Woven fabrics generally only stretch along the bias or diagonal direction. That is unless you are using stretch fibers which will add a lot of stretch to the material. But they can and do fray a lot which adds to your sewing workload.
As you already know, woven fabrics are made by interlacing the warp and the weft yarn, and depending on the weave your clothing will either look exceptional or cheap. Buckram is a loose weave style while Cambric is a plain weave.
To learn more about the different types of woven fabric just continue to read our article. It has this information and more. take a few minutes to see the different types of woven materials you can buy but don’t be disappointed if we miss your favorite.
No, but a vast majority of them are. There are other types of methods that help create good fabrics and do not depend on interlacing the warp and the weft threads. It just seems like all fabrics are woven in some way.
One method that skips the weave is the bond or felting method. This style is done in two ways, wet or dry. The wet method can use soap and water to help create the bond between the fibers.
It also takes some handwork to get those fibers together and form a nice fabric. One dry method is called needle felting. This is where needles do all the work and get the fibers to interlock and hold together.
There are other felting methods one can use if these two are outside of your ability to do. But this is just one alternative option to weaving fibers together to make fabric.
If you took a hard look at the two styles you may conclude that knitted fabrics are not woven. That is because the style of knitting used does not interlace the warp and weft threads.
Instead, there is one continuous thread that is used to create the fabric. Instead of interlacing, some loops interlock and hold the thread together. This style of creating fabric allows for a little more stretch to be in the material than woven fabrics.
That is the way to tell the difference between the two. When you pull on the knit fabric it should stretch relatively easily but the woven fabric will resist that attempt to stretch it.
The good aspect of working with knits is that they do not tend to fray that much on you. When knits were first introduced to the world, they were woven in a way by hand.
These fabrics are rather simple in their construction. The manufacturers take the fibers of cotton, silk, polyester, and so on and weave them together. That is the basic construction material for woven fabrics.
Of course, synthetic fibers are made from chemicals and petroleum products that are spun into fibers or thread. This makes them a little stronger than natural fibers which only have their natural resources and a few chemicals to shape them into nice thread or fibers.
The loom does all the work in interlacing the fibers together and depending on the positioning of the threads, you can get tight, loose, sateen, and other types of weaves that alter the look of the material.
These weave styles also contribute to the breathability of the fabric once it is finally woven. Synthetic fabrics have less breathability than natural fibers and are usually tightly woven. Even the mixed fiber fabrics breathe better than synthetic materials can.
We checked other lists and both had 29 different types of woven fabrics on them. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, other lists only held 10. There are 4 ways to create fabric materials for you to make your own clothes, etc.
The first way is, of course, the weave method. Then there is the knit method and the third is the felting method. We have described all three of those methods already. There is a fourth method to create certain materials and it is called tulle.
This method was originally started by following the lace method of constructing delicate materials and it was done by hand. Also originally, this product was made using silk which made the material far too expensive for most people to consider buying.
When nylon, polyester, and rayon were first introduced to the world, designers saw a way to lower the cost of this fabric and make it affordable for most people.
Yes, it is and you will find that this fiber is woven in different ways to create a variety of different types of fabric. There is just not one style of cotton material but several and Buckram and Casement are just two of those cotton options.
These different weave styles also produce different weight classes. There are heavy-weight cotton weaves, which would include denim, and there are medium-weight options, like Chintz, and there are lightweight cotton fabrics, like Muslin.
These fabrics may be done in a loose weave, a tight weave, or a plain weave style. These options provide you with lots of different fabrics you can use in your many sewing projects.
Each style also has a different texture for the most part and some are quite tough, durable, and strong while others are dainty, delicate, and quite fragile. This kind of choice is one reason sewing can be so much fun.
Actually, polyester can be woven or knitted. It is a flexible fiber that allows itself to be formed into different fabric styles while keeping your costs down. But that inexpensive cost does not undermine the strength of this material.
It is one of the strongest fibers you can have in your clothing and makes different clothes last a lot longer than if they were merely made from 100% natural fibers. Plus, it can be made into materials that mimic other natural fabrics like silk.
The drawback to this good fabric is its construction and the fact that heat is its enemy. You have to be careful how you clean these materials as they can damage, melt or distort when the temperature is too high.
The good aspect is that they do not usually wrinkle and the polyester resists shrinking. You get all of these characteristics whether the fabric is woven or knitted with the latter adding stretch to its list of positives.
There is a cloth that was originally patented back in 1886 and then was made and sold to the public 2 years later. It is called Aertex fabric and it had or can keep people warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Then there is the madras net which is used more for curtains than anything else. It is made by inserting the weft thread into an open gauze ground cloth and this method produces a motif.
Next, there is Aida cloth fabric and it is one of the many different cotton materials that are woven. It comes in an open weave style that is stiff making it an ideal fabric for embroiderers to use.
Finally, there is mousseline fabric which is a sheer material made from silk, cotton, and wool. It comes in different weave styles, plain, or twill, etc., and it is perfect for shawls, dresses and other fine clothing Because it is so fine, it is often blended with other materials.
|Aida||made for cross stitch embroidery|
|Madras Muslin net||an extra weft thread is inserted to an open gauze cloth to create a unique look|
|Aertex||a fine cloth used for sophisticated and expensive clothing|
|Leno||similar to the aertex fabric|
|Organza/Organdie||usually used for lawn fabrics and acid is part of its construction process|
|Mousseline||a very sheer material that needs other fabrics to be seen|
|Velvet||deep pile that is very soft and luxurious originally made from silk but other fibers are used today|
|Tissue||used for sarees and other women’s outfits. usually paired with gold or silver thread and is a fine fabric|
|Taffeta||smooth, crisp and sheer. Used for fine women’s clothing and made from silk or rayon|
|Sheeting||a fabric that is reserved for bedding mostly, made from cotton fibers|
|Poplin||made from cotton and comes with a nice rib to it|
|Muslin||made from cotton mostly and is used for everyday clothing|
|Mulmul||it is a heavy weight cotton material used a lot in sarees|
|Lawn||made from cotton or linen and often used as lining|
|Khadi||made from cotton and is usually hand spun and hand woven. Known for its simplicity|
|Kashmir Silk||plain woven and is embroidered or printed, the shawls are usually given a twill weave|
|Georgette||a plain weave that produces a very sheer lightweight fabric, can have a rough texture|
|Gabardine||a close woven material with a twill influence, very durable|
|Flannel||given a plain or twill weave style, soft and a bit bulky|
|Drill||used for pants, knickers and uniforms usually found in solid colors and a twill weave|
|Denim||a cotton twill material and can be made with stretch yarn|
|Crepe||a crinkled and puckered look made from silk and synthetic fibers. Twisted yarns are used to make this fabric|
|Corduroy||cut pile material and filled with ribs|
|Chintz||plain woven cotton that is a medium weight fabric A glazed finish is often added|
|Chiffon||sheer, lightweight and made from hand twisted yarns|
|Cheese cloth||an open weave with a light weight, very fragile material|
|Casement||medium weight and woven with a closely packed thick warp thread. Usually used for curtains, table linen and so on|
|Cambric||a lightweight plain woven material but a little stiff|
|Buckram||a stiff fabric but lightweight and given a loose weave style, lots of filelrs included|
Tightly woven fabrics are those materials where the threads are packed together very closely. This style of weave doesn't allow for the fabric to breathe very well and usually, these materials are not made into summer clothing unless it is a lightweight fabric.
Sometimes tightly woven fabrics can be used as blackout curtains. The threads are packed so tightly together that even light cannot get through the fibers. They do come in a variety of weights and are used for different sewing projects like denim is used for jeans and other clothing items.
Percale and poplin are two other examples of tightly woven materials and you will find this style a lot in bedsheets.
For cotton, we already gave you several examples. Denim is one as is percale and poplin. The fabrics made in the sateen method are also considered to be tightly woven materials.
Then there is flannel, quilting cotton, and twill weaves. There are more threads per square inch in a tightly woven fabric than any other style of weave. The best way to tell if a fabric is a tight weave or not is to just hold it up to the light and see how much comes through the material.
Just be careful when you do that test as darker colors can absorb more light and throw off the results. Tightly woven fabrics will come with different textures so touch is not a good method to use.
One of the characteristics that is the most obvious is the lack of stretch. These materials usually only stretch on the bias unless they are blended with some elastic fibers. You have to cut diagonally to feel the stretch as any other method will resist your tugging and refuse to stretch very far.
Another characteristic of this style of material is that it may fray quite easily. Once you cut, you should be ready to sew a baste or another stitch pattern to hold the threads together until you are ready to finish the seam or the hem.
Finally, the material is easily cut into pieces making sewing different styles of clothing very simple and easy to do. You will also find woven materials sold in different widths for those different sewing projects.
The only way woven materials stretch more is if they are cut diagonally. Usually, when you pull on woven materials they resist stretching and have a limited amount of stretch. Unless they are blended with elastic fibers, then those materials will stretch more.
Usually, the knit fabrics stretch more than the woven ones do like that style of fabric construction is designed to allow stretch. Polyester weaves resist stretching and shrinking so they are not known for being easy to change shape.
When lycra, elastane, and other stretch fibers are included in the weave expect more stretch than normal. When you want a fairly stable and easy fabric to work with, then you need to go with a woven material over a stretch or knit fabric.
One of the most basic disadvantages of woven materials is their cost. Because of the distinct features, the production costs go up and so do the retail costs. You may pay more for certain woven fabrics over other styles.
Of course, all of these disadvantages depend on several factors like fibers used, what weave style was used, and so on. For example, laundry issues occur more with silk and other fine fibers than it does with cotton or linen but this is one disadvantage as your laundry time becomes more complicated.
The lack of stretch in most woven products means you may not be as comfortable as you would with wearing a knit skirt and other clothing items. Some woven fabrics can be very fragile and do not last a long time.
This is one of the advantages of working with woven fabrics. Not only are they more stable to sew with there are a lot of uses for these materials. First, you can use them for all sorts of different clothing items. From pants to dresses to jackets and more.
Then they are good materials to use for clothing for different seasons. On top of that, they work well in bedding and make comforters or quilts far more comfortable than most other methods of creating fabrics.
Next, they work well in formal and semi-formal clothing helping you and your mate look more elegant and stylish. Cooking or baking is another practical use for these materials. You can protect your hands and tables with simple items like gloves and hot pads.
Woven materials are the go-to fabrics when you have a lot of heavy-duty tasks to perform.
There is a little natural give to the material. How much each one has can only be determined by a slight tug on the edge of the fabric. The material will resist that tug and only stretch a little bit.
This is a material that needs a little help to stretch a lot. Usually, lycra, elastane, and other stretch fibers are blended in with cotton, wool, polyester, etc., to give the material a little more stretch.
The natural stretch allows you to do normal daily activities but these fabrics are not good for athletic wear or other clothing items that require a lot of stretch. When you need a lot of stretch, you turn to the elastic fabrics or the knit materials. and let the woven ones handle other duties.
When it comes to this issue, it would depend on the weight of the fabric more than the weave style. Woven fabrics can be quite strong and durable but only if they are woven into a medium or heavyweight fabric.
When the material is woven into a lightweight, then those fabrics can be quite fragile and can tear quite easily. Sheer, woven fabrics do not have a lot of strength which is why they are often relegated to wedding dress applications, formal gowns, or even some nightgowns where stress is not a regular part of the clothing item.
The heavy-duty weaves like denim, duck, canvas, and so on, are very strong and can handle a lot of stress as well as rigorous activity. The results you get will depend on the material and the weight, not the weave.
Unfortunately, this is a common disadvantage to woven materials. Once you cut the material you need to do some extra work to keep those now loose threads in their original place. Sewing a baste stitch or another type of fabric holding stitch is necessary to hold those threads.
You can use temporary fabric glues that come out in the wash after you have finished the hem. The glues give you more time to work and are easy to apply. As you know you can cut the fray down by using pinking shears and this tool may relieve you of the duty of adding a stitch or glue to the seam.
Depending on the fabric, the amount of fray you get varies. Not every woven fabric will fray at the same rate.
There are a lot of different woven fabrics than mentioned in this article. Cotton, as do wool, linen, bamboo, and so on, has so many different styles that it is near impossible to list them all.
Working with woven fabrics is a lot easier than working with knits except for the fraying aspect. There are lots of good uses for woven materials.