woven fabrics

A Beginners Guide to Woven Fabrics

Finding the right woven fabrics for your occasions or a project is not an easy task.

Depending on the type of person, climate, geography, color, personal tastes, etc., there can be an ‘n’ number of choices to select from.

So it might be a good idea to know a little bit about fabrics. In this scenario, woven fabrics.

What are woven fabrics?

Woven fabrics are fabrics that are made by a process called weaving.

As you can see in the picture below, a person is weaving a piece of fabric.

A man weaving on a loom

The machine which the person is using to weave is called a loom.

They have existed among humans since the 5th millennium BC. (Yes, we have been weaving for a while now)

Two distinct sets of yarns are interlaced at a right angle to form a fabric.

This process is called the weaving process.

Here, we have to be familiar with two words.

Warp – which is the longitudinal thread and weft – which is the lateral thread.

Before we go into various woven fabrics, let’s quickly become familiar with the types of weaving.

Plain weave:

Plain weave diagram

Plain weave is the most common and basic of all three fundamental types of textile weaves.

Also known as Tabby weave, Linen weave, or Taffeta weave.

The structure is as below, mentioned in the figure.

Basket weave:

Basket weave

Also known as Panama weave or mat, groups of warp and weft threads are interlaced in a manner mentioned in the below image.

It can be identified by its checkered appearance, made of two or more threads in each group.

Ribbed weave:


Ribbed weave diagram

Is a variation of plain weave, where rib weave uses one heavy-weight yarn.

This is used in either weft or warp which results in a fabric that has horizontal or vertical raised ribs.

Twill weave:

Twill weave diagram

Is the second basic weave which produces a diagonal line on the face of the fabric.

The regular twill design produces a 45-degree angle with the horizontal.

It is used extensively in manufacturing cloth for garments, household cloths, and industrial cloth.

Broken twill weave:

Broken twill weave diagram

Is when the diagonal weave of the twill is intentionally reversed at every two warp ends to form a random design as shown in the diagram below.

Wrangler introduced broken twill in their 13MWZ model, when looked closely, it has a zig-zag-like pattern.

Satin weave:

Satin weave diagram

Is the third basic weave where the weft yarns are predominant on the cloth.

It has a face and a back that looks significantly different from each other.

Satin weaved fabrics are generally strong because a high number of yarns are used.

They are commonly used in clothing and apparel like couture wear, wedding dresses, and drapery linings.

Now let’s look at all the types of woven fabrics available in the market now:

  1. Antique taffeta- a mixture of polyester and silk
  2. Barkcloth– A fabric that looks like a tree bark
  3. Batiste- lightweight plain weave linen named for the famous French weaver Jean Batiste.
  4. Bedford cord- is often made with cotton yarns and used in bottom weight garments. Durable and often used for pants.
  5. Bengaline– is a rayon and cotton material that became fashionable for women and children to wear in the 1880s and 1890s
  6. Broadcloth- is a medium-weight, unbalanced plain-weave fabric with fine ribs often used to make shirts, skirts, and blouses.
  7. Brocade– is a richly decorative shuttle woven fabric often made with silks with gold and silver threads.
  8. Brocatelle- is a fabric similar to brocade but made of a Jacquard loom often used as drapery and upholstery.
  9. Buckram – is a stiff cotton cloth with a loose weave, often muslin.
  10. Burlap- is a coarse woven fabric made from 100% jute fibers
  11. Butcher cloth- is rayon or rayon/cotton, spun and woven to resemble linen with linen-like slubs.
  12. Calico- is a plain-woven textile, made from half-processed and unbleached cotton fibers
  13. Canvas– is made of cotton, hemp, or any other natural or poly fabric
  14. Casement cloth– a sheer fabric made of a variety of fibers often used for window curtains.
  15. Cavalry twill– is a firm, durable twill weave cloth that can be characterized by pronounced diagonal wales.
  16. Challis– is a lightweight woven fiber that can be made from cotton, silk, wool, or others.
  17. Chambray– is a type of natural fabric made from either linen or cotton.
  18. Charmeuse– is used in women’s clothing, made of silk, polyester, or rayon.
  19. Cheesecloth– is loosely-woven cotton cloth. A great tool for straining.
  20. Cheviot– is originally made from the wool of the Cheviot sheep and now also made from other wools and its blends.
  21. Chiffon- is a weaving process that produces a lightweight, plain weave fabric with a slight shine.
  22. Chino– is a twill fabric originally made from 100% cotton.
  23. Chintz– is a brilliantly colored cotton calico from India.
  24. Corduroy– is strong durable with a rounded cord or wale.
  25. Cotton – is a commonly used fiber that is used to make light breathable textiles.
  26. Covert– is a steeply woven twill cloth made from tightly spun yarn.
  27. Crash– is a linen-based rugged material made from both dyed and raw yarns.
  28. Crepe– is a distinctively crisp and crimped appearance fabric made up of silk, wool, or any other synthetic fiber.
  29. Crepe de chine– is a kind of lightweight cloth similar to silk crepe made with highly twisted yarns.
  30. Crepe-back satin – is a fabric that is reversible, made using a satin weave, and features a satin face and a crepe back.
  31. Cretonne– is a light and soft cotton fabric often used as bed linen, light curtains, etc.
  32. Crinoline– is an open mesh fabric made from 100% cotton, 100% polyester, or 100% nylon
  33. Damask– named after its origin from Damascus, is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers with a pattern formed by weaving.
  34. Denim– is a sturdy cotton warp-faced textile used for jeans in popular cases.
  35. Dimity– is a lightweight cotton wash fabric with cords or ribs running warpwise.
  36. Donegal tweed– is named after its origin country Donegal in Ireland made with small pieces of yarn in different colors.
  37. Dotted swiss– is a lightweight plain weave cotton fiber with small dots.
  38. Drill– is a very strong, dense medium to heavyweight fabric often used in uniforms.
  39. Duck– is a heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.
  40. Duchess satin– is a highly lustrous smooth very finely woven nonstretch satin fabric.
  41. Faille– is a soft and lightweight fabric constructed using a plain weave.
  42. Faille taffeta– is made with crosswise rib as in faille.
  43. Flannel– is a soft & cozy medium weight cotton fabric.
  44. Flannelette– is a cozy and warm cotton fabric that is lightweight and breathable.
  45. Foulard– is a light silk fabric having a soft finish and plain or twill weave.
  46. Frieze– is vintage upholstery fabric.
  47. Gabardine – is a tough, tightly woven fabric commonly used for making suits, windbreakers, etc.
  48. Gauze – is a thin, translucent fabric with a loose open weave. The fabric which the band-aids are made out of.
  49. Georgette– Named after the 20th-century French dressmaker Georgette de la Plante, is lightweight, transparent, and vibrant in colors.
  50. Gingham– is a cotton fabric made with dyed yarn woven using a plain weave to form a checked pattern.
  51. Grosgrain– is a plain weave corded fabric with a heavier cord which results in distinct transverse ribs.
  52. Grospoint– is a stain-resistant and durable 100% wool face textile designed for aircraft interiors.
  53. Habutai– is a traditional Japanese plain weave silk fabric.
  54. Honan– is produced from the wild silkworms of the Honan region in China. It is pongee-type heavy silk with a finer weave.
  55. Hopsacking– is a fabric that is named after the special hopsack weave.
  56. Huck– is a descendant of a linen weave called huckback.
  57. Lawn– is a fine plain weave textile now made mostly out of cotton.
  58. Madras– is a lightweight, handwoven cotton fabric with plaid, striped or checkered patterns made with semi-permanent vegetable dyes.
  59. Marquisette – is a lightweight fabric constructed using a leno weave commonly used in bridal wear.
  60. Matelassé– is a fabric with paddings or cushions.
  61. Melton– is a twill form smooth surface fabric made mostly out of wool
  62. Moire taffeta– is a fabric characterized by its rippled, glossy appearance and smooth silky texture.
  63. Monks cloth– is a coarse fabric with a 4×4 weave made out of cotton or linen
  64. Muslin– is a type of cotton fabric made in various degrees of fineness and often printed, woven, or embroidered in patterns.
  65. Nainsook– is a thin, delicate plain weave cotton popular for lingerie and infant clothing.
  66. Ninon– is a very sheer plain weave fabric made out of silk or manufactured filaments.
  67. Organdy– fabric is the crispiest type of cotton fabric which is made out of combed yarns, which contributes to its appearance.
  68. Organza– is a lightweight sheer plain-woven fabric made out of silk.
  69. Osnaberg– is a strong and durable fabric used for draperies, covers, etc, which got the name from its place of origin, Osnabruck in Germany.
  70. Ottoman– is a heavy fabric with flat crosswise ribs, originally developed in Ottoman, Turkey.
  71. Oxford– is a woven shirt fabric made with pure cotton.
  72. Panne velvet– is a type of crushed velvet where the pile has been flattened, generally made out of polyester.
  73. Paper taffeta– is an extremely thin and lightweight fabric that has a paper-like consistency.
  74. Peau de soie – also known as Paduasoy, is a luxurious strong corded or grosgrain silk textile.
  75. Percale– is a closely woven plain-weave fabric often used for bed covers.
  76. Pique– is a cotton fabric named after the weaving style. It is characterized by raised parallel cords or geometric designs.
  77. Plisse– is a chemically treated cotton fabric that gives a puckered, crepe-like appearance.
  78. Pongee– fabric has a combined advantage of Nylon and Cotton because it is interwoven with cotton wheels and cotton yarns.
  79. Poplin– is a plain weave cotton fabric with very fine horizontal yarns. It is also known as Tabbinet.
  80. Repp– is a heavy-weight fabric made out of a variety of materials including cotton, wool, silk, viscose, synthetic fibers, or various blends.
  81. Sailcloth– is a fabric made out of a variety of materials like hemp, cotton, synthetic fibers, nylon, polyester, etc.
  82. Sateen– is a fabric made using weave structure but made with spun yarns instead of filament.
  83. Satin – is one of the three major textile weaves, along plain weave and twill. This weave creates a fabric that is shiny, soft, and elastic with a beautiful drape.
  84. Scrim– is a very tight textile made from cotton or sometimes flax, which is lightweight and translucent, often used for making curtains
  85. Seersucker– is a common clothing fabric made by weaving threads together, which results in a wrinkled appearance in places.
  86. Serge– is most commonly used for making military uniforms, made out of an even-sided twill weave.
  87. Shantung – is a plain weave silk fabric characterized by a ribbed effect.
  88. Sharkskin– is a woven or warp-knitted fabric that imitates the shark’s skin.
  89. Surah– is a soft and lustrous fabric constructed using a twill weave.
  90. Taffeta– is a fine,  crisp, noisy woven fabric made out of silk or cuprammonium rayon as well as acetate and polyester
  91. Tapestry– is a woven decorative fabric commonly used for any heavy material used to cover furniture, walls, or floors or for the decoration of clothing.
  92. Terry cloth– is a highly water absorbent fabric commonly used for towels, bathrobes, etc.
  93. Ticking– is a tightly woven cotton or linen textile with durability commonly used to cover mattresses
  94. Tissue faille – is a soft, silk-like woven fabric that is 100% polyester and has a fine ribbed and faille appearance.
  95. Tissue taffeta– is a crisp, lightweight taffeta.
  96. Tulle– is a lightweight and very fine, stiff netting fabric made out of various fibers including silk, nylon, polyester, and rayon
  97. Tweed– is a dense and rough woolen fabric that is closely woven perfect for coats, jackets, and skirts
  98. Velvet– is a soft, luxurious fabric that is characterized by a dense pile of evenly cut fibers that have a smooth nap.
  99. Velveteen– is also a soft luxury fabric with dense pile fibers evenly cut. The only difference between velvet and velveteen is that it offers more durability than traditional velvet.
  100. Voile-  is a lightweight, plain-woven fabric usually made from 100% cotton or cotton blend.
  101. Whipcord– is a strong worsted or cotton fabric made of hard twisted yarns with diagonal cords or rib.

I know it is an exhausting list of woven fabrics.

But, familiarising yourself with the names of various woven fabrics will help you in the future, while dealing with them.

There are always inventions happening in this sector, so I may have missed a few.

Comment below those names, I shall update them to this list.

Save this link so that next time when you hear a word and don’t know what it means, you can come back here and check it again.

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