Material Study

Material Study | SUPPLEX® Nylon

Material Study | SUPPLEX® Nylon

Nylon has always been our go-to for constructing a pant that you can rely on. We love nylon for its durability, versatility, and ability to be worn time and time again without losing its performance properties. This is a material that can be scraped against a rock but not rip, can survive an afternoon rain shower but not get soaked, can be blinded by the sun but not fade in color. This is a material that has been proven tough.

Yet here at Western Rise we continually research and test new fabrics that will elevate our apparel and take it to that next level. We wanted a fabric that still held the same characteristics of nylon but would take it up a notch. What we found is SUPPLEX®.


In 1935, nylon was invented at DuPont under the leadership of Dr. Wallace Carothers. This discovery quickly revolutionized the way the U.S. military fought in battle. Parachutes were originally made of Japanese silk, but during World War II the U.S. gave the newly created nylon a chance due to silk supplies being cut off from the United States (read: conflict of interest). By the end of the war, approximately 3.8 million nylon parachutes had been deployed.


Though nylon is notable for being lightweight and having excellent strength, abrasion resistance, luster, and resilience, the synthetic polymer does not have a very soft hand which makes it undesirable for apparel use.  

Looking for a way to improve nylon’s properties, researchers at DuPont worked to create a nylon that would be more suitable for the garment industry. In 1985, the team at DuPont engineered SUPPLEX®, a type of nylon that looks and feels more like cotton but still has the durability of the nylon fiber.  


To make SUPPLEX®, the nylon is extruded through the smallest possible holes, creating a fiber that is ultra-fine, lightweight, and flexible. Thousands of these ultra-fine strands are then wrapped together to form the SUPPLEX® fabric. The tiny nano-fibrils enhance the softness of the fabric, giving it the benefit of being as comfortable as cotton, while out-performing cotton by not shrinking, wrinkling, or fading in color. Additionally, SUPPLEX® is still able to hold the durability and strength of nylon.



  •      SUPPLEX® is 26-36% softer than nylon
  •      Abrasion resistant
  •      Water repellent
  •      Dries faster than cotton
  •      Breathable
  •      Lustrous
  •      Retains color
  •      Holds shape
  •      Anti-bacterial
  •      Odor resistant
  •      Easy care
  •      UV resistant


When you’re getting ready to head to the office, hike a fourteener, bike down a mountain, or whatever it is that you do, you should only need to grab one pair of pants. A lightweight pant that will protect you, move with you, and is built to last.

For anywhere you’re going, we’ve got you covered.







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