Cotton, Linen Fabric Properties – Best Research For You (Part One)

fabric properties research part one

Each fabric has its own property same like the yarn and fiber. I will share 3 posts for the fabric properties in the coming days with their weaving procedure, usage.

Although fabric is a big category which contains many different kinds of fabric. I divide them into four detailed categories. And below are the topics I will share with you based on my research.

1. Cotton, Linen Fabric Properties

2. Silk Fabric Properties

3. Wool Fabric Properties

4. Polyester Fabric Properties

Today is the first post and we’re mainly focus on No.1 cotton, linen fabric properties because it contains more than half of the fabric.

In the post No.2, we are going to have some discussion about Silk fabric properties and Polyester fabric properties.

The final post will pay lot attend on wool fabric properties.

Ok. Let’s first look at how many fabrics we are going to talk in today’s topic “Cotton, Linen Fabric Properties.

1.1 Plain Fabric

What is plain fabric? All the fabrics weave in plain construction are plain fabric. The warp and weft yarn tex (tex: yarn density, also called yarn count) of plain fabric are same or close. So does the fabric warp and weft density. Plain fabric has 3 kinds, coarse plain fabric, plain fabric and fine plain fabric.

Coarse plain fabric uses the yarn more than 32tex. The yarn is thick and it has another name as thick fabric. Because of the thickness and strength, we use it for back lining, uniform or furniture upholstery fabric. The thick plain fabric made by high twist yarn will show special design on the fabric after indigo dyeing and sand wash.

Plain fabric is made by the cotton yarn between 22-29tex (yarn count 26-20S). It’s suitable for making flour bag, bed sheet lining and shirt.

Fine plain fabric normally uses 15tex yarn (more than 30S). It’s quite a thin yarn. However, the fabric by using less than 15tex yarn is called voile which you may familiar to know. It’s the best choice of summer dress for women and kids. Sometimes it will be used as medical fabric.

1.2 Poplin

Poplin fabric is different from plain fabric. It has high warp density and low weft density. The cotton yarns or blend yarns used in poplin are all in same tight shape. It shows more warp yarn construction spots on the fabric surface and has its unique properties like tight construction, clean and smooth fabric surface and soft silk touch feel.

We can divide poplin into 5 kinds according to its raw material.

Carded poplin

Combed poplin

Cotton poplinette

Full thread poplin – Warp and weft yarn are all piled yarn

Half thread poplin – Only warp yarn is piled yarn

Poplin also can be classified in to jacquard poplin, yarn dyed poplin, optical white poplin, and printing poplin.

It mainly used for shirt, outfit, embroidery lining fabric and bed sheet.

1.3 Bengaline

It’s a kind of fabric which has horizontal stripe effect on the fabric surface. Normally the warp yarn is 27.8tex*2 (21S/2) double thread and the weft is 27.8tex*3 (21S/3) triple thread. Before we use cotton yarn in bengaline but the warp yarn is easy to break. Nowadays, we use polyester cotton blend to avoid this problem.

The construction of bengaline is tight and some has very nice spandex. It’s a good choice for outfit, pants, etc.

1.4 Cambric

The cambric fabric surface has thin horizontal stripe effect. Mostly the content is full cotton, but some are also using cotton/linen, polyester/cotton, polyester/linen, and some other blend yarn.

Cambric fabric has same drape and touch feel like linen. It’s a fabric good for summer shirt and dress. It’s cool feeling and breathable.

Regularly we use 19-13tex (32-45S) cotton or cotton/polyester blend yarn which is high twisted (the twist of high twist yarn is 10% more than normal yarn) to make the fabric surface shows more linen look. The fabric warp tightness is between 43.5%-45.5%, and the weft tightness is between 48.5%-50.5%. Both of the warp and weft yarn twist direction should be same to make the fabric surface shows the clean stripe effect. (You can click to check my previous Blog for the twist knowledge part 1 and part 2.)

1.5 Twill Fabric

The fabric made by Z direction construction which shows 45 degree angle twill is called twill fabric. Twill fabric property is easy to see that the fabric front side shows the twill but the back side don’t. The touch feel is softer than khaki fabric.

Construction property: warp tightness is 60%-80%, weft tightness is 40-55%. The density of warp and weft yarn is same or similar.

It has 2 kinds of twill fabric: coarse drill (thick twill) and jean (thin twill).

Coarse drill weaves by over 32tex warp yarn (less than 18S).

Jean weaves by less than 18tex warp yarn (more than 32S).

It’s part of the main fabric for uniform, sport wear and bed sheet.

1.6 Serge

Serge is not a familiar name for us. It’s a certain name for a special wool fabric. It’s one kind of worsted wool twill fabric in solid colors like navy or black normally. We use it for school uniform, army uniform and suiting.

There’s one kind of cotton serge. The main material is cotton yarn or cotton/polyester blend yarn. The warp tightness is between 56%-65.5%, and the weft tightness is between 46%-50%. The total tightness is less than gabardine. The cotton serge is with 2/2 twill.

Cotton serge is the main fabric for women/kid suit.

1.7 Gabardine

It’s a kind of combed woolen fabric. It has certain water proof and twill effect. Good for blazer, uniform and leisure coat. 2/2 twill is the main construction but sometimes it’s also 2/1 twill. The twill angle is normally about 63 degree with warp tightness 79%-95% and weft tightness 45%-50%. The warp yarn is double thread regularly and the is Z twill. The weight is 270-320GSM but the 2/1 twill is lighter around 250-290GSM.

There is cotton gabardine also which the main material is cotton yarn in 2/2 twill with the woolen gabardine surface style.

1.8 Khaki Twill

Khaki twill is one kind of fabric in wool or cotton content with 3/1 or 2/2 twill construction. The fabric tightness is huge. Warp tightness is 92%-100% and weft is 44.5%-58% which the warp is almost double of the weft.

(3/1 twill is single side twill and 2/2 is double side twill. Mentioning here just for your reference.)

At the beginning, khaki fabric is for military uniforms and the color is like mud yellow. In Urdu language, this color sounds like khaki. So it becomes the official name of this kind of fabric. But later Khaki fabric has more color.

1.9 Cotton Satin

The fabric with the cotton content and satin construction is cotton satin. We call it tread twilled satin if the fabric satin surface shows warp yarn. Vice versa, we call sateen if the fabric satin surface shows weft yarn.

Cotton satin is one kind of popular fabric. We can see it everywhere on dress or coat even bags.

1.10 Oxford

From the name we can see it comes from England so we use the Oxford University as its name.

Oxford is breathable and in soft touch. So it becomes one of the best choice for shirt and pajama.

It contains many different kinds: solid, warp colored yarn with white weft yarn, yarn dyed, and some others in polyester/cotton composition.

The regular construction of oxford is as below.

[T/C(65/35)45S+TC(65/35)45S]*C/T16S, 101*50, polyester/cotton oxford

(J50S+J50S+J50S)optical white*(50S+50S+50S)indigo, 53*30, 100%cotton oxford

1-11. Chambray

Chambray is made by single colored warp yarn with optical white weft or optical white warp yarn with single colored weft yarn. It’s a plain cotton fabric. The warp and weft tex is similar. Normally is 36.4-18.2tex (16-32S) cotton yarn.

Usually it uses dark colored warp yarn with white weft yarn, vice versa. So the final fabric color is like a medium color.

Chambray is a cheap fabric and good for shirt. After pre-shrinkage process, the shrinkage can be less than 3% and is very popular in the market.

1.12 Denim

Denim uses indigo or Sulphur blue warp yarn constructing with white weft yarn. Normally in 3/1 S twill. The surface construction spot shows the blue color and the back side is white.

The denim is tight and good for workers’ uniform. It’s very popular at late 80th 20th century.

1.13 Corduroy

Corduroy fabric has a special corduroy effect on the greige fabric. After the cutting process it shows the corduroy stripe on the fabric surface. Some will show “V” shape and some will show “W” shape. That’s the reason why some buyers will ask for the corduroy in 11W or 8W.

1.14 Cotton Velour

Cotton velour doesn’t have hair after weaving. We use cutting machine to cut the warp or weft yarn on the surface and brush it to make the hair stand. Because of the soft, warm and the standing hair it was used for women pajama, coat, evening dress or blanket in these days.

1.15 Flannel

Flannel is different from velour. The hair of velour is first cut then brush. But the hair of flannel is pulled by the machine from the fiber. It has one side or two side flannel. One side flannel is 2/2 twill normally. And two side flannel is in plain construction.

It used for winter pajama, spring/autumn out coat a lot. The printing flannel is also one kind of popular fabric for women and kid as its warm and soft touch feel.

1.16 Gauze

Gauze fabric is the main fabric for summer dress or shirt. It’s a kind of light weight fabric which shows the crinkle on its surface. The weft yarn of gauze is high twist yarn and after the production it will shrink about 30%. That’s the reason why the surface has the crinkle.

1.17 Cotton Crepe

After talking about gauze, we need to talk about another crepe fabric. It’s cotton crepe. It was design by the crepe construction. So the crepe does not happen because of the shrinkage but because of the origin construction.

1.18 Seersucker

Seersucker is not only in cotton but also in polyester. And recently the polyester seersucker is more commonly used in women and kids dress and shirt. It costs cheap and will not easily break. The crepe effect also will not easily vanished after washing.

1.19 Embossed Fabric

Embossed fabric has many compositions. Emboss is only one kind of production procedure. We use a tube which has design on it to emboss on the fabric to make the fabric with that design.

1.20 Leno fabric

It’s not the mesh fabric. It’s cotton with small eyes. Leno is the name of it. It makes by weaving or jacquard in light weight. But the construction is not much stable because of the net construction.

1/21 Burn out fabric

Burn out is one kind of printing. The burn out fabric is normally using the polyester filament with cotton fiber outside if it as the warp and weft yarn. Using the acid chemical printing liquid and sometimes we will print a white flower border on the flower design. During the following production the acid print will be washed together with part of the yarn. So the fabric shows the transparent effect.

1.22 Brushed Fabric

Brushed fabric is different from flannel. The brushed fabric is made by a tube and outside it has small brush. And there’s another kind of machine, the tube is covered by something like abrasive paper. The hair it makes it well distributed and short.

1.23 Warp Ribbed Fabric

Warp ribbed fabric is a kind of fabric combined with plain construction and 3/1 twill construction. By this construction, the fabric will show warp un-flat rib. We can change the rib side and gap by modifying the construction.

The regular construction is like below for your reference.

Poly/cotton(55/45)18.34tex(32S)*18.34tex(32S), 110*70, width 47”

Combed cotton J20.82tex(J28S)*J20.82tex(J28S), 108*70

1.24 Terry

Terry fabric is widely used in our daily life. For example, towel, sportswear, trunk, pullover, etc. It’s a fabric with both side or back side small circles.

1.25 Chenille Fabric

Chenille yarn is a new fancy yarn. It’s a very special yarn which is made by wrapping short lengths of fibers around two twisted tightly wound core yarns. The piles can be cotton, rayon, silk or polyester. The wrapped fibers are then cut to produce the fuzzy look.

Because of the special producing procedure and the high cost of material, we use less chenille yarn in fabric. But we have developed some patterns of yarn dyed plaid with chenille yarn and the style looks not bad. Click to check the items.

1.26 Ramie Fabric

The main material of ramie fabric is ramie fiber. (I had a detailed blog talking about fibers and you may want to check to know the fiber properties and difference by click here.) Ramie fabric is natural and sustainable. It is used for summer pants, shirt in solid color and printing.

1.27 Linen Fabric (Linen/Flax)

Linen fabric is made of linen fiber. But sometimes we will hear the word “flax”. It’s also linen, but what’s the difference? Flax is greige fabric and linen is the fabric with pre-production (if we say pfd, you may easy to understand). It has the same properties like ramie fabric.

1.28 Polyester Cotton Blend Fabric

Polyester cotton blend fabric contains many kinds of different fabric in light or heavy weight, with no spandex or high stretch, with novelty surface, twill or plain, etc.

The polyester cotton blend fabric has many properties. For example, stable construction, easy to dry, with nice drape. It can be used in all kinds of garments in all season.

Hope my fabric properties blog part one gives you a detailed information about the cotton, linen fabric properties. You can share your ideas with us by commenting below. 

Stay tuned for our next post. Have a nice day.

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