Polyamide is a synthetic material, patented in the 1930s by the famous American company Du Pont. It is also known as Nylon.
Produced in the form of long, thin filaments, polyamide has an elastic structure and was first used with great success to produce ladies' stockings. They quickly replaced the previous silk stockings (expensive and less elastic).
Polyamide is now used for a wide variety of items worn next to the skin: stockings, tights, swimwear, underwear and high quality sportswear where comfort and performance is crucial.
These applications have been made possible thanks to the invention of another synthetic fibre: elastane. Better known today as Lycra, also patented by Du Pont.
This article covers:
- Polyamide and Elastane - a winning combination
- Polyamide microfibre
- The advantages of choosing clothing made from polyamide and elastan microfibre
- Why Made in Italy is better
- Polyamide FAQ
Polyamide and Elastane - a winning combination
Elastane is a highly elastic fibre that, when coupled with polyamide, results in a unique type of yarn that is extremely strong, durable and elastic, with excellent abrasion resistance and brilliant colours. It is also resistant to mould and mildew, and non flammable
Fabrics made from this type of yarn are perfect for hard-wearing, comfortable clothes in many fields, including the health sector (compression socks, elastic bandages, nappies, etc.), lingerie and sportswear (athletics, gymnastics and other sports, leggings, swimwear, gloves, sailing clothes, etc.).
In recent times, we have seen how a swimmer's performance can be affected by what he/she wears. Seams, for example, are believed to slow athletes down, hence the trend for skin-tight sportswear. This has only been made possible thanks to these fibres.
The WAVE collection exploits this technology developed for sportswear and uses it to create a range of ultra comfortable clothing for men and women.
The fabrics used for the WAVE collection are made from polyamide and elastane microfibres.
Microfibres are hi-tech fibres. They are extremely lightweight and particularly thin (just a third the diameter of wool and half that of silk). They come in a variety of cross-sections (not necessarily circular) to offer high performance, excellent light reflection and so fantastic colour effects.
Microfibre fabrics keep you dry and guarantee total comfort. Thanks to their high porosity, they are breathable, moisture wicking fabrics that prevent sweat condensation.
Not all polyamide fabrics are the same! WAVE Futura selects only the best producers, those who guarantee the use of hi-tech fibres and who use cutting-edge technology to produce their fabrics.
The advantages of choosing clothing made from polyamide and elastan microfibre
Some of the unique characteristics of garments made from these microfibres:
Easy care, quick to wash and dry
Non iron. No need to worry about how your fold them: they never crease.
Perfect wearability, as the garment follows your every move.
Ultra-lightweight and breathable clothes.
High UV protection.
Soft to the touch and figure hugging.
Why 'Made in Italy' is better
Given that not all synthetic fibres are equal, the colours used to dye them also vary, the weaving processes are not all the same and different chemical agents are used to give them their special properties.
Textile products bearing the Made in Italy label are the result of advanced technology, while quality certification requires strict controls at each step in the process.
WAVE Futura sources it fabrics from Italian producers who can guarantee product and environmental certification:
EPD environmental certification: Environmental Product Declaration, an internationally recognised system of assessing the environmental impact of a product or system (energy use, CO2 emissions, acidification, eutrophication of water, etc.).
Climate certification: life cycle assessment (LCA)
ISO 14000 certification: certification of a company's Environmental Management System, ensuring its procedures comply with ISO environmental standards.
OEKO-TEX certification: system that certifies that Sensitive® Fabrics do not contain possible harmful substances for humans. Specific to the textile and clothing industry, to protect the consumer.
Compliance with REACH: the European Union regulation regarding the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of dangerous or toxic chemicals.
Is polyamide considered to be harmful?
In use for many years and used for commonplace items that come into contact with the skin (such as stockings and tights), there is no evidence that this fibre is harmful.
The most recent forms of polyamide are the result of great improvements in the production processes, now fully compliant to standards.
Does polyamide cause an allergic reaction?
Some textile fibres, including certain natural fibres like wool, can in some (rare) cases cause irritation through contact with the skin.
As a general rule, synthetics fibres do not cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation. The dyes and the chemical or metal substances used for finishing may, however, do so.
Hence the decision to favour some brands rather than others, even if it works out to be more expensive.
As we have seen, the use of certified fabrics means that the semi-finished products and final products have been subjected to stringent laboratory tests to check for the presence or release of harmful substances (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic amines, and allergenic dyestuffs). The requirements and limits are constantly updated to reflect the very latest medical and scientific knowledge.
Is polyamide fabric best for summer or winter?
There are many types of polyamide fibres, thanks to the use of different chemical processes. For example, Kevlar – used for ski pants and jackets – is a polyamide.
Does polyamide shrink?
No, never. If blended with elastane, it quickly recovers its shape.
In fact, garments made from polyamide keep their shape well, even after multiple washes.
Another important characteristic is colour fastness: garments will not fade in the sun or in the washing machine.