Nylon tricot is a kind of knitted fabric that is often used for lingerie or as a lining material. The word tricot, pronounced tree-ko, comes from the French verb tricoter, meaning to knit. The knitting process used to make nylon tricot gives it several unique properties and benefits, as well as some special challenges for care and use.
Tricot is a type of fabric created by machine using a warp-knit pattern. This means that the fibers that make up the fabric run the length of the fabric, rather than the width, in a zigzag pattern. Specifically, nylon tricot is a tricot fabric made from the synthetic fiber nylon. Most nylon tricot uses 100 percent nylon, although some fabrics use a blend of nylon and other fibers, such as rayon or cotton.
Nylon tricot is soft and flexible, and does not snag or run easily. Good-quality nylon tricot will not build up a static charge or cling to the body, making it comfortable to wear. Nylon tricot comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Because of its warp-knit, tricot fabric also has a unique texture, with a vertical grain on one side and a horizontal grain on the other.
One of the most common uses for nylon tricot fabric is in women's lingerie or undergarments. Many clothing manufacturers produce commercially made nylon tricot lingerie, and some fabric stores also sell nylon tricot to sewing enthusiasts who want to create their own garments. Nylon tricot is also a common lining material for suitcases, as well as a popular fabric for hunting apparel.
Many nylon tricot garments can be machine washed with special care. Nylon tricot should be washed in warm water, using the delicate cycle for lingerie and similar garments. Use a low heat setting on the dryer, and keep in mind that nylon tricot dries fairly quickly and should be removed from the dryer promptly. Do not iron nylon tricot, since heat can melt the fabric. If ironing becomes necessary, use the lowest temperature setting on the iron and place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric.
Sewing enthusiasts who want to work with nylon tricot can find it in some fabric stores or order online from specialty fabric stores such as the one linked below. Unlike many fabrics, nylon tricot should not be washed before cutting and sewing, since this can cause it to bunch up and become difficult to work with. People who sew with nylon tricot may also want to use silk pins, rather than regular straight pins, to avoid putting holes in the fabric. When sewing nylon tricot, use a very fine needle and thread designed for delicate fabrics.