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Friday, September 16, 2011

Wool Ruminations Continued - Different Weaves

What Are The Main Types Of Weaves I Will Find In Cloths? The most common forms of cloth weaves are plain, twill and satin. Each cloth has a different characteristic.

Plain weaves, which are very common, are a simple combination of going under and then over in the weaving process. That is, as the warp (imagine a cylinder of many strands of thread laid out which then passes through a machine set up to look like a series of columns in a grid) is fed through the machine, the shuttle (the thing which carries the thread across the columns of thread) passes back and forth going under and over each thread (creating rows in the grid).

Taking the plain weave as a base, now conceive the idea that instead of going over and under each thread with the shuttle, you decide instead to go over two threads before you go under for two. This is a basic twill.

Cloths made of a plain weave may not drape as well as a twill. The reason is that the action of going over two and then under, creates an imbalance in weight which dictates that because it is heavier on the 45, it tends to fall towards the ground when it is worn. This is the reason twill, or what the French call 'serge' is preferred for its draping effect.

Satin, by contrast, is the opposite. With satin, you expose more of the warp (the columns on the grid) by sending the shuttle (which creates the weft or 'rows' of the grid) further along underneath the warp before exposing them again on the top side. Satin, which is derived originally from silk weaving, is a way to show more of the warp of the cloth and usually the end result is a shiny top side with a dull underside on the cloth.

Below is an illustration I found on google images.

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