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Weaving – Making fabrics from yarn threads

Weaving is a way of producing fabric. There are two distinct sets of threads known as warp (longitudinal lay on the loom or machine used for weaving) and weft (the lateral threads that are interlaced with the warp at right angles). The interstices or crossing of the threads determines the characteristic of the weave.

Types of weave

There are three basic weaves - the plain weave, the satin weave and the twill weave. Sometimes, an arrangement is also incorporated, for weaving a pattern or design, within a main weave, known as, jacquard. There are many types of looms for weaving fabrics which are operated by hand and known as handlooms. Mass production of fabrics nowadays is through power looms or automatic looms.

The Process

Weaving involves the following basic stages before the completed fabric is obtained. The selection of yarn for the fabric which could be natural fibres like cotton, jute, silk or artificial like georgette, chiffon, polyester, nylon etc. or blends of both types. The spinning of yarn to make it into thread needed for the weaving. Spinning could involve rolling or twisting of more than one yarn fibre into a single thread for strength. The separation of the thread, which is by reeling it onto a frame for the warp, and onto small reels or shuttles or bobbins for the weft to interlace with the warp threads for the weave. The weaving process, for the movement of the threads, across and forth, for completing the fabric.

Dyeing has now become an integral part of the weaving process since it is very rare for plain threads to be simply woven without any colouring done. Dyeing of threads is mostly done prior to the weave though you could have the woven fabric dyed after weaving too. Colours chosen are natural vegetable and organic dyes or chemical dyes, though the latter is mostly used nowadays on account