Main Types of Fabric

Because of the wide variety of silk fabrics, we can only give a few main types, with their common manufacturing techniques and particularities.

Fabric Types


This is another word for basic cloth, ie, the simplest way of intertwining a warp and a weft yarn. This fabric is usually shiny, yarn-dyed, very fine-grained, with a dry and rustling feel.
Poult and faille: soft, thick taffetas with clear cross-wise ribs. They can be treated as moiré fabrics by crushing during finishing.
Crepes: a group of fabrics made up of yarns which have been highly twisted before weaving, giving the fabrics a particular appearance considerable suppleness. There are an enormous number of varieties of crepe, including crepe de Chine, Moroccan crepe, crepe georgette.
Chiffon, organdie, voile, grenadine: a light, matt fabrics made from fine twisted yarns, spaced out to make the fabric transparent. Silk toilles, pongees shantungs (heavy fabrics with an uneven grain) and tussah are also part of the taffeta group of fabrics.


The way in which the yarns are woven produces an effect of diagonal ribs and grooves. The main fabrics using this type of weave are the serges, surahs, diagonals, herringbone, diamond-shaped.


Fabrics which usually have a shiny look, and in which the points where the warp and the weft intersect are hidden, so that the fabric has a smooth, brilliant surface and seems to be made of yarns laid side-by-side. There is a wide range of satins : duchess satins, Lyons satins, double-faced radzimir satins, satin crepes with a weft made from twisted yarns, charmeuses (heavy satin crepes with a very soft feel).

Composite or fancy weaves

These are various weaves combining the three above-mentioned types.
Reps, regencies, piques: fabrics with straight vertical ribs.
Ottomans, grosgrains, fluted fabrics: fabrics with transverse ribs, of varying thickness.
Velvets: The luxurious fabric par excellence, characterised by yarns which are cut off at the same height, forming a surface resembling fur.
Gauzes, bayaderes, tartans, etc.
The pattern-woven fabric carries a pattern which is created by the interplay of the warp and weft yarns. It is also called a Jacquard fabric, and fabrics are known as Jacquard taffeta, Jacquard velvet etc.
VBrocades and Lamés: In these fabrics, the pattern is partially or totally made up of gold and silver threads.
There are also damasks, quilted and eloqué fabrics. Furnishing fabrics: double damasks, lampas, brocades, Jacquard velvet, etc.