What is tricot fabric?
The word tricot is a generic term for any kind of warp-knitted fabric, that has been knitted on a tricot warp-knitting machine. The fabrics can range from very sheer and lightweight to opaque and heavyweight. The term comes from the French word for “knitted fabric.”
They can be made from manmade or natural fibres, and the unique weave allows them to be smooth on one side and textured on the other. The run-resistant construction makes tricots the perfect fabrics to use when producing garments such as swimwear, lingerie, sportswear and more.
Examples of tricots
- Airflow – poly-blend, pique knit, breathable, medium weight, tight knit
- Boston Pique Knit – poly-based, pique knit, water absorbent, stretchy, medium weight
- Chunky Knit Rib – closed knit, heavy weight, soft, stretchy, ribbed face, solid
- Power Net – fray-resistant, poly-based, open construct, lightweight, breathable, soft
- G-Mesh Net – poly-knit, stretchy, open knit, airy, 3mm diamond-shaped holes, lightweight
- Matt Lycra – 85:15 poly : elastane ratio, soft, elastic, smooth drape, matt
- Soft Sheen Lycra – medium weight, resists pilling, moisture wicking, shiny, soft, strong
How is it manufactured?
Tricot is a pain warp knit fabric. It is made with a close-knit design, with the fibres running lengthwise, while employing an interloped yarn pattern. This method of manufacturing means that on the one side (the face) you will see fine ribs running in a lengthwise pattern. On the other side (the back) you will notice ribs that run in a crosswise direction.
This unique method of construction ultimately creates a fabric that is run-resistant, with a remarkable amount of stretch.
Purposes of tricot fabric
The purpose of tricots is varied. Thanks to their warp-knitted construction and close-knit, tricots have a sturdy, hard-wearing, yet comfortable handle. They are mainly used for closely fitting comfort stretch items, such as swimwear, lingerie, sportswear and even some types of outerwear.
The knitting process makes these fabrics very sturdy, so they are often used as lining fabrics and also as backing materials for softer, less solid fabrics.
Typically, tricot fabrics are lightweight. They are characterised by vertical wales on the technical face and horizontal ribs on the technical back. Tricot fabrics are renowned for being stable textiles. They do not unravel or ladder and are normally stretchy and comfortable. They are also a low-cost fabric, and this, combined with their stretch and stability, makes them a popular choice for backing fabrics for many kinds of laminate fabrics.
Advantages of tricot fabric
As well as being a soft fabric, tricots are remarkably sturdy and secure. Because of these attributes, tricot fabrics are often used as a lining material – both for garments and for items such as jewellery boxes, luggage and storage containers. Thanks to their construction, these materials will not billow or sag out of place. They can stand up to a good level of day-to-day wear and tear.
The supportive and comforting finish of tricots also make them a particularly good choice for using in the making of women’s lingerie and underwear. Because they can be made with so many different fibres – synthetic and natural – there are countless options for garments made with tricots.
Originally, tricot was only made from silk, but the advantage of making them nowadays, is that they can be made with a wealth of fibres, including; nylon, polyester, acetate, cotton, and viscose. Elastane can be included into the mix to add stretch.