Plain Weaves

Appearance of Plain Weaves

The plain weave is the oldest, simplest, and most often used woven structure. It repeats on a minimum of two ends and two picks. This area is a single repeat of a plain weave. Adjacent warp yarns weave in opposition to each other. When one end is up, the adjacent ends are down. After the filling is inserted, the warp yarns switch positions.


Woven patterns are most often depicted on graph paper. When the warp yarn is shaded black, the warp yarn is up and the filling is down. When the warp end is up, this is referred to as a riser or float. When the warp end is down, this is referred to as a sinker and is depicted by a white square in the pattern.

Plain weave fabrics have the highest number of interlacings of any weave. The result of this dense weaving is a relatively low tearing strength, higher tensile strength, lower snagging, a tendency to unravel less, and a tendency to wrinkle more.


Derivatives of the plain weave include:

  • Basket Weave
  • Oxford Weave
  • Crepes
  • Bedford Cord



TERMS TO KNOW (click to flip)

Plain Weave

The simplest but most important of all weaves. Repeats on two ends and two picks. Each end weaves one pick…

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Basket Weave

A variation of the plain weave where two or more warp yarns weave as a plain weave. Example: 2 x…

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Crepe Weave

A weave that produces a rough textured fabric designed to have warp and filling intersections and floats in a random…

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Bedford Cord

A fabric that has cords or ribs formed by the weave running in the warp direction. Sometimes called a warp…

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