Dobby Weave

Dobby Weave Manufacture

Dobby weave was first developed in 1840, and although it is woven on a loom, like all types of weaving, Dobby weave requires a special piece of equipment that attaches to the loom. This device is called a ‘Dobby’ and allows for the production of small geometric prints to actually be woven into the fabric.

This technique is done by the manipulation of the warp yarns in the fabric. This weave is similar to jacquard, as this uses an attachment for the loom to create these designs. The designs created on a Dobby loom are much less complex than a Jacquard pattern though.

Fabrics produced on a Dobby loom usually used two or more different colours of yarns to make the patterns and designs noticeable, it provides an alternative to printing fabric after it has been woven. Many different patterns can be created on a Dobby Loom but it is more tedious and time consuming than Plain weaving. The design is usually repeated frequently and an all-over patterned fabric is produced.

Dobby Weave can use many different fibres such as Cotton, Nylon or Silk. A lot of Dobby fabrics use a combination of these to achieve different properties depending on the requirements of the fabric.

Types of fabric produced on a Dobby Loom include Birdseye Cotton, Matelasse, Moss Crepe and Baranthea.

Properties of Dobby Woven Fabrics

  • Inexpensive to produce
  • Small geometric patterns
  • More texture than Plain weave fabrics
  • Less complex than Jacquard Fabrics
  • Different colours available
  • Hundreds of different patterns can be made
  • Flexible
  • Versatile
  • Good Drape
  • Slight Stretch
  • Resistant to creasing

End Uses of Dobby Woven Fabrics

  • Shirts
  • Dresses
  • Outerwear
  • Polo shirts
  • Handbags

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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

4 thoughts on “Dobby Weave

  1. Thanks for writing about dobby fabric. ..I want more information like…their construction. ..purpose of uses..

  2. Well explained article.
    I was looking for material that would be easy to handle, to make small bags with string tying at the top, which have multiple uses here in India, eg for religious purpose (carrying rice grains- almond – pearl sugar – for temple visit) shopping purse, marriage return gifts (Silver articles, mostly coins). For these purposes the cloth needs to be flexible, smooth drape, non creasing. Mostly Jacquard is used, because of its versatility and patterns in many colours.
    In this connection I searched on the web and came across your article.
    Thanks once again.

  3. Interesting!

    Do you know of a freelancer that can design for the Dobby Loom or of an e-course that teaches such design?

    Thanks, Ben

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