Warp Vs Weft in Fabric

The woven fabric is formed by two sets of yarns - one is called warp and another set is called weft. Warp and weft are the two basic textile terms, everyone should know about, who are working in the garment and textile industry. 

Definition of Warp: The lengthwise (longitudinal) or vertical set of yarns in the fabric are called warp yarns (simply warp).

Definition of Weft: The horizontal or transverse set of yarns in the fabric is known as weft yarns (simply Weft). See the below image for identifying warp and weft yarns.

Comparison between warp and weft yarns.

Let’s compare these two textile terms.
  • In fabric, the lengthwise or longitudinal yarns are warps and traverse or horizontal yarns are weft.
  • Warps yarns are stronger compared to weft yarns. During the weaving warps are held under high tension, moves up and down for shed formation.
  • Warp yarns are finer than weft yarns.
  • The weft yarn is inserted over-an-under the warp yarns.

Warp Vs Weft in weaving stage

If you look back to the fabric formation stage and want to get some comparative information of warp and weft yarns, read these.
  • Warp yarns are wound in a beam and weft yarns are drawn through a shuttle (traditional weaving), that contain spindle inside it.
  • Warps long yarns in fabric (as long as the fabric length) and weft is short in length which is equal to the width of the fabric.
  • Warp yarns are sized at the preparatory stage prior to weaving to make them stronger. No such preparatory job done for weft yarns.
  • Depending on the fabric design warp and weft yarn count can be same or a different count of yarn can be used.
  • Most fabrics are warp facing as weft yarn pass inside the warp yarns. For example, in denim fabric, the front of the fabric shows warp yarns and backside of the fabric shows majorly weft yarns. This happens due to denim’s weaving structure of 2/1, or 3/1 twill.

Warp Vs weft in Clothing

  • In making garments, normally warp direction is used as garment length, as it improves the garment fall and the lengthwise fabric is stronger.
  • Weft yarn can be easily pulled out from the fabric compared to pulling a warp yarn.
Also read: What is warp and weft in woven fabric?

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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