Seersucker Fabric: Properties and Care

Seersucker fabric is one of the most popular summer fabrics and is a unique choice because of its light, breezy feel. It is commonly made from cotton, making it lightweight and cool for wear on warmer days.

Its affordability, breathability, and wicking ability properties are perks you get with this fabric type.

The fabric is appropriate for casual and formal settings, making it an excellent choice for everything from beachwear to business attire.

But just what is seersucker, exactly? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about this fabric.

What is Seersucker?

Red Seersucker Fabric

Seersucker fabric is a woven striped fabric where tight tension yarns alternate with loose tension yarns. Originally, the fabric was made of 100% pure cotton and is recently being produced from blends of cotton and synthetic fibers such as polyester, rayon, etc. 

Seersucker fabric is quite different from the other types of cotton fabrics with its special wrinkled and more stylish appearance.

The fabric’s wrinkled appearance and texture make it a suitable fabric choice for warmer days. The fabric doesn’t sit on the skin, making it easy for air to flow through and keep you feeling cool and fresh on hot days.

Asides from the breathability feature of the seersucker fabric, it is also extremely lightweight and durable, so one can wear it comfortably around. It lasts a long while when taken good care of and doesn’t require much ironing as its uneven texture makes it look wrinkled all the time.

Although the fabric is informal with its unique look, it’s still one of the best fabrics you can get if you want to combine comfort and breathability. Seersucker fabric is versatile and has various uses in fashion, home decor, and other areas. 

How Is Seersucker Fabric Produced? 

Seersucker fabric is a woven type of fabric detailedly constructed to get the desired texture and appearance. There are a series of processes involved in producing this fabric, which we will discuss below. Let’s get started.

The first step in the production of seersucker fabric is selecting yarn. During this selection process, yarn of good quality is sought as using poor quality yarns in production can cause the fabric to tear during the weaving process.

So depending on the type of seersucker fabric you’re making, you can opt for pure cotton yarn or cotton/polyester yarn.

The seersucker fabric is then woven using a loom. And to weave fabric using a loom, you’ll require two sets of yarn. One is called the warp yarn, and the other is the weft yarn. The warp yarn is held in tension vertically on the loom, and the weft yarn is horizontally woven through the warp. Computer-controlled looms are used nowadays in place of manual looms. A single set of warp yarn is used and held in even tension for most of these fabrics.

However, to create the wrinkle stripes characteristic of the seersucker fabric, a slack tension weaving process involves using two sets of warp yarns.

The first yarn is held under regular tension to produce the plain stripes, and the other yarn is held at a greater tension to create crinkled stripes.

The puckered effect of this fabric is made by weaving one warp slack and the other tight. The warp tension regulates this effect. So, you can easily adjust it depending on the degree of puckering you want on the fabric.

The best way to get even colored seersucker fabric is to use colored yarn. This is because, with piece dyeing, the color shades of the puckering area and flat area of the fabric are slightly different.

In addition, the fabric can be washed in a winch or soft-flow dyeing machine to avoid any form of distortion. One must also take care during dyeing as the puckering pattern can be altered.

History of Seersucker Fabric

Seersucker fabric comes from Persian words meaning “milk” and “sugar,” which describe the fabric as possessing both a smooth and coarse feel. The East India Company brought the seersucker fabric to Europe around the 18th century.

Seersucker fabric made a name for itself in Europe, but the cool climates in England made it uncommon to see people wearing it. However, many upper-class individuals wore clothing produced from it when they went on vacations to other countries.

When seersucker fabric got to the United States, its popularity increased greatly as the fabric drew many people to its premium feel and comfort.

In contrast to English men, the American men were quick to adopt seersucker suits instead of their woolen counterparts, as it made warmer days more bearable. The fabric was also adopted to make baggy pants during the American civil war and beddings during summers.

Various Types of Seersucker Fabric

Pale Purple Seersucker Fabric

There are different types of seersucker fabric, and this is mostly based on the type of yarn used in making the seersucker fabric. The types of seersucker fabric include:

  • Pure Cotton Seersucker Fabric

This type of seersucker fabric is made of 100% cotton, and the fabric is thicker, more breathable, and lightweight. Pure cotton seersucker fabric doesn’t need to be lined when making garments as it isn’t see-through and makes the perfect fabric for summer wear.

  • Nylon-cotton Blend Seersucker fabric

The nylon-cotton blend seersucker is highly durable asides from being lightweight and breathable.

This type of seersucker fabric is more shrink resistant than pure cotton seersucker, which is prone to shrinking when exposed to high heat. It is used to make tops, shorts, and other clothing items.

  • Polyester-Cotton Blend Seersucker fabric

This type of seersucker fabric is typically made from a blend of polyester and cotton. The fabric is usually lined and not as thick as the pure cotton type but it is still lightweight.

This seersucker fabric is breathable and comfortable, which is why It’s suitable for summer apparel. It also helps that it requires no ironing, just like other types of seersucker fabrics. 

Other variations of seersucker fabric include Stretch seersucker fabric, gingham seersucker fabric, floral seersucker fabric, patterned seersucker fabric, linen seersucker fabrics etc. 

What’s The Average Cost of Seersucker Fabric Per Yard? 

There is a wide range in seersucker fabric costs due to the variety of fibers and other components used in its manufacture. Cotton seersucker, for instance, is typically much more expensive than synthetic seersucker types. 

Also, different fabric blends may contribute to the extra cost of the fabric. The average cost of seersucker fabric varies based primarily on the type of fabric used. 

The average cost of a cotton seersucker fabric per yard is $10, while that of Kaufman’s classic seersucker fabric is over $13. With $9, you can get a yard of the polyester-cotton blend seersucker fabric.

Some Seersucker Fabric Uses

Seersucker Upholstery Fabric

Seersucker fabric has a variety of uses, and some of the applications of this fabric include:

  • Regular Clothing

Clothing manufacturers use seersucker fabric in making casual clothes like dresses, shirts, or shorts that can be worn for outdoor gatherings like barbecues, picnics, and garden parties.

This fabric’s character and timeless style make it a good choice for different occasions, including going to the cinemas or shopping at the mall. You can also use the seersucker fabric to make robes to give you the needed comfort and breathability. 

  • Office Wears

While many might think seersucker fabric isn’t the perfect formal fabric, this isn’t so, as this fabric comes in darker colors that can be worn instead of the usual woolen suits.

Once you get the perfect color of a seersucker suit and pair it up with a matching shirt and shoes with or without a tie, you’ll come out looking stylish and official. It makes a better wool alternative for suits, especially in summer, due to its breathability and lightweight characteristics.

  • Home Furnishings

The characteristic lightweight of this fabric makes it a suitable choice for home furnishings pieces like curtains in the warmer months or places with warm climates.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, this fabric also assists in filtering light that enters your home properly while maintaining adequate airflow with its texture and appearance. It is also used in making bedding and pillow covers.

How To Properly Care For Seersucker Fabric 

Caring for your seersucker fabric and maintaining it will ensure the fabric retains its properties and lasts well. Here are some care and maintenance tips for adopting your seersucker fabric:

  • Check for any stains on the fabric so you can pretreat it before washing it in the machine at a cold water temperature.
  • Avoid using bleach for colored seersucker fabric, as it can cause yellowing. However, you can use bleach on white seersucker.
  • You can hang the fabric to air dry naturally or put it in the dryer while setting it on medium heat but avoid drying it on high heat to prevent shrinking.
  • It would be best to dry clean your seersucker suits often to prevent permanent stains, as this fabric gets soiled easily, like cotton.
  • For seersucker fabrics that aren’t 100% cotton, you should make sure to follow the care label attached to the garment.
  • Seersucker is made of cotton, and it’s well known that cotton is prone to shrinkage on exposure to heat, so avoid exposing this fabric to any form of heat to prevent shrinking.
  • You should always store clothing made from seersucker fabric in cool, dry, and airy locations to prevent funny smells on the clothing.

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