Pile Weave

Pile Weave Manufacture

Pile weave is made on a loom, like most types of weave are. It is created by running the fibres over metal rods or wires so that loops are created in the filaments. It creates a pile fabric that is attached to the ground fabric. This is foundation layer for the pile and binds all the fabric together.

These filling yarns can either be introduced into the warp or the weft yarns and after weaving the metal rods are removed, leaving loops in the fabric. These loops can either be left uncut, like in terry towelling, or can be cut to a uniform lengths, like in velvet fabric.

Many fibres can be used in creating a pile weave, such as cotton, silk and wool. Synthetic fibres can also be used nowadays to create fabrics with different properties. Pile weave was originally done by hand, however it is now more commonly created using a mechanical loom in a factory. The earliest example of Pile weave dates back to the 5thCentury and was in the form of a rug.

Types of fabrics created using a pile weave include Velvet, Corduroy, Terry Towelling, Velveteen and Frieze.

Properties of Pile Weave Fabrics

  • Plush
  • Resilient
  • Definite right and wrong side
  • Versatile
  • Lustrous
  • Durable
  • Different finishes can be achieved
  • Absorbent
  • Soft
  • Warm to wear
  • Comfortable

End Uses of Pile Weave Fabrics

  • Dresses
  • Outerwear
  • Bathrobes
  • Handbags
  • Accessories
  • Trimmings

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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


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