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Classification of Fabric Weave Patterns

In the simplest weaving arrangement, alternate warp yarns are over or under the shuttle as it moves in one direction and the warp yarn positions are reversed for the return stroke of the shuttle. This weave can be made on a loom with only two harnesses. In other arrangements, several warp yarns may be moved upward or downward together, or several filling picks may take place before the warp yarns change position.

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The two major categories based on the types of weaves are Basic or Simple weave and Compound or complex weaves which are further categorized into the following categories:

Basic/Simple Weaves

  1. Plain Weave
  2. Twill Weave
  3. Satin Weave

Compound/Complex/Novelty Weaves

  1. Dobby Weave
  2. Jacquard Weave
  3. Double Cloth & Double Weave
  4. Pique
  5. Pile Fabrics
  6. Surface Figure Weaves

Basic/Simple Weaves

plain weave
Plain weave, also called taffeta. Filling yarns pass over and under alternate warp yarns. Other plain weaves are broadcloth, muslin, batiste, percale, seersucker, organdy, voile, and tweed.

twill weave
Twill weave. Filling yarns pass over two warp yarns and under a third, and repeat the sequence for the width of the fabric. The next filling yarn repeats the sequence but shifts one warp yarn sideways, creating a diagonal pattern. Herringbone, serge, jersey, foulard, gabardine, worsted cheviot, and drill are twill weaves.

satin weave
Satin weave. Filler yarns pass over a number of warp yarns, four in this illustration, and under the fifth. Damask, sateen, and crepe satin are satin weaves. Exposed yarns reflect light and give the weave its sheen.

Plain Weave

Simplest weave requiring a 2 harness loom, formed by yarns at right angles whereby each
warp yarn interlaces with each weft yarn
Properties: least expensive to produce, reversible unless surface design, wrinkles more,
firm & wears well, less absorbent, abrasion resistant, used as background for

  • Rib Weave fabrics: Rib effect is produced by using heavy yarns in the filling direction or by more warp than
    filling yarns per inch. Eg Bengaline, ottoman, faille, poplin, broadcloth, taffeta.
  • Basket Weave fabrics: Basketweave is made by treating two or more yarns as one in either the warp or weft or
    both the directions and interlacing them in plain weave. It is not as firm as plain weave,
    have more yarn slippage, shrinks easily. Eg 2X1, 2X2, 2X4, 3X2, 4X4. Oxford cloth is
    2X1 & monk cloth is 4X4. Flat duck, hopsacking, Panama are other examples.

Twill Weave

Each warp or weft yarn floats across two or more weft or warp yarns with a progression
of interlacing by one to the right or to the left, forming a distinct diagonal line or wale.
The direction of diagonal may be formed from right to left, from left to right or a
combination of both. Soil resistant, softer & pliable, good wrinkle recovery, durable &
wears well. The direction of the twill on the back of the cloth is opposite to the twill line
on the face. 3 harness is required for twill weave.

  • Right Hand Twill – diagonals run upwards to the right
  • Left Hand Twill – diagonals run upwards to the left.
  • Balanced Twill – the same number of warp pass over filling yarns. It is reversible. 2X2, 4X4
  • Unbalanced Twill – have an uneven warp or filling yarn. It has a right or wrong.
  • Broken Twill – combines right or left-hand twills
  • Herringbone Twill – a series of inverted V’s are formed resembling the backbone of the
    herringbone fish. Most commonly used in suiting fabrics.
  • Twill Angles – according to the angles of the diagonal line, Regular twill – 45° °
  • Reclining twill – with smaller angles, Steep twill – with larger angles. E.g.: denim, herringbone, houndstooth

Satin Weave

Each warp/ filling yarn floats over 4 filling/ warp yarns & interlaces with 5th filling/ warp yarn, with a progression of interlacing by 2 to right or left (warp-faced/ weft faced). Luster (long floats), firm, durable (yarns packed closely together), pliable, wrinkle resistant,
yarn slippage. Satin is warp faced. Sateen is weft-faced. 5 harness is required for a satin

Compound/Complex/Novelty Weaves/ Figure/ Decorative weave

Dobby Weave

Small figured designs (floral or geometrical) woven repeatedly throughout the fabric,
produced by a combination of two or more basic weaves, using a dobby attachment on
the loom. Weaving pattern controlled by a plastic tape with punched holes that control
the raising & lowering of warp yarns. It uses up to 32 harnesses.

Jacquard Weave

Characteristics: highly intricate large designs using colored yarns and multi-weaves
produced on a loom with jacquard attachment. Incorporates all 3 basic weaves & their
combination. Each warp yarn is controlled separately by punched cards that are laced
together in a continuous strip. Are more expensive. Used for home furnishing, apparel,
elaborate & decorative fabrics. Eg Brocade, Damask, tapestry, brocatelle, matelasse

Surface Figure /Extra Yarn Weaves

Extra warp or weft yarn introduced in fabric to produce designs at regular intervals.
Between 2 motifs, extra yarn floats across the back of the fabric.

  • Clipped / unclipped Spot – embroidery-like design is achieved through either extra
    warp or weft yarn. Long floats on the back when a cut is called Clipped Spot & when
    uncut – Unclipped Spot.
  • Swivel – contains extra filling yarns. In this weave, the extra yarn is interlaced with the
    background at different places to avoid pulling. These are stronger than Spot
  • Lappet – contains extra warp yarns.


Lightweight to heavyweight cotton fabric with a raised woven design. Lengthwise wales
or cords on the face of fabric (formed by extra warp yarns) that are held in place by
crosswise weft floats on the back of the fabric. Extra warp yarns (stuffer yarns) do not show
on the face of the fabric. They are not interwoven but laid under the cords to emphasize the quilted
effect. Made of dobby or jacquard loom. Eg waffle, huck toweling, granite, honeycomb, bedcord, pique

Double Cloth

They are made with 3, 4 or 5 sets of yarn. Two fabrics are woven together on the same
loom, one above the other & laced together with an extra set of warp or weft yarns called
binder yarns (5 sets of yarns). Pile fabrics are commonly prepared by this method.
Produces a variety of fabrics, reversible, stable, may have different color or design on the
two sides. Used for upholstery, drapery, and heavy apparels.

Other Special Weaves

Crepe Weave

Crinkled or pebbly surface. Irregular, indistinct pattern utilizing both plain and satin
weave using dobby attachment are made. Few crepe weave fabric is available.
Other crepe fabrics are created using crepe yarn which is highly twisted (up to 65 tpi).
Textured yarns, bicomponent yarns (uneven shrinkage), embossing, stamping crepe like
effect are being used. In all these plain weaves, synthetic fibers and thermoplastic property
are used.

Leno Weave

It is the form of weaving in which two adjacent warp yarns cross each other between the picks. The warp yarns are paired. With a special leno or doup, attachment warp yarns are crossed/ twisted over each other in pairs around each pick, firmly holding the filling yarn
in the figure – 8 loops formed. Leno fabrics are open and gauge like. Leno weave is
useful in reducing yarn slippage, greater firmness & strength than plain weave. Uses-
curtain, gauge, marquisette, grenadine, fruit sacks, rice net, mosquito net, mesh.

Colour & Weave Effect

A pattern produced in a fabric by using a certain weave and a certain arrangement of
differently colored yarns in both warp and filling.

Hound’s tooth – 2 up, 2 down, 45° left-hand twill, and a group of 4 yarns of one color are
arranged in both warp & filling followed by the other color.

Lappet weave

This is the type of weave in which floating threads are carried on the surface of the fabric and introduced at intervals to form the patterns. The floats are not long and the patterns are usually geometric, i.e. zigzag stripes in white yarn on a colored plain weave ground.

Novelty weave

Any weave which varies or combines the basic weaves, plain, satin and twill.

Swivel weaving

A fabric in which figure is achieved by the introduction of additional weft threads into base fabric to produce small clipped woven-in-spot effects. The figuring yarn is fed from a series of shuttles mounted over the top of the weaving surface.

Tablet Weaving

It is a method of making woven plain or patterned narrow fabrics, where the warp is controlled by tablets made of thin, stiff material, e.g. cardboard, plastic, bone, etc. Tablets are usually about 5 to 10 cm square, although other shapes, e.g. triangles, hexagons, etc. are also used. Each tablet has a hole at each corner through the warp yarns are threaded. Rotating the tablets controls the rise and fall of the warp yarns.

Woven Pile Fabrics

3-dimensional fabrics, utilizing 3 sets of yarns, warp & weft to form base fabric & extra
set of warp or weft yarns to form pile or loop surface. Extra set of yarns forming the pile
may be cut to produce an erect pile on the face of fabric – Cut Pile – velvet or left uncut
to form loops on one or both sides of fabric- Uncut pile – terry.

  • Warp pile fabric – velvet, plushes, terry, velour.
  • Weft pile fabric – velveteen, corduroy

Triaxial Fabric

Triaxial fabrics have 3 set of yarns, 2 warp & 1 filling. The warp yarns are placed
diagonally to each other by special attachments, through which the filling yarn is
interlaced. It is an ancient weave used in basket weaving. Stability against stretching in
all direction even bias, strong resistance, resistance to shear forces & raveling. Lighter,
longer life & less material required than biaxial fabrics. Three major weaves – basic
triaxial weave, basic basket triaxial weave & biplane weave.

Uses – aerospace, industrial fabrics, sailcloth, balloon, truck covers, uniforms &

Terry Fabric

A warp pile fabric in which loops are created, without positive assistance, by varying the relative positions of the fell and the reed. A high tension is applied to the ground warp and a very low tension to the pile warp.

Narrow Fabric

This is the type of any textile fabric made by interlacing fibers or yarns which does not exceed 45 cm ( in the U. K.) and does not exceed 30 cm ( in the U. S. A. and other countries). Narrow fabrics are characterized by the edges, which are the essential feature.