Nylon Riots, Naming, Stockings, Discovery, Disadvantages, Questions (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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DuPont announced that it had made a substance called nylon. The invention of nylon fabric eliminated ironing of clothes, and its use in the making of carpets, stockings, etc. It is a polymer obtained by the condensation of di-amines with bi carboxylic organic acids.

Naming of Nylon

It was first termed as “nuron” – “no run” . Due to some trademark issues, it was further renamed as “nilon” and then finally, it came as “nylon” . In 1940, nylon stockings came into the market through DuPont, and it sold about 5 million pairs of stockings on the first day during the times of second world war.

Nylon Stockings

  • Nylon stockings were in big demand in departmental stores and boutiques, providing women with long-lasting hosiery items. However, it disappeared during the phase of world war II, and nylon polymer was permitted only to be used in the manufacturing of parachutes, ropes, tires cords, etc.
  • After world war II it came again into the markets. In 1945, “nylon- riots” ensued in the country when about hundreds or sometimes thousands of women stood in queues to get a pair of stockings. In Pittsburgh, the situation got out of control when about 40,000 people queued up for just 13,000 pairs of stockings.
Nylon Stockings

Nylon Stockings

Today it is used in the manufacturing of an endless number of materials like toothbrush, socks, car seat belts, parachute materials, ropes, sleeping bags, curtains, carpets etc. Nylon use include the production of carpets and clothes and production of parachutes.

Discovery of Nylon

  • Mary Quant, the British designer, designed a mini skirt which led to the popularity of opaque tights and the nylon fabric.
  • Wallace Carothers was a great organic chemist who worked for DuPont on the crystalline molecule. In April 1930, Wallace and his assistant while working on esters found that there are molecules that have repeated chemical structures.
  • But he ignored this observation and started working on amides derived from ammonia. While working on amides, he discovered a strong polymer called nylon.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Resistant to Abrasion
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • Resist՚s shrinkage and wrinkle
  • Water-proof
  • Cost-effective


  • Can spark due to static charge
  • Low absorbency
  • Melts if catches fire


What is Nylon Made Of?


Nylon is a plastic with super-long, heavy molecules built up of short, continually repeating sections of atoms. The polymers can be mixed with various substances to achieve different variations in properties. This explains why this material has such a varied use.

How is Nylon Made?


  • Nylon is made by reacting together two large molecules, diamine acid and dicarboxylic acid. They fuse together to make an even larger molecule and give off water. The large polymer formed in this case is the most common type called nylon-6,6. A giant sheet or ribbon of nylon is produced that is shredded into chips.
  • Those becomes the raw material for plastic products. Nylon textiles are made by melting these chips and running them through a wheel with several tiny holes in it to make a fibre. Different hole sizes determine the length and thickness of the fibres.
Nylon Textiles

What is Nylon Used For?


  • One of its common uses is to make women՚s stockings and hosiery. The nylon blends are used for making swimwear, track pants, windbreakers etc.
  • Other uses include parachutes, umbrellas, luggage, netting for veils etc. Because of its resistance to heat and cold, strong and lightweight nature, it՚s also used to make ropes.

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