The plain weave is the oldest, simplest, and most often used woven structure. Each warp yarn goes under one weft yarn and over the next, so the design repeats on the minimum of two ends and two picks. The resulting fabric has the maximum number of yarn interlacings and is strong, with good cover. Derivatives of the plain weave include basket weaves, Oxfords, crepes, and Bedford cords.
Twill fabrics are characterized by diagonal lines (twill lines) on the face of the cloth formed by the floating (rising) of warp yarns over the filling yarns. The diagonal pattern is created by a step, or offset, between the rows. If the twill line moves from the lower left to the upper right, the twill is a right-hand twill. Derivatives of the twill weave include herringbone, chevron, pointed, and broken twills.
Satin-weave fabrics have a soft, smooth, and lustrous face without any appearance of a pattern. The number of interlacings between warp and filling yarns is reduced to a minimum. Satin weaves are designated by the number of harnesses that are required to weave them (from 5 to 16). The terms “satin” and “sateen” are often confused. Satin is a weave, satin fabric is a satin-weave fabric woven from silk yarns, and sateen is a satin-weave fabric woven from yarns other than silk.
Specialty weaves are variations or derivatives of the three basic weaves—plain weaves, twills, and satins.
Examples are crepe, corduroy, Bedford cords, velvet, velveteen, and piqué.