XMBAG is committed to producing high-quality bags
How to navigate and find the right fit for your bag? Jul 04 , 2022

Here's how to navigate and find the right fit for your bag. These fabrics lean to the technical side, so some terms may be unfamiliar to you. Choose between water-repellent or waterproof outdoor fabrics, or laminated fabrics in interesting prints.


Water-Repellent Fabrics

Fabrics that are labeled water-repellent are not quite the same as true waterproof fabrics. These fabrics, often made from nylon, are designed so that water beads slowly rather than immediately penetrates the right side of the fabric. This is due to either the weave or finishing on the right side.

With water-repellent fabrics, moisture will eventually be absorbed into the fabric, but it takes quite a bit longer than with regular fabric. This makes them a good choice for linings, if you don't anticipate heavy usage and spills. For example, if you want to make a tote bag for transporting damp towels and swimsuits to the pool, water-repellent fabric will likely do the trick.


SUPPLEX fabrics come in a wide variety of colors and will protect you from most small spills.


The most common brand name to look for is SUPPLEX, which is a treated nylon fabric. It's a breathable fabric, meaning that moisture can pass out of it. It also resists mildew and dries quickly. SUPPLEX even comes as a ripstop, which keeps any tears in the fabric from spreading. Taslan nylon is similar to SUPPLEX, but is engineered to look and feel more like cotton.


Waterproof Outdoor Fabrics

Waterproof outdoor fabrics are meant to be used in outdoor clothing and gear. These are quite different from water-repellent fabrics. Rather than a treatment on the right side of the fabric, waterproof fabrics usually have a coating on the wrong side of the fabric, which creates a strong barrier against moisture entering from the environment. In other words, the outside of the fabric may appear to get wet, but the inside stays completely dry.

Coatings on these fabrics are usually a type of vinyl, either a heavier coating of polyvinylchloride (PVC), or a lighter coating of polyurethane (PU). Waterproof fabrics with PU coatings will allow your fabric to move more while still holding its shape. You can identify these coating because they are thin and clear.


CORDURA nylon is well known for being virtually indestructible and offering true waterproof protection.


CORDURA is a common brand for waterproof fabrics. It is an extremely durable fabric that resists tears and abrasion, making it an ideal choice for heavy-duty bags. It can be used as an outer fabric for a sporty look or as a strong lining.

You may also come across fabrics that are labeled waterproof breathable (WPB). Much like water-repellant, breathable fabrics, these allow water to pass out while preventing water to pass in. This makes it a great choice for outdoor clothing, though you may find it a bit expensive for a bag, where breathability is less of a concern. A common brand name for this type of fabric is GORE-TEX.


Laminated Fabrics

While waterproof outdoor fabrics are coated on the wrong side, laminated fabrics are actually coated on the right side with PU, giving them a slick and shiny appearance. Think of outdoor table cloths, for example. They are designed to be easy to clean up, making them perfect for either the inside or outside of a bag.


Laminated fabrics such as patterned oilcloth are fun and easy to find.


Sometimes these fabrics are referred to as oilcloth. You will find them in bright colors and patterns in most fabric or craft stores. Confusingly, they are not actually coated in oil, but are made up of a layer of printed cotton with a thin PU coating on top. Even more confusing is the fact that waxed canvas (that is, cotton canvas impregnated with wax to increase water resistance) is also sometimes called oilcloth or oilskin. These fabrics work well for the outside of bags, but not so well for linings due to their slightly tacky coating, which needs maintenance from abrasion.

You may also sometimes come across other laminated fabrics, such as laminated denim or laminated linen. These can make stylish bags with more subtlety than the brightly patterned oilcloths. These fabrics are still waterproof, but might rely more on texture than print to add interest.

Leave A Message

Leave A Message
If you are interested in our products and want to know more details,please leave a message here,we will reply you as soon as we can.