What Is Polyurethane Fabric?
Polyurethane (PU) fabric is a fabric that is coated in a polymer which gives it the appearance of leather. Polyurethane elastomers are a polymer, meaning repeating chains of molecules, that can be shaped into a material used to create fabric. When these elastomers are spun into fibers, they produce a flexible material used for fabric.
How Does it Affect Fabric?
Polyurethane coating enhances many performance abilities of the fabric it coats. For example, many stretch fabrics that have a thick layer of this polymer are particularly resistant to wind and water, making it a great fabric for outwear. Its original use in hospitals is now the key factor of its popularity today, a reusable fabric that is strong and waterproof.
PU fabric remains durable and long-lasting. It holds its properties through at least 100 cycles in the washer and dryer without harming its performance features. Plus, it is flexible and easy to work with when creating garments. PU fabrics are typically incredibly lightweight and breathable. This makes them an ideal choice for activewear, yoga, swimwear, and many more.
Polyurethane fabrics often come in different thicknesses, depending on their intended use. For example, the fabric used in diapers may be thinner than fabrics used for camping gear. PU fabrics feature a variety of characteristics. In situations where fuel contact is likely, the fabric can be fire-retardant. It’s also airtight to resist water and humidity and is abrasion-resistant. This makes PU spandex fabrics a staple in the high-tech swimsuit market. The coating enhances the performance abilities of a usual spandex blend by adding buoyancy, especially for competitive swimmers.
Polyurethane fabric uses no solvents, meaning it doesn’t produce harmful toxins. Many of this fabric’s materials will eventually deteriorate. With material that can withstand heat and moisture, there is less overall waste. Therefore, the life expectancy is longer than other fabric materials.
These days, a sleek leather-like fabric that is durable and more eco-friendly is all over the activewear market. With PU fabric today, many manufacturers and fabric suppliers (like us!) offer polyurethane fabric that is perfect for sports clothes and a variety of accessories.
Contact a Fabric Specialist to find out more about what PCF has to offer!