This post was really fun to write. I have always been a book worm and have always loved curling up surrounded by piles of books. I’ve returned to my high school roots.
This was also a great excuse to go shopping in the bookstore of the Museo del Tessuto. If only this was my job every day…!
So here I am to tell you about fabric. I will be your guide in this fantastic world, sharing things that I’ve always known as well as those that I have just discovered. We hope you will find this post (and the many more to come) useful and interesting. We also hope that this will help you better appreciate our work and the choices we make, in fabric and elsewhere.
Let’s start from the beginning. I should warn you that I will get a little technical. It may be the boring part but it is necessary for a more in-depth understanding.
What do we mean by fabric?
“A flexible layer created by crossing two sets of thread, one perpendicular to the other, with an undetermined length, a limited width, and a variable appearance depending on the intended use.” (English translation from Elementi di tecnica tessile – L. Bardini Barbafiera)
And what about nonwoven fabrics?
“Nonwoven fabrics are defined as flexible fabric surfaces obtained by bonding thin layers of fibers.” (English translation from Elementi di tecnica tessile – L. Bardini Barbafiera)
In other words, fabrics are formed by a weft and warp and are made on a weaving loom (in Italian, tessitura a telaio, from which originates the word textile, meaning a product of weaving or tessitura) while nonwoven fabrics are formed by the bonding of fibers through the use of glues, heat, mechanical processes, etc. Our beloved felt is precisely a nonwoven fabric.
Fabrics – weft & warp
The warp are the longitudinal threads of a fabric while the threads that run the width (or the height of the bolt) from selvage to selvage are the weft. The different ways in which the weft and warp cross create infinite types of weaves.
Fabrics are divided into two groups according to their weave, basic weave or compound weave.
Basic weave fabrics
Basic weave fabrics are thus named because they are made up of only two elements, that is a weft and a warp. The fundamental types of basic fabrics are: plain weave, twill weave and satin weave.
Plain weave is the smallest weave possible, with two weft threads and two warp threads. Fabric weaved in this way presents a flat look with the front appearing exactly the same as the back. Our mixed cotton-silk voile, for example, is a plain weave, as well as our chiffon and crepe voile.
Twill weaves produce fabrics with a front side and a back side.
Satin weaves produces fabrics with a smooth and uniform surface and with a front side and a back side.
Compound weave fabrics
Compound weave fabrics are composed of more elements because additional wefts and warps are added to the base weft and warp. So you can understand the limitless variations that can be obtained with this method. To give you an idea, I will name some of the most common compound weave fabrics: double weave, piqué, velvet, plush, terrycloth, gauze. Speaking of which, our DHG pure wool gauze will be available in a couple weeks. Soft, unbelievably fine yet also extremely resistant at the same time.
Are you bored yet? Ok, ok. I will stop here. In the end I only wanted to give you a basic introduction. If you have any questions write to us here on the blog or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to respond to you!
Until the next post then! If I can, I will tell you about weaving and who knows, maybe I will be able to take you on a mini tour of some production process. Just consider me your special correspondent!
If you liked this article maybe you would also enjoy The Textile Museum of Prato. A special place.