What is Fabric and Fabric Construction

Last Updated on 12/08/2022

What is Fabric?
A fabric is a pliable plain like structure made of yarns or fibers that can be made into garment and household textiles and for industrial uses in which some shaping is needed. The term “fabric” can be defined as a planner structure produced by interlaced / interlooped yarns or fibers and felts made by interlocking fibers. It is a manufactured assembly of fibers and/or yarns that has substantial surface area in relation to its thickness and sufficient mechanical strength to give the assembly inherent cohesion. Textile fabrics are intrinsically strong while being flexible, permeable, moldable, and drapeable.

Textile fabrics are primarily produced from fibers, which are long-chain polymers. A textile fiber, the basic building block of a fabric, is anisotropic in nature, and its properties along its length direction decisively affect properties of the intermediate (fibrous mat, yarn) as well as of the final product (fabric). Many fabric construction systems—such as weaving, knitting, braiding, and netting—require the linear discontinuous fibers to be first assembled into a linear but continuous form (yarn), which is subsequently converted into fabric.

fabric types
Fig: Fabric types

The fabrics are made from fibers and yarns by adopting different techniques. Some fabrics are constructed with heat and moisture, adhesives, or bonding agents. Others are created with special yarns, designs, or layers. Basically, there are three methods by which fabrics are made. They are:

Weaving Process: 
Weaving is the intersection of two sets of straight yarns, warp and weft, which cross and interlace at right angles to each other. The lengthwise yarns are known as warp yarns and width wise yarns are known as weft or filling yarns and the fabric produced is known as woven fabric.

Knitting Process: 
Knitting consists of forming yarns into loops, each of which is typically only released after a succeeding loop has been formed and intermeshed with it so that a secure ground loop structure is achieved.

Non-woven Process: 
In this method, fabrics (known as non-wovens) are made of fibers held together by an applied bonding agent or by the fusing of self-contained thermoplastic fibers. Here, nothing is processed on conventional spindles, looms or knitting machines.

Schematic views of typical fabrics produced from yarns by weaving, weft knitting, warp knitting, braiding, and netting are shown in below Figures.

Biaxial woven fabric
Fig: Biaxial woven fabric
Triaxial woven fabric
Fig: Triaxial woven fabric
Plain weft knitted fabric
Fig: Plain weft knitted fabric
Biaxial reinforced weft knitted fabric
Fig: Biaxial reinforced weft knitted fabric
Tricot warp knitted fabric
Fig: Tricot warp knitted fabric
Biaxial reinforced Raschel knitted fabric
Fig: Biaxial reinforced Raschel knitted fabric
Braided fabrics
Fig: Braided fabrics
Bobbinet lace
Fig: Bobbinet lace

What is Warp and Weft?
The word warp is used as a noun to refer-

  1. Threads lengthways in a fabric as woven.
  2. A number of threads in long lengths and approximately parallel, in various forms intended for weaving, knitting, doubling, sizing, dyeing, or lace-making.

The word weft refers to-

  1. Threads widthwise in a fabric as woven.
  2. Yarn intended for use as in (1).

Fabric Construction:
Fabric construction refers to the fabric specification. It determines the fabric type. Fabric construction is defined as the warp and weft yarn density in a fabric sheet. The construction of the fabric is presented as EPI and PPI. Fabric construction involves the conversion of yarns, and sometimes fibers, into a fabric having characteristics determined by the materials and methods employed.

fabric construction
Fig: Fabric construction

The general format of fabric construction is given below:

….Warp count x Weft count
Ends per inch x Picks per inch

…………………20 x 16
Example: ———————————
………………..128 x 60

Sometimes fabric construction is also written in the other way round i.e.

Ends per inch x Picks per inch
….Warp count x Weft count

You may also like:

  1. Analysis of Plain Woven Fabric Specification
  2. Specification of Various Knitted Fabric Structure
  3. Theory and Calculation of Cover Factor of Woven Fabric
  4. Importance of Fabric Specification and Performance in Garment Manufacturing

Share this Article!

Leave a Comment