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Pongee Fabric: Uses and Advantages


What is Pongee fabric?

Pongee fabric

Pongee is a medium-weight, balanced, woven fabric with an irregular filling and a fine regular warp. It was originally wild-silk fabric, but today it’s used to refer to a fabric with an appearance of irregular filling yarns and fine warp yarns. The most common form of pongee fabric is the naturally colored light-weight silk-like, plain weave fabric usually with a slubbed effect.
The most common uses include dresses, umbrellas, blouses, etc. They also make excellent linings in many types of garments from jackets to suits and dresses to coats. The fabric is fully washable, which makes it the best alternatives compared to acetate and other more heavy-weight linings. The fabric is durable, strong, and tightly woven which also makes it aesthetic as a lining for finished products.

How it’s made pongee fabrics?

Pongee fabricHistory of pongee fabric

Pongee was a very important export to the United States from China in the early 20th century. It’s still being woven from pure silk by many mills across most China towns, especially in Sichuan, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces.

Pongee was first woven by hand for personal use; the Amami Islanders of China wore it until it was prohibited by the Satsuma clan in 1720 for personal wearing. Later on, Pongee was produced primarily to be given to the Satsuma clan as a tribute. From 1870, silk pongee was open for sale to the common market and quickly become a very popular commodity. In 1895, the mud-dyeing technique was introduced, and with it came the Glossed thread as raw pongee material.

1897 Looms made weaving more efficient and easy, and the fabric heavily infiltrated the textile industry. The Silk Pongee Union was formed in 1901 to carry out inspections and improve the reliability and quality of pongee. The binding machine developed in 1902 enabled fabricators to develop more detailed and intricate pongee patterns.

By the end of 1958, fabricators were able to rub various colors into the pongee threads developed. Various arrays of pongee have been created over the years while still preserving the tradition Why Pongee is the most common material used for making umbrellas.

Printed Pongee fabric manufacturing process

Pongee umbrellaUmbrella manufacturers always want to overcome their competitors in the industry, for this reason, they are always looking for high-quality materials. The fabric is probably the most important part of an umbrella followed by the frame. The canopy is made from various fabric materials including Nylon, polyester, Pongee fabric, and so on, out of which pongee is the most common use due to its superior quality.


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Pongee fabric is preferred for creating high-grade umbrellas since it has desirable features of resistance to breaking and waterproofing, qualities that have attracted most umbrella manufacturers.

Another advantage that makes pongee fabric preferred for use on umbrellas is that it’s easy to print. Whether you are using digital printing, thermal transfer, or silk-screen printing, the final prints on the material always turn out exactly as they appear in the original file. If you like your umbrellas to have your custom logos, pongee should be your first choice.

This also makes pongee the best choice for designing promotional or advertisement umbrellas. Pongee fabric material for designing umbrellas should be of high density, preferably 190t and upwards. Nylon and polyester are the next closest alternatives to pongee and are sometimes used for designing cost-effective umbrellas, but these might, however, last long.

Pongee fabricAdvantages of Pongee over nylon

Pongee and Nylon are very similar fabric materials, and both are used to manufacture various products such as bags, umbrellas, dresses. And also used as linings with different kinds of garments. Due to this similarity, these materials are sometimes interchanged in their uses. However, as you’ve seen in the examples of umbrellas above, Pongee comes out as the most superior alternative to the likes of nylon and polyester as it offers high-grade quality.

Pongee is inherently stronger, tougher, and denser compared to nylon and polyester. Since pongee is a finer thread, manufacturers are able to weave with a higher thread count giving a strengthened final product. Here is a quick look at other advantages of pongee you should know about.


Waterproof pongeeAdvantages of Pongee fabric

• Abrasion resistant and Very durable

• Resists shrinking and stretching

• Waterproof and dries quickly

• Mildew and mold resistant

• Easy to clean, you may dry clean it

• Holds color well and resists fading

• Recyclable


Nylon and polyester, on the other hand, fade easily in sunlight, have an overly shiny appearance.  May sometimes generate static electricity and are environmentally unfriendly since they are not easily recyclable.  Now pongee fabric comes out as a superior option for a wide range of applications.

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