Fabric Guide

Threads That Count

A sneak peek at the science behind the scrubs | Follow Sassy Sue on Facebook

Medical Scrubs Collection is giving you a sneak peek at the science behind the scrubs, so that you can choose the scrub fabric that will work best for you.

How the Fabrics in Your Scrubs Go To Work for You

A revolutionary line of scrubs explodes onto the market in a burst of – no, not color, but fabric. Bolts of perfect, beautiful woven threads. It is the fabric of the scrub that will determine whether it drapes well or hangs limp, and whether it is moisture wicking or not. The fabric will dictate the ease of care and the scrub’s stain resistance. And so, even as colors and styles come and go, a good fabric will last.


Most scrub fabrics are a blend of two or more fibers. We’ve featured the fabrics that are most commonly used in scrubs, as well as the blends that you’ll see most often. Check the percentages on the tag of the garment, as the balance of fibers is what lends each fabric its characteristics.

The Good
  • Comfortable year-round
  • Soft texture
  • Drapes well for a nice fit
  • Durable
  • Doesn’t build up static electricity
  • Prints show up nicely
  • Easy care
  • Durable
  • Resistant to stretching and shrinking
  • Quick drying
  • Wears well
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Resistant to stretching and shrinking
  • Dyeable
  • Prevents bagging and sagging
  • Perspiration resistant
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Durable
  • Extremely absorbent
  • Comes in a variety of qualities and weights
  • Drapes well
  • Looks soft and silky
The Bad
  • Fades with washing
  • Shrinks – the looser the weave the more it shrinks
  • Fibers soil easily
  • Wrinkles easily
  • Rough texture
  • Builds up static electricity
  • Rough texture
  • Wrinkles easily
  • May stretch when wet
  • May shrink when washed
The Upkeep
  • Easy to clean – launder in cold or hot water
  • lay out to dry to prevent shrinking
  • Turn inside out to prevent snags and pilling.
  • Wash in warm water, using fabric softener to prevent static.
  • Dry on low temperature with dryer sheet, or line dry.
  • Machine-wash in warm water with a cold rinse.
  • Machine-dry any garments containing spandex on medium temperature.
  • It is best to hand wash and line dry.
  • If manufacturer’s label allows for washing, wash on delicate cycle and lay flat or hang dry.
Who Knew?
  • Often blended with another fiber to prevent wrinkles
  • Formaldehyde sometimes added to cotton to create “easy care cotton.”
  • Made out of oil.
  • When combined with cotton, if the fabric content of spandex is 10% or greater, the fabric doesn’t wear as well.
  • Made from cellulose, and can be made to resemble many natural fabrics.

Fabric Blends

The Good
  • Polyester helps retain shape
  • Polyester resists stains and wrinkles
  • Cotton makes fabric absorbent
  • Cotton makes fabric comfortable
  • Easy care
  • Polyester provides durability
  • Polyester helps maintain shape
  • Rayon gives nice texture
  • Rayon makes fabric absorbent
The Bad
  • Not as cool as cotton
  • May pill when washed
  • Not as durable as polyester
The Upkeep
  • Machine wash on warm.
  • Tumble dry low or hang dry, based on manufacturer’s label instructions.
  • Wash on a cold, gentle cycle.
  • Lay flat or hang to dry.
Who Knew?
  • A permanent press property gives the fabric extended wear.
  • Entirely synthetic, and therefore not biodegradable.

Fabric Weaves

We know, you went to school for medicine (not fashion design) so here’s all you need to know. Using the same base fibers, the way a fabric is woven will impact its overall function.

Here’s how:

Defined As Plain weave of any fiber or blend, with crosswise ribs that give a corded surface. Small geometric patterns that add extra texture to fabric. Diagonal parallel ribs Cotton fabric which is brushed to remove excess lint and fibers from the fabric.
The Good
  • Durable
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Easy to iron
  • Stains are less noticeable
  • Very absorbent
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Stains are less noticeable
  • Durable
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Drapes well
  • Stains are less noticeable
  • Durable
  • Very smooth and soft
  • Highly absorbent
  • Stains are less noticeable

So there you have it. A ten minute crash course on fabric technology and scrub fashion. Your diploma will arrive in the mail any day now!

If you loved reading this as much as we loved writing it, spread the love! Let your friends in on the secret of what makes your scrubs do the things it does.

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