Different Types of Fabric Weave Structure

Basic Weave Structure:
The fabric weave or design is the manner in which the warp and weft are interlaced. The pattern or repeat is the smallest unit of the weave which when repeated will produce the design required in the fabric. Weave is the interlacing pattern warp and weft yarns, in order to produce a woven fabric. Weave structure is the design by which fabric is produced. Fabrics are manufactured in wide varieties and design. The great varieties of weaves found in the textiles of today are modifications of a few fundamental weaves invented in the earliest times. The basic weave structure are plain, twill, and satin. All the others are derivatives of these basic weaves or their combination. In this article I will discuss about different types of basic weave structure and their names.

Fabric Weave Structure
Fig-1: Different types of fabric weave structure

Different Types of Fabric Weaves and Their Names:

  1. Plain Weave
  2. Twill Weave
  3. Satin/Sateen
  4. Honeycomb Weave
  5. Huck a Back Weave
  6. Crepe Weave
  7. Bedford Cord Weave
  8. Welts and Pique
  9. Mock Leno Weave

All types of basic weave structure are described briefly.

Plain Weave:
In a plain weave, each warp yarn passes over alternate weft yarns. Neighbouring warp yarns pass over the adjacent weft yarns. Plain is the simplest and commonly used weave, in which warp and weft threads interlace in alternate manner (as shown in Figure-2), giving maximum number of inter­lacements. This maximum interlacement imparts firmness and stability to the structure. In trade, the special names like broadcloth, taffeta, shantung, poplin, calico, tabby, and alpaca are applied to plain weave. At least two ends and two picks are required to weave its basic unit. A minimum of two heald frames are required for this weave, but more than two (multiple of basic weave) heald frames can be used to weave this construction. In this type of weave, the warp and filling yarns cross alternately. It is used in cambric, muslin, blanket, canvas, dhothi, saree, shirting, suiting, etc.

Plain Weave structure
Figure-2: Plain weave structure

Plain weaves are basically three types. They are:

  1. Warp Rib
  2. Weft Rib
  3. Matt Weave

Warp rib:
Warp ribs are a modified form of plain weave. It has 1/1 interlacements in the filling direction, which differs from the simple plain weaves. This modified interlacement results in the formation of cords, ridges, or texture across the warp direction of the fabric. These cords or ridges are formed due to the group­ing of the filling yarns. The repeat of warp rib is always on two warp yarns. The first warp yarn follows the formula, while the second warp yarn is in the oppo­site direction of the first one. It requires two heald frames at least, but multiple of these can also be employed. The number of weft yarns in a repeat unit of this weave is equal to the sum of the digits in formula of warp rib. For example, 2/2 warp rib requires 2 warp yarns and 4 weft yarns. Design of the above-stated warp rib is shown in Figure-3. Warp rib is also known as ottoman.

Warp rib
Figure-3: Warp rib (2/2).

Warp rib are two types:

  1. Regular Warp Rib
  2. Irregular Warp Rib

Weft rib:
Weft ribs are another modified form of plain weaves. It has 1/1 interlace­ments in the warp direction, which differs from the simple plain weaves. This modified interlacement results in the formation of cords, ridges, or tex­ture across the weft direction of the fabric. These cords or ridges are formed due to the grouping of the warp yarns. The repeat of weft rib is always on two weft yarns. The first weft yarn follows the formula, while the second weft yarn is in the opposite direction of the first one. It requires two heald frames at least, but multiple of these can also be employed. The number of warp yarns in a repeat unit of this weave is equal to the sum of the digits in formula of warp rib. For example, 2/2 weft rib requires 2 weft yarns and 4 warp yarns. Design of the above-stated warp rib is shown in Figure-4. Weft rib is also known as half panama.

weft rib
Figure-4: Weft rib (2/2).

Weft ribs are two types:

  1. Regular Weft Rib
  2. Irregular Weft Rib

Matt weave:
This type of weave is constructed by extending the plain weave in warp and weft directions at the same time so that two or more threads work alike in both directions. In this weave, the same size of squares appear on both sides of the fabric showing the same number of warp and weft yarns on front and back of the fabric. Matt weave is also commercially known as basket, hop­sack, or full panama. This weave requires a minimum of two heald frames. Design of the 2/2 matt weave is shown in Figure-5. The matt weaves can be extended further to give more prominence but restricted due to loose struc­ture and modified in several ways. In matt weave, the warp ends that work alike tends to twist around each other. To avoid this twisting of the yarns, warp ends that work alike are drawn from different slits of the reed.

Matt weave
Figure-5: Matt weave (2/2).

Matt weave are three types:

  1. Regular Matt Weave
  2. Irregular Matt Weave
  3. Fancy Matt Weave

Basket Weaves
Basket weaves are produced by combining warp and filling ribs. In basket weaves, warp and filling yarns are grouped and they interlace together. Fig-6 shows a 2/2 basket weave. The number of warp and filling yarns in the unit cell is equal to the sum of the digits in the formula. The basket weaves require a minimum of two harnesses. Basket weaves can be classified as common formula or uncommon formula. In a common formula basket weave, the first warp yarn and the first filling yarn follow the same formula. In an uncommon formula basket weave, the first warp and the first filling follow different formulae.

2/2 Basket weave
Fig-6: 2/2 Basket weave

Other plain weaves:

  1. Wicker weave
  2. Chiffon
  3. Georgette
  4. Shantung
  5. Seersucker
  6. Regular basket weave
  7. Irregular basket weave
  8. Monks cloth
  9. Oxford

Twill Weave:
Twill weave is another basic weave which is well known for its diagonal line formation in the fabric due to its interlacing pattern. This weave and its derivatives are used for the ornamental purposes. Twill has closer setting of yarns due to less interlacement imparting greater weight and good drape as compared to the plain weave. In simple twill, the outward and upward movement of the interlacing pattern is always one that imparts a diagonal line to this design. The direction of the propagation of twill line classifies twill into right-hand or left-hand twill. Twill weaves are more closely woven, heavier and stronger than weaves of comparable fiber and yarn size. They can be produced in fancy designs. Twill weaves find a wide range of application such as drill cloth, khakhi uniforms, denim cloth, blankets, shirtings, hangings and soft furnishings.

Twill Weave
Figure-7: Twill weave

There are various types of twill weave:

  1. Zigzag weave
  2. Warp faced twill
  3. Weft faced twill
  4. Balanced twill
  5. Pointed Twill
  6. Horizontal Pointed Twill
  7. Vertical Pointed Twill
  8. Herringbone Twill
  9. Horizontal Herringbone Twill
  10. Vertical Herringbone Twill
  11. Skip Twill
  12. Diamond Weave
  13. Pointed Twill Base Diamond
  14. Herringbone Twill Base Diamond
  15. Combination Twill
  16. Combined Twill
  17. Broken Twill
  18. Elongated Twill
  19. Transposed Twill

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Common derivatives of twill weave are described as follows:

  • Zigzag weave – If the direction of the diagonal in a twill fabric is reversed periodically across the width, a zigzag effect is produced. Zigzag weave is achieved by simply combining two S and Z twill weaves of equal repeat.
  • Diamond weave – Diamond weaves are achieved by combining two symmetrical zigzag weaves of equal repeat. Diamond designs are vertically and horizontally symmetrical.
  • Herringbone weave – In Herringbone weave also the twill direction is reversed periodically like zigzag weave but at the point of reversal the order of interlacement is also reversed and then twill line commence as usual.
  • Diaper weave – Diaper weaves are produced when we combine two Herringbone designs. Diaper designs are diagonally symmetrical.

Satin/sateen is a basic weave that does not have any regular pattern like twill. The sateen weave is characterized by floating yarns used to produce a high lustre on one side of a fabric. The surface of the fabric is either warp or weft faced. The fabrics produced in satin weave are more lustrous as compared to corresponding weaves. Satin is warp faced, which means that all the surface of the fabric will show the warp threads except for the one thread interlacement with other series of yarn. If it is weft faced, then it will be known as sateen, which means that fabric surface will show the weft threads mostly. The unique in this weave is the single inter­lacement of warp thread and weft thread in a single repeating unit. These weaves have the least interlacement points among the basic weaves. Due to this reason, it gives the surface of fabric more luster and smoothness. Along with these properties, more close packing of the threads is possible, which gives the maximum achievable cover factor in this weave. 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. Used for ribbons, trimmings, dresses, linings, etc. and originally was an all silk fabric with a fine rich glossy surface formed in a warp satin weave.

satin weave
Figure-8: Satin weave

Honey Comb Weave:
This name is given to this weave due to its honey bee web-like structure. It makes ridges and hollow structures which finally give a cell-like appear­ance. In this weave, both warp and weft threads move freely on both sides, which coupled with rough structure. Name of weave used in towelling and occasionally for cotton or wool suiting. The fabric made by this weave has longer float all over the fabric. Due to this reason, it is radially absorbent of moisture. This property made these weaves useful for towels, bed covers, and quilts. This weave is further divided into three types which are explained below. Most commonly, these weaves are constructed on repeats which are multiple of four in ends and picks.

Honeycomb weave
Figure-9: Honeycomb weave

Honey comb weave are three types:

  1. Single-Ridge Honey Comb
  2. Double-Ridge Honey Comb
  3. Brighton Honey Comb

Huck a Back Weave:
This weave is largely used for cotton towel and linen cloth. A heavy, serviceable towelling made with slackly twisted filling yarns to aid absorption. It has longer floats in two quadrants, which make them more moisture absorbent so employed in towels. This weave is combination of longer floats of symmetric weaves in two quadrants and plain weaves in the remaining two quadrants. Plain weave gives firmness to the structure, while longer float weave increases the absor­bency of fabric, making it suitable for the above-stated purpose. Special draft is employed for this weave. The draft is arranged in such a way that odd ends are drawn in two front heald frames and the even threads are drawn from back two heald frames. The purpose of this special draft is to weave plain fabric without redrawing of beam. For this purpose, heald frame one and two are coupled together, and heald frames three and four are coupled together. Sometimes, longer float symmetric weaves are used in combination of plain weaves in huck a back weave, which is also termed as honey comb huck a back weaves. Examples of this weave are shown in Figure-10.

Huck a back weave
Figure-10: Huck a back weave

Waffle weave:
Waffle weaves are used for dishtowels. Waffle weave isn’t a separate structure in its own, rather it’s all in the treadling.

Here is the draft of a typical waffle weave:
The threading here is the traditional point twill. Waffle weave are not only on point twill threading’s, but also on Rose path and broken twill threading, as well as Huck, Monk’s Belt, and Overshot. The tie-up involves tying two treadles for plain weave, and tying the rest to lift (or sink) three shafts or one. This creates the floats, which can be seen in the close up view of fabric. The treadling is tromp as writ, which simply means treadling in the same pattern as the threading draft, that means treadling one through four and reverse. A combination of warp and weft floats create the “waffles.”

Waffle weave
Fig-11: Waffle weave

Crepe Weave:
Crepe weave refers to those weaves that do not have any specific pattern. These weaves may contain a little bit appearance of twills, but they do not have the prominence. They make small patterns or minute spots and seed-like appearance all over the fabric surface. Crepe effect is brought by using hard twisted yarns or by using the right and left hand twist of warp or filling yarns. These weaves may be used separately or in combination with other weaves. Crepe weaves are frequently employed in making the ground of the figured fabrics. In simple words, crepe weave is used to make a rough appearance. If we make crepe weaves with crepe yarns, this combination will give more remarkably pebbly or puckered appearance. Uses of crepes are seen in kimonos, smocks, women’s and children’s dresses, curtains, needlework. Crepe weaves can be drawn in several ways, but the most common methods are given below.

  • Sateen Method
  • 1/4 Turn Method
  • Reversing Method
  • Super Imposed Method
  • Plain Method
Crepe weaves
Figure-12: Crepe (sateen based), 7 end.

Bedford Cord Weave:
This is a special class of weave that forms longitudinal warp lines in fabric with fine sunken lines in between. This fabric is used in suiting for orna­mental purposes. The method to construct this weave is simple. The repeat of the weave is calculated by multiplying the cord ends by two. The resultant value will be the total number of ends of the weave repeat. The pick repeat is four for this weave. The weave repeat (warp ends) is divided into two halves to construct it. The first and last ends of both the halves are treated as cutting ends. Plain weave is inserted on these cutting ends. These plain ends behave as sunken ends in the Bedford cord.

Bedford cord weave
Figure-13: Bedford cord weave, 10 threads cord with 2 waded ends

Welts and Pique:
A pique weave consists of plain face fabric which is composed of a series of warp and weft threads along with a series of stitching threads. This weave is unique due to the formation of horizontal lines (weft wise). This weave requires two beams, one for the plain weave threads and the other for stitching ends. The word “welt” is concerned to the pique construction, when the indenta­tions make deep or hollow (sunken) lines appear in the cloth.

Welts and pique weave
Figure-14: Welts and pique weave

Mock Leno Weave:
A leno weave is a locking type weave in which two or more warp yarns cross over each other and interlace with one or more filling yarns. It is used primarily to prevent shifting of yarns in open fabrics.

Mock leno weave is much similar to a gauze-type fabric. The weave is constructed in four quadrants. The first and third quadrants have symmetric weave, and the second and fourth quadrants have opposite weave to the symmetric weave. The perforated fabrics are made by this type of weave. This effect is achieved by reversing the symmetric unit of the weave in the alternate quadrants. So, these weaves are produced in sections that oppose each other. The fabric appearance can be improved or obscured by the system of denting that is employed in this weave. The tendency of threads to run together is counteracted if the last end of one group is passed through the same split as the first end of the next group. The design of mock leno weave is shown in Figure-15.

Mock leno weave
Figure-15: Mock leno weave


  1. Structural Textile Design: Interlacing and Interlooping by Yasir Nawab, Syed Talha Ali Hamdani, & Khubab Shaker
  2. Handbook on Fabric Manufacturing: Grey Fabrics: Preparation, Weaving to Marketing by B. Purushothama
  3. Handbook of Weaving by Sabit Adanur
  4. Textile Engineering – An Introduction Edited by Yasir Nawab
  5. https://www.textileblog.com/features-derivatives-of-twill-weave/
  6. https://www.slideshare.net

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