Brushed tricot fabric for reusable packaging is a soft liner material that can be used with Class A surfaces such as chrome parts or faux wood panels. Tricot offers numerous advantages, but the brushing process also makes it a “dirt magnet”. For rack bag designers, deciding whether to use brushed tricot fabric is an important decision. By understanding how this fabric dunnage material is made, rack bag designers can compare the pros and cons while accounting for their true sewn fabric dunnage costs.
How Brushed Tricot Fabrics Are Made
Brushing is a finishing process that uses brushes or other abrading devices to raise the fibers in fabrics like tricot. Raising a nap produces a fuzzy or downy surface, which is why brushed fabrics have a softer feel. This novelty texture is a good choice for Class A surfaces, a term that’s used in automotive design to describe high-quality surfaces that fit together. If parts with Class A surfaces become scratched, assemblers may reject them because even shallow grooves can affect part fit and function.
Tricot fabrics that are brushed are easy-to-produce and relatively inexpensive. These reusable packaging materials also offer good elasticity and resist creasing. When tricot fabric is brushed, the material acquires a distinctive look and feel. The front of the fabric has vertical ribs, but the back has horizontal ribs. This novel appearance is a function of how the manufacturing processes stretches long parallel threads and then loops the adjacent threads around these parallel threads.
Typically, brushed tricot fabrics are made of synthetic fibers such as nylon or polyester. Natural fibers such as cotton can be used, but they’re usually blended with synthetic fibers that impart particular properties. For sewn fabric dunnage, tricot or napped fabrics can be laminated to vinyl for reinforcement. Laminated fabrics can provide greater tensile strength than plain fabric alone, but they tend to act as separate materials and can de-laminate. Coated fabrics made of tricot materials are available.
Is Brushed Tricot Fabric Right for Your Application?
Brushed tricot fabrics are soft and cost-effective, but these fabric dunnage materials may also require frequent cleaning. Ultimately, the same finishing process that imparts their softer feel also makes them a “dirt magnet”. During the brushing process, hair-like fibers are pulled so that they stick out. In turn, these hairs tend to pick up more dirt. Brushed tricot fabrics are permeable and support cleaning, but rack bag designers should include cleaning costs in their total cost of ownership (TCO) calculations.
Do you have questions about brushed tricot materials for reusable packaging? Are you looking for a Made in the USA dunnage from a company that provides design assistance, help with material selection, and expert sewing capabilities? Hold-True offers sewn solutions that add value to the supply chain in industries like automotive, heavy truck, power sports, and aerospace. To learn how we can help you, contact us at our facility in Mansfield, Ohio (USA).