Your Complete Guide to Panama Fabric

Your Complete Guide to Panama Fabric


You may have seen on many of our furnishing fabrics that they are described as Cotton Panama fabric, but you may also be thinking I have no idea what they are or what that means. Well don’t you worry, you’re in exactly the right place where Fabrics Galore as always is here to help you out. 



What is Cotton Panama Fabric?


A Cotton Panama is a 100% Cotton canvas fabric which can also be known as a basket weave, which references the type of construction the fabric has. The basket weave is when the warp and weft threads interlace to create a simple criss-cross pattern. 


The simple texture created by this weave means this fabric is ideal for printing on, which is why it is used for all sort of prints and colours. Our collection of Cotton Panamas range from brightly coloured plains to more detailed novelty and fun prints. 

Plain panama fabrics


Why is it called Panama?

Well, as mentioned previously it refers to a fabric which features this particular basket weave construction and results in a fine, soft textured surface. It probably also refers to the straw weave used in the much loved Panama Hat which incidentally comes from Ecuador, not Panama. Who knew?


What can Cotton Panama Fabric be used for?


Usually Cotton Panamas are a weight of roughly 230gsm, which traditionally means it’s perfect for soft and home furnishing projects like curtains, blinds, headboards, cushions and even lampshades. 

BUT you know us at Fabrics Galore, we like to think of ourselves as mavericks and have been using cotton panamas for lots of other projects too. The weight is very similar to that of a denim meaning it can be used for some dressmaking or craft projects.


Panama Fabric in Dressmaking


In terms of dressmaking, they are perfectly suited for jackets and skirts, which is why you may have seen them pop up in those collections. Not only that but they can also be washed over and over as they are designed to be hardwearing and like denim they soften nicely over time. And did we mention that the unique basket weave means they are super resistant to creasing?


As they are 100% cotton too, panama fabric works perfectly for beginners too, as they don’t move around too much making them simple to cut out. 


For example, we used the Blue Tie Dye Furnishing Fabric to make a jacket and it looks pretty good, doesn’t it?


Panama Fabric Jacket

Blue Tie-Dye Home Furnishing Fabric


Panama Fabric in Crafting


But we haven’t just used panama for dressmaking, we have also added them to our crafting collections because they make great playmats and quilt backings. We have mentioned our playmats before, and cotton panamas make great ones because the fabrics will withstand any amount of playing or anything a small person can throw at them and then be thrown in the washing machine to come out like new. Our playmat made from Alphabet Animals that we have taken to countless shows is always very popular too.


Panama Nursery Fabric

Alphabet Animals


Christmas Crafting with Panama Fabric


Now if you are thinking about Christmas presents too, we have made some great Christmas Stockings from our cotton panamas. Importantly they are strong enough to hold all those presents you are hoping for, and we have been thinking about teaming this red and white star print with a white furry top for good measure.


Red and white star panama fabric    White faux fur fabric 

Raspberry Red White Star Cotton and Snowy White Faux Fur


Using Panama Fabric in Soft Furnishings


But if you’re thinking more about furnishing gifts for or a way of injecting some colour into your home you really can’t go wrong or ever have enough cushions. Cotton Panamas are a great option, easy and quick to make, the colours really pop, and you can play around with different combinations on the front and back. If you are feeling brave you can even add a little piping too.


Cushion fabric


What Will You Make with our Range of Cotton Panama Fabrics?


Visit our Furnishing and Crafting collections to discover our best brushed panama, panama canvas and cotton half panama fabrics. And don’t forget you can call our friendly team ion 0207 738 9589 f you want to ask about all the great ways you can put cotton panama to use.

Back to blog

One stop fabric shop

Welcome to the Fabrics Galore London online store, packed full of beautiful fabrics to inspire your next dressmaking, patchwork quilting, craft or home furnishing sewing project. We stock a huge range of different materials alongside designer fabrics from Liberty, Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely, Laura Ashley, William Morris and Alexander Henry. We source the highest quality fabrics, so whether it be a cotton, linen, viscose, chambray, jersey or wool, we have you covered.Check out our dressmaking fabric for something with drape, fabulous Liberty cotton lawn prints, quilting fabrics for patchwork inspiration or the home furnishing section to pimp your pad. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get sewing!

What our customers say

Fast Delivery
Great Quality
Outstanding Customer Service
Fast Delivery
Great Quality
Outstanding Customer Service