Plain Weave fabric - Definition of Textiles presented by Apparel Search

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Plain weave (also called tabby weave or taffeta weave) is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves.  It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics.

In plain weave, the warp and weft are aligned so they form a simple criss-cross pattern. Each weft thread crosses the warp threads by going over one, then under the next, and so on. The next weft thread goes under the warp threads that its neighbor went over, and vice versa.

  • Balanced plain weaves are fabrics in which the warp and weft are made of threads of the same weight (size) and the same number of ends per inch as picks per inch.
  • Basketweave is a variation of plain weave in which two or more threads are bundled and then woven as one in the warp or weft, or both.

A balanced plain weave can be identified by its checkerboard-like appearance. It is also known as one-up-one-down weave or over and under pattern.

Some examples of fabric with plain weave are chiffon, organza, and taffeta.

Satin weave and twill weave are the other two main textile weaves.

Designation tabby

According to the 12th-century geographer al-Idrīsī, the city of Almera in Andalusia manufactured imitations of Iraqi and Persian silks called attābī, which David Jacoby identifies as "a taffeta fabric made of silk and cotton originally produced in Attabiya, a district of Baghdad."


  • Kadolph, Sara J., ed.: Textiles, 10th edition, Saddle River, New Jersey, Pearson/prentice-Hall, 2007, ISBN 0-13118769-4

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