PUL Fabric

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There are three major producers of PUL fabric in the United States, but they are also made in other countries, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Italy, Pakistan and Vietnam.

What is PUL Fabric?

A Polyurethane laminate or simply PUL fabric, thermal stretch, fuzzy rubber fabric is a compound fabric created by laminating a cloth fabric to one or both sides of a thin polyurethane film. The polyester knit laminate typically has a little elasticity making it a stretchable fabric. Polyurethane laminated fabrics have several uses in the medical, automotive, and apparel industries. 

If you wear it like daily clothing, it will easily go with your moves, and there is less likely that the seams will suffer from fabric wear and pressure.

Types of PUL Fabric

The weight of the lamination is the primary distinction between various PUL varieties. The most popular PUL sizes are 1 mil and 2 mil. On the other hand, it can be categorized into four types, depending on what raw material is used. They are Cotton PUL, polyester PUL, a cotton-poly blend PUL, and eco-friendly PUl. But the eco-friendly PUL, which does not use any additives like latex and does not produce volatile organic compounds, is relatively new to the market.

What is PUL Fabric Used For?

This fabric is also one of the most versatile fabrics in the market. Since PUL is both waterproof and breathable, it offers excellent splash resistance making it ideal for outerwear and outdoor attire. This fabric also offers excellent wind and waterproof qualities, so it is also perfect for shower curtains and other water sports garments. You can also find other garments and textiles that use PUL fabric in some industries, some include upholstery applications, particularly in cars, restaurants, and hospitals. PUL is also in medical bedding, mattress coverings, wet bags, cloth menstrual pads, diapers, and nappies.

What are the Raw Materials used For PUL Fabric?

PUL fabric is usually made from a polyester fabric with a very thin polyurethane film layer bonded to it. Polyester is preferable to cotton since the latter one cannot make water-resistant garments, textiles, and other products.

History & Origin of PUL Fabric

PUL fabrics were initially used in hospitals because they need a durable, water-resistant, and hygienic fabric. Although polyurethanes were created in Germany in the 1930s, it took a few decades for them to be used as a common fabric.

This fabric was made to be strong and simple to wash at 50°c. It was originally created for use in the medical industry to resist multiple washing as well as autoclave cleaning, a form of high heat steam sterilizing cleaning equipment. To keep color vibrancy longer, many of the trendy and interesting patterned PUL fabrics are better suited to washing at lower temperatures.

How Much is PUL Fabric? (per yard)

The average cost of PUL fabric ranges from $10 to $15 per yard. It depends on its color patterns and designs. Whereas, the cost of high-quality PUL, also known as eco-PUL, is more expensive and runs around $18 per yard.

Pros & Cons of PUL Fabric

PUL fabric has many advantages, it is wind-resistant, water-resistant, breathable, stretchable soft, and very versatile. It’s also relatively easy to clean, maintain, and frequently machine washable, as well as occasionally tumble-safe. 

On the other hand, it also has a few drawbacks. It may disintegrate if kept wet for a long period and once damp, it sticks to itself. You may also not want to use any fabric softener as it has little response to it. Lastly, when it is exposed to too much heat, it can melt as it is made of polyester and laminated thin film.

Compare PUL fabric to other similar materials

When comparing PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric to other similar materials such as TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the following advantages and disadvantages can be highlighted:

PUL Fabric:

  • Advantages: PUL fabric is waterproof, breathable, and durable. It is resistant to abrasion, punctures, and chemicals, making it an ideal choice for products that require resistance to liquids, such as cloth diapers, wet bags, and medical garments. PUL fabric is also easier to sew and less likely to crack or delaminate compared to PVC.
  • Disadvantages: PUL fabric is not biodegradable, and it can release harmful chemicals during production or disposal. Some people may also experience skin irritation from PUL fabric.


  • Advantages: TPU is a more eco-friendly option than PUL as it is recyclable and biodegradable. It is also more flexible and stretchable than PUL, making it a good choice for products that require a higher degree of elasticity. TPU is resistant to oils, grease, and abrasion, and can be used in outdoor applications.
  • Disadvantages: TPU is generally more expensive than PUL and may not be as readily available. It can also be more difficult to sew, and it is less resistant to high temperatures and chemicals.


  • Advantages: PVC is a low-cost option that is widely available and can be used in a variety of applications. It is resistant to weathering, UV light, and chemicals, and it can withstand high temperatures. PVC is also lightweight and flexible, making it suitable for products such as raincoats, inflatable toys, and medical products.
  • Disadvantages: PVC is not environmentally friendly, as it is not biodegradable and can release harmful chemicals during production or disposal. PVC is also more prone to cracking, tearing, and delaminating than PUL or TPU, especially when exposed to heat or sunlight. It can also be difficult to sew due to its thickness and stiffness.

Overall, PUL fabric offers a good balance of waterproofness, breathability, durability, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for many applications. However, depending on the specific requirements of a project, TPU or PVC may also be suitable alternatives.

Environmental impact of PUL fabric

PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric is not considered to be environmentally friendly as it is not biodegradable and can be difficult to recycle. Here are some key points to consider when evaluating the environmental impact of PUL fabric:

  1. Biodegradability: PUL fabric is made of a combination of polyester fabric and polyurethane coating. Polyester is a synthetic material that is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill. Polyurethane is also not biodegradable and can release harmful chemicals when it breaks down.
  2. Recycling: PUL fabric can be challenging to recycle due to its composition. While the polyester fabric can be recycled, the polyurethane coating is typically not recyclable. This means that PUL fabric usually ends up in landfill, where it contributes to the growing problem of textile waste.
  3. Environmental impact of production: The production of PUL fabric involves the use of chemicals, solvents, and energy, which can have a negative impact on the environment. The use of petroleum-based materials to make PUL also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues.
  4. Alternative options: There are more environmentally friendly options available, such as organic cotton or hemp fabrics that are untreated and free of synthetic materials. These fabrics are biodegradable and can be composted at the end of their useful life.

While PUL fabric offers many benefits such as waterproofness, durability, and ease of use, it is not considered to be an eco-friendly material. As a consumer, you can make a difference by choosing products made from sustainable materials or looking for products made from recycled or upcycled materials. You can also take steps to reduce waste by reusing or repurposing items made from PUL fabric, such as using cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. Ultimately, it is important to be mindful of the environmental impact of the products we use and make informed decisions to reduce our impact on the planet.

Purchasing options to PUL fabric

PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric is widely available and can be purchased from many different sources. Here are some key points to consider when looking to purchase PUL fabric:

  1. Where to purchase: PUL fabric can be purchased from fabric stores, online retailers, and manufacturers that specialize in producing PUL fabric. Many craft stores and baby specialty stores also carry PUL fabric. It can also be found on websites such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
  2. Cost: The cost of PUL fabric varies depending on the source and the quantity purchased. On average, PUL fabric can cost between $10-20 per yard, with some sources offering bulk discounts for larger purchases.
  3. Availability: PUL fabric is widely available in a variety of colors and prints. Some sources may offer custom printing options or different finishes, such as brushed or matte finishes. PUL fabric is also available in different thicknesses, with some sources offering thinner or thicker options depending on the intended use.
  4. Types of PUL fabrics: There are several types of PUL fabric available, including cotton-backed PUL, which has a cotton layer on one side of the fabric, and laminated PUL, which has a layer of polyurethane laminated onto both sides of the fabric. There are also stretch PUL fabrics available that offer more flexibility and are suitable for products such as swimwear or athletic wear.
  5. Care instructions: PUL fabric should be washed in cold water and tumble dried on low heat or air-dried. High heat can damage the polyurethane coating, causing it to delaminate or crack. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, which can also damage the fabric.

When purchasing PUL fabric, it is important to choose a reputable source and to check the quality of the fabric before making a purchase. Look for fabric that is free from defects, such as pinholes or delamination, and make sure that the color or print is suitable for your project. By taking the time to choose the right fabric, you can ensure that your finished product is of high quality and will last for a long time.