Woven All woven structures are made of two sets of interlaced threads worked at right-angles to each other. Those parallel to the length of a cloth are known collectively as the warp and individually as ends. Those parallel to the width are known collectively as the weft and individually as picks. The warp threads are set up under tension on a loom and sometimes the warps are sized (e.g. with cornstarch or vegetable gum) to hold down loose fibres to aid in the weaving process (size is usually washed out after weaving). The weft thread is passed back and forth under and over one or more ends across part or all of the set of warps. The main types of woven structures are plain, twill, pattern, and pile.
Plain or tabby weave is the simplest structure. Each pick passes under alternate ends. Tapestry weave is a plain weft faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.
The weft of the twill weave is passed over two or more ends, the binding point being shifted sideways on each successive warp to form a diagonal effect. Variations on this theme include a herringbone pattern. Satin weave is similar to twill except that the weft is passed over five or more picks creating a smooth surface of floats. The binding point is spaced randomly to avoid a distinctive pattern forming, as is the case with twill. The floats on the face side reflect light while the reverse side does not. Damask combines the effects of twill and satin weaving to form a pattern in which the background is a form of twill and the pattern a form of satin weave. Another form of pattern weaving is when supplementary threads are introduced to create a pattern. When a supplementary weft is introduced into a ground weave for decorative effect, this is known as a brocade weave. When supplementary warp and weft threads are introduced into a ground weave for decorative effect, this is known as a lampas weave.
Pile woven fabrics are formed by a supplementary weft or warp whose ends or picks form a pile above the ground weave. The pile may be cut or uncut. The ground weave may be of any one of the three basic weaves. Examples of warp pile include velvets. Examples of weft piles include velveteen and velour.
Different effects are possible with the above weaves when yarns of different weights, colours and fibres, including metals, are used in combination.
Non-woven The term non-woven is reserved for textile cloths, such as felt, which are formed by the matting together of loose fibres under pressure or heat or with the aid of adhesives.
Knit Knitted structures consist of successive rows of continuous open loops worked by hand on two or more needles or on machines with one or more continuous threads. The two main structures, knit and purl, may be used in different combinations for different effects. Knitted structures have great elasticity.
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