POLYAMIDE FABRIC: CAN IT BE USED FOR SWIMWEAR?
Polyamide is a fabric that we can source for your swimwear, it’s made from polyamide monomers. The most well-known form of polyamide is nylon. These fabrics are from carbon based molecules and are synthetic. Therefore means they are different from semi synthetic fabrics like cotton or rayon. Nylon was originally developed in the 1930s. Polyamide was first shown to the world during a fair in New York during the 1930s, it was said to be stronger than steel.
Polyamide is similar to nylon, was also used during the second world war for parachutes. When the war ended there were shortages in fabrics therefore women used the parachutes to make garments out of them. This is the start of the polyamide being used for clothing.
Soon after people realised that pure nylon is not suitable for textiles. It’s not very breathable so not suitable for activewear and can be easily damaged and melt when exposed to high temperatures. However blending polyamide without fibres can give polyamide a softer feel and improve its properties. Giving polyamide more stretch therefore it’s great for swimwear garments and active wear. Polyamide can be weaved with polyester or cotton fibres.
By mid 1940s fabrics that were fully synthetic embodied around 25% of the whole textile market share around the world. As polyamide fabrics are made from crude oil, it has a harsh effect on our eco-systems, which has a negative impact on the fabrics reputation. Now polyamide represents around 12% of synthetic fabrics around the world that are manufactured. Polyamide is known for its elasticity when its weaved with other fibres and for how soft it can be. However it doesn’t retain heat very well or wicks moisture like other fabrics can do.
There is a negative impact that polyamide has on our environment, especially when we know that crude oil is not sustainable and is bad for our eco-systems. This has led to many pushbacks with other fabrics that usually made using crude oil. There has been many people who feel that nylon should stop being produced because of the source of it is unsustainable.
Polyamide is naturally not sustainable and is harmful to our environment. So is the process required in order to make the fabric is damaging. For example, the water that is used to reduce the temperature of the polyamide can pollute our eco-systems. Nitrous oxide which is used to make polyamide is 300 times more damaging than CO2.