Posts in Type of Weave
Velvet

That most luscious of fabrics, that silk pile that you love to run your hands over, that drape, that decadence…who doesn’t love velvet? But how is it made? First off, a quick disclaimer. Most commercially available silk velvets are NOT 100% silk velvet. 100% silk velvet is almost prohibitively expensive, coming in at approximately $150-$200 per yard or more. Generally what one finds is a silk/rayon blend, where the backing is silk and the pile is rayon, or vice versa.

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Pongee

Pongee, like most silks, originates from China. The word even is very Chinese, the etymology of which is penchi, meaning woven at home, or home loom (Fairchilds, p. 474). This is another plain woven silk, but rougher, with a homespun feel to it, versus the fineness of China Silk. Fairchild’s also reports that this is woven in the gum. I hazard to guess what this means as no specific definition is given, but my supposition is that the silk is only mildly washed or not washed at all, prior to weaving. This supposition is supported by the crisp hand of Pongee silk.

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Matelasse

the original Matelasse was a thicker, quilted fabric, I believe most commonly seen in petticoats and waistcoats.  But with the advent of the Jacquard loom, the quilting has dropped off and it’s all done with extra crepe yarns set at different tensions.  Once off the loom, the fabric is washed, causing the crepe yarns to shrink.  This in turn causes the regular yarns to pull and pucker, giving this faux-quilted effect. 

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Georgette

Georgette is another crepe fabric, and is created with the alternating Z and S twist threads on both the warp and the weft threads. The Z and S twists are given very hard twist, as many as 50 to 90 turns per inch, which makes the filament fairly rigid. However, due to this hard twist, the fabric feels almost grainy and dry.

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Faille

Faille is one of many rib weaves, meaning the fabric itself has a texture due to the appearance of vertical or horizontal ribs as part of the weaving. Rib weave when done as Faille is a plain woven fabric, so one over one under. In Faille, the ribs are usually horizontal. So what causes the ribs? Ribbing is caused when either the warp or the weft threads are thicker than the cross weave.

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