the best science on the web about
synthetic fibers & fabrics

Fabricating Fabric: Profile of Nylon
Image: iStockphoto.com/imagemonkey

Fabricating Fabric: Profile of Nylon

For centuries, people tried to invent a substitute for natural fibers. But no one succeeded until about 75 years ago, when women started wearing stockings made from oil.

Nylon stockings were only a start. Today, some synthetic fibers are bulletproof. Some are a water bottle one day, a shirt the next. In the future, we may climb them into space!

National Science Foundation/NBC
Loading...
Holly Jackson, 2014 Broadcom MASTERS Top Winner

Holly Jackson, 2014 Broadcom MASTERS Top Winner

Holly Jackson turned her interest of sewing into an award-winning science and engineering project. Discover the novel way she investigated this ancient art and some of her futuristic applications. More...

Profile
Science News for Students
Space Elevator Closer to Liftoff with New Cable

Space Elevator Closer to Liftoff with New Cable

Finally, scientists have found a way to make long fibers out of carbon nanotubes (tubes made of carbon atoms). As a result, people and cargo might someday rise into space in an elevator. More...

Video
NBC
Chance Discoveries: Kevlar

Chance Discoveries: Kevlar

Kevlar, a lightweight fiber 5 times stronger than steel, has saved thousands of police officers and soldiers. It was discovered by accident. More...

Video
National Science Foundation/NBC
Fibres

Fibres

Whether spelled fibres, as in the U.K., or fibers, these are what your clothes are made of. Get an overview of natural and synthetic fibers here. More...

Article
BBC
How It’s Made: Recycled Polyester Yarn

How It’s Made: Recycled Polyester Yarn

Want to know how your water bottle becomes your shirt? This video takes you through the recycling process. More...

Video
Discovery
Kevlar Clue

Kevlar Clue

How tough is Kevlar, really? What happens if you shoot a Kevlar vest at close range with a variety of guns? See for yourself. More...

Video
National Geographic
Nanotechnology May Lead to the End of Laundry

Nanotechnology May Lead to the End of Laundry

Why do some sci-fi characters always look spotless, no matter what happens to them? Maybe because their clothes clean themselves. And that's not sci-fi! More...

Article
Forbes
Some Common Polymers and Their Uses

Some Common Polymers and Their Uses

To understand synthetic materials, you must understand polymers. Note when reading: poly(ethene) and poly(propene) are also called polyethylene and polypropylene. More...

Article
BBC
Tangled Webs: Why Scientists Want to Re-Create Spider Silk

Tangled Webs: Why Scientists Want to Re-Create Spider Silk

It's stronger than steel, more elastic than rubber. But if we want spider silk products, don't expect help from the spiders. Can we make the silk artificially? More...

Article
BBC
Teflon Tape Secret Messages

Teflon Tape Secret Messages

With Teflon you can make better cooking pans, plumbing supplies, and outerwear, and better secret messages. Watch the video to see how. More...

Video
Steve Spangler Science
What Is Gore-Tex?

What Is Gore-Tex?

How does Gore-Tex clothing allow your sweat to pass through, but not rain and snow? Is this fabric magic? More...

Video
Untamed Science
What Makes Kevlar So Strong?

What Makes Kevlar So Strong?

Kevlar can stop a speeding bullet, but what makes it so strong? See if you can piece together the clues on this site. More...

Interactive
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Zoom into a Carbon Fiber

Zoom into a Carbon Fiber

You haven't really seen a carbon fiber bicycle frame until you've seen its carbon fibers magnified 203 million times. More...

Video
John Sizemore

Latest Comments

You Also Might Like

  1. food preservation

    food preservation

  2. fire

    fire

  3. radio

    radio

  4. perfumes

    perfumes

  5. internal combustion engines

    internal combustion engines