Narrow Fabrics and Its Importance in Fashion Industry

Narrow Fabrics and Its Importance in Fashion Industry

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India


What are Narrow Fabrics?
Narrow fabrics are defined as “any non-elastic woven textile material which have a width of 12 inches or less and consider of a woven selvage on either side.” Generally, they are kind of small strips of fabric, which is usually designed for a specific and practical function. Commonly used items that are also considered as a narrow fabrics are cords, braids, and lanyards. When it comes to the weaving of it, they are particularly woven on special looms, which includes the recently created quad axial loom which make possible for the insertion of yarn from four directions and develop both a thinner as well as stronger materials than that of the traditional layered strips joined with Z fibers were. If you notice to the everyday objects in your life, you will find many of narrow fabrics which are being used, either from the seat belts in your car, to the strap you walk your dog on, even to the strong fabric edging on your mattress.

narrow fabrics

Different Forms of Narrow Fabrics:
There are many forms of narrow fabrics are available, which is explained below:

a) Labels:
Simply, these are small pieces of fabric that are being used in the product to identify the type of products, their owner, maintenance, and other handling related instructions. Majorly, there are two types of labels which are PVC rubber labels, basically used for shoes, hats, and bags, and next type is  leather labels which are majorly being used for jackets and jeans.

b) Braids:
When it comes to braids, it is made from three or more strands interwoven together in the form of a braid, particularly it is a rope-like structure which have a diagonally overlapping pattern.

c) Elastics:
To talk about this, the feature includes that these are soft and slim tape-like materials which is used in the manufacturing of clothing like underwear, sportswear, hand gloves, silicon bras, and so on.

d) Reflective tapes:
Their special feature is that they are basically heat and pressure-sensitive, which are used for brand logos for various products as well as items.

Materials Used to Make Narrow Fabrics:
Various types of materials used to make narrow fabrics are as follows:

1. Cotton: It is the most practical and popularly used medium, cotton is fabricated to create a highly decorative, luxurious and the medley of laces, wicks, tapes, webbings and many more.

2. Polyester: It is the most durable synthetic material which is used to make various kinds of tapes, webbings, straps, etc.

3. Teflon: It is an also well known material used for various kinds of applications such as tapes, industrial applications, etc.

4. Rubber: The specialty of rubber is that the, tapes made from rubber are widely used for different applications.

5. Jute: It is 100% bio-degradable material which is used to webbings.

6. Nylon: It is extremely durable & available in market in various colors & textures; nylon is used to make high quality tapes, straps, etc.

7. Fiber Glass: Nowadays, the wicks which are manufactured from fiberglass are gaining more popularity because of their chemical properties.

8. Beads: Currently, the trims, fringes which are made of shiny beads of various shapes and sizes are gaining popularity.

9. Satin: It is being used in laces, ribbon, tapes and other products which are majorly being used in decorations.

10. Velvet: When it comes to velvet, they give a classic and more attractive effect and are used in the manufacture of ribbons as well as webbings.

Applications of Narrow Fabric:
The narrow fabric has wide range of application in the fashion industry and other industries such as:

a) Safety:
It is used in military goods such as parachutes, packs, cargo, and fire safety gears for fire-fighters.

b) Automotive:
It is being used in the manufacturing of seatbelts and harnesses and even sometimes used as a substrate for manufacturing of surfboats, boats, and other vehicles.

c) Sports:
Used in hiking and backpacking gear manufacturing.

d) Aerospace:
When it comes to aerospace, it is used in wirings that help in electrical power transmission.

e) Garment:
Majorly in the garments for pet collars, bra straps, waistbands, binding tapes, corsets.

f) Medical:
In medical industry, used as non-elastic straps, also as a woven bifurcate that is used to treat aortic abdominal aneurysms, rigid gauze, bandages, and fiberglass bands, etc.

g) Marine:
In marine industry, it is used in boat tops, cushions, curtains.

Importance of Narrow Fabrics:

  1. Initially narrow fabrics were used in the garment and fashion industry on hats, corsets, lingerie, and in military uniforms also. Currently, it is been found that soldiers will also find narrow fabrics in their pack webbing and parachutes, also in their waist belts, helmets, and body armor.
  2. One of the major reasons, why narrow fabric is popular is because it assists in developing structure and shape. It’s majorly been used in different parts of garments like waistbands, cuffs, and collars to provide stability and support. Because of it, the garment holds its shape and fits well.
  3. Even it is found that, the narrow fabric is also used for decorative aspect. It can be either woven or printed with various patterns, colors, and textures to enhance the aesthetic interest to garments. For example, the beautiful trims and ribbons that one can see on dresses or the intricate detailing on lingerie is due to narrow fabric.
  4. Narrow fabrics also tend to provide to manufacture composite fabrics, which is an excellent substrate for the shell of surfboards, boats and many kinds of vehicles. The special feature is the fabric’s ability to mould to any shape, and absorb and hold specialized resins such as polyester, vinyl and epoxy which makes it an excellent structure.
  5. It is also been seen that, the combination of narrow fabrics with the specific filler resin gives a product with a good strength that outperforms any of its raw materials. It is observed that in vehicles, narrow fabrics with carbon fiber can presume virtually any shape and be changed into hard, protective surfaces with a heat and vacuum process.
  6. So, either it’s adding shape, fashion, or making different accessories, narrow fabric is a big achievement in the fashion world. It’s all about making garments which look superb and feel even better.

As currently, it has been observed that the textile industry is quickly evolving, and is a right place of motivation and innovations. With the evolving in technology, the customer expectations regarding the products are rising all the time. As per the facts, it is analyzed that the narrow fabrics are commercially successful in textile and fashion sector. In this world, textile and fashion industry has been rising for ages, and innovation needs to be improved, in the right perspective, to satisfy the needs of the competent industry.


  1. By brianm, What Are Narrow Fabrics?
  2. Narrow Fabrics – All that you need to know for your fashion manufacturing
  3. What Can A Thin Strip Of Fabric Do? Applications Of Narrow Fabrics
  4. Narrow Fabrics – tapes, braids, and webbings

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