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Nylon vs Polyester Cord. Which one is Better?

Active users of nylon paracord probably have noticed availability of nylon and polyester cords on the markets. Which ones better and whats the difference between them? To the naked eye both are strong and persistent, but there is a big disparity between them.

To understand it better lets start from the manufacturing.

Nylon, like polyester, is melt-processed into fibers. But they differ in chemical compound. We wont go that far, lets just check synthetic fibers.

So the anufacturing process of nylon is similar to anufacturing polyester. As it is identical to the anufacturing of mountaineering cords. The only thing that differs is amount of threads in core. Firstly nylon or polyester threads are coiled around a spool which in consequence form a shell. Afterwards threads are transmitted into the shell. The whole process looks like this:

The stitching pattern used in manufacturing of paracord is called ballistic. It lies in spools moving zigzag, avoiding each other, thus, making fiber and tight shell. This pattern was initially used during the World War 2. It was also applied in tailoring of bulletproof vests.

It is now used in production of parachute suspension lines, mountaineering cords and paracord.

So we got a nylon and polyester cords. But the quality is markedly different.

Here are the main differences you can see getting nylon and polyester cords in your hands:

First of all, tactile sensation. The polyester cord is rougher than the nylon one. You can feel ruggedness touching it. This peculiarity affects further use. The cord bends worse, it gets easier to unbraid, knots are harder to tie. Besides, while melted polyester makes bad smell. None of this problems arise with nylon cord.

Secondly structure. Though both of them are made identically, they differ in structure. Internal threads in polyester cords tend to unknit spontaneously. Due to the fact polyester cords burn, it is gets harder to char ends. Nylon cord is more practical. Once the cord is cut off, threads wont unknit, and if burnt, they will form a tidy and strong connection.

Thirdly, quality. As we know, polyester cords tend to fade. With time youll find your bracelet or keychain faded. Moisture and sunlight did their thing. And the favorite color will never make you happy again.

Nylon cord can neither roots nor reacts to ultraviolet. It can withstand chemical exposure.

Together those indicators demonstrate us that nylon made product save their appearance whatever the conditions they are in (under the sun, in the salt water, in dirt, etc).

To sum it up lets check out the table: 

 Type of paracord  Nylon cord  Polyester Cord
 Resistance to acidic  Resistant  Relatively resistant
 Resistance to alkaline  Resistant  Relatively resistant
 Resistance to ultraviolet  Resistant  Not persistent
 Durability  Durable  Not durable
 Tactile sensation  Pleasant  Relatively pleasant
 Easy to work with  Yes  No
 Burns  No  Yes






Based on the table above and the detailed analysis of two cords we can clearly see the winner.

It should be noted, that polyester cord is frequently anufactured in Asia countries. Its connected to the fact that polyester is cheaper than nylon, therefore the final product price will be lower. The price is also affected by the absence of technical control, quality certificates and final product checking. Everything owners of the factories take care about is profit. Their priority is quick selling of the pseudo-cord made of polyester.

If you take American manufactures as an example you will see a big difference. Every batch of the product is checked for breaking load and stretching. Examination of presence of deformities is also done. Besides, those companies possess certificates of their own products.

Video review of how the products are tested:

Fibex products are made exclusively of nylon. Working closely together with military and textile industries, tourism stores on the markets of the Europe and CIS we are leaders of selling high-quality nylon cord. Our manufactury is certified with the international quality certificate ISO 9001 guaranteeing accordance with all European standards of manufacture and technical controls, affirming that paracord was tested and checked.

Thus talking about quality we are proud to say that our product is best. Choice of products is up to customers, we provide the info which helps in choosing.

Fibex company. 

Date of publication: 06.11.2017