Decorative Methods for Fabric Construction

Last Updated on 26/12/2020


Aditi Dhama
Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida, Delhi, India


Crochet is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. The name is taken from the French word “crochet”, meaning small hook.

These are made of materials such as metal, wood, or plastic and are manufactured commercially and produced in artisan workshops. The salient difference between crochet and knitting, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before proceeding with the next one, while knitting keeps a large number of stitches open at a time.

Fig: Crochet


  • Basic materials required for crochet are a hook and some type of material that will be crocheted, most commonly yarn or thread.
  • Additional tools are convenient for keeping stitches counted, measuring crocheted fabric, or making related accessories.
  • Examples include cardboard cutouts, which can be used to make tassels, fringe, and many other items; a pom-pom circle, used to make pom-poms; a tape measure and a gauge measure, both used for measuring crocheted work and counting stitches.

The crochet hook comes in many sizes and materials, such as bone, bamboo, aluminum, plastic, and steel. Because sizing is categorized by the diameter of the hook’s shaft, a crafter aims to create stitches of a certain size in order to reach a particular gauge specified in a given pattern.

Aluminum hook
Fig: Aluminum hook


  • Yarn for crochet is usually sold as balls or skeins (hanks), although it may also be wound on spools or cones.
  • The thickness or weight of the yarn is a significant factor in determining the gauge, i.e., how many stitches & rows are required to cover a given area for a stitch pattern.
  • Thicker yarns require large-diameter crochet hooks, whereas thinner yarns may be crocheted with thick or thin hooks.
Yarn for crochet
Fig: Yarn for crochet

Macrame uses the techniques of looping and knotting yarns. The decorative qualities of macrame are determined by the selection and use of a variety of ornamental knots. Macrame is a form of textile making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. In macrame the closed or knotted areas are emphasized.

Fig: Macrame

Materials used in macrame include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather or yarn. Cords are identified by construction, such as 3-ply cord, made of 3 lengths of fibre twisted together.

Materials used in macrame
Fig: Cotton and Hemp yarn used in macrame

Netting is an open-mesh form of fabric construction that is held together by knots or fused thermoplastic yarns at each point where the yarns cross one another. There are several types of mesh; they are square, hexagonal, and octagonal. They range of mesh sizes are from coarse and open to fine and shear. Netting may be made of any kind of fibre and may be given a soft or stiff sizing.


  • Hand-made netting: hand made or machine-made net is used as the foundation fabric for many kinds of needlework. Most commonly wedding and prom dresses. It is also used for many costumes including fairy outfits.
  • Knot less netting: Weaving patterns, opposed to knitting patterns, are more often used for knot less netting. Each strand when used for knot less netting weave can sometimes be coated before being woven to ensure more durability.


  • Braiding is a simple form of narrow fabric construction. This began as a handicraft for the construction of decorative fabrics. A braid is a rope like thing, which is made by interweaving three or more strands, strips, or lengths, in a diagonally crisscrossing overlapping pattern.
  • Braid for fabric use is formed on a braiding machine by interlacing three or more strands of yarn so that each strand passes over and under one or more of the others.
Four string braided strap
Fig: Braiding formation

Primarily there are two kinds of braids.

  • Flat braiding‐mechanism: Flat braids are made in the form of flat strips or narrow flat tapes.
  • Circular braiding‐mechanism: Circular (tubular or round) braids are formed hollow or around a center core of some material. They are used for various industrial applications.
Circular braiding
Fig: Circular braiding‐mechanism

Laces are made with a needle to form a loop each one of which is finished with a fine stitch. it is also popular decorative method for fabric construction. The techniques of lace making involve Looping, knotting, braiding, twisting or stitching thread in to decorative open work pattern.

Lace making
Fig: Lace making


  • Bride-It is the fine yarn that forms the mesh which provides the sheer ground between the prominent parts of the pattern.
  • Cordon Net –It is the heavy yarn that outlines the pattern.
  • Picot-It is a decorative loop used both in the pattern and edge of the lace.
  • Toile –It represent the predominant part of the pattern made by braiding, knotting, looping or twisting the yarn.
Fig: Various parts of lace


  1. Needle lace– It is made by using a needle and thread. This is the most flexible of the lace-making arts.
  2. Cut work– It is lace constructed by removing threads from a woven background, and the remaining threads wrapped or filled with embroidery.
  3. Bobbin lace– It is made with bobbins and a pillow. The pillow contains straw, preferably oat straw or other materials such as sawdust, insulation Styrofoam, or ethafoam. Also known as Bone-lace. Chantilly lace is a type of bobbin lace.
  4. Knotted lace– Tatted lace is made with a shuttle or a tatting needle.
  5. Knitted lace– It includes Shetland lace, such as the “wedding ring shawl”, a lace shawl so fine that it can be pulled through a wedding ring.

You may also like: Lace Fabric | Parts of Lace | Types of Lace | Uses of Laces

One of the most important element in fashion is Embroidery. To make the materials beautiful embroidery is added. It is one of the most used decorative method for fabric construction.


  1. Free embroidery
  2. Surface embroidery
  3. Counted thread embroidery
  4. Kinari embroidery
  5. Gota embroidery
  6. Phulkari embroidery
Fig: Different type of embroidery

Quilting is a sewing done either by hand, by sewing machine. The process of quilting uses a needle and thread to join two or more layers of material together to make a quilt.

Typical quilting is done with three layers:

  • The top fabric or quilt top
  • Batting or insulating material
  • Backing material

The quilter’s hand or sewing machine passes the needle and thread through all layers and then brings the needle back up. Quilting is done on bed spreads, art quilt wall hangings, clothing and a variety of textile products.

Fig: Quilting


1. Pieced Quilt
There are so many types of quilts; one of the most basic is a “pieced quilt”. The simplest definition of a pieced quilt is any quilt made up of different fabrics sewn together. A pieced quilt is also commonly referred to as a Patchwork Quilt – due to the patchwork like effect the different fabrics give the quilt.

Pieced quilt
Fig: Pieced quilt

It can be any type of block and virtually any construction technique: Half Square Triangles, Tumblers, Strips.

2. Appliquéd Quilts
Appliqué is the process of placing shapes onto a background and then sewing them to the background with one of a various number of hand or machine techniques. The quilts can be anything from a Bed Quilt to a table runner. It gives total freedom of creating any type of shape by simply drawing it.

Appliquéd Quilts
Fig: Appliquéd Quilts

3. Paper Piecing
Paper Piecing, also known as Foundation Piecing. Paper Piecing is a quilting technique in which a final product is achieved by stitching fabric onto a paper foundation. The paper patterns have lines and usually numbers to follow that guides the construction of the block or quilt from beginning to end, making it a little bit like color-by-number.

Paper Piecing
Fig: Paper Piecing

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