Denim Manufacturing Basics

Process Flow for Denim Manufacturing

Warp yarns used in indigo denim fabrics must go through numerous unique processing steps before they are ready to be placed on the weaving machine.


If the warp yarns are to be indigo dyed on a long chain or rope range, the yarn is ball warped and then rope dyed, followed by re-beaming onto section beams. The warp yarns are then slashed before being woven.

Typical Denim Construction, Weaves, & Weights

The typical construction of a bottom-weight 14-ounce denim is 55 to 64 warp ends per inch and 38 to 42 filling picks per inch.


The number of warp ends per inch is sometimes referred to as the “sley.” Of course, the size of the yarn used, the fabric weave design, and the fabric tightness will influence the weight, as will the amount of size left on the finished fabric.

Non-Conventional Denim Fabrics

In the past, herringbone weaves, Bedford cords, seersucker, and combinations of 3 by 1 (3/1) and 1 by 3 (1/3) twill weaves have been produced as non-conventional denim variants, along with plain-weave chambray.


Jacquard designs and dobby weaves have also been incorporated into the basic denim design. As fashion designers create new ideas, fabric manufacturers must follow the demands of marketing teams and market leaders.