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.

In this page

  1. Classification of Weave Patterns
  2. Basic/Simple Weaves
  3. Compound/Complex/Novelty Weaves/ Figure/ Decorative weave
  4. Other Special Weaves

Classification of Weave Patterns

The two major categories based on the types of weaves are Basic or Simple weave and Compound or complex weaves which are further categorised in 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 printing/embroidery

  • 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: Basket weave 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. 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 are required for twill weave.

  • Right Hand Twill - diagonals run upwards to the right
  • Left Hand Twill - diagonals run upwards to the left.
  • Balanced Twill – same number of warp pass over filling yarns. It is reversible. 2X2, 4X4
  • Unbalanced Twill – have uneven number of 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, hound’s-tooth

Satin Weave

Each warp/ filling yarn floats over 4 filling/ warp yarns & interlaces with 5th filling/ warp yarn, with 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 are required for satin weave.

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 harness.

Jacquard Weave

Characteristics: highly intricate large designs using coloured yarns and multi-weaves produced on 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 back of fabric.

  • Clipped / unclipped Spot – embroidery like design are achieved through either extra warp or weft yarn. Long floats on the back when cut is called Clipped Spot & when uncut – Unclipped Spot.
  • Swivel - contains extra filling yarns. In these weave the extra yarn is interlaced with the background at different places to avoid pulling. These are more stronger than Spot weave.
  • 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 fabric. Extra warp yarns (stuffer yarns) do not show on face of fabric. They are not interwoven but laid under the cords to emphasize quilted effect. Made on 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 are available. Other crepe fabrics are created using crepe yarn which are highly twisted (up to 65 tpi). Textured yarns, bicomponent yarns (uneven shrinkage), embossing, stamping crepe like effect are being used. In all these plain weave, synthetic fibers and thermoplastic property is 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

Pattern produced in a fabric by using a certain weave and a certain arrangement of differently coloured yarns in both warp and filling.

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

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 coloured 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 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

Triaxail fabrics have 3 set of yarns, 2 warp & 1 filling. The warp yarns are placed diagonal 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, sail cloth, balloon, truck covers, uniforms & outerwear.

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 fibres 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 counries). Narrow fabrics are characterised by the edges, which are the essential feature.