Textile Fabric Summary

In general, a textile fabric is defined as ”a manufactured assembly of fibers and/or yarns that has sustainable surface area in relation to its thickness and sufficient cohesion to give the assembly useful mechanical strength” [5]. According to how yarns and fibers are assembled, forming fabrics can differ. There are many ways of manufacturing fabrics, such as; weaving, braiding, knitting, nonwoven or fiber entanglement, twining and knotting [7, 8]

Fig 1: Fabrics different structures, woven fabric (top left), knitted fabric (top right), braided fabric (middle left), sprang fabric (middle right) [2, 3], knotted fabric (bottom left) and nonwoven fabric (bottom right).
woven fabrics

Weaving is the most common method of forming fabrics. In weaving two sets of yarns, warp longwise and weft crosswise, are interlaced in an angle of 90 degree [1, 4]. Woven fabrics provide strength, flexibility and other properties, and are considered as a supreme method for complex fabrics.

Tabby fabric. Also called plain is the simplest design of woven fabrics. The warp yarns pass over and under alternating weft yarns.
dobby fabrics. In these fabrics more complex interlacing between warp yarns and weft yarns in order to achieve more complex designs.
Jacquard fabrics. Example of complex woven fabric design, In jacquard fabrics producers have the possibility to control each warp yarn separately.

Braided fabrics

Braided fabrics are formed by interlacing three set of yarns diagonally [1]. This structure is used for industrial composite materials such as hosepipes. There are other fabric structures that can be included in the same group of braided fabrics since they use the same forming concept, intertwining with each other at an angle [6] such as spranging and knotting. Sprang fabrics are created by manipulating parallel yarns in different ways to create different sprang. These ways are interlinking, interlacing and intertwining [2]. Knotted fabrics are net like fabrics created by tying yarns in knots on arrays of other yarns [8].

Knitted fabrics

Nonwovens are formed differently than previous structures, there is no yarn interlacing or interlocking to hold the structure, fibers or filaments are arranged in webs and then bonded together in different ways to give mechanical strength [1]. Nonwovens can have different usages; in garments as interlining, as stiffener in hats, for hygiene purposes in diapers and nappies, in health as surgery masks, gowns and bandages; moreover, in industrial applications as filters [4].

There is one other type of fabric manufacturing; tufting, in which carpets and similar structures are being formed [7]. In this method one yarn system forms loops on the surface of a ground fabric by stitching. It can also be produced by forming the loops during the weaving process.

These manufacturing methods can be automated or handmade, 2D or 3D, where 3D fabrics are mainly used in industrial application [9]. Different fabrics with different materials and different structures will have certain features and characteristics, and are therefore useful for different applications within many fields such as; garments, upholstery, medical, industrial and protection.

Uttu-textiles // Yousef //: 27th July 2012


1. B. K. Behera, P.K.H., Woven textile structure: Theory and applications2010: Woodhead Publishing Limited.

2. Collingwood, P., The technique of sprang1974, London: Faber and Faber.

3. Hella Skowronski, M.R., Sprang Thread twisting, A Creative Textile Technique1974, London: Studio Vista.

4. M J Denton, P.N.D., Textile Terms and Definitions Eleventh ed2002, Manchester: The Textile Institute

5. Spencer, D.J., Knitting Technology: A Copmrehensive Handbook and Practical Guide. Third ed2001, Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited.

6. Adanur, S., Handbook of Weaving2001, Lancaster: Technomic Publishing Company.

7. Phyllis G. Tortora, R.S.M., Fairchild’s Dictionary of textiles. Seventh ed2005, New Your: Fairchild Publications.

8. Newton, A., Fabric Manufacture: A handbook1993, Nottingham: Intermediate Technology Publications.

9. N. Gokarneshan, R.A., Weaving of 3D fabrics: A critical appreciation of the developments. Textile Progress, 2009. 41(1): p. 1 – 58.

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