Normal/Plain Weave

Plain Weave Manufacture

Plain Weave is one of the most fundamental fabric weaves available. Most other types of weave are just variations of the plain weave. Plain weave is created using warp threads and a weft thread. The warp threads are spaced out evenly and held down at either end by a loom. The weft yarn is then interwoven between these warp yarns. The weave pattern for plain weave is ‘One under one over.’ This means that the weft goes over one warp yarn and under the next. This repeats until the whole fabric is done.

Plain weave can be recognised by its checkerboard effect. This is usually a balanced weave which means that yarns of the same weight, not necessarily the same yarns are used for both the warp and weft, creating a fabric with a uniform appearance and the same properties in the warp and weft yarns. Plain weave can be woven with different colours to create colour woven fabrics, such as striped fabrics and they can be printed or have other finishes applied to them.

Plain weave fabrics can be anything form heavyweight to sheer, depending on the types of yarns used and the tightness of the weave. Examples of fabrics made using a plain weave a Taffeta, Organza, Chiffon, Canvas, Tweed and Muslim. All of these fabrics are very different in terms of weight and appearance but are all made using the same weave.

Properties of Plain Weave Fabrics

  • No right or wrong side
  • No lengthwise of crosswise stretch, only stretch is on the bias
  • Doesn’t fray as easily as other weaves
  • Creases easily
  • Less absorbent than other weaves
  • Fabrics range in weight from sheer to heavy, depending on the yarns used
  • Versatile
  • Flexible
  • Tightest weave structure
  • Strong
  • Hard-wearing
  • Durable

End Uses of Plain Weave Fabrics

  • Shirting
  • Suiting
  • Outer garments
  • Toiles in the case of Calico fabric
  • Sheer fabrics
  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Garments that do not require much stretch

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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


2 thoughts on “Normal/Plain Weave

  1. BTW, you need to make one correction that seems somewhat minor but is very important. MUSLIM is NOT a type of cloth, but a Religion. MUSLIN is a type of linen fabric… While MUSLIN can be used to make hijabs, it doesn’t change the name of the fabric. Please correct your page and update your tags for the search engines as well.

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