Pocketing, Pocket-linings Or ‘Pocket-Fabrics’ What Are They?

These are the different fabrics that are used to construct the pockets in a garment and are, in most instances, a different quality than the shell fabric.

There are numerous different pocketing options, and which one to use might be influenced by specific Performance Requirements (The garments may be bleach or stone washed), Brand Identity (A print or yarn dye may be used on certain ranges) or Garment Type (Different qualities/compositions may be used in jeans, formal wear, casualwear or workwear).

One common requirement in all garments however, is that the pocketing chosen should be fit for purpose and maintain its performance characteristics throughout the lifetime of the garment. There is nothing more frustrating than holes occurring in the pockets of your favorite jeans, chinos or suit trousers.

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The Importance Of Using Different Qualities

Whilst essentially a functional element of a garment, the specific pocketing quality may have been neglected in past, with many brands choice being influenced solely by price. Companies today however, understand the importance of using different qualities across all garment types, but also recognize the opportunity to use pocketing to enhance or promote their brand, perhaps through different prints or yarn dyes.

copen united

copen united

Copen are world leaders in pocketing innovation and sustainability and through a robust global distribution network are able to service their customers needs, across multiple product areas on a global scale.

1. Denim

The introduction of new, innovative technology such as laser finishing, for example, might be less aggressive in achieving the required denim finish, but should be tested thoroughly to see the impact on different pocketing qualities.

It is also critical that when selecting which pocketing to use, the effects that any additional finishing processes may have on the pocketing are considered. Traditional methods such as heavy washes or stone washing prove particularly destructive on lighter weight pocketing qualities. If bleach is used in the wash then any coloured pocketing should be VAT dyed, to avoid any significant loss of colour.

Copen’s core Twill denim pocketing qualities range from 114 g/m² to 283 g/m² in either different poly cotton blends or 100% cotton.

It is essential that the pocketing in denim is compatible with the denim fabric used. Heavy denim generally requires a heavy weight pocketing, lighter weight denim, a lighter weight pocketing.

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2. Stretch Denim

The introduction of stretch denim within a wide range of both men’s and women’s jeans has resulted in the development of an extensive range of stretch pocketing qualities which enhance the performance, style and comfort of the garments.

Ranging in weight from 111g/m² to 146g/m² stretch pocketing qualities are available in plain weaves, twills or Herringbones.

copen united

copen united

3. Casual wear

Many casual trousers undergo garment washes, but these generally tend to be of a less rigorous nature than denim. The shell fabrics tend to be lighter in weight, so pocketing used in casualwear doesn’t need to withstand the same aggressive processing as denim.

Common weights vary from 91g/m² to 144g/m² in plain weave, Herringbone and twill but there are also a significant number of brands using prints, Oxfords, Chambrays or Yarn Dyed stripes which are often used as a signature feature.

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4. Garment Dye

A relatively recent innovation involves garment dyed trousers, where the shell fabric tends to be 100% Cotton. Traditionally the pocketing was a lighter weight 100% cotton, so that once the garment was dyed, all fabrics took up the dyestuffs in the same way.

In recent years different weaves in different blends, as well as small print designs have been introduced, resulting in far greater contrasting details in the pocketing and waistbands of garment dyed trousers. Brands that once used plain weave 100% cotton pocketing now use new designs each season which are also seen as a signature feature.



5. Sustainability

The first company in their industry to recognize the need for sustainable pocketing and lining, Copen partnered with Unifi to bring Repreve to the market. By 2019, they were awarded the Champions of Sustainability by Unifi, having used 80.7, million plastic bottles to produce 24.6 million metres of pocketing, which was used in excess of 100 million pairs of trousers.


Today’s Copen Facts                                 

  • Copen is GRS Certified for Recycled Polyester Products.
  • Copen is OCS Certified for Organic Cotton Products.
  • Copen can Transfer BCC units in any pocketing qualities using BCI Cotton.
  • Copen is certified by the Control Union.
  • Copen have developed the only waterfree pocketing to meet industry performance standards.
  • Copen is in the process of obtaining C2C Gold Standard.



6. Aquafree

Many leading denim brands and retailers have harnessed new technology to offer jeans where the manufacturing process uses significantly less water than traditional ‘washes’. The introduction of laser technology, ‘Ozone washing’ and the use of Post Consumer Recycled Cotton are innovations that have been initiated across the denim world.

Copen United have taken up the challenge of helping to reduce water consumption across a number of different pocketing qualities.


1 meter of pocketing, typically uses 3.8 litres of water during the standard finishing process. Traditionally, all pocketing qualities require finishing to ensure exacting shrinkage, pilling, tear strength and seam slippage standards are achieved.

Extensive research has enabled Copen United to develop it’s unique Aquafree Pocketing range, ensuring that all the demanding physical requirements of a denim pocketing are achieved, whilst using no water during any of the production processes.

In conjunction with a leading global filament yarn producer, we have blended a new polyester fiber with a high quality cotton. The resulting ‘Vigor Yarn’, ensures the 5 new Aquafree pocketing qualities achieve the same performance standards, or in some cases an improved performance, than their equivalent standard pocketing qualities.

7. Performance Pocketing

The increase in Athleisurewear has inevitably led to many new developments in performance pocketing qualities.

Brands and retailers are looking for innovation in comfort and performance which has resulted in new 2 way and 4 way stretch Mesh qualities, incorporating the use of recycled polyester and anti-microbial finishes. It will come as no surprise to learn that Copen are again leading the development drive for these new performance pocketing qualities.

copen united

copen united

Anti-Bacterial / Anti-Viral (Barrier) Fabrics!

Coming Soon To A Garment Near You!

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Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.