The concept of grids has been around for thousands of years. For example, every type of netting in existence is made from netting, a material that is also used to make things like hammocks. However, it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that textile innovators began to use mesh for clothing -- mesh fabric for garments.
In most cases, mesh fabric manufacturers will dye polyester or nylon fibers before weaving them into fabrics. Textile manufacturers can then weave these fibers in many different ways to create various forms of mesh. For example, many types of grids follow a basic square pattern that has proven effective for thousands of years. However, more modern mesh forms, such as tulle, may be woven into a hexagonal structure.
Most of the world's two fabrics used to make mesh, polyester and nylon, are produced in China, but a booming economy and lax regulations have recently pushed textile manufacturing back to the United States. While China is likely to remain the world's leading supplier of mesh fabrics for the foreseeable future, competition in polyester and nylon production is becoming more intense.
Polyester Mesh: Most of the mesh used in sportswear and sportswear is made of polyester. This type of fabric is very lightweight and has a pronounced ability to absorb moisture. Unlike other types of fabrics, polyester mesh doesn't get trapped in sweat and is breathable.
Nylon Mesh: One of the most iconic applications of nylon mesh is for beekeeping veils. This type of mesh is less commonly used to make clothing, and more commonly used to make items such as tent screens and laundry bags. However, nylon mesh is sometimes used to make lightweight garments such as evening gowns.