Panama fabric

Panama fabric is a great fabric to use if you want to upholster furniture. Panama is often woven from cotton or linen and is also known as canvas. Are you looking to buy panama fabric for your project? Choose what kind of fabric you want below and order it online!

What kind of fabric is panama?

So, what is panama fabric? Well, panama fabric is a very durable fabric woven in a panama weave – meaning it isn’t really a fabric, but a way of weaving fabric. Panama weave fabric can easily be recognized by its characteristic chessboard pattern, giving it its name: panama refers to the similarity of the fabric to the straw weave of the panama hat.

This characteristic structure makes panama very durable and wrinkle resistant; as a result, panama fabric lasts a long time. This makes the fabric ideal for making furniture and other home textiles – think of items like sofas, (arm)chairs, cushions, curtains, and tablecloths. Plus, panama is usually made using cotton, giving panama cotton fabric all the same benefits as other cotton cloths.

Advantages and disadvantages of panama fabric


  • Panama fabric tends to be quite soft and dense, which is why it lends itself well to furniture upholstery.
  • It also has great color reproduction, so any patterns printed on it will look really good.


As panama is a weave, not a fabric, there can be some disadvantages to it depending on which fiber was used to make it. Polyester panama, for example, can feel a bit constricting and has poor insulation.

What is panama fabric used for?

Although panama is typically used for furniture, upholstery isn’t the only use for panama. If you’re feeling adventurous, panama can also be used to make clothes, like dresses or blouses, tea towels, or playmats for your children!

Panama’s ability to reproduce color makes it very versatile – and it can also be machine washed, so you don’t have to worry about spilling anything on it.

What is half panama fabric?

You might have seen the term “half panama fabric”. This variation on regular panama fabric is woven a little less tightly – more specifically, half panama fabric is woven with two parallel threads instead of one. This makes half panama fabric lighter than its standard counterpart.

However, cotton half panama and regular panama still have the same structure and appearance. The great color reproduction and softness of the fabric aren’t lost when the weave is just that bit looser. If you’re looking to branch out and use a panama fabric to make clothes, then half panama fabric might be a better option for you.

Panama fabric at House of U

Found what you’re looking for? Design your fabric right away: just upload your design to our design generator, select your favorite fabric, and we’ll do the rest. Print panama fabric by the yard or any other measurement you prefer.

If you want to check out any other fabrics in our assortment, take a peek at our fabric book. And if you have any more questions, feel free to contact us! We’re always happy to help.