Sharkskin fabric has long been considered a highly desirable material that works well for all sorts of applications, some of them practical and some purely cosmetic. Known for having a smooth finish and unique weave, this fabric may be used for everything from sporting and marine equipment to clothing and accessories.
In most cases, sharkskin can be defined as a woven blend of smooth wool. More correctly, it is a smooth worsted fabric that often has a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance to the worsted fabric. Usually, this two tone appearance is achieved by employing what is referred to as a basketweave, and can use both white and colored fibers. This creates a pattern where the different colored threads run diagonal to each other.
Typically, this material is made with the use of rayon or acetate, or as a blend of the two. Because both fabric options already have a relatively smooth texture, the combination results in the finish that sharkskin fabric is known for. Also, this creates a fabric option that can be laundered at home with the greatest of ease.
Sharkskin fabric definitely has a place around the home. When it comes to house linens, it is especially popular when it comes to curtains and other forms of window treatments. The material does not wrinkle easily and will hang very well, which makes the curtains low maintenance and ideal for anyone that wants a nice look to the windows without a lot of upkeep. It also works well for tablecloths, napkins and overlays for end tables as well.
When it comes to clothing, sharkskin fabric is popular for both men’s and women’s worsted suits. Light winter jackets and coats for men are also often made with this material. Sportswear for women is another common application of this fabric, since the material is lightweight and launders so easily.
One lesser known use of sharkskin fabric is as a liner in diving suits and wetsuits in general. The smooth texture of the material feels good against the skin and also has a tendency to stay in place as the suit is put on or taken off. The liner also does not slip during wear, which means the diver will feel much more comfortable than with some other types of liners.