|US Patent 2.130.947 (1938)
Using the word 'Nylon' as a description for stockings does a little discredit to the masses of usages available from it. Basically Nylon is a synthetic fibre. It's development was essential to assist the USA through trade and political problems with Japan who were stemming the flow of natural fibres such as Silk, during the mid 1930's.
Nylon: Is a generic (or collective) term for any long-chain synthetic (not naturally occurring) polymeric amide. If you look on some hosiery packets you will see the yarn is a poly(meric)amide. The fibre has recurring amide groups as an integral of the main polymer chain, and which is capable of being formed into a filament in which the structural elements are orientated in the direction of the axis. The first polyamide was created in 1935. With its first application available to the public being the filaments of toothbrushes in 1938.
Carothers and his team looked at substances whose structures were of a high molecular weight called macromolecules (molecule - a group of atoms held together by chemical forces) and their formation by the process of polymerization (linking small molecules to form long-chain molecules).
Nylon is an artificial fibre whose properties are similar and often superior to natural fibres including wool, cotton, and silk. The importance of Nylon is best described by it being the first synthetic polymer fibre commercially produced and the start of the synthetic fibre industry from which we all benefit everyday.
||By polymerizing (condensation polymerization with the loss of a water molecule) a mixture of Adipic Acid and 1.6-Diaminohexane a 'plastic' is made (Nylon). The nylon could be drawn out into strong fibres which incidentally had a silky sheen appearance. The Carothers team produced several other polyamides which were distinguished through individual coding by the number of carbon atoms in each of their monomers.
The one produced from the six carbon 1.6-Diaminohexane and the six Carbon Adipic Acid became Nylon 6.6 which was referred to as '66 polyamide', then 'norun', then 'nuron' and finally 'Nylon'. Even chemistry requires names usable in commerce thus Nylon was marketed as the fibre of the first synthetic stockings and became another generic name for hosiery.