If you have been thinking about investing in a turnout rug for your horse or already have one, you will probably have noticed that many styles are fashioned from ballistic nylon. This sounds pretty impressive but what exactly is ballistic nylon?
An Accidental Invention
Perhaps we should first look at conventional nylon. It is a fabric that you will be familiar with but might not have though much about. A chemist called Julian W. Hill invented this silky material by accident. In 1930, he was working for Dupont and created a cold drawing process which produced a new polyamide. This was to become nylon. Companies first used the new material commercially to make the bristles for toothbrushes. However, it was something of a revolution when they started to make ladies' stockings with the fabric in 1940. Silk stockings were very expensive and silk was in short supply during World War II. Most women struggled to afford stockings but the new "nylons" changed everything. Nylon wasa replacement for silk and wasuseful for military applications including parachutes.
Dupont developed ballistic nylon for use in military flak jackets. This was a light yet strong fabric which protected airman from flying debris and the fragmentation caused by bullet and shell impacts. Unfortunately it offered no protection from the bullets themselves!Ballistic nylon has now been replaced by Kevlar in military applications as Kevlar is also resistant to impacts from bullets. But Ballistic nylon is still a fabulous fabric with many uses. You will find the material in luggage, cave packs, tool belts, police belts, watch straps and motorcycle jackets.
Using an extremely high-denier nylon thread count, ballistic nylon is createdusing a specific weave. This weave pattern produces fabric with excellent tear resistance and exceptional strength versus its weight. The fabric is breathable but must be coated to become waterproof. You can certainly see why this fabric is an excellent choice for turnout rugs! Tough, protective and waterproof, ballistic nylon is a fabulous and versatile material. This lightweight material is comfortable for your horse and affords the freedom of movement that a horse needs. They should really have called it anti-ballistic nylon but hey!