What is "Sharkskin" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 19-May-2023 (1 year, 1 month, 5 days ago)
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Power of Sharkskin: The Game-Changing Textile

Sharkskin: The Fascinating Textile with Unparalleled Performance


Sharkskin is a remarkable textile renowned for its unique properties that mimic the skin of a shark. This specialized fabric has gained popularity in various industries, including sportswear, outdoor apparel, and military applications. This article explores the meaning, history, types, tips in handling, and profiles of top international users and manufacturers of sharkskin.

Meaning and Definition

Sharkskin refers to a textile that emulates the characteristics of a shark's skin. It is characterized by a smooth, sleek, and textured surface that offers exceptional performance attributes. The fabric's design incorporates microscopic scales, creating a surface that reduces drag and enhances hydrodynamics, just like the skin of a shark.

History and Origin

The inspiration for sharkskin fabric can be traced back to the early 20th century when scientists and engineers sought to develop materials that mimic the remarkable abilities of marine animals. The unique texture and hydrodynamic properties of sharkskin caught their attention, leading to the creation of a textile that replicates these qualities. The development of sharkskin fabric gained significant momentum in the fields of sports and outdoor apparel due to its potential to improve performance.

Types of Sharkskin

Sharkskin textiles come in various forms, each tailored for specific applications:

  1. Swimwear Sharkskin: Designed for competitive swimmers, this type of sharkskin fabric reduces drag and enhances speed in the water. It offers a smooth surface and excellent compression, allowing swimmers to glide effortlessly through the pool.
  2. Outdoor Apparel Sharkskin: Used in outdoor clothing and sportswear, this type of sharkskin fabric provides exceptional durability, breathability, and water resistance. It is ideal for activities such as hiking, mountaineering, and skiing.
  3. Military Sharkskin: Employed in military uniforms and tactical gear, this sharkskin fabric offers superior camouflage properties, abrasion resistance, and moisture-wicking capabilities. It provides enhanced performance and protection for military personnel in various environments.

Tips for Handling Sharkskin

Proper handling and care can help maintain the performance and longevity of sharkskin fabric:

  • Follow Care Instructions: Always refer to the manufacturer's care instructions for washing, drying, and ironing sharkskin garments. Adhering to these guidelines will prevent damage and ensure the fabric's durability.
  • Avoid Rough Surfaces: Sharkskin fabric can be prone to snagging. Avoid contact with rough surfaces or sharp objects that may cause tears or pulls in the fabric.
  • Store Appropriately: When not in use, store sharkskin garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This helps preserve the fabric's integrity and prevents fading or discoloration.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Sharkskin fabric has gained popularity among prominent international brands in the textile industry. Here are some notable users and manufacturers:

  1. Speedo: A renowned swimwear brand, Speedo utilizes sharkskin fabric in its high-performance swimsuits. The brand's commitment to innovation and excellence has made it a top user of this remarkable textile.
  2. Patagonia: As a leading outdoor apparel company, Patagonia incorporates sharkskin fabric in its hiking and mountaineering clothing lines. The brand's focus on sustainability and functionality aligns well with the exceptional properties of sharkskin.
  3. Crye Precision: Crye Precision specializes in manufacturing military-grade gear, including uniforms and tactical equipment. Their utilization of sharkskin fabric showcases its significance in military applications.


Sharkskin is a revolutionary textile that harnesses the performance attributes of a shark's skin. Its unique properties make it a valuable material in various industries, including sportswear, outdoor apparel, and military applications. With its rich history, diverse types, and tips for handling, sharkskin fabric continues to captivate designers, athletes, and textile enthusiasts alike, pushing the boundaries of textile innovation.

A hard-finished, low lustered, medium-weight fabric in a twill-weave construction. It is most commonly found in men's worsted suitings; however, it can also be found in a plain-weave construction of acetate, triacetate, and rayon for women's sportswear. Made from rayon (acetate) and synthetics (particularly Arnel) in a plain or twill weave. It has a heavy, semi-crisp texture and is very smooth and slippery with a flat look. It is mostly made in white but sometimes colored. It wears well and launders well particularly in Arnel. It a tendency to turn yellow with age, but the Arnel remains pure white. It has been used for summer wear.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Mesh 44
A mesh is similar to fabric or a web in that it has many connected or weaved pieces. In clothing, a mesh is often defined as fabric that has a large number of closely-spaced holes, such as is common...
A frame in which a large number of healds are mounted. Typically a loom contains two or more heald shafts, depending upon the complexity of the weave pattern required. The heald shaft is raised or...
Burlap 37
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In the context of textiles, "findings" refers to the various accessories and hardware used in the production of garments, such as zippers, buttons, buckles, snaps, hooks and eyes, grommets, and...
Mercerized cotton is cotton thread (or cotton-covered thread with a polyester core) that has been treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The thread is given a caustic soda bath that is then...

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