What is a twill fabric?
Twill fabric is a woven fabric that relies on using three or at least four heddles that are warped in 1-2-3-4 pattern then repeated in the same sequence.
This woven pattern results in diagonal texture, which is the most iconic feature on the face of the fabric.
However, there are several ways on how to change the appearance of the twill using different threads, harnesses, and yarns; and this will be discussed later on.
Hence, you can see below the things where twill fabric is good for.
Twill fabric is a good and perfect choice when a heavier and sturdier fabric is needed such as in upholstery, which has been used for a very long time. It is also ideal in making curtains and bedding covers, especially during cold weather. Lastly, twill, as a versatile material can also be used to make carpets for your floor.
One of the most popular products in which twill fabric is used in the manufacturing of denim and later on, we will go hand in hand over these kinds of basic twill fabrics.
However, there are actually a lot of things you need to learn first when it comes to twill fabrics such as the process of making twill, the kinds of twill fabrics, its properties, and many other things that we will be talking on this post.
Types of Twill Fabric
There are different fibers that can be used to make twill fabric and here are some of the different types of twill you can actually use nowadays.
|Types of twill fabric||Description|
|Natural twill||These types of twill fabrics came from natural fibers such as cotton.|
|Synthetic twill||Some types of twill fabric are made from polyester, which is considered as a synthetic kind of textile.|
|Foulard||It is lightweight twill fabric made from either cotton or silk that has colorful designs printed. It is commonly used in making scarf and neckerchief.|
|Herringbone twill||This type of twill fabric is also known as the broken twill and it features a V-shaped pattern that is made from weft and warp threads with different colors. Herringbone twill is best known for its use in outerwear and in some suits.|
|Diamond twill||This type of twill is used in making apparel and commonly seen in some rugs design. It is composed of arranged multiple concentric lines that form diamond throughout the fabric.|
|Houndstooth||This type of twill features duotone weave and is characterized by a four-pointed rectangular shape pattern. Its popular use is in checkered black and white variety of weave.|
|Serge||Thanks to its distinct ridges and diagonal lines on both the technical front and backsides that makes this type of twill unique. It is commonly used in making military uniforms and some garment linings.|
|Fancy twill||A twill fabric becomes fancy when it is incorporated with unique and endless variations such as creating geometric designs. The design is done by filling the blank spaces of the diagonal pattern of the twill with another weave.|
|Chino||Just like serge twill, this type of twill has been popular in making military trousers because of its durability characteristic and natural light brown shade that makes it an effective camouflage.|
|Sharkskin||This type of twill is known for its contrasting two-tone light and dark tone that shines and resembles a shark's skin. Its fabric is made from using acetate.|
|Denim||The most popular type of twill fabric. This fabric uses a dyed indigo warp thread in combination with white weft threads, and these results in the appearance of denim we use nowadays.|
|Gabardine||If you are familiar with the brand Burberry, well they use this type of fabric. Gabardine is usually used in making line pockets.|
|Lining twill||The name itself lining, which means it is used in making lines inside the clothes. This type of twill is known to be attractive, smooth, shiny, and lightweight. What is also good about this type of twill is that it is both water and shrink resistant.|
|Cavalry twill||This type of twill is easily recognizable due to its distinct double twill ribs. It is commonly used in making ski pants, riding pants, sportswear, coats, and pants.|
|Covert||Covert twill fabric is done through weaving tightly spin wool or using wool-silk blends that produce its recognizable flecked appearance. It is also dense that makes it a good alternative to drill fabric against winds and rains.|
|Drill||The drill fabric has been known in making tents, traps, and even boat sails due to its resistance and durability against strong winds and heavy rains. In addition to this, it can also be used in making dresses and uniforms.|
Features of Twill Fabrics
One of the most iconic features of twill fabrics is its complex diagonal weave pattern; however, there are other distinguishing characteristics of twill fabrics that make it one of the popular woven fabric structures.
Advantages Of Twill Fabrics
- Can be made to several variations
- Has a unique woven surface
- Can be both air and water-resistant
- It is robust and durable
- Can be fixed and handle easily
- Contain high thread count
- It is versatile since twill can be woven with all types of threads such as cotton, polyester, and wool.
Disadvantages Of Twill Fabrics
- They are quite expensive to produce compared to plain weaves
- Difficult to clean
- They are prone to skewing or twisting after washing
- Has technical front and back sides that make the design difficult
On the other hand, many people always compare the natural cotton twill fabric with brushed cotton, wondering which is better and durable. Therefore, to answer this here is a quick comparison between the two that you can read below.
Which Is Better – Cotton Twill Fabric Or Brushed Cotton?
As we know that cotton may be considered as one of the most popular and commonly used fibers with a variety of uses in the textile industry. It is almost incorporated everywhere from beddings, clothing, furniture, and many more.
However, nowadays, cotton has been modified into a variety of fabrics and two of the most popular cotton fabrics today are cotton twill and brushed cotton.
What Is Brushed Cotton?
Brushed cotton is created by brushing the woven cotton during the end stages of cotton creation. Once the fabric is woven, a metal machine will gently brush the fabric to cause friction between fibers.
The friction will result in a raise in the fibers, which will make the fabric soft.
Since brushed cotton must have an end result that the fiber must be raised; therefore, it does not require to undergo the removal process of raised fiber, unlike other cotton fabrics.
- Good insulator
- It is durable
- It is cool and breathable
- Easy to clean and care
- Prone to shrinkage
- Usually pills (formation of tiny knot or balls made from short or broken fibers)
Uses Of Brushed Cotton
Brushed cotton has been widely used to make sweatshirts and t-shirts. Since it is a good insulator, clothing made with brushed cotton will allow you to survive cold weather. In addition to this, brushed cotton is also used to make bed sheets and other bedding materials.
What Is Cotton Twill
Cotton twill is a natural type of twill made from cellulose fibers. The difference between cotton twill from brushed cotton is the way the cotton fibers are woven together.
In cotton twill, it will give you the look of the distinct diagonal pattern and parallel ribs, which gives the recognizable diagonal look of cotton twill.
- It is extremely durable
- It is tare-resistant
- Not prone to dirt and stains
- It is more expensive compared to other types of fabric
- It is way heavier than other types of cotton fabrics
Uses Of Cotton Twill
Cotton twill is usually used in making coats and pants because it is sturdy and durable. It's popularly used is in the manufacturing of chino, denim pants, and some work clothes. Aside from these, cotton twill can also be used in creating furniture covers.
To conclude which is the best between the two types of cotton fabrics will depend on how you will be using the cotton fabric.
If you are looking for something that is comfortable, soft, and easy to print on, you can go for brushed cotton.
On the other hand, if you are into something that is tough, wrinkle-resistant, and not prone to dirt and stains, you could go for cotton twill fabric.
Finally, you have already known the types of twill fabric, its pros and cons, the manufacturing and weaving process, and its features.
Twill Fabric Is Good For…
As we know that twill fabric is one of the most popular and widely used textiles nowadays; therefore, this fabric and its derivatives can be used in a variety of different types of apparel such as in making denim jeans, which features the distinct diagonal pattern of twill fabrics.
Another apparel where you can see this type of fabric weave is in the making of some t-shirts, polo shirts, and similar kinds of this attire. It can also be used in making underwear, undershirts, and other types of light fabrics.
When it comes to home textiles, twill fabric is also widely used, especially in making bed sheets during cold weather.
Thus, it can also be used in making light blankets and mattresses and duvet covers. Furthermore, twill fabric can also be used in making varieties of homewares such as towels, curtains, and even tablecloths.
Lastly, twill fabric, specifically the diamond twill is commonly used in designing rugs and carpet floors. Hence, this can also be used in making wall hangings for your home.
To sum it up, here is a table that lists the uses of twill fabric and its products.
|USES OF TWILL FABRICS||PRODUCTS|
|APPAREL||Denim jeans, sweater, jackets, underwear, undershirts, polo shirt|
|HOME TEXTILES||Blankets, mattress covers, bed sheets, duvet covers|
|HOMEWARE||Wall hangings, rugs, carpets, table cloth, curtains|
How To Clean Twill Fabrics
As it was stated above that one of the disadvantages of twill, the fabric is that it is difficult to clean since it has this iconic diagonal pattern, which makes it harder to clean.
However, I will share some tips on how to clean twill fabric without ruining its design and style.
Method 1: Washing in the machine
If the twill fabric has stains and spills, make sure you spray a pre-treatment stain remover on portions with stains. Let the spray solution sit for at least 10 minutes, or depends on the labeling instruction of the product.
Afterward, you fill the washing machine with cold water and mild detergent, preferably a phosphate-free detergent before you place the twill fabric. Set the machine in a gentle or delicate machine cycle.
It is common that some fading will occur in the fabric and most notable on darker shades of twill fabrics. However, the fading of this fabric can be lessened by using a cool wash setting and gentle wash cycles.
NOTE: Due to increased tumbling action during cleaning, using front-loading washers may contribute to fading and color loss.
Once you are done with the washing process, you tumble dry the twill fabric and set it on a low temperature or to permanent press setting and then remove the fabric immediately. This is to avoid shrinkage of the fabric.
Method 2: Washing by hand
To clean twill fabric by hand, make sure you test first the fabric if the color does not bleed.
If not, you can now prepare the soapy solution by mixing mild detergent with water following the label's instruction of the detergent.
Grab a clean cloth and then dip it on the soapy solution you made a while ago.
Dab it on the areas of the fabric with stains. Once you are done removing the stains on the fabric, get a brush to clean the fabric.
It is advisable if you will just use a toothbrush to brush the fabric as this can prevent the weave from being ruined instead of using a larger brush.
Make sure you just gently rub the fabric as this can ruin the design of the twill fabric.
Leave the fabric for at least 10 minutes before you remove the soap.
After ten minutes, rinse the fabric with cool water and then wipe down the fabric using a cloth.
Repeat this step until the fabric is no longer feel soapy and the soap residue is gone.
Once you are done, let the twill fabric dries outdoors by hanging it under a shady tree where there the circulation of air is good.
TIP: To speed up the drying process, you can use a portable fan directed on the twill fabric.
Once the fabric is dried, it is recommended if you iron it using standard settings for the best results, or you can use a press cloth. Alternatively, you can use steam to remove wrinkles on the fabric.
NOTE: If you will iron the fabric, make sure not to spray water on the fabric since there are mineral deposits in the iron when reacted with water can cause unexpected marking and staining and we do not want that to happen.
The Process Of Twill Fabric Making
Here is the step-by-step procedure on the production of twill fabric and also the weaving technique in the manufacturing of twill fabrics.
STEP 1: Monomer Alcohol Production
To produce monomer alcohol, Ethylene, which is extracted from petroleum oil, is mixed with dimethyl terephthalate at a high temperature.
STEP 2: Production of Polyester
The monomer alcohol that was produced a while ago is then combined with terephthalic acid to produce polyester.
STEP 3: Extrusion Process
This molten polyester is now then extruded through a slot and allows cooling into long ribbons, which will be used for the next step.
STEP 4: Chipping
The ribbons that were made in the extrusion process will be now ready to be chipped and afterward, they will be melted again.
STEP 5: Spinning
These melted polyester ribbons will be extruded again using a spinneret.
STEP 6: Drawing
These will result in strands of textile fiber, which must need to be dried first before they will be stretched.
STEP 7: Finishing
Once the drawn polyester fibers are dried, they can now be dyed or subjected to flame retardant or using an antistatic treatment.
STEP 8: Weaving
Once the raw textile fiber is acquired, they are now good for the weaving process wherein when making a twill material, one thread will go over and under two threads repeatedly.
The thread will pass over one or two warp threads and then another two or more warp under the thread repeatedly.
Doing this repeatedly will create the diagonal pattern characteristic of the twill fabric, which is the most predominant feature.
However, twill material can be altered in different ways that include the following variations:
- Changing the direction of the twill
- Reversing and breaking the twill weaves
- Weaving an even and uneven twill
- Changing the angle of the diagonal pattern of the twill
- Altering the color and effects of the weaves
Twill is a truly versatile and exciting fabrics and it has a lot of uses in our life. Let us know if you want to learn about this or other fabrics.
Image by heronworks from Pixabay
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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