How do today’s Sansabelt fabrics differ from Sansabelt fabrics from the past?

Fabric Friday: Petroleum-Based Manufactured Fibers | Blog | Oliver + S

Since the Jaymar Ruby days, Sansabelt slacks have always been known as a ‘polyester’ brand, with the occasional poly/wool thrown in the mix.  Back in 1980’s and before that, polyester was typically a Dacron poly with a stiff texture that kept it from draping softly on the body.  Frequently it had an unnatural sheen and was somewhat course to the touch.

Today, polyester--in particular microfiber polyester--is no longer a dirty word.  Major designers have embraced it in their collections: Go into the menswear department of any major retail store and you will find designer suits crafted of microfiber polys--some blended with cotton or silk, some pure microfiber, and all with big price tags.    

So what is Microfiber?  Microfiber is a high tech fabric consisting of tiny man made fibers which, when woven into fabric, can actually resemble a fine silk. Today's line of Sansabelt slacks consist of microfibers and microfiber blends that offer the drape and look of a natural fabric but last much longer. Top quality microfiber, such as that used in the production of Sansabelt pants, is extremely fine—even finer than silk.  To put it in perspective, silk fibers have a diameter of approximately 20 microns, whereas polyester micro fibers have a diameter of 10 microns or less--half the diameter of silk! (see chart above). In addition, the spaces between strands make microfibers breathable, wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to wash. And the microfiber content in our slacks keeps sweat away from the body and has the feel of lightweight cotton, making our pants versatile and comfortable.  

Our Madison dress pants are a high-quality microfiber blended with the finest fibers from a Eucalyptus tree.  Our Sharkskin, the most popular brand for decades and which be back in stock in two months, not only has the softenss and drape of silk, but a subtle weave that elevates the look to that of high-end dresswear.  You’ll notice the Poplins and Melange fabrics, while lightweight, are a tad sturdier because the fibers are a bit less fine, making them great for casual wear. Gab Twills are a different type of microfiber, with the strands twisted to provide bulk and a bit of a courser texture which lends a dress/casual feel.  Finally the MiniCheck is a pure, fine microfiber which has visual interest due to the tonal nature of the tiny checks, and a dressy silkiness because of the thin microfiber strands.

Besides looking great, microfiber isn’t easy to kill.  While you can always dry clean your Sansabelt slacks if you wish, they are made to be machine or hand washed at a warm temperature.  Stick with a mild detergent and avoid washing with other fabrics such as terry cloth towels or cotton clothing, because these items produce lint that will cling to microfiber.  Don’t use fabric softener or detergents with fabric softener, as you don’t want to clog the fibers' surface. And it's also a good idea to stay away from dryer sheets and chlorine bleach. Since microfiber dries very quickly, you can avoid the dryer and line dry you pants.  However, if you do machine dry, use a low heat setting.  Pull the garment out quickly and, if needed, use a cool iron to reinforce the crease along the front of each leg.

If you’re planning a trip this summer, be sure throw in some Sansabelts, and you'll feel comfortable and look great no matter what your plans. 

And if you’re flying, you'll look crisp when you land, and you’ll breeze through security!




  • Don Yonce

    I wore Sansabelts in the 70's and loved them (hate belts ). I have a pair of the old light blue jeans that must be 35 years old...still comfortable and stylish. Don Donald Yonce, Myrtle Beach,SC,USA

  • WG

    I too have worn Sansabelt (Sans in Latin meaning Without). Unfortunately you can no longer buy Jeans sans or without belt loops. Need to change the name for thsoe - Sansabelt does not match up anymore.

  • Bonnie Dalen

    Do you still carry the 1980’s stiff, no belt loops, Dacron Polyester material Sansabelt pants in Dark Brown or Black? My husband had a couple of pairs and he had them for years.

  • Kathy

    Hi Mrs. Dalen, I took a bit of time to ask around. That older dacron poly, stiffer in its feel, is really not being produced anywhere. I know some men prefer the heavier (and often harsher) feel of the polyesters from the seventies and eighties, but the top factories we deal with have shifted to a finer thread to give the illusion of a natural fiber. If anything comes up on the horizon, I will reach out to you.

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