Plain, Twill, and Satin Weave – the Three Basic Weaves!

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Want to figure out how those lengths and lengths of fabric are weaved?
Well, let’s figure it out!

Yarns or filaments extracted from natural or synthetic elements are interlaced together, which is called weaving.


The most relatable form of weaving one could visualize is that of a manji. The net is weaved in a plain weave which is one of the three basic weaves.

Similarly, fine yarns are weaved on a loom. Two types of yarns are used.
Warp is the vertical thread which is fixed on the loom. The weft is the horizontal thread that is weaved across the warp thread with the help of a shuttle.

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                                                                                                       From This Cloth

There are three basic weaves, plain, satin and twill weave. And here we thought that satin was a fabric!

Plain Weave

Plain is the simplest of the weaves.
It is also called Tabby weave, a criss-cross weave where the horizontal(weft) yarn goes over and then under the vertical(warp) yarn, just like in a

If the fabric isn’t printed or has no surface finish, then it has no right or wrong side. They have less absorbency in comparison to other weaves and wrinkle easily.

There are multiple variables available in context to the yarns used, their size, texture, treatment, and of course color. You could find them in poplin, georgette, cotton, polyester, poly crepe, cambric, muslin, and canvas.

Twill Weave

Twill weave goes diagonally.
It is weaved in the manner that one weft thread (horizontal thread) goes over two warp threads (vertical threads) and then under one warp.

Twill weave is expressed in fractions to explain how they are woven, 2/1, 3/1, 2/2, etc.

Tweed, herringbone also called broken-twill weave, cotton twill, silk twill, linen twill, polyester twill, etc. are available in a twill weave. 

Satin Weave

The third basic weave is the satin weave.
This is weaved with three or more wefts over one warp or the other way around, one weft over three or more warp threads.

Satin is known for its soft, lustrousness. It is characterized by a soft side and the other harsh side. It can be found as cotton satin, viscose satin, silk satin, organza satin, poly satin whose feel, look, drape differ accordingly.