Varieties of Woven Fabrics and Their Applications

Woven Fabrics

What Is Woven Fabric?

Woven fabrics are created through a process where two or more sets of yarn or threads interlace at right angles using a loom, which is a specialized machine. Essentially, any textile produced through weaving is referred to as woven fabric.

Weaving is the most common technique used in textile production. It involves intertwining two or more yarns or threads, with one set positioned horizontally (known as the weft yarn) and the other set positioned vertically (known as the warp yarn).

When yarn lacks elasticity, woven fabrics can fray at the edges, but a technique called a selvedge prevents this. It ensures the weft yarn tightly wraps around the warp yarn, boosting fabric durability. Simple weaving is done on a Shuttle Loom, while more intricate patterns are woven on a Jacquard Loom.

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Historical Evolution of Woven Fabrics

The Latin term ‘texere,’ meaning ‘to weave,’ gives rise to the word ‘textile.’ Weaving traces its origins back to the Neolithic period, approximately 9000 – 4000 BC, where it held significant importance among communities, fostering strong family bonds. Some attribute the beginnings of weaving to around 3400 BC with its emergence in Ancient Egypt.

Throughout history, weaving transformed from a household task into a specialized craft demanding considerable expertise. During the Middle Ages, Europe witnessed a flourishing textile and weaving industry, supported by a network of dyers, weavers, spinners, and tailors eager to capitalize on its economic potential.

The introduction of silk production in China and the adoption of the spinning wheel from India into Europe marked notable advancements in the industry. These innovations replaced manual spinning techniques, streamlining the weaving process. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a wave of machinery, bleaching agents, and dyes, driving the textile industry to unprecedented levels of growth and advancement.

Types Of Woven Fabrics

Fibers and yarns utilized in weaving extend beyond silk and cotton, encompassing blends and synthetic materials formed by spinning chemicals and petroleum derivatives into fibers or threads.

Woven fabrics vary in width and elasticity, tailored to their intended applications. These diverse production methods imbue each fabric with distinctive qualities, facilitating the selection of the most appropriate one for a particular purpose. Below are some frequently encountered types of woven fabrics.

Drill Fabric

Drill, a highly preferred twill weave warp-faced fabric, is available in the market in white or solid colors. Despite being lightweight, it boasts exceptional durability, making it suitable for various garments such as shirts, pants, safari wear, jackets, blouses, uniforms, and specific types of sportswear.


Denim stands out as another widely embraced fabric type. Essentially, it’s a woven cotton twill fabric crafted from materials like cotton warp yarn and white cotton filling yarn. Known for its distinctive texture, strength, durability, and comfort, denim is primarily dyed with indigo to produce classic blue jeans. However, it also finds applications in jackets and dresses.

Leno fabric

This fabric creates an airy texture by strategically crossing certain thread ends or doup threads. In this fabric type, two threads or ends work together as one; as a weft thread passes between them, the doup ends twist, firmly anchoring the weft in place. This weaving technique allows for the creation of intricate and visually captivating fabrics by combining cross-weaving with other weaving methods.

Flannel fabric

It’s a woolen fabric woven in either a plain or twill weave, renowned for its soft touch. Through the milling process, it can appear somewhat bulky. Flannel fabric is frequently employed in crafting suits, pants, and clothing for infants, among various other items.


This fabric is known for its sheer, lightweight quality and plain weave, created from twisted yarn, giving it a subtle roughness. Chiffon fabric typically made from silk, nylon, polyester, or rayon yarns. Notably, it’s easy to dye and is commonly used in scarves, blouses, dresses, including wedding gowns, prom dresses, and unstitched chiffon dresses, thanks to its airy, flowing texture.


It’s a medium-weight cotton fabric characterized by closely packed thick warp yarns. Primarily used for curtains, table linen, and upholstery, it’s rarely utilized in clothing.


The fabric is known for its sheer, lightweight quality and simple plain weave. Its rough texture comes from the hard twisted ply of yarns in both the warp and weft. Although initially crafted from silk, it’s now also made from fibers like rayon and polyester. Mainly found in women’s evening wear, it continues to be a favored option for such attire.

Crepe fabric

This fabric stands out with its twisted plain weave and textured surface, giving it a rugged, bumpy look that resists wrinkles. Crafted from cotton, silk, wool, or synthetic fibers, it’s known for its versatility. Depending on its composition, it’s often labeled by its fiber type, like crepe silk or crepe chiffon.

Crepe serves various purposes in both suit and dressmaking, prized for its softness, comfort, and ease of handling. Georgette, a specific type of crepe, is a staple in designer fashion. Beyond apparel, crepe fabric finds its way into a range of products including blouses, pants, scarves, shirts, and skirts.

Lawn fabric

This fabric is highly appreciated for its versatility. It boasts a medium crispness, achieved through a higher thread count during manufacturing, while still maintaining a fine finish and a hint of sheerness. Perfect for summer shirts, tops, and loose-fit trousers, it effortlessly combines comfort with style.

Wool fabric

This natural fiber originates from the fleece of sheep, goats, llamas, or alpacas and is adaptable for both knitting and weaving. Wool is celebrated for its hairy texture, which may cause occasional itchiness, yet it provides remarkable warmth, durability, and longevity. Moreover, it boasts wrinkle resistance and resilience against dust, wear, and tear. However, its maintenance demands, such as hand-washing or dry-cleaning, contribute to its relatively higher cost. Nonetheless, wool remains a popular choice for crafting sweaters, socks, and gloves.


This man-made synthetic fiber and fabric are derived from petrochemicals. Renowned for its strength, durability, and resistance to wrinkles and stains, it’s widely utilized in various applications. However, it lacks breathability and isn’t efficient at absorbing liquids. Nevertheless, it’s engineered to wick moisture away from the body. Its primary applications encompass T-shirts, trousers, skirts, and sportswear.


This fabric embodies elegance and delicacy, primarily crafted from looped, twisted, or knitted yarn or thread. While lace historically originated from silk and linen, contemporary variations incorporate cotton thread, wool, or synthetic fibers. Lace typically consists of two essential elements: the intricate design and the ground fabric that offers structural support. Considered a luxury textile, lace production requires considerable time and expertise to achieve its intricate open-weave design and elaborate patterns.


The next fabric type to consider is the luxuriously soft velvet, which has long been associated with royalty because of its opulent finish and complex production process. Velvet is recognized for its dense, shiny woven warp pile, resulting in a smooth pile effect on one side. The quality of velvet depends on factors such as the density of the pile tufts and how they are attached to the base fabric.

Silk fabric

This fabric is celebrated as the epitome of luxury and opulence in the natural materials realm, boasting a soft and refined texture coupled with a dazzling sheen. Silk originates from the cocoons of silkworms, predominantly found in regions like China, South Asia, and Europe. Recognized for its hypoallergenic qualities and remarkable resilience, silk stands as one of the strongest natural fabrics available. However, due to its delicate nature, cleaning silk poses a challenge, as certain fabric weaves may contract or distort during washing. Consequently, it is advisable to handle silk with the utmost care, opting for gentle hand washing or professional dry cleaning to preserve its immaculate condition.

Nylon fabric

This synthetic fiber is composed of a variety of polymers and is celebrated for its strength, flexibility, and resilience. Its robustness makes it ideal for outerwear such as jackets and parkas, where it can endure the rigors of daily use.


This woven fabric is an exceptional choice for upholstery textiles. Its distinctive weaving technique involves rearranging threads to create a diagonal pattern within the fabric. This method of manufacturing twill woven fabric produces a more durable material ideal for upholstery applications. Twill weave is especially suitable for curtains, as its slub qualities enhance textural interest, while concentrated yarns ensure a uniform, structured drape.


Satin isn’t actually made from fibers; instead, it’s one of the three main types of textile weaves, created when each strand is tightly woven. While it was originally crafted from silk, modern satin is made from fibers like polyester, wool, and cotton. Known for its luxurious sheen and elegant appearance, satin features a smooth, glossy texture on one side and a matte finish on the other. Its sleek surface and lightweight feel make it a popular choice for a variety of products, including evening gowns, wedding dresses, lingerie, corsets, blouses, skirts, coats, outerwear, and even footwear.


This fabric’s distinctive chevron pattern makes it easily recognizable. This unique feature adds to the visual appeal of the textile, making it an eye-catching option for any room. Herringbone weave fabric is commonly made with wool yarns, giving it a cozy and popular choice for upholstery.

Buckram Fabric

It’s a lightweight, loosely woven fabric coated with stiffeners and infused with adhesives and fillers. Buckram fabric acts as interfacing, offering support and maintaining the shape of garment elements like necklines, collars, belts, cuffs, waistbands, and button closures. It’s also commonly used to reinforce handbags and other items.


It’s a lightweight, open fabric woven in a plain weave style, available in grey, bleached, or dyed variations. Primarily used in household textiles and dressmaking, this fabric is known for its lightness and openness, making it perfect for summer dresses and various utility purposes. Historically, it wasn’t always plain; silk and gold threads were also woven into it. However, with advancements in yarn spinning technology, cotton became more prevalent due to its ability to produce finer yarns.

Sheeting fabric

These fabrics are mainly used for bed coverings. They’re typically medium-weight textiles, tightly woven in either plain or twill weave. Sheet fabrics come in different widths. High-quality cotton sheets are made in plain weave, with dimensions of 64″ x 58″, and in twill weave, measuring 60″ x 72″.


It’s thick, durable, ribbed, and cozy, with the unique ability to strike a balance between sophistication and comfort. Corduroy, frequently crafted from cotton or a cotton blend, is celebrated for its snugness. Sometimes called corded velveteen, it’s primarily employed in making trousers. With its resemblance to a cut pile fabric, corduroy exhibits visible fibers in rib-like patterns on its surface. Offered in a range of solid colors, it enjoys widespread popularity in the creation of pants, jeans, and shirts.

Cambric Fabric

It’s a lightweight fabric woven in a plain weave and finished with a stiff texture. Mainly utilized in women’s and children’s dresses to create a crisp look.


This fabric flaunts a smooth, crisp texture with fine ribbing and a transparent quality. While it was traditionally made from silk fibers, nowadays, it’s also manufactured using rayon. Renowned for its characteristic finish that adds crispness, it’s a popular choice for women’s evening wear.


It’s a tightly woven, clear-finished warp-faced twill fabric with more warp yarns than weft yarns, making it exceptionally durable. Usually woven in 2/1 or 2/2 twill patterns, it exhibits a raised diagonal twill effect on the right side. This fabric is frequently used in crafting raincoats, suits, and sportswear.


Materials spun or woven by hand are commonly known as khadi fabric. These textiles are primarily composed of cotton fibers or blends of various fibers. Khadi fabric is cherished for its durability and straightforwardness. It finds widespread use in crafting suiting materials, dhotis, overalls, and household textiles.

Varieties of Woven Fabrics and Their Applications
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