There are 3 main materials used to make webbing - Polypropylene, Nylon, and Polyester. These materials make up the majority of what you see in products and have cover most end use applications due to their varied characteristics.
About Polypropylene Webbing (also called "polypro"):
Polypropylene (“Polypro”) is known for its weather resistance and UV protection, low water absorbance, anti-mold/mildew properties, resistance to acids, alkalis, oil and gas. It will last a long time kept outdoors and high resistance to damage caused by weathering.. Polypropylene has low stretch and flexibility properties.
Because of its low cost and physical properties, it is very popular for many applications such as tents, pool covers, tarps, light load cargo netting, etc. Polypro has a relatively low break strength, so it not suitable for load bearing or critical applications.
About Nylon Webbing:
Nylon is known to be the most versatile webbing when it comes to utility. Nylon has high resistance to abrasion, a high melting point (up to 420 degrees F), and is a relatively strong material. Nylon fiber also has excellent UV and mildew resistance properties. The kicker, of coruse, is that Nylon has the ability to stretch in high tensile or load-bearing applications.
While typically more expensive than polypro, Nylon is still a economical choice for applications requiring high durability and high-quality.
Products utilizing nylon webbing the most would include, military equipment, backpacks, slings, sports equipment, pet harness and collars, canoe and kayak gear, outdoor furniture, luggage, hats, belts, etc.
About Polyester Webbing:
Polyester webbing has the highest resistance to UV, abrasion, and mildew. Additionally, Polyester has an extremely high break strength and does not stretch in high tensile or load-bearing applications. Due to this, Polyester is the go-to choice for tie-down and lifting applications.
Polyester also has an extremely high melting point, allowing for the webbing to be printed on for end use applications like lanyards and high-end dog collars.
You will find polyester webbing used in tie-down straps, higher end commercial products, aerospace, automotive, sporting goods, military equipment, safety products, lifting apparatus, medical, equestrian, gym equipment and more!