What is Tactel&Reg;?

Dana Hinders

If you’re searching for clothing that combines comfort, easy maintenance, and pleasing aesthetics, items made from Tactel® may be a good choice. This versatile nylon fabric can be found in clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. In fact, Tactel® is rapidly becoming a viable alternative to cotton.

Tactel was originally used in manufacturing ski apparel.
Tactel was originally used in manufacturing ski apparel.

The name Tactel® is derived from “tacto” – the Latin word for “touch.” Tactel® is a special type of nylon that was first introduced as a unique product in 1983. It was originally used in manufacturing ski apparel, but designers quickly discovered the fabric offered benefits for other types of garments as well. Today, you can find Tactel® in everything from office attire to women’s lingerie. Marks & Spencer is one example of a popular fashion designer that regularly uses this lightweight nylon in its products.

Tactel fibers are used in a vast collection of women's clothing, including sportswear.
Tactel fibers are used in a vast collection of women's clothing, including sportswear.

If you’re not familiar with synthetic fabrics, you may be surprised to learn that items made with Tactel® offer several benefits. Tactel® is said to dry eight times faster than cotton, but it is at least twice as soft as most other fibers. Tactel® is lightweight and breathable, making it appropriate for many different types of clothing. In addition, this fabric is three times as resilient as comparable natural fibers.

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Caring for garments made from Tactel® is very simple. Most items are machine washable and easily cleaned with a mild detergent. However, since this versatile nylon fabric retains its color and shape very well, you’ll typically need less water and less detergent to keep your garments looking their best.

If you’re concerned about the environment, you may have heard that clothing created from a man-made fiber such as Tactel® causes excess pollution. The manufacturing process used to create Tactel® does require the use of oil, but less than 1% of the world’s annual global oil production is used in this manner. Other fabrics have their own negative environmental impact by requiring the use of large areas of agricultural land and harsh chemicals for processing. In comparison, Tactel® can be dyed with out the bleaching of cotton or the high temperatures required by wool fabrics.

Although it is true that Tactel® is not biodegradable, the manufacturers that make this fabric regularly recycle their waste nylon to create plastic that is used in the manufacturing of common household items. In this way, the environmental impact of the man-made fiber is greatly reduced. Additionally, the durability of garments made from Tactel® means that fewer resources are needed to create the clothes that fill your closet.

Tactel can be cleaned with a mild detergent.
Tactel can be cleaned with a mild detergent.

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Discussion Comments


Even having many good properties tactel could not attract me due to its electric static effects which may cause negative effects to the skin.


I am glad that the makers of things using tactel fabric have found some ways to add recycling into the process, though I hope all faric manufacturing will continue to increase their ways of reusing and reducing waste.


While they are technically washing machine and dryer safe, I try not to put garments with tactel material and other forms of nylon or spandex fiber in the dryer. Over time, I find it can erode their stretchy quality, making them not work as well.

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