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Nylon Tricot Aerial Silks vs Trilobal.

Hi there. Yesterday I decided its time to do a blog post about Silks Material and my experience. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are and if you know of any alternative material that is used in SA. As far as I know... Nylon Tricot Aerial Silks material is not available in any of our stores in South Africa. I have searched high and low for it. I've been to every material outlet and contacted every material supplier in South Africa, but to no avail. Once I found a thinner stretchier version that is used for lingerie lining but it wasn't suitable for Aerial Dance.


When I opened my Aerial Dance Studio in 2016, unbeknown to me, most Aerial Silks Schools in South Africa used Trilobal Material. No one shared their intellectual property and what this locally sold material was called was a mystery. Being new to the sport and definitely not a girly girl who's mother sewed or spent a-lot of time around dress materials, I thought Trilobal was a specialised silks material and that I was buying the "right" thing. I paid a premium price for it.

One day one of my students looked at the fabric and said: "hey!! this is just regular Trilobal material". I had it checked out and she was right. It was Trilobal and you coud buy it at any material store in South Africa for R20 a meter. I immediately phoned the supplier and asked her if she could please tell me what the material was called that she was selling. She said that she didn't feel comfortable sharing that information. I then replied and said: " ok, but please just promise me you are not selling me Trilobal at a R170 a meter? " She said that she couldn't deny or confirm this.


After that I did my research and found that Nylon Tricot 40 Denier 108" material was the industry standard material used worldwide and the safest and strongest material to dance with.

And thats how and why I started importing Nylon Tricot Fabric for the local market.


After 7 years of doing silks and absolutely loving it I have calmed down about the experience and I am not against dancing on Trilobal and some of my students even prefer dancing on it. Here are my pros and cons of using Trilobal vs Tricot:


Trilobal works well for Aerial Hammock Dance, not Aerial Yoga. For Aerial Yoga you need a wider softer fabric. Trilobal is only 150m wide compared to Tricot which is 280cm wide. Trilobal makes it easier to grip and transition between moves when doing Aerial Hammock Dance, it also adds a nice bounce for drops if you have the height to do so.


Trilobal is better for grip when it comes to smaller hands, but I do feel that this is a bit of an illusion. The student feels like they have more control because they can close their hand around the silks. This makes them grip way too hard leading to their hands and fingers cramping which leads to climbers arms. The real downside of Trilobal is that it pinches like hell and it doesn't give enough ankle support when doing footlocks.


Tricot on the other hand is much softer and due to the broader material offers more support for your ankles. Tricot fabric is better for grip, where Trilobal is slippery. Tricot Material Silk burns are not nearly as severe as Trilobal burns.


Tricot material doesn't tear as easily and lasts much longer than Trilobal. There is an Afrikaans saying that goes: Goedkoop koop is duur koop. And that is so true. It translates to cheap buying is expensive buying.


Investing in Tricot Silks for yourself or your studio is really worth your while. It is a decision you wont regret. You will never want to dance on anything else. Moves and climbs you were struggling with due to gripping issues or pain might even become possible on Tricot.

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