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How to Sew Scuba Fabric: a Beginner’s Guide (2023)

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Looking for a fabric that allows you to create professional quality outfits but with no tricky parts like lining, hems or trims? Or do you want to expand your repertoire to an interesting modern material?

Something tough and stylish that can for a wide variety of projects – from form-fitting pencil skirts too long, flowing, draping dresses.

scuba fabric dress

By Geneva Vanderzeil, A Pair A Spare, (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License)

If this sounds like you, it’s worth considering dive fabric in your next project – even if you don’t plan on exploring the ocean depths!

Scuba fabric, as its name suggests, has much in common with the material used to make diving wetsuits. However, it is much more comfortable, flexible and brighter than your typical diving suit!

Outfits made from diving gear, especially diving dresses, are currently rocking the world of home fashion, allowing anyone to create professional, beautiful styles that look great on anybody type. You only need the basic sewing machine and materials you have at home!

But what exactly is scuba dust? What types of needles should you use and where can you find a good pattern for scuba fabric?

To learn everything you need to know and more, let’s get into this comprehensive guide to scuba dust!

What is Scuba Fabric?

Scuba fabric is a kind of double knit material composed of spandex and polyester. Double knitted means I made this fabric with several sets of needles connecting two layers of fabric.

Scuba material has a very smooth texture, a fine thread thickness, and a slightly resilient feel.

Despite its name, scuba knit is not intended for scuba diving or swimming – although the fabric after the neoprene material used in making wet suits for divers.

This fabric can vary in thickness, making it suitable for a wide variety of apparel projects. It also cuts easily and has a warm, chunky shape, meaning you don’t need to add a liner to create warmer outfits.

Scuba fabric works ideally for both form-fitting dresses and longer draped gowns. This modern fabric holds the color well and can therefore with all kinds of bold, beautiful prints to suit your unique taste!

If you are looking for a material that is durable, adaptable – this is your ideal fit!

Properties of neoprene fabric

You may have heard people talk about neoprene fabric at the same time as scuba fabric, where the terms interchangeably. Neoprene and scuba knit are two different fabrics.

Neoprene is used to make a diving wetsuit. I make it of poly chloroprene, a synthetic rubber foam. I place this foam layer between two layers of a different type of fabric, usually a nylon or polyester knit, for comfort and warmth.

Some We also laminated neoprene fabrics to other fabrics. types of material, such as fleece or velvet. Therefore, neoprene can for everyday outfits and for diving equipment! Neoprene is much more durable and flexible than onion tissue.

what is a scuba dress

By Geneva Vanderzeil (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License)

Scuba knit fabric resembles neoprene. However, it of polyester and is a double knit fabric.

“ Double knit ” means that scuba fabric is thicker and more stable than other fabrics, although made from thinner filaments than the comparable Ponte knit fabric.

Scuba fabric also falls differently from neoprene fabrics, with a much smoother appearance. Finally, it is more comfortable to wear than outfits made from neoprene; no stiff penguin walk to be found here!

Scuba fabric can be more fragile and more easily damaged than neoprene fabric, so it’s important to consider the needs of your specific project when choosing to use one or more to use the other.

However, many websites that sell fabrics online use the terms “ neoprene ” and “ scuba ” to refer to the same fabric, so they can be difficult to see on the web page what kind of fabric you are actually getting for your money.

Read the fabric composition carefully for poly chloroprene mentions, and to check the product reviews on the site to ensure the satisfaction level of previous customers.

What is a diving dress?

Scuba fabric can create a wide variety of outfits, although you’ve probably heard of scuba dresses more often.

scuba fabric

By Geneva Vanderzeil (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 L oceans)

So, what exactly is a diving dress? Simply put, a scuba fabric dress is a dress made from this synthetic fabric. Because of its sturdy structure, scuba knit works very well as a material for a pencil skirt.

Depending on how you sew and construct it, a scuba dress can either be tight to your body or drape loosely around it.

Due to the polyester content of the scuba fabric, diving gowns charge easily because of static electricity. Spraying the dress with water can remove the static electricity.

The best thing about diving dresses is that they flatter anybody typeand therefore look great with everyone! With its spandex-like strength, the scuba fabric provides both support to your body and smooths perceived imperfections.

Because scuba fabric is available in such a wide variety of colors and patterns. and designs, you can create a scuba dress that’s perfectly professional for a day at the office, or one that’s ideal for a fun, flashy night on the town with your friends. They are all just as comfortable and look good as each other!

Of course, scuba fabric can make even more than a wide variety of dresses.

Skirts, shirts, jackets and even frock pants made of scuba fabric will make you the center of attention at any event; both for the fashionable style you wear and the pride you will have in knowing that you made this outfit yourself!

This video shows an example of how to make a scuba pencil skirt.

Sewing Scuba Fabric

Are you ready-to-use scuba fabric in your next project?

First of all, remember that scuba fabric, although thin, is a warm material. It is much better for fall or winter outfits than for making a summer dress.

It is always important to consider the needs of your specific project before choosing a fabric!

Once you’ve decided that scuba fabric is the best ingredient for your sewing project, here are some additional tips to consider.

Pre-wash the material

As you would with any other type of fabric, you should pre-wash your dive cloth before using the material measure and cut for your project. This will help prevent any shrinkage.

Since dive cloth cuts easily, use a smaller rotary cutter to avoid making mistakes while measuring and cutting.

Work slowly

If you make a mistake while sewing, try loosen the stitches.

However, this can be a tricky undertaking and can leave traces in the sensitive substance, so it is better to work slowly from the start and avoid these errors. avoid!

scuba material

By Geneva Vanderzeil (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License)

Trim by hand

When trimming seams in scuba fabric, it is better to trim them by hand instead of using the knife of an overlocker.

Scuba fabric has an extra amount of volume compared to other types of fabric, which can interfere with the overlook knife.

Rough edges are welcome!

Since scuba knits do not come apart, you can leave the edges raw at the end of the project and also leave the seams and hems unfinished.

You may find that to The borders look nicer when they , depending on the pattern you use. A bias bonded hem works particularly well on scuba fabric projects.

Beware of Heat

Scuba fabric is very sensitive to heat. If I brought the fabric to a too high temperature during ironing or washing, the fabric can stain or even melt!

Set the iron on a low setting and pay extra attention to the press routine for best results.

When washing your diving fabrics, make sure you set the washing machine on a cold temperature cycle, thirty or forty degrees. Always wash the scuba fabrics with clothing of similar colors.

It is better to dry the clothing of your scuba fabric than to put it in a tumble dryer, because the higher temperatures of the dryer can damage the fabric.

If you are making a foil print scuba dress, hand wash it in cold water instead of using a washing machine. At the very least, turn it inside out before putting it in the washing machine on a very gentle cycle.

Which needles to use

Because scuba fabric can easily snag or slip on a sewing machine, because of the unique, smooth texture, it is best to use a ballpoint pen or stretch needle when sewing scuba fabric.

what is a scuba dress

By Geneva Vanderzeil (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License)

Ballpoint needles, also known as “ jersey needles, ” slide between the individual threads of the fabric, instead of poking through the fabric. This eliminates any risk of the fabric snagging and tearing when sewing a knit.

Stretch needles have a deep scarf – the notch on the side of the needle. This stripe is ideal for sewing fine or lightweight materials, such as scuba fabric and other spandex or elastic materials. It helps to keep the stitches from slipping.

Stretch needles also have a special coating that allows them to slide through stitches without tearing the fabric.

When finishing the seams, consider using a ball point needle stitch, twin needle stitch, overlooking or overcasting to create a professional finish.

However, because of the sturdy nature of scuba fabric, seam finishing is unnecessary.

Which presser feet to use

You don’t want your scuba fabric to accumulate under the presser foot, so for the best result, feed the scuba fabric evenly into the sewing machine while working.

Use a walking foot. The walking foot has teeth, just like the feed dogs found at the base of the sewing machine, which feed the fabric into the machine and towards the needle.

These extra teeth help move the fabric by working from the top, pick up fabric that sticks to the machine, such as the dive fabric double knit, and the make it easier to move without clumping.

Alternatives to scuba fabric

If you want to create a more durable outfit still looks like a dive dress, you can using your neoprene.

Keep in mind that neoprene is less comfortable to wear than scuba fabric and less deformable to work with!

What if you want a material that resembles scuba fabric, but that is not as heavy and more suitable for a summer dress?

Scuba crepe is like regular scuba fabric, but is much lighter than the standard version. This fabric is like a traditional lycra fabric but has a crepe textured finish.

Other fabrics with spandex or polyester content in their blends, or other double knit fabrics, will have similar properties to scuba fabric.

Ponte is another double knit fabric with similar qualities to scuba knitted, although scuba fabric usually contains polyester and lycra, monte comprises a mix of lycra, polyester, nylon and rayon.

This video shows some more information on how to sew with neoprene.

Where to find scuba fabric patterns online

Want to make a scuba fabric dress, shirt, skirt or jacket, but not sure how to start? Don’t be afraid to pick the brains of other members of the national sewing community for help!

On websites such as, artisans upload the patterns and designs they have used to create outfits with scuba and other fabrics.

They also discuss their experiences with both this pattern and the substance itself.

You can also check out various forums online where your fellow seamstresses will be happy to help you begin this next step in your journey as an artist!

Now you have learned everything you need to know about diving fabrics. Try to use it in your next sewing project!

What is your favorite way to use scuba fabric?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.