A increasingly popular choice for clothing fabrics among outdoor/tactical focused brands like Prometheus Design Werx and Triple Aught Design is a fabric called NYCO — which is a nylon/cotton blend. Outlier also uses this fabric in select items. The exact blend varies between companies with some in a 40% nylon, to others closer to an even 50-50 split.
This is quite a interesting fabric for items which straddle the line between performance and traditionally garments.
The key benefit to adding nylon to cotton, is strength. Where cotton can be a relatively weak and wear prone garment, nylon tends not to be. On the flip side, a 100% nylon garment is often not comfortable, and not desirable looking. A NYCO blend gives you the best of both worlds: look and feel of cotton, durability and strength of nylon.
One thing to also note, most garments of this nature are coated with a “DWR” coating, which is a durable water repellant. This simply makes water bead and roll of the garment, but does not waterproof it. It will wear off over time, but while it’s there the largest benefit is that it will help repel stains nicely.
The downside here is that you are not gaining many of the typical “performance” elements we come to expect for better engineered clothing. There’s no stretch, or temperature regulation gained. It drys slowly as well, and absorbs orders like any other cotton good.
There can be some really good applications of NYCO. Especially for people working, or living, in situations where they tend to have weaker cotton or wool goods wear out quickly for them, NYCO can be a great alternative. Some of the harder wear applications being done are perfect uses for NYCO, and it is especially good to boost something which you want to look traditional.
While we wish there were more performance gains to be hard, it is a very good option for select goods.
Where We Like It
There’s two really nice applications of this: Outlier’s NYCO Oxford, and Triple Aught Design’s Rogue RS jacket. The oxford looks like a typical oxford button down, but with the addition of nylon, it should last for a very long time and be incredibly durable when compared to all cotton alternatives.
The Rogue, is another great application where you get a traditional looking light jacket, with a lot more performance. You can beat on a jacket like this without worry it is going fray and get worn holes in it quickly. Exactly the type of application NYCO excels in.
Where it is harder to make the case for this fabric is in pants. While the brands listed above have experimented with them in pants, you need to look for added stretch to get a better pant out of NYCO. Some brands, including Outlier, do just this, but you are still getting a pant that will not perform as well as some other fabric choices.