Different Types of Weaves in Woven Fabrics

Textile fabrics are essential material for making clothes, home made-up and other apparel products. Fabrics can be classified into four types according to the fabric weave structure - woven fabric, non-woven fabric, knit fabric and braid. In this post, we will discuss various types of woven fabrics according to the fabric weaves.

Basket weave
Basket weave

What are woven fabrics

Any textiles which are made from the process of weaving are called woven fabrics. Weaving is a method of textile production wherein two distinct set of yarns or threads are interlaced at a right angle to one another to form a fabric or cloth. The longitudinal yarns are called warp and the lateral threads are called weft or filling. Woven fabrics are woven in a loom whose basic function is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads.

The characteristics of the woven fabric depend a lot on the method in which the yarns are interwoven in. The characteristics of the weave also change depending on the type of the fibre used along with the thickness of the yarn it is woven with. Woven fabrics only stretch diagonally (in bias direction) and usually fray at the edges. Depending on the end use, the fabric weave design is selected for weaving the fabric.

Majority of the woven products are created with one of the three basic weaves: Plain weave, Satin weave, or Twill weave. Some of the most common weave made with the alterations of the above are shown here.

Similar reading: Difference between Knits and Woven Fabrics

1. Plan weaves

Plain weave, also known as calico, tabby, taffeta as the name suggests is the simplest type of weave where the threads are woven together one after another meaning threads interlaced over one another. It is one of the strongest weaves as the threads are constantly crossing over each other. Its application can be found ranging from heavy and coarse fabric like the canvas to the lightest and finest fabrics like muslins.
Plain weave

2. Matt weave

Matt weave is a variation of plain weave with two warp thread passing over two warp thread instead of a single yarn giving a unique checkerboard-like appearance. Matt weave is also known as basket weave. This provides more structure to the fabric. It has great insulating properties and its structure makes the fabric more breathable. It is also naturally resistant to wrinkles. 

Example of Matt weave: Oxford fabrics or oxford weave. The Pinpoint weave, Royal Weave are some variations of matt weave. It is mostly used for making casual or sporty cotton shirts, pants and other casual-to-formal garments. Oxford weave is for shirting fabric.
Oxford Weave
Oxford Weave

More variations are made from the above with examples like basket weave and monk’s cloth, which are made by group of yarns in place of a single yarn in plain weave or by alterations of fine and coarse yarn to make ribbed and corded fabrics with Bedford cord, pique, dimity as warp-ribbed and poplin, rep, grosgrain as weft-ribbed.

3. Twill fabrics

Twill weave is responsible for the diagonal pattern in the fabric. Depending on the technique used in the weave, the diagonal pattern will get different patches. It has lesser binding points compared to plain weave with a higher cloth thickness and mass per unit area. This type of weave is most commonly used for denim fabric and is responsible for two different colours of the fabric in two faces. Some of the alterations of twill weave include gabardine, serge, drill.

Twill weave
Twill weave

4. Herringbone fabric

Herringbone is a variation of the twill weave. The pattern is called herringbone as it resembles that of the skeleton of herringbone fish. The threads are woven in a way that a herringbone pattern appears on the fabric. Like the twill weave, it also has countless variations, which give different appearances to the fabric. It is most commonly used for suits and outerwear. Woven fabric tapes are commonly used as garment trims.

Herringbone fabric weave
Herringbone fabric weave

5. Dobby Weave

Dobby is usually an advanced design which is used to create a texture in the fabric with a slightly raised design. Dobby weave is the combination of several different thicknesses of yarn and weave technique. The warp and weft may or may not be the same colour. Unlike plain weave, it is less susceptible to wrinkles. Pique fabric of polo shirt is a common example of dobby weave.
Dobby fabric
Dobby fabric

6. Satin Fabric

There are many types of satin from cotton satin and polyester satin to silk satin. The satin weave has floating or overshot warp threads on the surface which gives the fabric a shiny surface, which is often associated with exclusive fabrics.
Satin fabric weave
Satin Fabric
Satin is a type of weave and not a kind of fibre. When the uncrossed threads are in the weft, the weave is called Sateen. It is mostly used for apparel in evening gowns, shirts, wedding dresses, ties etc. along with upholstery and bedding.

7. Pile fabric (Velvet fabric)

In pile fabric, extra sets of warps or fillings are woven over ground yarns of plain or twill weave to form loops. Pile fabrics have been defined as fabrics(s) with a cut or uncut loops which stand up densely on the surface. 

Velvet fabric in an example of cut pile. Velvet is known for its soft and smooth surface. It consists of soft threads called pile sticking up out of the fabric. The pile is formed by supplemental yarns that can run both along warp and weft direction. The fabric is woven and then cut apart for the soft pile to emerge. There are many variations of velvet which provide the different look to the surface. Its characteristics depend on the type of yarn used in its manufacturing. Cotton velvet (velveteen) is the strongest and most durable type of velvet.

Velvet fabric 
There are even variations for pile fabric with warp-pile fabric like terry, plush and weft-pile like velveteen, corduroy.
Terry weave

8. Jacquard fabrics

The Jacquard loom is a weaving mechanism done in special looms which can control individual warp threads producing fabrics having complicated woven patterns such as brocade, damask, tapestry etc.

Brocade Weave
Brocade Weave

Soumyadeep Saha

Soumyadeep Saha holds a Master's Degree in Fashion Technology from NIFT, New Delhi. He is also a graduate in apparel production. His area of interest includes Quality Assurance and technology implementations in Apparel Production.

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