a synthetic fiber formed from a polypropylene melt. Polypropylene fiber is generally superior to polyamide fibers in elasticity and resiliency, but it has lower wear resistance. It displays good heat-insulating properties and is highly resistant to acids, alkalies, and organic solvents. The fiber is sensitive to heat and light; its resistance to these agents is largely determined by the effectiveness of added stabilizers. Filaments and monofilaments are used in the manufacture of floating cables, nets, filter fabrics, and upholstery. In staple form the fiber is used in carpeting, blankets, outerwear fabrics, knitwear, and filter fabrics. Textured polypropylene fiber is chiefly used in carpet manufacture.
Polypropylene fiber is produced under various trade names, including Herculon (United States), Ulstron (Great Britain), Pylen (Japan), and Meraklon (Italy). In 1972 world production of polypropylene fiber was estimated at 500,000 tons.