Fabric Technology

Clothing, shelter and food are the three basic needs of human kind. Early humans used pieces of cloths to cover their bodies for decency and to protect themselves from the effects of the environment [1]. Nowadays the purpose of wearing clothes have changed, however they are still used to cover and protect, we wear clothes to proclaim our own personality and individuality [2]. Beside garment manufacturing, the usage of the fabrics extent to other vital fields such as civil engineering, furniture, medical fields and many others.

To fulfill this wide range of applications many fabric production methods were created, including; weaving, braiding, knitting, tufting and nonwoven [1].  Examples of fabrics produced by these methods with a brief explanation for each one and the end use are listed below.



Weaving is interlacing of warp and filling yarns perpendicular to each other. Applications: Ready made clothes, curtains and bed sheets.



Braided fabrics are formed by diagonal interlacing of yarns. Applications: Belts and ropes.



Knitting is interlooping of one yarn system into vertical columns and horizontal rows of loops. Applications: Underwear products.



Tufting is the process of manufacturing some carpets and similar structures. A surface yarn system of loops is sewn or stitched through a primary backing fabric. Applications: Floor covering.



Nonwoven fabrics formed by fiberous web which can be  bonded in many different ways.  Applications: Filters, industrial and civil usage.

Each formation method is capable of producing a wide variety of fabrics structure depend on the raw material used, machinery employed, set up of control elements, final usage and cost.

As mentioned before weaving is the method of interlacing the warp and the weft yarns to form a fabric. The structure of the fabric and its appearance are affected by the pattern of interlacing, linear density of warp and weft yarns, number of warp and weft yarns per unit in width and length and weft and warp yarn crimp. The basic principle of the weaving process is that the warp ends, which run lengthwise, interlace with the weft yarns, which run crosswise.

Figure (1) shows a schematic of weaving. First of all the, warp are stored on a beam and they flow to the front of the machine. Weft yarns are inserted in the shed which formed by the sheets of warp yarn. Then a reed moves forward and backward beats the weft yarn into its position, and the process is repeated. To control the opening and closing movement of the shed, there are harnesses with a number of heddles in it according the number of warp yarns supposed to be in this harness. Weft yarns are inserted using a weft insertion device such as a shuttle, a projectile, air/water jet or rapier.


Figure (1): A schematic of weaving [3].

There is practically an unlimited number of weaves that can be developed, but weave patterns have three basic designs these designs are:

-Plain weave.

-Twill weave.

-Satin weave.

Below are s  examples of the basic weave designs and a brief explanation for each one [2].



Each warp yarn is lifted over alternate weft yarns. Neighbouring warp ends are lifted in the opposite.



This construction makes a pattern of the diagonal lines. Each warp yarn lifts over more than one weft.



The warp floats over four or more wefts and remains under only one. Next warp yarns have their floats arranged as randomly as possible in order not to generate a twill line.

Most of the other weave designs are derived from these basic patterns. Woven fabrics can be differentiated in many ways. They can be classified in many ways [1,4]:

-A classification by weaves type: i.e. plain, twill, satin…etc.

-A classification by common name: i.e. denim, chesscloth…etc.

-A classification by weight: i.e. heavy and light fabrics.

-A classification by end use: i.e. apparel fabrics, home furnishings…etc.

Woven fabric technology is deeply rooted in geometry. A fabric consists of millions of fibers assembled together in a particular geometry. The fabric properties depend on what raw material, fiber and yarn are used and the fabric structure. Some of the important fabric properties include fabric weight, cover factor, crimp, tensile strength, abrasion resistance, burst and impact resistance, and drape and hand [1,4].

Woven fabrics were able to meet the market demands whatever the field was. Also to meet further demand regarding to technical textile new fabrics like 3D fabrics and tubular ones are invented.


[1]- Adanur, Sabit, Handbook of Weaving, Technomic publishing co Inc, Lancaster, 2001.

[2]-  Eberla, Hannelor, Clothing Technology, Europa Lehrmittel, Germany, 1995.

[3]- Long, A C, Design and manufacture of textile composites, Woodhead publishing limited, Cambridge, 2005.

[4]- Gordon, S, Hsieh, Y,L, Cotton : Science and Technology, Woodhead publishing limited, Cambridge, 2007.





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