What Is Scuba Fabric?
Scuba fabric seems to be causing some confusion among newer sewers at the moment, so we thought we would try and explain what the fabric is and the best way to make it up. Scuba has been used in ‘high street fashion’ for a few years now for summer/spring clothing. So there is little wonder many of us want to use it in our own creations.
When people say ‘scuba fabric’ many think of the tradition neoprene fabric wetsuits are made from, however scuba is more malleable and thinner (it also doesn’t have that layer of foam wet suits have) so don’t let the name put you off.
It is in fact a double knit fabric, like a Ponte Roma – however it would be unfair to compare the two as they are often made from different compositions. As a general rule Scuba fabrics tend to be made from Polyester, whilst Ponte Roma fabrics are usually from viscose and lycra.
They also have different properties, while Ponte Roma has stretch, scuba jersey is well known for having both good stretch and recovery. Something that you will appreciate, if like me you tend to accidentally pull/stretch fabrics while sewing them!
What to Do with Scuba Fabric?
Scuba is generally used to make dance-wear, leggings and dresses (think of evening or party dresses) and is quite easy to care for. When sewing scuba, we would recommend using larger stitches than you may normally do so, to account for both the stretch and the ‘spongey’ texture of the fabric.
We would also suggest using a ball point needle, these can be easily (and cheaply) purchased and make the world of difference for knit fabrics. Knit fabrics such as scuba, jersey and Ponte Roma are knitted rather than woven, and a ball point needle will be able to slide through the gaps in the knit rather than piercing it.
If you are in a hurry to make a dress for a special occasion, scuba is a brilliant fabric to choose as you do not always need to hem it. In fact, if you are a sewer that is short on time, you can more often than not get away with no hemming as the fabric doesn’t fray.
We hope this has cleared up some of the confusion about this fabric, and given you a few inside tips on how to sew it with ease. If you have made something, or are making something out of Scuba fabric we’d love to see it and hear about your experiences. Let us know in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter. If you want to add some scuba to your fabric stash, you can view our range here.