How to choose PU coated Fabric for Bag

pu coated fabric
When selecting a PU coated fabric for a bag, consider the following factors: durability, water resistance, strength, flexibility, weight, aesthetics, environmental impact, and price. Look for a fabric known for its durability and water resistance to ensure the bag withstands rough handling and exposure to the elements. Consider the strength and tear resistance of the fabric, as well as its flexibility for comfortable use and packing. Evaluate the weight of the fabric, especially for lightweight bags. Choose a fabric that aligns with your preferred style and design. If sustainability matters, check for eco-friendly materials or certifications. Lastly, consider your budget when making a decision.

Table of Content


Define of PU coated Fabric

PU coated fabric refers to a type of textile material that has been treated with a polyurethane (PU) coating. This coating is applied to enhance the fabric’s performance and provide various desirable properties. PU coatings are widely used in the manufacturing of waterproof and water-resistant fabrics, as well as in applications where durability, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion are important.

PU coated fabric

Explain the Composition of PU coated fabrics

Base Fabric: The base fabric serves as the foundation of the coated fabric and is usually made of natural or synthetic fibers such as cotton, polyester, nylon, or a blend of these materials. The choice of base fabric depends on the desired characteristics of the final product, such as strength, breathability, and weight.

Polyurethane Coating: The PU coating is the key component that gives the fabric its enhanced properties. Polyurethane is a versatile polymer that can be formulated in different ways to provide specific attributes. It is applied to the base fabric as a liquid or paste, which then undergoes a curing or drying process to form a solid, protective layer. The thickness and formulation of the PU coating can vary depending on the desired performance characteristics, such as waterproofing, breathability, and flexibility.

Adhesive Layer (optional): In some cases, an adhesive layer may be applied between the base fabric and the PU coating to improve adhesion and durability. This layer helps bond the PU coating to the base fabric and prevents delamination or peeling over time.

Additional Finishes (optional): Depending on the intended use of the fabric, additional finishes may be applied to enhance specific properties. For example, a durable water repellent (DWR) finish can be added to further improve the fabric’s water resistance, while antimicrobial or flame-retardant finishes can be incorporated for specific applications.


Factors to Consider When Choosing PU coated Fabric for Bags

Durability and Strength

Bags are subject to frequent use and can be exposed to various stresses, such as weight, abrasion, and stretching. It is crucial to select a PU coated fabric that offers excellent durability and strength to withstand these demands. Factors to consider include:

Base Fabric: Opt for a base fabric that is known for its strength, such as polyester or nylon. These materials have high tensile strength and are resistant to tearing and abrasion.

Coating Thickness: The thickness of the PU coating contributes to the fabric’s durability. A thicker coating generally provides better resistance to wear and tear.

Tear Strength: Check the tear strength specification of the fabric. Higher tear strength indicates better resistance against tearing, which is particularly important for bag materials.

Water Resistance and Weatherproofing

Bags often need to protect their contents from water and withstand various weather conditions. When selecting PU coated fabric for water resistance and weatherproofing, consider the following:

Waterproofing: Look for PU coated fabrics that have excellent waterproofing properties. The fabric should repel water and prevent it from seeping through to the bag’s interior.

Seam Sealing: Pay attention to whether the fabric requires additional seam sealing to maintain water resistance. Some fabrics have sealed seams, which ensure that water cannot penetrate through the stitched areas.

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Finish: A DWR finish can further enhance the fabric’s water resistance by causing water to bead up and roll off the surface.

Breathability: Consider the level of breathability you require. Some PU coated fabrics offer a balance between water resistance and breathability, allowing moisture vapor to escape while keeping water out.

UV Resistance: If the bag will be exposed to sunlight, ensure that the PU coated fabric has good UV resistance to prevent color fading or degradation.

outdoor gear

Specialized PU coated Fabrics for Specific Bag Types

Outdoor and Adventure Bags

Ripstop Nylon: Ripstop nylon is a popular choice for outdoor and adventure bags due to its exceptional strength and tear resistance. The fabric is reinforced with a grid pattern that prevents small tears from spreading. PU coating enhances its water resistance and durability.

Cordura®: Cordura® fabric is known for its exceptional durability and abrasion resistance. It is designed to withstand rugged outdoor conditions and is often used in hiking, camping, and mountaineering bags. PU coating provides water resistance and weatherproofing.

PVC Coated Polyester: PVC coated polyester fabrics are highly waterproof and offer excellent protection against the elements. They are commonly used in heavy-duty outdoor bags that require maximum weather resistance and durability.

Business and Travel Bags

Ballistic Nylon: Ballistic nylon is a durable and tough fabric that can withstand heavy use. It is often used in business and travel bags due to its resistance to abrasion and punctures. PU coating provides water resistance and additional protection.

Polyurethane-Backed Leather: For luxury business bags, a combination of polyurethane-coated fabric and genuine leather is a popular choice. Polyurethane backing adds durability, water resistance, and a sleek appearance to the leather.

Polyester with TPU Coating: Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) coating offers high abrasion resistance, flexibility, and excellent water resistance. It is commonly used in modern business and travel bags to provide durability and weatherproofing.

travel bag

Fashion and Luxury Bags

Faux Leather (Polyurethane Leather): Fashion and luxury bags often use faux leather, also known as polyurethane leather or PU leather. PU coating enhances the fabric’s appearance, durability, and water resistance, providing a luxurious feel.

Microfiber: Microfiber fabrics offer a soft and luxurious feel while being lightweight and durable. PU coating can provide water resistance and protect against stains, making it suitable for high-end fashion bags.

Coated Canvas: Coated canvas is a versatile fabric that combines the durability of canvas with a PU coating for added water resistance and protection. It is commonly used in designer bags for its strength, versatility, and aesthetic appeal.


Collaborating with Bag Manufacturers and Wholesalers

Building strong relationships with bag manufacturers

Begin by researching bag manufacturers and wholesalers that align with your requirements and target market. Look for companies that have experience in producing the type of bags you are interested in and have a reputation for quality and reliability.

Take the time to understand the bag manufacturer’s needs, production capabilities, and preferences. Learn about their preferred fabric types, coating specifications, and any specific customization options they offer. This knowledge will help you tailor your offerings to their requirements.

Customization options and flexibility in fabric selection

Encourage bag manufacturers to provide feedback on your fabrics and services. Actively listen to their suggestions and take them into account for future product development. This feedback loop helps strengthen the relationship and ensures that you continuously improve and meet their evolving needs.

Regular communication and feedback exchange

Consistently deliver high-quality fabrics, meet deadlines, and provide excellent customer service. Building a reputation as a reliable supplier will help foster trust and encourage bag manufacturers to maintain long-term partnerships with you.

Establish open lines of communication with bag manufacturers and wholesalers. Regularly engage in discussions to understand their upcoming projects, fabric requirements, and any challenges they may be facing. This proactive approach will help you anticipate their needs and provide timely solutions.


Quality Assurance and Testing

Compliance with Industry Standards

PU coated fabrics should meet relevant industry standards and regulations to ensure they perform as intended. These standards may vary depending on the specific application and market. Common standards for fabrics include ISO, ASTM, EN, and AATCC. Compliance with these standards ensures that the fabrics have been tested and evaluated for specific properties, such as strength, colorfastness, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance.

Testing Methods for Fabric Strength, Colorfastness, etc.

Fabric suppliers typically conduct various tests to assess the quality and performance of their PU coated fabrics. Some common testing methods include:

Water Resistance/Waterproofing: Testing methods, such as the spray test or hydrostatic pressure test, assess the fabric’s ability to repel water and prevent water penetration.

Abrasion Resistance: Abrasion testing determines how well the fabric withstands rubbing or friction, simulating wear and tear over time. Martindale or Taber methods are commonly used for abrasion resistance testing.

Flexibility and Stretch: These tests assess the fabric’s flexibility, stretch, and recovery properties, ensuring that it can withstand repeated bending and stretching without losing its shape or performance.

abrasion resistance

Importance of Partnering with Reputable Fabric Suppliers

Partnering with reputable fabric suppliers is essential for ensuring the quality, consistency, and reliability of the PU coated fabrics used in bags. Reputable suppliers adhere to industry standards, invest in testing and quality control measures, and have a track record of providing high-quality materials.

fabric supplier


In conclusion, choosing the right PU coated fabric for bags involves considering factors such as durability, strength, water resistance, and weatherproofing. Understanding the composition of PU coated fabrics, including the base fabric and polyurethane coating, helps in making informed decisions.

Collaborating with bag manufacturers and wholesalers requires building strong relationships based on customization options, flexibility in fabric selection, regular communication, and feedback exchange. This collaboration ensures that the fabrics meet the specific needs of bag manufacturers and align with their production capabilities.

Quality assurance and testing are essential to ensure the performance, durability, and safety of PU coated fabrics. Compliance with industry standards and conducting tests for fabric strength, colorfastness, water resistance, and abrasion resistance are critical in maintaining high-quality fabrics.

Partnering with reputable fabric suppliers is crucial for sourcing reliable and consistent materials. Reputable suppliers prioritize quality control, offer expertise and support, and provide transparency in the supply chain, ensuring confidence in the sourcing and manufacturing processes.

By considering these aspects and partnering with reputable fabric suppliers, bag manufacturers can create exceptional products that meet customer expectations for performance, durability, and style.

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