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The global fashion business journal

Jun 13, 20246:52pm

Nylon, more cars and less fashion to boost a 4.6 billion dollar business

This raw material is the least used in retail industry, in which polyester and cotton still leads the market. Automobile and electronic is currently exploiting global production of polyamide.

Jan 9, 2019 — 10:00am

Nylon, more cars and less fashion to boost a business of 4.6 billion dollars



Automobile components, electronic materials and plastics for industrial use. These are the main applications of nylon, a raw material developed by DuPont for retail industry that has ended being used in multiple sectors. Its versatility makes it strategical for several industries, but it also has an impact in its demand and price, lessening its appeal in fashion, where it only represents 5% out of the total of textile fibres.


Now, Turkey could shake the global market of nylon in case of activating the safeguard measures to stop the import of this raw material. The Eurasian country, the most important supply centre of the ones getting closer to European fashion industry, informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it suspects the increase in Turkish nylon purchases is damaging its local producers. It is forecasted that the global market of nylon reaches 5.7 billion dollars in 2024, in contrast with 4.6 billion dollars in 2017, according to a report from Zion Market Research.





Currently, the United States and China are the two largest producers of this raw material in the world. The North American country leads the production of nylon 66, the most used for industrial applications, while China heads the one of nylon 6, the most used in retail industry.


Nylon is a type of polyamide that has applications in a wide variety of economic sectors, one of them the textile. In fact, nylon is a trademark that, over the time, has become a generic. However, this raw material is little by little getting greater importance in markets like the automotive or the electronic components, while the textile represents slightly more than one-third of the total consume of nylon.


Nylon is a synthetic fibre, an oiled-based material that mixed with other textile fibres gives the fabrics a silky look and texture. For a long time, indeed, fashion industry used nylon as a more economic substitute for silk. Nowadays, one of its most common uses is in sportive clothing.





Nevertheless, in spite of its properties, polyester, the most used fabric in fashion industry (even more than cotton), still surpasses it by far owing to its similar properties and lower price. In fact, the growth of the global market of nylon will be based on its uses in industrial plastics, automobile components and electronic materials.


Some experts claim that in a short-medium term fashion industry will have to look for alternatives for nylon due to an increase of the pricing and the appearance of new polyester derived materials with more elastic properties that would make easier to substitute it in sportive and swimwear clothing.


Between the biggest global producers of nylon are the German company Basf, which last September enlarged even more its weight in the market with the purchase of this business area to the Belgian company Solvay, and Lanxess; the Japanese companies Ube Industries and Asahi Kasei, or the one from the United States DowDuPont, among others.

On the other hand, the Turkish company Sifas and the Italian Radici Group. In Spain, the company Nylstar keeps claiming its space in the market.

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