Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the fifty-eight post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics
Knit-Pile Fabrics
Flocked Pile Fabrics and Other Pile Construction Processes
Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms
Napped Fabrics – Part I
Napped Fabrics – Part II
Double Cloth
Multicomponent Fabrics
Knit-Sew or Stitch Through Fabrics
Finishes - Overview
Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning
Mechanical Finishes - Part I
Mechanical Finishes - Part II
Additive Finishes
Chemical Finishes - Bleaching
Glossary of Scientific Terms
Chemical Finishes - Acid Finishes
Finishes: Mercerization
Finishes: Waterproof and Water-Repellent Fabrics
Finishes: Flame-Proofed Fabrics
Finishes to Prevent Attack by Insects and Micro-Organisms
Other Finishes
Shrinkage - Part I
Shrinkage - Part II

There are currently eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms, which has been updated to Version 3.5. All data bases will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

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The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!

The three basic weaves – plain, twill and satin – can be made on a simple loom without the use of any attachment. Today’s post will concentrate some aspects of plain weave - concluding this series of posts.

Medieval plain weave textile.

Plain Weave – Suited Weight Fabrics
Suiting weight fabrics are heavy enough to tailor well. Filling (weft) yarns are usually larger than warp yarns due to slightly lower twist. Uses are slacks, trousers, shorts, jackets, suits and coats, upholstery, slipcovers and draperies.

Dr. No – Glen check suit.
Lightweight suitings are more often woven in a plain weave than a twill weave because a plain weave breathes better.

Because of their weight they are usually more durable and more resistant to wrinkling than sheer and medium weight fabrics but they tend to ravel more because of their low thread count.

Suiting weight fabrics.

Cotton suiting is converted from gray goods called coarse narrow sheeting. Indian Head is a manufacturer’s trade name. Cotton suiting can be a plain color or printed. Cretonne is similar to cotton suiting except that it has large floral designs.

Incredible Art Deco cretonne dress with zigzag dropped waist.

Crash is made with yarns that have a thick-and-thin areas that give it an uneven look. It shows wrinkles less than a plain surface.

Crash dip skirt with floral embroidery.

Butcher rayon is a crash-like fabric of 100% rayon or rayon/acetate blends. In heavier weights it looks like linen suiting.

1930s floral print stripe on black, butcher rayon/acetate dress with 40" front.

Tweed is made of any fiber or mixture of fibers and is always characterized by nubs of different colors. The name comes from the Tweed river in Scotland. Harris tweed is hand woven in the Outer Hebrides Island and Donegal tweed is hand woven in Donegal County, Ireland.

Brown Donegal tweed jacket with orange bird's eye pattern.

Plain Weave – Unbalanced Fabrics
When the number of warp yarns in a plain woven fabric is increased until it is about twice that of the filling yarns, the fabric has a crosswise ridge called a filling rib and a warp surface in which the warp yarns completely cover the filling yarns. If the yarns are of different color, the only color showing on the surface will be that of the warp yarns. Small ridges are formed when the warp and filling yarns are the same size, and the larger ridges are formed where the filling yarns are larger than the warp yarns. Yarn sizes are given in the fabric chart. The figure below shows the high warp count, the warp surface and a difference in color in the ribbed fabric.

Ribbed fabric shows high warp count and warp surface. Left: Plain weave – balanced. Right: plain weave – unbalanced.

Ribbed fabrics like broadcloth look very much like percale.

Men’s broadcloth pajama pants.

Cotton percale pillow cases.

If the following technique of analysis is used the difference between percale and broadcloth will become evident.
(i) Use a two inch square of broadcloth and percale.
(ii) Unravel adjacent sides of each fabric to make a ¼ inch fringe.
(iii) Observe the difference in the number of yarns in each fringe. Broadcloth will have a very thick fringe of warp yarns (144 x 76); whereas in the percale fabric, the fringe of the warp yarns will be about the same as the fringe of the filling yarns (80 x 80).

Slippage is a problem in ribbed fabrics made with filament yarns, especially those of lower quality and lower count.

Slippage of yarns in a ribbed fabric.

Slippage occurs at points of wear and tension such as at seams and button holes. If the yarns are of different color, as they are in iridescent taffeta slippage is particularly obvious. For example, a black/red iridescent taffeta with black and bright red filling would show a bright red streak along a seam where slippage had occurred, and the main portion of the garment would remain black.

Wear always occurs on the top of the ribs. The warp yarns wear out first and splits occur in the fabric. The filling yarns, which are covered by the warp, are protected from wear.

Ribbed fabrics with fine ribs are softer and more drapable than comparable balanced fabrics. Those with large ribs have more body and less drapability and are good for garments where a bouffant look is desired.

A bouffant gown is a women's dress silhouette made of a wide, full skirt resembling a hoop skirt (and sometimes including a hoop or petticoat support.

Medium Weight Ribbed Fabrics
Sheer ribbed fabrics are seldom made except in glass curtain fabrics, while medium weight ribbed fabrics are the largest group of plain weave unbalanced fabrics.

Medium weight ribbed dress.

Broadcloth has the finest rib of any of the staple fiber fabrics because the warp and filling yarns are the same in size. Better qualities are made of long staple cotton, ply yarns and are usually mercerized for luster. They have a very silky appearance. The Term “Pima Broadcloth” on a label refers to the use of long staple fiber.

Pima cotton broadcloth yoke girls dress smocked with "Elizabeth".

Combed broadcloth will cost from two to four times as much as carded broadcloth.

Double collar combed yarn broadcloth regular solid men’s long sleeve solid color shirt.

Slub broadcloth is made with a yarn that contains slubs at regular intervals.

Button-tab slubbed broadcloth shirt.

Silk broadcloth has filament warp and staple filling.

Silk broadcloth long-sleeve shirt.

Poplin is similar to broadcloth but has heavier ribs made by larger filling yarns.

100% Cotton combed poplin quilting fabric.

Taffeta is a fine rib, filament yarn fabric with crispness and body. In acetate taffeta, crispness is due to the fiber and the finish, and in rayon taffeta it is due to the finish only. Moiré taffeta has a water mark embossed design. This design is durable on acetate taffeta but temporary on rayon taffeta unless resin treated (see below).

Moiré before and after washing.

Faille (pronounced file) is usually made of filament warp and staple filling yarns. The filament yarns are usually acetate or rayon.

Red strapless silk faille dress.

Suiting weight unbalanced ribbed fabrics are given below.

Suiting weight unbalanced ribbed fabrics.

Shantung has an irregular rib surface produced by long irregular areas in the yarn. It may be made in medium or suiting weight and of various kinds of fiber.

Silk shantung dress.

Rep is a heavy coarse fabric with a pronounced rib effect.

Desigual dress silver rep.

Bengaline is similar to Faille and is often made with rayon warp and cotton filling. It is sometimes woven with two warp at a time to emphasize the rib.

Structured strap back dress in bengaline.

Grosgrain (pronounced grow’-grane) has a rounder rib than faille. Grosgrain ribbon may shrink as much as 2-4 inches per yard. It is often used at the button closures of sweaters and causes an unsightly appearance when it shrinks.

Black grosgrain peak lapel tuxedo.

Plain Weave Variation: Basket Weave
Basket weaves are made with two or more warp used as one and with two or more filling placed in the same shed. The most common basket weaves are 2 x 2 and 4 x 4 but other combinations are 2 x 1, 2 x 3, 3 x 3 etc.

On the right is the weaving diagram; the left an illustration of the yarns. The upper diagrams illustrate the 2x1 construction where one weft (crosswise) yarn passes over and under two warp (lengthwise) yarns; alternating which two to pass over or under in each succeeding row. The lower diagram shows the 2x2 construction where two weft (crosswise) yarns pass over and under two warp (lengthwise) yarns; again alternating which two to pass over or under in each succeeding row.

These fabrics have flexibility and wrinkle resistance, because there are few interlacings per inch. The fabrics have a flatter appearance than comparable lain weave fabric would have. Long floats will snag easily.

Basket weave.

Oxford is one of the most important commercial shirtings. The oxford weave is a 2 x 1 interlacing with fine warp and a larger filling. It may have a yarn-dyed warp and white filling and be called an oxford chambray.

Chambray Button-Down Shirt for Women.

Because of soft yarns and loose weave, yarn slippage occurs at the seams and within the fabric itself. Loose-weave fabrics will snag and pill. Filling yarns have little higher breaking strength than do warp. Oxford fabrics are soft, porous and lustrous.

Monk’s cloth is one of the oldest homespun-type fabrics. Others are called friar’s cloth, bishop’s cloth, druid’s cloth or mission cloth. They are coarse, heavy fabrics in a 2 x 2 or 4 x 4 basket weave and are usually brownish white or oatmeal color but may be white or piece-dyed. The oatmeal color is obtained with ply yarns, one unbleached cotton and the other brown or with a blend of natural and dyed cotton fibers. The yarns are carded, soft spun in sizes 7/2 to 10/2 or 3s to 5s. Monk’s cloth is used for draperies, wall and bulletin board coverings, bed spreads and dresser scarves.

Natural Monk’s cloth.

Hopsaking is an open basket weave fabric made of cotton, linen or wool. It is primarily used for coats and suits. It get its name from sacks used to gather hops.

Hopsack is a lightweight and warm fabric, and it’s one that seems to be much less common than it should be. The open weave of grey, black and brown yarns is slightly coarse but makes for a hardwearing cloth and one that’s absolutely perfect for the Winter months.

Basket weave can be varied by combining it with other types of weave.

Twill and basket weave combined.

[1] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, MacMillan Company, London (1968).

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