The Beginner’s Guide to Bull Denim

Bull denim is all about the iconic twill weave! This tough fabric has abundant uses – for everything from apparel to slipcovers. Let’s learn why this fabric might be ideal for your next sewing project.

What is Bull Denim?

Bull denim is made from 100 percent cotton. It is often used for home decor and upholstery over apparel, but it’s ultimately a very diverse fabric. It has a unique 3/1 twill construction (3 warps for every 1 weft). The heavy fabric takes dyes well and is machine washable at any temperature. You can expect minimal shrinkage.

Bull Denim VS Regular Denim


What makes this specialty fabric different from regular denim? Well, it comes down to how the fabrics are dyed, how they appear, and how they are used. Bull denim is often dyed after it is weaved, while standard denim threads are dyed indigo (weft threads are white). That’s what gives standard denim its iconic look. Bull denim is often dyed natural colors – tan, navy, green, etc. Both fabrics have a twill weave.

Bull Denim Benefits


This non-traditional denim has a multitude of benefits, but here are the most important ones to remember:


The reason this fabric is used for upholstery and home décor is its durability. Bull denim’s brushed twill weave makes it exceptionally tough. It can withstand heavy use, on say, a sitting chair, sofa, or ottoman. It is even tear-resistant! With proper care, bull denim won’t need replacement often.


No special care instructions here! We suggest popping your bull denim apparel into a cool or warm wash and hanging to dry. Of course, to avoid shrinkage, always wash cold and hang dry. The reason to hang dry is to preserve the fabric for as long as possible. Constant agitation has a way of wearing down all fabrics. So, to retain the fabric’s strength and durability, we suggest only washing when necessary and always hang drying. For upholstered fabric, only spot clean with mild soap and water. 


This fabric loves dyes! While you can buy pre-dyed denim in a variety of colors, you can also get it in white and dye yourself. Don’t be afraid to have fun with this. For custom one-of-a-kind dyed pieces, you want to work with bull denim.

Bull Denim Fabric Uses

Project from Checking in with Chelsea

Thinking of using this durable fabric for your next project? Fabric like this can be used for so many different applications. Your imagination is the only limitation.

Here are some uses to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Tote bags
  • Caps
  • Jackets
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • General apparel
  • Slipcovers
  • Upholstery
  • Pillow covers 
  • Draperies
  • Headboards
  • And more!

Canvas ETC is Your Source for Fabrics

At Canvas ETC, we provide top-quality wholesale and by-the-yard fabric for any and all of your sewing projects. Our team of fabric specialists can answer any questions you have about our products and how to use them. For updates on new products, specials, project ideas, and to join our community of makers, please follow us on social media!