Nylon mesh was created by Wallace Carothers, a director at the DuPont Corporation and patented in 1935. Also known as nylon netting, it is a synthetic fabric, meaning that it is a plastic-based material.
Nylon mesh is used for many purposes including laundry bags and in clothing, like jerseys. It is also used in sports equipment like fishing nets and shoes. Crafters often use nylon mesh to make bows and clothing.
Nylon mesh has an open weave, net-like construction. It is a thin material and can be found in rolls or spools at local craft stores.
Nylon mesh is resistant to wear but not indestructible, and it dries easily. It can be dyed, is lightweight and often manufactured as a stretchy material. Nylon mesh can also be cut and it flexes effortlessly.
Nylon mesh is available in a variety of colors and sizes. The netting pattern is typically tight, like a mosquito net, and can be as large as the netting used for soccer goals.
Latex allergies are common. The American Latex Allergy Association states that nylon, "textile fibers alone do not contain latex. However, finished products may contain latex added to these textiles." So while nylon itself does not contain latex, finished nylon mesh products may contain latex that has been added during the manufacturing process.
Because nylon mesh is a synthetic fabric there is growing concern over its safety. People who have latex allergies should avoid using nylon mesh products. The Union of Concerned Scientists states that, “Some fabrics are just better avoided. Petroleum-based synthetics cause hazardous waste and don't biodegrade.” The chemicals that are involved in the production of synthetic fabrics, like nylon mesh, have made more people consider buying natural fabrics.