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Global Nylon Market Growth Challenged by Synthetic Fiber Alternatives

The global nylon filament yarn market, impacted by increased use of other synthetic fibers, is expected to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just around 4 percent through 2022. Though nylon is being buoyed by heightened interest in activewear, according to the latest market research report from technology research and advisory firm Technavio, the fiber is facing challenges to growth.

“The key factor slowing down the growth of this market is the availability of substitutes,” Technavio’s report said. “Synthetic fibers such as polyester filament yarn, polypropylene filament yarn and acrylic fiber are major substitutes of nylon filament yarn.”

Polyester filament yarns carry the benefits of cost-effectiveness, moisture resistance, high elasticity and wrinkle-resistant properties, and many brands have adopted polyester and polypropylene-based filament yarns in clothing and textile accessories for the comfort, softness and lightweight elements today’s consumers prefer.

“The demand for polyester fiber is anticipated to increase during the forecast period due to its abrasion and chemical resistance,” Technavio said. “Thus, an increase in consumer preference for yarns that offer cost-effectiveness and comfort can impede the growth of the market.”

The report cites widespread infiltration of sports apparel into everyday consumer wardrobes as a key emerging trend in the global nylon filament yarn market. Nylon filament yarn is used extensively in producing sports apparel and accessories, adventure equipment and travel accessories. It’s also widely used in jerseys, tracksuits, socks, swimsuits, shorts and T-shirts.

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“The rapid commercialization of the sports apparel sector can significantly promote the growth of the nylon filament yarn market,” a Technavio senior analyst said.

The availability of nylon filament yarn in various colors, shades and patterns is likely to drive the sector, the analyst added.

Fabric technology firm Cordura recently launched TrueLock, with a new wolf gray color leading the way for the brand’s next generation of durable colors, as part of its efforts to solidify its position and commitment to expand its solution-dyed nylon (SDN) 6,6 fiber business. Cordura TrueLock fiber is made from parent company Invista’s nylon 6,6 multi-filament fiber that is solution-dyed to create deep, durable color throughout the fiber structure. Invista has been expanding its nylon production capacity in the United States and abroad.

Its facility in Camden, S.C., expanded last year to increase U.S. capacity of high-tenacity, specialty fibers for Cordura fabrics. The Camden investment has accelerated the development of new SDN capabilities that complement the facility’s existing high-tenacity nylon 6,6 filament fiber manufacturing processes.

Invista also is investing more than $1 billion to bring its latest adiponitrile (ADN) technology to China in an effort to satisfy strong demand in the country for the chemical used to manufacture nylon 6,6 fiber. Over the past five years, Invista has invested more than $600 million in China to support the nylon market.

At Invista’s site in Victoria, Texas, a $250 million project to upgrade manufacturing technology and increase production of ADN is set to begin construction early next year.