Fabric Knowledge, fashion

What is the different between plain weave, twill and satin weave

Sanded Lenzing� Tencel� Twill(21S) -1064 --54 dark indigo

When purchasing fabric, especially plain fabric, there are a lot of confusing in the name of the fabric, for example: “21s Tencel twill” .

Here the “21s” means the yarn count, which tell you how wide of the indiviual yarn been used to weave this fabric, the higher this number shows, the thinner the yarn been used, the better comfotability of the fabric, and more difficult to produce.

” Tencel” means the main material used. In this case, it is Lenzing certified Tencel lyocell. ( If the lyocell is not Lenzing certified, you can’t call it Tencel). Name Tencel is stand for quality standard approved by Lenzing AG.

“Twill” means the weave type. which is the topic in this article.

The original weave of woven fabrics, including plain weave, twill weave and satin weave. Other kinds of change weave, like joint weave, complex weave and jacquard weave are derived or combined from the basis of these three, also known as “three original weaves”.


Plain weave

Plain weave


Plain weave: The weave formed by the interweaving of warp and weft yarns is called plain weave.

Plain weave fabric features

①The number of times (dots) of interweaving is the most(in these three), making the fabric firm, durable,stiff and less elastic and less glossy.

Because the warp and weft yarns of the plain weave are staggered every other, so the same number of warp and weft yarns are arranged in the area, it is commonly used for yarn dyed fabric. The yarn buckling is the most, and the floating yarn is the shortest. Make the fabric firm, wear-resistant, stiff and less elastic and lustre. Because the warp and weft yarns are intertwined many times, the yarns are not easy to be very tight, so the density of the fabric is generally not too high.

②The appearance of the front and back of the fabric is the same, the surface is flat and the pattern is monotonous.

③Under the same specification, it is the lightest and thinnest compared with other tissue fabrics.

④The fabric is not easy to be sanded and has good anti-seize performance.

Lenzing Modal poplin -1009 --9 Blush pink

⑤ Minimum weaving density (low density), easy to dismentle.

Common plain weave fabric

Cotton fabric varieties: plain weave, poplin; yarn dyed fabric

Wool fabric varieties: varnish, palis, thin tweed;

Silk fabric varieties: spinning, georgette, taffeta, crepe de chine;

Hemp fabric varieties: hemp, linen;

Varieties of synthetic fiber fabrics: Tencel, cupro, modal viscose


Twill weave: A slash line showed on the warp points (or weft points) is called twill weave

According to the direction of the grain, from the lower left to the upper right is a right twill, which is represented by ↗; the one from the lower right to the upper left is a left twill, which is represented by ↖.

twill weave

twill weave

Twill fabric features

Compared with plain weave fabrics, twill weave fabrics have fewer weaving points in the weave cycle, there are long floating threads, and the fabric has high density ( twill weave fabrics have higher warp and weft yarn densities than plain weave fabrics), and the fabrics are soft, The glossier, but the fastness is not as good as plain weave.

①The appearance of the front and back is different, if front ↗, reverse ↖

②The number of interlacing is less than that of plain weave, so the fabric feels softer.

③The fabric is thicker and denser than plain weave. Gloss, elasticity, and wrinkle resistance are better than plain weave.SATIN WEAVE Good drape.

④The abrasion resistance and fastness are not as good as plain weave fabrics

Common twill fabric

Cotton fabrics: twill, khaki, denim;

Wool fabrics: serge, gabardine, sham, uniforms;

Silk fabrics: silk twill, beautiful silk, etc.


Satin weave (or Satten for cotton):The interlacing of warp and weft occurs only every four or more yarns, and these interlacing points are independent, discontinuous and evenly distributed in a weave cycle. The fabric surface has long warp or weft floats thread.

There are two types

Satin wave

Satin wave

Warp satin: There are more warp weave points than weft weave points. Or the front side of the fabric is called warp satin, which is mostly floating.

Weft satin: There are more weft points than warp points. Or the front of the fabric is called weft satin with most of the weft float.
Features of satin weave

The satin fabric surface is flat, smooth and shinny. The front and back sides have different appearances, each showing a type of yarn. Because longer floats create a shiny surface, it is more likely to reflect light, especially with long, shinny, low-twist filament yarns.

Because the satin weave points are far apart, the individual weave points are covered by the floating long thread on both sides, and there is no obvious interlace point on the front, so it has the following characteristics:

①The long floating thread of warp or weft is easy to rub and fluff and snag.

②The interweaving points of the warp and weft yarns are the least, and the density of weaving is the highest. The satin weave is thicker than the plain weave and the twill weave, with a soft texture and good drape.

③The surface is smooth and silky, full of luster.


Fastness: Plain > Twill > Satin

Sheen: Satin > Twill > Plain

Softness: satin>twill>plain

Density: Satin>Twill>Plain


Megan valero

About Megan

eco sustainable natural fabric and exclusive print for the fashion and dressmaking industry wholesale supplier.

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