Basic Weaves

The great variety of weaves found in the textiles of to-day are modifications of a few fundamental weaves invented in the earliest times.
The chief fundamental weaves are:

(1) Plain weave.
(2) Twills.
(3) Sateen.

To which may be added the derivatives—
(4) Rib weave.
(5) Basket weave.



These do not include the many fancy weaves, too numerous to classify, and the open work weaves, made in the Leno loom, in which some of the threads are crossed. Knit goods are made by the interloping of a single thread, by hand or on circular knitting machines and lace by an analogous process, using several systems of threads. Felt is made up of matted fibers of fur and wool and has no thread structure.



  • Plain Weave

The plain weave is the most common, nearly all light weight goods being thus woven. In plain weaving, each thread of both warp and filling passes alternately over and under the threads at right angles. This makes a comparatively open cloth, requiring the smallest amount of yarn for the surface covered. This weave is used in nearly all cotton goods, as in muslins, sheetings, calicoes, ginghams, and thin woolen goods. Even in the plain weave variety is obtained by having some of the threads larger than others, either in warp or filling or both, thus producing stripes and checked effects.


a—Plain weave; b—Prunella twill; c—Cassimere twill; d—Swansdown twill.

  • Twills

After the plain weave the twill is the most common, being much used for dress goods, suitings, etc., as well as some of the thicker cottons. In this weave the intersections of the threads produce characteristic lines diagonally across the fabric, most often at an angle of 45°. The twill may be hardly visible or very pronounced. The simplest twills are the so-called “doeskin” and “prunella.” In the doeskin the filling threads pass over one and under two of the warp threads and in the prunella twill over two and under one. The most common twill is the cassimere twill in which both the warp and filling run over two and under two of the threads at right angles.



  • Uneven Twills

A twill made by running both warp and filling under one and over three threads is called a swansdown twill and the reverse is known as the crow weave. In these the diagonal twilled effect is much more marked. Various twills are often combined with each other and with plain weave, making a great variety of texture. Numerous uneven twills are made, two over and three under, etc.

  • Sateen Weave

In the sateen weave, nearly all of either the warp or the filling threads are on the surface, the object being to produce a smooth surface fabric like sateen. With this weave it is possible to use a cotton warp and silk filling, having most of the silk appear on the surface of the fabric.


A—On cross-section paper; B—Graphic diagram.

  • Rib and Basket Weaves

The rib and basket weaves are derivatives of the plain weave, two or more threads replacing the single strand. In the rib weave, either the warp or the filling threads run double or more, thus making a corded effect. In the basket weave, both warp and filling are run double or treble, giving a coarse texture. This weave is sometimes called the panama weave.

  • Double Cloth

In the thicker fabrics like men’s suitings and overcoatings, there may be a double series of warp threads, only one series appearing on the face of the goods, and in the still thicker fabrics, there may be a double set of both warp and filling threads, making double cloth, the two sides of which may be entirely different in color and design.

  • Velvet

In weaving plush, velvet and velveteen, loops are made in the filling or warp threads which are afterwards cut, producing the pile.


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