20 Types of Cotton Weave Patterns (How to Weave Cotton)

One thing about cotton fabric is that it is very versatile. This versatility makes it a very popular fabric to work with. There seems to be an unlimited number of ways to weave the fibers that make up the cotton family. That versatility makes using cotton in home sewing projects more fun and exciting.

There can be at least 20 different ways to weave cotton and we are barely counting them all. Cotton fibers have a lot of versatility and even the Egyptian cotton fibers have 4 ways to be woven. Each type produces a different cotton fabric although they are all made from a variety of cotton fibers.

To learn more about the different types of cotton weave patterns, just continue to read our article. it has the information you want to know about. That information helps you find the right cotton fabric and weave style for your next sewing project.

What is Woven Cotton?


To answer the question simply, woven cotton is the arrangement of the warp and weft threads of each fiber used to create the cotton fabric. It is not knitting yarn where you have to put the fibers together yourself but material that has been woven for you in a variety of styles.

While there are innumerable weave styles, and fabric manufacturers certainly can create any style they wish, there are 3 basic weave patterns most fabrics fall into. Those categories are plain, satin, and twill weaves.

Knowing the type of weave style used on the cotton material you have chosen or want to use for your next sewing project is important. The style lets you know how soft, smooth, comfortable, thick, and durable the fabric will be once you are done.

Also, those weave styles let you know how the fabric will drape and how easy it is to tear. Woven cotton will tell you the exact same information so you do not lose time making your selection.

Types of Cotton Weaves

As we just said, fabric manufacturers actually can create enough weave styles that your mind may not comprehend how that total number is possible. It is true yet, you will find that most cotton fabrics you use will be limited to a few more famous styles. here are some of the different styles of weaves you can get and they are presented in no particular order:

- flannel- nap on one or both sides of the material

- flannelette- nap is only on one side of the material

- percale- close weave creating a sturdy fabric

- oxford- soft finish but comes in a basket or plain weave style

- drill- is made with a tight, twill weave

- sateen- used with Egyptian cotton and uses a long and strong fiber

- jacquard- a complicated or complex weave style also used with Egyptian cotton producing a thick texture

- poplin- this is an unbalanced plain weave style

- ripstop- adds an extra thread for reinforcement of the plain weave style

- rib- using an extra thick thread in either the weft or warp position to create the ribbed look

- basket- the cotton materials you get from this weave style are canvas and duck

- satin- weft yarns are floated over warp ones creating a nice smooth finish to the fabric

- leno- warp yarns are not parallel to each other in this style

- waffle or honeycomb- this style creates a waffle look to the fabric

Many other weave styles make the cotton fabric look very attractive, strong, and durable.

Cotton Plain Weave


The plain weave may not look so plain once a design is woven or printed on it. But the word plain refers to the simple style of one weft interlacing with one warp thread each and every time.

There are no complicated method of weaving and may be the easiest one to do. While it is a simple pattern and an easy one, the results are a very strong and firm material that can be used in a variety of sewing projects.

You will find this weave in several applications including bedding, clothing, towels, and upholstery. The key element to this style of weave is that there is basically no stretch to the material.

This is probably the most used weave style you can find as it helps fabrics last a long time.

Double Weave Cotton Fabric

One of the unique aspects of this weave style is that it started in near ancient times. Samples of the weave style were found in Peru from the Paracas culture that dated to before 700 A.D.

There is no wrong side to this material once it is woven and you can use either side as the right side. Two or more sets of warp threads are interlaced with one or more weft threads to create a double-sided fabric that is easy to work with.

The main applications for this material include brocades, upholstery fabrics, blankets, and some high fashion coats. Those coats would be self-lined and reversible. It may not be a popular weave style which may explain its limited applications.

One of the more interesting aspects of this material is that the weave style seems to form geometric shapes which are easily seen on many old Peruvian products. Those shapes may not be everyone’s cup of tea but they can be quite attractive when the right colors are used.

How Tight is Cotton Weave?


This will depend on the type of weave pattern used to create the fabric. Some very tight cotton weaves do not let the sun peek through the fibers even when you hold the material between your eyes and the sun.

The four tightest cotton weaves will be denim or cotton twill, poplin, percale, and sateen. The poplin and percale weave styles are lightweight materials while the other two fall into the medium weight section.

All four styles do not have large gaps between the fibers making them a very tight weave. There are 4 other tight cotton weaves, flannel, loosely woven cotton twill, quilting cotton, and a loose weave flannel.

The looser the weave the less tight it will be and the quality will be a lot lower than the tighter versions. The best way to tell you have a high-quality tight cotton weave is to hold the fabric up to the light and see how much comes through the material.

How to Weave Cotton Fabric


This option has become increasingly popular as the cost of clothing continues to rise. While it does seem to be a lot of effort in order to save a few dollars. once you get the hang of weaving it can be quite simple to do.

The first step in this process is to grow the right plants. There are 5 you can cultivate yourself and they are- cotton, flax, ramie, hemp, and jute. or you can just buy the essential ingredients through a good wholesaler.

For cotton, you need to pick the white fluffy ‘fruit’ of the plant and then take that material to your spinning wheel. Once there you can spin thin or thick fibers, depending on what you want to work with.

After spinning the thickness you want, you take those fibers over to your weaving loom. On this device, you can decide what length you want and go to it. The loom will do most of the work for you including pushing the fibers close together to make a nice seamless piece of cloth.

Weave Cotton by Hand


The first step in this process is to choose the fibers you will use. Not all cotton yarns are the same and you have to test them to see how easily they sluff off. If it is very easy then you do not want to use those yarns. Cotton likes to be woven tight, fine, and smooth.

Next, to make sure your items are woven to the same size, if you are making more than one, then you will need to cut a paper guide to the size you want. Once these are made, pin the guides to your project.

Use long warp threads and you may want to use a warping board to help you manage them. Once you are done, you should hem the results so that the fibers do not unravel on you and ruin your hard work.

Some Final Words

There are more weave patterns than can be included in a short article like this one. That means you have a myriad of ways to create unique and great-looking sewing projects.

Just make sure to match the fabric to the project so your results are top quality and look the best. Cotton is very versatile so you may have a hard time finding the right pattern to use.

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