Want to learn about what is slub fabric? Well, you have come to the right place! Slub fabric was initially considered a mistake because of its numerous imperfections. Usually, slub fabric features a lump or irregular piece of yarn or fiber that may appear as a defect.
Today, these same imperfections make slub fabric considered an aesthetically pleasing fabric that is highly sought after. From slub cotton t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts to pajamas, manufacturers are using this fabric to create fashion trends all over the world.
In simple terms, a slub fabric is a fabric made using yarn with uneven texture. Usually, the slubs are thicker and more raised than the rest of the fabric, creating an irregular texture. Slub cotton is the most common type of slub fabric used today.
History of Slub Fabric
Before there was machine spinning, manufacturers had to spin fiber into yarn or thread by hand. They would then weave or knit it into the fabric. During weaving, they encountered slubs, which were thicker and softer as compared to the rest of the thread.
Slubs were then considered a mistake since they made the fabric unevenly textured. Most people found slubs to be undesirable, and they would remove them from the yarn. Other times, a yarn that had too many slubs would be thrown away.
However, this changed when machine spinning was adopted, and slubs were intentionally weaved into the fabric to give it a beautiful and handmade look. By knitting or weaving slubs into the fabric, manufacturers can create a heathered look with a vintage feel.
This is also because the slubs have a different color from the rest of the thread. Today, fashion designers are using this unique fabric to create fashion-forward items and casual garments as well.
What is Slub Fabric Made Of?
Now that you have an idea of what is slub fabric, you are probably wondering, 'what is slub fabric made of?' Well, slubs are made from natural materials like cotton, linen, wool, and silk. The most popularly used slub fabrics for making t-shirts include slub cotton and cotton blends.
Although silk, linen, and tweed are also used to make slub fabric, these materials are not a common choice for garments. Most manufacturers use cotton-blend slub fabric because it is less expensive. Typically, even thickness yarn is less expensive than slub yarn or thread.
Unlike man-made threads, natural threads are perfect for creating slub fabric since they are less uniform and can be manipulated with ease. Although the yarn is smooth and even, it can also be used to create a slub effect.
With the help of modern machinery, manufacturers can add more fibers to the thread to ensure a uniform distance for the slubs. Consequently, this gives the fabric a textured look.
Slub fabric is popular for making slub t-shirts, which are a favorite for many because they are light, airy, and don't cling to the body. Typically, manufacturers and designers use pure cotton and a blend of cotton and polyester slub fabrics to make tank tops and t-shirts.
Furthermore, this slub cotton fabric can be used to make sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-short dresses, and other casual clothing. Slub vests are also becoming popular because of their appealing and on-trend look. The slub jersey fabric knit is a single yarn knit that involves interlocking loops that are facing the same direction.
Garments made in this knit technique have a front side with tiny vertical rows and the wrong side with flat loops. To know what is slub fabric knit clothing, closely examine the fabric and look for bumps and ridges. Slub clothes tend to have a heathered finish and texture that does not need to be ironed.
Now that you know what is slub fabric used for, let us also tackle where the fabric is not commonly used. Slub knit fabric is not commonly used to make household textiles. This is because knit slub fabric tends to be stretchy and can lose shape over time. However, you can come across upholstery made with woven slub fabric, which is sturdier than knit slub fabric.
Also, it is less common to find formal garments made from slub knit fabric. However, the exception would be formal garments that are made using slub silk fabrics like Shantung silk. This type of silk does not lose its shape easily and adds a high-quality sheen to the garment.
The unifying characteristics of slub fabric are lumpy, stretchy, and soft texture. If you want to know what is slub fabric identified by, read this detailed guide.
1. Slub is Stretchy
Generally, slub knit fabric tends to stretch more when compared to woven slub fabric. The stretch in slub knit fabric depends on how the fabric is constructed.
When the loops and threads face the same direction, it makes a slub knit very stretchy. On the other hand, loops, and threads don't face the same direction in slub-woven fabrics. Consequently, this causes tension between the vertical and the horizontal threads, making the fabric less stretchy.
Double-knit slub fabric is considerably less stretchy than single-knit slub fabric. This is because it involves interlocking two panels of single-knit fabric, allowing it to hold its shape better.
The more the give in the fabric, the stretchier it is. For instance, a fabric with more cotton will stretch more than a fabric made of blends. You should note that slubs do not affect the stretch of the fabric. If anything, they are loosely twisted, so they don't expand.
2. Weight of Slub Fabric
Slub fabrics come in different weights, depending on how the threads are knitted together. If the threads are tightly knit, you will have thick fabric like terry cloth. On the other hand, loosely held knits will give light and thin fabric like cotton knits.
3. Lumpy Texture
When shopping for a slub knit item, always look out for slight lumps on the fabric. Slub fabric usually goes through a weaving process where it is twisted to create irregular twists and ridges. This also gives it a heathered appearance. Nonetheless, a slub fabric's final look and feel may differ, depending on the knit technique used.
4. Less-Saturated Color
As noted earlier, slubs take on a different color than the rest of the yarns, creating a feathering effect. In most cases, the slubs are less color-saturated. You will typically see this in t-shirts in a grey marle color.
What is Slub Fabric's Care Instructions?
Just like any other fabric, it is important to care for your slub fabric to prolong its life. Slub fabric made from 100% cotton needs a lot of care since it is prone to shrinking. This is especially true if the fabric is dried on high heat, as this may cause it to lose shape over time.
Similarly, slub fabric that is not pure cotton can also shrink if you do not wash it carefully.
To keep your slub fabric from shrinking, ensure that you air dry it after washing. If you must dry tumble, ensure that the dryer is on low heat. After a brief period in the dryer, remove the slub fabric item while still damp and then air dry it. In the case that your slub fabric shrinks, it helps to get it wet again before stretching it back to shape. Do this gently so as not to ruin the fabric.
Another tip is to use the shortest gentle cycle when washing a slub fabric. Opt for a gentle detergent designed for delicate garments and once the wash cycle is complete, remove your fabric immediately before taking it out to dry.
Most importantly, always check the care instructions and laundry symbols on the label and follow them. Here, you will get instructions on how to wash your fabric and the amount of heat to use.
What is Slub Fabric FAQs
What is slub cotton?
Slub cotton is a cotton fabric with uneven fibers woven in. It is a common fabric for manufacturing t-shirts, sweatshirts and activewear and is usually knitted to form a stretch fabric.
What is slub knit?
Slub knit is a type of fabric that is usually cotton or cotton blend. It is a stretchy knitted fabric with uneven fibers throughout creating an interesting texted or feathered look.
What are slubs meaning?
Slubs are thicker or uneven pieces of fiber in fabric. They are purposely placed in the fabric weave to create a unique, interesting fabric which is typically cotton.
Can you print on slub fabric?
It is quite possible to decorate and print on slub fabric using different techniques. However, the detail preserved in the design will depend on the degree of texture of the fabric.
If you want to screenprint on slub fabric, you can use water-based or plastisol inks. You can also use heat transfer or sublimation methods, depending on what you want to achieve. Sublimation is a great choice if you want a more vintage look on your slub fabric.
Is slub fabric for winter or summer?
Slub fabric can be worn in any season since it comes in different weights. In summer you can wear slub t-shirts and in winter you can wear terry cloth sweatpants.
Does slub cotton shrink?
Any fabric with cotton can shrink when washed. Minimize shrinkage or slub cotton fabric by washing in cool water with a gentle detergent. Avoid the tumble dryer and air dry in the shade instead.
What is Slub Fabric - In Conclusion
Now that slub fabric is widely accepted by manufacturers and fashion designers, you can incorporate it into your everyday wear. Whether you want something high-fashion or casual like a t-shirt, there are plenty of slub fabric garments to choose from.
Furthermore, designers can also use this affordable slub fabric to create something unique in their next project. If you were wondering "what is slub fabric," we hope that this article has been useful.