is then combined with adipic acid to create the polymer known as nylon salt.

As you can see, there are no natural ingredients used to create these materials and you are putting harsh chemicals next to your skin. What makes them so great is that the fabric made from these ingredients is very stretchy and comfortable.

The finished product is also good at blending with other fibers to make sure you have enough stretch in just about any clothing style you need to wear. the stretch is the most attractive feature in this product but the fibers also help cotton, wool, and other fabrics to last a little longer than they normally would.

Polyamides used to make the different grades of nylon are strong which is why they are often found in parachutes, and just after the war, women used to sew dresses using parachute fabric.

How is Polyamide Fabric Made?

There is a 9 step process to make nylon and other polyamide fabrics. The first step is to get some crude oil and extract the diamine acid from that product. Then the diamine acid is actually forced to mix with adipic acid to form the polymer called nylon salt.

Once crystallized, the salt is heated to form a very hot liquid. That liquid is then put through a metal spinneret and extruded into long fibers. After that, the fibers are put on a spool that is called a bobbin and sent to the stretching phase of the process.

This stretching phase is supposed to increase the fibers’ stretching ability and elasticity. When that part of the process is done, the fibers are put on another spool, called drawing, and sent to the spinning section.

Once the spinning is done, the fibers are ready to be placed into clothing material or other forms of the fiber. Some fibers remain pure and 100% then made into nylon and similar articles of clothing, etc., or the fibers are blended with their counterparts made from other materials.

But, not all product results are consistent and will change from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Polyamide Clothing Material

This is one of the cheaper fabrics you can buy. It is purely synthetic and it can be made into a variety of fabrics that can be sewn into dresses, pants, athletic wear, socks, nylons leggings, sweaters, and a lot more clothing products.

It is also found in many fashion accessories because it is a durable and strong fabric. Kevlar vests are made from a form of polyamides as are rugs, carpets, umbrellas, fishnets, sleeping bags, and more applications. There is a wide range of uses for polyamide-based fabrics.

Also, polyamide chemicals are used in a variety of non-clothing applications, including rope, etc., as it is a very strong polymer. The clothing material should stretch but be careful, as DuPont found out, if you stretch nylon too far it can get tears or what are called runs.

There is a limit to the fabric’s strength when stretched. The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a plastic material and you need to watch out how hot the washer, the dryer, or other heat sources get.

Is Polyamide Fabric Toxic?


If we had to give an answer it would have to be yes. While manufacturers take great care to provide their customers with top-of-the-line clothing and fabrics by the yard, they can’t change the fact that there are hundreds of harsh and toxic chemicals in polyamide fabrics.

Some of those toxic chemicals are used to protect you from having your clothes catch on fire, shrink, and other laundry ills you hate to deal with. Also, it is not just the toxic materials you have to worry about. Polyamides are basically plastic and those fabrics come with all the properties you would normally find in plastic products.

But this problem is not restricted to just polyamide fabrics. All synthetic materials have the same issue and can be very toxic if you are not careful. Some in-between fabrics like rayon can also be classified as toxic because of the chemicals used to create that material.

Check the labels and see if there are any ingredients listed on them and then you can decide for yourself if you want to wear that type of clothing or not.

Is Polyamide Fabric Sustainable?

As long as the crude oil supply holds out, polyamide fabrics will be considered sustainable. It is not know how large the crude oil supplies are in the world so it could be 5 years or 50 years or more before manufacturers run out of crude oil and polyamide fibers.

It is said that natural products like cotton and linen are more sustainable than polyamide materials. But your guess would be as good as anyone else’s guess as to when that crude oil supply will be fully depleted.

Also, if the demand for these products goes down, then you can count on the supply of those fibers to last a lot longer. In other words, it is hard to say. In 1945 25% of the fabrics made in the world contained polyamide fibers. Today, that number has decreased to 12% due to concerns about the environment.

Nylon and other polyamides do not biodegrade right away. it will take a couple of centuries before they fully disappear from the landfills or the sides of the roads. To keep the supply up, you can always recycle your synthetic clothing.

Is Polyamide Fabric Safe?

The best answer would be no. There are problems with the material as one byproduct is nitrous oxide and that gas is said to be 300 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. It is 15 times more powerful than methane simply because it can trap more infrared radiation.

Then the minimum time nylon or polyamides need to disappear naturally is 30 years but many of these products remain in the landfills for up to 200. That is not good for the environment nor anyone’s health.

We haven’t mentioned the many harmful and harsh chemicals used to create these fabrics and each one has its own risks including health. Also, if your fabrics end up in the oceans, then larger fish will eat them and consume all the plastic found in those fabrics.

That is not a healthy diet for fish and that consumption will have an impact on the seafood supply. How much of the toxic chemicals are absorbed into your skin will depend on a lot of factors. People with sensitive skin should be more worried about this issue than other skin types.

Can Polyamide Fabric be Dyed?


Generally, the answer is no and that is because it is very difficult to dye plastic. Plus, many fabric makers add more chemicals to stop the fabric from accepting any dyes. The rules for polyester would apply here as well.

However, there are dye-making companies that have found a way to create dyes that will work on plastic fabrics like polyamides and polyester. These dyes are not easy to use and they require heat to get the fabric to accept the new color.

That is the problem as too much exposure to high heat could damage the material and ruin it so you can’t wear the clothing item. The dyes may also not dye evenly so you end up with a weird two-tone look instead of nice solid color.

What makes it hard to dye is that the color is usually added to the fibers near the beginning of the process and is clear through all the fibers. There is no original white or off-white color to return to that would make it easier to dye the fabric.

If you want to chance it and change the color, you should let a professional handle the task.

Is Polyamide Fabric Chlorine Resistant?

Yes, it is possible that some polyamide fabrics can be chlorine resistant. The newer versions are becoming more so and the older ones will still be vulnerable to that chemical.

Again, the manufacturer may add another harsh chemical to the mixture to make their fabrics resist chlorine. This treatment is found more in swimwear as more people come in contact with chlorine when they go swimming in private pools.

But chlorine-resistant does not mean chlorine proof. You still have to wash those swimsuits thoroughly if you want to protect your bathing suits from being eaten by the chemical. If the suits are not completely rinsed and free from leftover chlorine, then that chlorine will still deteriorate the material.

Most swimwear you buy today is chlorine resistant, not chlorine proof.

Is Polyamide Fabric Waterproof?

It can be. A lot depends on the weave style of the polyamide fibers. Nylon is basically waterproof but when it is put into a jacket, it is not so resistant because the weave style of the jacket makes it vulnerable.

The best you could hope for is that the nylon clothing you are wearing will resist water and the rain. To make sure the water stays out when it is raining, you should wear clothing made from polyamide fibers that were given a closed weave.

An open weave will let the water in, maybe a little slower than other fabrics, but it will still get in. The quality of the nylon will play a role in how waterproof the material is.

Also, if the manufacturer added chemicals to the compounds then the material stands a good chance of being waterproof. There is a difference between showerproof and waterproofing.

Is Polyamide Fabric Breathable?


No, it is not. This fabric carries on the polyester tradition of not being a great fabric when you want to stay cool. It is made from the same petroleum products that produce all different forms of plastics so you can count on being warm but not cool when you wear polyamide fabrics outside.

These types of fabrics are best worn when the autumn air starts to turn cool through the winter season and up until the Spring weather warms up. These materials would make great bedsheets and that is one reason why they are used in sleeping bags. The cold night mountain air is kept outside as you sleep and the warm air is kept inside.

If you need to stay cool for your next important appointment, then it is best to wear a different kind of fabric than a synthetic one like polyamide material.

What Does Polyamide Fabric Feel Like?

While there have been great advancements in production processes, you may still feel the artificial nature of polyamide materials. They just do not feel natural at all and no amount of chemicals will induce that natural feel.

On the brighter side of things, polyamide manufacturing has found a way to make the fabric feel soft, smooth, and even silky. It may be hard for some people to tell the difference because manufacturers do try to make sure their synthetic materials do not look or feel like the original polyester fabrics did in the 1970s.

Polyamide fabrics may feel a little like silk or some other expensive material like Egyptian cotton. Do a test for yourself and have a nice natural fabric in one hand, and a polyamide fabric in the other. See which one feels the best and then decide how it feels.

Nothing beats doing it yourself to make sure.

Is Polyamide Fabric Good for Summer?

This would depend on the activity you are planning on doing. If you are meeting clients, your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents for the first time, or other activities like eating outside at a nice restaurant, then no it is not a good summer material to wear.

However, if you do a lot of physical activities like biking, weight training, boating, and so on, then yes, it would make a fine summer fabric to wear. The material would be close to your body and help you sweat off those pounds.

Other than that, polyamide fabrics are better for cold weather seasons You stay warmer, be more comfortable, and still look good because of all the different colors and designs you can purchase this material in.

But you make your own choices as it is you who has to endure the heat. You may find that your region of the country doesn't get hot enough to exclude this fabric from your summer attire.

Is Polyamide Fabric Warm?


Yes, it can be but warmth is dependent a lot on the weave style. If you get a closed weave then you should be warmer wearing this fabric than many alternative clothing items you could wear.

There is little breathability to this material so the hot air is going to stay close to your body. Then many polyamide clothing items are skin tight or close to skin-tight which means that you will be hotter than if you wore loose-fitting clothing.

The looser the fit the easier it is for your clothing to breathe. You should not stay cooler when wearing these fabrics for those main reasons. There are always exceptions to the rules and some jackets, pants, dresses made with these fibers can be woven in such a way that your body will breathe easily and stay cooler.

If you look at the sleeping bags made from these fibers, you will see that the material is quite warm when it needs to be.

Is Polyamide Fabric Expensive?

This will depend on where you shop. Almost anything found in a high-end fashion store is expensive. But polyamide clothing is said to be either expensive or cheap. When you compare the prices to silk, wool, and other high-cost materials then it will seem to be cheap.

But when you compare the price to other synthetic materials then it will be seen as expensive. Some people say it is a cheap fabric to buy while others say it is expensive. Because of the processing, the chemicals added, etc., we say that this material is going to cost you more than you expected for a synthetic fabric to cost.

The price you pay will depend on the quality and the weave style in the polyamide products. Top-quality ingredients and quality will drive the price higher while lower-cost ingredients, etc., will bring the price back down.

Where Can I Buy Polyamide Fabric?

When you start searching for polyamide fabrics, you will find that there are a host of online outlets that will try to meet what you need. Amazon, Moods fabrics, and other online marketplaces have a selection you should consider.

Then the big box stores like Walmart will have some, depending of course on how much space they have to dedicate to fabrics by the yard. You can check Target, Home Depot, and similar stores to see what they are offering.

Then you can go to JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and other nationwide fabric stores and see how big their selection is. Their coupons should help you save a bundle when you buy the fabric you want at their locations.

If all else fails, check with your local fashion, sewing, or fabric outlets. They may have a lot they need to sell. The price may be a bit higher but you are supporting a local business when you go to their stores.

Some Final Words

Polyamide fabrics may be toxic, a little risky to wear but they are soft, comfortable, and warm to wear. If you are camping in the cold mountains, etc., it pays to have warm fabrics like these in your backpack.

They may or may not be expensive to buy depending on where you shop for your material or clothing items. No matter the expense, these fabrics do come in handy when the weather turns colder.

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