Turning yarn into fabric


Weaving is the process of interlacing one or more sets of yarns at right angles on a loom.

Plain weave: The simplest weave in which the weft (crosswise) yarn is passed over then under each warp (lengthwise) yarn.  

Twill weave: A weave in which the weft yarn is passed over and under one, two, or three warp yarns beginning one warp yarn back on each new row.

Satin weave: A weave that produces a smooth, shiny-surfaced fabric resulting from passing the weft yarn over and under numerous warp yarns to create long floats.

List of other weaves: Pile weave—corduroy, velvet

Dobby—dotted swiss, pique

Jacquard—brocade, damask

Leno—fabrics with an open, lacy appearance


Knitting is constructing fabric by looping yarns together.

  • Weft knits: Knits made with only one yarn that runs crosswise forming a horizontal row of interlocking loops.
  • Warp knits: Knits made with several yarns creating loops that interlock in the lengthwise direction.
  • Gauge: The number of stitches, or loops, per inch in a knitted fabric.

Additional ways to construct fabric

  • Nonwoven. Fibers are compacted together using moisture, heat, chemicals, friction, or pressure. Examples: quilt batting, garment interfacings, felt, artificial suede
  • Laces and nets. Made by knotting, twisting, or looping yarns. Example: lace
  • Braided fabrics. Created by interlacing three or more yarns to form a regular diagonal pattern down the length of the resulting cord. Examples: decorative trims, shoelaces
  • Bonded fabric. Made by permanently fastening together two layers of fabric by lamination. Examples: two fabrics bonded so that one serves as a self-lining as in skiwear or winter
  • Quilted fabric. A layer of padding or batting is sandwiched between two layers of fabric and held in place by stitching. Examples of use: bedspreads, placemats, and outerwear

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