Denim fabric is made in various types of weaves. Each type of weave gives denim a distinct look and feel. Before we delve into the types of weaves that denim is made in, lets know the meaning and process of weaving first.
Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. Basically, one yarn or thread is placed vertically, while the other yarn or thread is placed horizontally and then, they are interlaced in different ways to form a fabric. The different ways in which the yarn are interlaced create different weaves. The vertically placed yarn is called as Warp and the horizontally placed yarn is called Weft.
Coming back to types of denim weaves, we have mainly 6 types of weaves that are most prominent in Denim fabric production.
1/1 Weave or Plain Weave- In this type of weave, one Weft yarn passes through one Warp yarn, therefore being called as 1/1. Fabric made in this weave tend to look same from upper side as well as inside. This type of denim is also called as Chambray Denim. The most popular weights in which this type of Denim fabric is made are 3.5 oz to 6.5 oz. This weight is usually used to make light weight garments like shirts, tops, kurtis etc. The fabric can also be made stretchable by using Lycra yarn while weaving process.
Plain Weave- 1/1
2. 2/1 Weave or Twill Weave- This weave is just two warp threads for every weft thread therefore called 2/1. This weave is commonly used for weights 10.5 oz or under. Most popular weights being 4 oz to 8 oz in which you can find plethora of qualities in denim. As the weight suggest, fabric of this weave being light weight are used for making shirts, tops, jumpsuits, shorts, skirts, jackets for kids, kurtis and many more purposes. Higher weight such as 9-10.5 oz is also used for making jeans, capris, and shorts for women. While 100% cotton is most famous blend you will find denim in this weave, Lycra Blend, Cotton Poly and Cotton poly Lycra blend are also manufactured in this weave. The weave can be further classified into RHT(Right Hand Twill) or LHT(Left Hand Twill).
2/1 Twill Weave- Shirting
3. 3/1 Weave or 3/1 Twill- This weave is 3 warp threads for every 1 weft thread, therefore called 3/1. The weave is commonly used for heavy Weight denim fabrics(9 oz and above) and to some extent for mid weight as well(7- 8 oz). The best part about this weave is the distinct diagonal pattern that denim is famous for. It is visible the best in this weave as compared to any other. Denim manufactured in this weave is used for most purposes we know denim for especially our beloved jeans, be it any fit. Other use are but not limited to jacket, shoes, shorts, capris, bags, book covers/jackets, dungarees, and many more. This weave can be used with multiple blends- 100% Cotton, Cotton Lycra, Cotton Poly Lycra, Cotton Poly Viscose/tencel Lycra and other blends as well. This weave can further be classified into RHT, LHT, Broken, Herringbone.
3/1 - Distinct Diagonal Pattern
4. 4/1 Weave or Satin Weave- This weave is 3 warp threads for every 1 weft thread, therefore called 4/1 or Satin Weave- there is one more reason for it to be called satin weave and that is the satin like luster that comes from fabric made in this weave. This weave is used for 4 to 10 oz weave mostly. 9 oz satin weave in lycra blend is especially used for making women jeans. Mix it with high percentage of lycra/elastane and it can be used to make jeggings. In light weight it can be used to make highly durable, soft and lustrous shirts, kurti, tops etc.