Difference Between Polyester and Nylon. What You Need To Know (+ Comparison Table)

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What’s the difference between polyester and nylon?” then you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll be exploring how these two fabrics differ in terms of texture, durability, cost, and more.

Whether you’re an enthusiast looking for a new fabric or simply curious about what makes them unique, this article will help you make an informed decision.

The Texture and Feel
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Texture and Feel

Polyester and nylon are both synthetic fabrics that have a soft and smooth feel. However, when compared side-by-side, polyester is generally softer than nylon.

This is because polyester has a tighter weave and is less prone to wrinkling than nylon. For this reason, many people prefer the feel of polyester over nylon.


Both fabrics are highly durable and won’t easily tear or rip. However, nylon is slightly more resistant to abrasion than polyester due to its stronger fibers.

Additionally, nylon tends to dry faster than polyester when wet because it doesn’t retain as much moisture. As a result, it’s often used in outdoor apparel such as tents or rain jackets where quick drying times are necessary.

polyester nylon
Photo by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

Cost and Availability

In terms of cost and availability, both fabrics are readily accessible on the market today. Generally speaking, both fabrics will cost around the same amount per yard, depending on the quality and thickness of the fabric used.

However, there may be some slight differences in pricing based on location or retailer, so it’s always best to shop around before making your purchase.

Appearance and colorfastness

Both fabrics come in a variety of colors and prints, but they can also fade over time if not properly cared for. Polyester tends to hold color better than nylon, but both materials should be washed with cold water to reduce fading and wear over time.

Both materials can easily be dyed using commercial dyes, so if you want something truly unique, dying is always an option!

Comparison Table

CompositionMade from synthetic polymers derived from coal, air, water, and petroleummade from synthetic polymers derived from petroleum
Strengthstrong and durable, but not as strong as nylon.extremely strong and durable.
Elasticitynot as stretchy as nylonhighly elastic, with good recovery after stretching.
Moisture Resistanceresistant to moisture but can retain odors and stains.It is highly water resistant and dries quickly.
Abrasion Resistanceresistant to abrasion but not as resistant as nylonextremely resistant to abrasion, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Sunlight ResistanceModerately resistant to sunlighthighly resistant to sunlight, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Dyeabilitydyeable with good color retentionmore difficult to dye with less color retention
CostIn general, it is less expensive than nylon.In general, it is more expensive than polyester.

Is nylon the same as polyester? an in-depth look

Are they the same thing? Do they have similar properties? Read on to find out!

Nylon vs. Polyester: The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. Both nylon and polyester are synthetic materials, meaning they are made from chemicals rather than natural fibers like cotton or wool. They both have excellent strength and durability, making them great for activewear and outdoor activities like camping or hiking.

However, there are a few key differences between these two materials.


Nylon is usually lighter than polyester, which makes it better for clothing that needs to be lightweight and breathable. On the other hand, polyester is heavier and more durable, so it’s better suited for items that need more protection from wear and tear.


Nylon is much more elastic than polyester, so it can stretch up to twice its original length without losing its shape or form. This makes it ideal for garments like swimsuits or leggings that need to move with your body as you move around.

Polyester does not have this same stretchability, so it’s better for items that need to stay put, such as jackets or pants.


Nylon is generally easier to clean than polyester since it doesn’t absorb water as easily as polyester does. It also dries faster, which can be beneficial if you’re trying to avoid mildew or mold growth on your clothes.

However, both materials can be washed in a regular washing machine and will come out looking brand new after each cycle.


When it comes to looks, nylon has a slightly shinier finish than polyester does due to its higher luster factor.

Polyester tends to look duller in comparison but still has a nice sheen when light hits it at certain angles—especially when compared with other fabrics such as cotton or linen.


Both nylon and polyester are highly durable fabrics; however, nylon may be slightly more resistant to wear and tear over time due to its elasticity and strength compared with polyester’s rigidity and stiffness in certain circumstances (like extreme temperatures).

Additionally, nylon’s resistance to water helps it last longer when exposed to moisture regularly—which isn’t always the case with polyester material, depending on how often (or how little) you wash your clothes!

So there you have it! While both nylon and polyester have their pros and cons depending on what type of fabric you’re looking for—whether that’s something lightweight or something tough—it’s clear that these two materials aren’t quite the same thing after all!

Is polyester stronger than nylon?

Yes. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Polyester has a higher melting point than nylon, meaning it can withstand high temperatures and wear or tear better over time.
  • It also has increased resistance against mildew and chemicals, making it more reliable for industrial applications.
  • Within the fashion world, polyester is used for many garments due to its strength and elasticity, which allows clothing to retain its shape much better when stretched out or put under pressure.
  • Lastly, due to its strong resistance against shrinking and wrinkling even after washing several times, it is great for items that see frequent use.

So if you’re looking for an incredibly durable fabric with all these benefits, look no further than polyester!

Are nylon and polyester the same thing?

No, while nylon and polyester are both synthetic fabrics with similar properties, they are actually made of different types of plastic and have distinct characteristics.

Polyester vs nylon clothing

Both polyester and nylon are popular fabrics due to their impressive combination of strength, breathability, wrinkle-resistance, and affordability.

However, while both materials offer similar benefits, they do have some distinct differences: polyester is more durable than nylon and has a higher melting point; meanwhile nylon typically offers increased elasticity and moisture absorption.

Is nylon or polyester better for swimsuits?

While both nylon and polyester are great choices for swimsuits, nylon is often preferred due to its superior strength, flexibility, UV resistance, and chlorine resistance.

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