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What is Textile? Textile Fabric, The Ultimate Guide

What is textile? This is a big and complicated topic, The information in this article is about what is textile and to further break it down, it is divided into four core sections.

what is textile

The first section is What is textile? Classification of Textiles. In this section, you will learn all there is to know about the dimensions and methods of classifying textiles and covering the textile industry expertise.

The second section has no technicalities involved. It focuses more on sharing the knowledge of textiles for apparel, this is something you will not easily find. This information will be very helpful for someone who is looking to venture into buying garments. From this section, you will be confident to answer what a is textile from a professional buyer’s view.

And in the third section comes the technical aspect. This is where we learn by practicality to verify the quality and safety of textiles as professionals. This will be the most authorized way to tell what a is textile. 

What is textile, contents are:

Table of Contents

Section 1: What is textile? The Classification of Textiles

To start to get the answer of what is textile? First, let’s understand textiles, and the classification of textiles, this section will cover the most comprehensive aspects of how to classify textiles.

In layman’s terms, textiles can be referred to as the three main series of woven, knitted fabrics, and non-woven.

Textile Farbic 3 Ways of Construction

But extensively, textiles involve, spinning weaving, and finished products, such as:

  • Yarn, natural silk, elastic silk, metallic silk, synthetic long and synthetic short silk, rayon, and other textile raw materials.
  • Woven and non-woven fabrics, plastic fabrics, knitted fabrics, natural fur fabrics, and industrial fabrics. Industrial fabrics are the textiles used in the industrial field like canopy cloth, sieve, filter cloth, and the like.
  • Bags, blankets, household textiles, gloves, socks, decorative clothing products, and other fabricated products.
  • Other types of textiles include; clothes for toys, belts, rope, sable, sewing, and embroidery thread.

a.) Methods in which textiles are processed

  • Knitted fabric textile: the surface of a knitted fabric feels soft, comfortable on the body, and rich in elasticity. Many knitted fabric manufacturers are improving product quality faster and faster.
  • Woven fabric textile: this fabric has no elasticity except for the type of fabric that has an elastic fiber. It has a stable structure with a flat surface. Very solid, easy to wear, and has a stiff and loose appearance.
  • Non-woven fabric textile: this involves using polymer slices, filaments, or short fibers through different kinds of fiber networks. This further creates a fusion of methods and technology and the end products are soft flat and breathable new fiber products.

Let’s have an extensive look at the three methods of processing textiles, this is for those who want to dive deeper into the topic of what is textile.

What is textile dive in deeper

I.) Knitted Fabrics: the yarn is woven into a circle and the fabric is formed and divided into two, weft knit and warp knit.


weft knits vs warp knits textiles fabric


  • Weft Knit: In a weft knitted fabric, the weft is put into the working needle of the knitting machine. This is to enable the yarn to bend into a circle and each other through the sleeve. The yarn moves horizontally from one side of the machine to another in a circular motion, and a new knitting loop can be formed with the needle’s movement.

As the yarns go horizontally, the fabric is formed by knitting a horizontal row of loops in the same pattern and direction with the bottom and top rows connected. All of the loops are knitted from a single yarn. Weft knitting can either be done on a circular knitting machine or a flat one. Weft knitted fabrics are used in making sweaters, socks, etc.

Fabrics that have been weft knitted hold the largest proportion when it comes to knitted products.

  • Warp Knit: in a warp knitted fabric, a group of yarns is arranged in parallel and put into the working needles of the knitting machine all at the same time loop. Warp knitting entails a longitudinal movement of a set of warp yarns up the warp and needle movement as well to produce knitted warps. Warp-knitted fabrics and the warp-knitting machines used in producing them have a significant difference from weft-knitted fabrics and the weft-knitting machines that make them. Just like the warp in woven fabrics, the yarns are warp-knitted in warp-knitted fabrics. These are supplied by a warp beam that is covered with an enormous amount of parallel yarns in rows. Just like what you will see in the warp beam in woven fabrics. In a warp-woven fabric, all the yarns are warp-directed. In a single horizontal row, a vertical coil is made. This now moves in a diagonal pattern to a different vertical row, thus creating another coil in the next horizontal row. As the yarn moves in a zigzag manner from side to side covering the length of the fabric, each loop is in a horizontal row and is knitted with a different yarn.

By far, what is textile? knitted fabrics are textiles, it has two types: weft knit and warp knit, cool, let’s continue!

II.) Woven Fabric: following the law of interwoven fabric, these are arranged vertically by each other, in other words, a horizontal and vertical system of two yarns are in the loop. The likes of denim, hemp yarn, brocade satin, plate Si tweed, and a few examples of woven fabric. The classification methods of woven fabric are many and are as follows;

  • Classification of the woven fabric fiber according to types. There are three types of woven fabric fiber which are: pure woven fabric, interwoven fabric, and mixed textile fabric (blended fabric).
    • Pure Woven Fabric – here the warp and weft are with the same kind of fiber, pure spun yarn woven fabric. The characteristic of the fiber is reflected by the performance of such fabric.
    • Interwoven Fabric – is where the warp and weft use different fibers of the filament woven fabric or yarn, like the warp with nylon filaments or the weft with viscose nylon interwoven fabric, or the warp with silk or weft with wool yarn silk interwoven fabric.
    • Blende Fabric – this involves using two or more varieties of fiber blended yarn in woven fabric like cotton blended, polyester-cotton blended, wool polyester, and the like. During the spinning process, fibers are mixed alongside and this is their biggest feature.
  • Classification of the woven fabric fiber according to length and fineness. These are further broken down into cotton fabric, medium-length fabric, filament fabric, and woolen fabric.
    • Cotton Fabric – here its length is about 30 mm and has a composition of yarn for cotton yarn and fabric for cotton fabric.
    • Medium-length fabric – this is just the length between the cotton and wool fiber formed out of medium-length fiber yarns and medium-length fibers.
    • Filament Fabric – is a fabric that is woven with filaments like rayon fabric, polyester silk fabric, etc.
    • Woolen Fabric – the length of the woolen fabric is about 75mm. The yarn is woolen and is made up of fibers that are 75mm long as well. Chemical fibers are cut in the same length to ensure that they blend with woolen fibers. The fabric that is produced from this yarn is wool-type fabric.
  • Classification of the woven fabric according to the structure. This has to do with the concept of organizing fabrics and is divided into three; plain weave, twill, and satin.


Image source:

  • Classification of the woven fabric according to usage. This can be categorized into fabric for clothing, industrial fabrics, home textiles, and many more.

Yes, if knitted fabric textiles are the right answer to what is textile, plus woven fabric, these big segments, you are near to the complete answer to what is textile.

III.) Non-woven: fibers are loose either by bonding or sewing. However, bonding and piercing are the two main methods used presently. This method of processing makes it a lot easier, improves labor productivity, reduces cost, and has wider prospects for improved developments.

This kind of fabric doesn’t need to be spun and woven. Just the textile’s short fibers or filaments are either carefully directed or randomly arranged to create a fiber network structure. Then either mechanical, thermal, or chemical bonding methods are introduced.

Non-woven fabrics have three major applications:

Non-woven Fabric 3 Major Applications Infographic

Yeah, from here, you can be confident to say, plus non-woven fabric textiles, which are now playing a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, by in the form of medical masks, you can the complete big answer to the question of what is textile, but to dig out more, you should keep reading, especially you are interested in deeper facts of what is textile exactly.

b.) The Raw material of the yarn that makes up the fabric

Let’s back to the raw material to further understand what is textile, the raw material view.

The raw material of the yarn that makes up the fabric are of three types: pure woven fabric, blended fabric, and interwoven fabric

  1. Pure woven fabric: the raw materials that pure woven fabric is made up of are also used in fiber, cotton, silk, wool, and polyester fabric.
  2. Blended fabric: here the raw materials that are used to produce the fabric are gotten out of two types of yarns and they are blended into strands using a method called merging. You have the low-stretch polyester filament and medium-length mixed. And then there is also a polyester staple and low-stretch polyester filament, both of which are mixed into strands.
  3. Interwoven fabric: comprises fabric made by the two-direction system of the following types of raw materials used in different fiber yarns; silk rayon interwoven ancient satin, rayon interwoven nifty spinning, and nylon.


c.) If the raw material of the fabric is dyed or not

The fabric can either be blank, that is (not dyed), or colored, meaning (it has been dyed).

  1. Blank Fabric: as the name implies, the fabric is undyed and unbleached during its processing. This can also be called raw fabric in silk weaving.
  2. Colored Fabric: simply means that the fabric is dyed and bleached during the processing. This can otherwise be known as cooked fabric in silk weaving.

What is textile? well, now we have blank textiles and colored textiles.

d.) Innovative/new fabric designs

  1. Bonded fabric: this is formed when two pieces of fabric placed against each other are bonded. Just like knitted fabrics and vinyl plastic, but tend to have different combinations.
  2. Foam laminated fabric: here the foam is attached to the woven or knitted fabric, and this is used mostly as clothing for cold weather.
  3. Flocking processing fabric: this fabric is covered with short and thick fluffy fiber and styled with velvet. It is commonly used for stylish clothing and materials for décor.
  4. Coated fabric: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or neoprene is used to weave or knit the backing in this fabric because of its high waterproof function.


e.) The differences between natural and unnatural fabric fiber

What is textile? the fiber view.

Natural fabric fiber:

  • Plant fibers like cotton, hemp, and fruit fibers.
  • Animal fibers such as wool, silk, wool-free and
  • Mineral fibers such as asbestos.

Unnatural fabric fiber:

  • Recycled fiber, for example, viscose, tencel, modal, bamboo, iysel, and vinyl ester.
  • Synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic, spandex, polyester, lycra and
  • Inorganic fibers such as metal and glass fibers.

More about fabric fiber? please check this, this is the raw “genetic” aspect answering the question of what is textile, then you can also answer questions about what is natural textile, what is man-made textile, and much more…

Fabric fiber classification infographic:

Fabric Fiber Classification Infographic

f.) Difference between Ordinary and functional fabrics or (technical textiles)

The above-mentioned is a list of some of the most commonly used fabrics. Functional textiles possess their inherent unique value. Some of its extra functions are mite removal, antibacterial, antivirus, anti-moth, flame retardant, anti-wrinkle, oil and water repellent, and negative ion health care amongst a host of other functions.

Read this guide on functional fabrics, and technical textiles:

“Technical Textiles, Functional Fabrics: The Complete Guide”.


What is textile? then, you can answer, there are general purpose textiles and technical textiles, what topic do you want to know better? ask back!


g.) Grade of fabric (quality, value/price range from the lowest to highest)

What is textile? does textile have a grade?


For newbies to textiles, we can simply put the level range as below:

Grade of fabric


  1. Low-grade fabric has regular synthetic fiber
  2. Common fabrics are made with general cotton or linen.
  3. Intermediate fabrics have lycra, tencel, and other intermediate synthetic fabrics. Or blended and natural fabrics, Quercus silk, long-staple cotton, ordinary leather, and many others.
  4. Advanced fabrics are made using wool, mulberry silk, lambskin, calfskin, and other high-quality leather like fox fur.
  5. High-grade fabrics This is where you hear of fabrics made using heavy mulberry silk, mink, and camel’s wool.

When trying to compare a good fabric and a regular fabric from a consumer’s or commercial viewpoint, the difference isn’t that obvious. In some cases, you even see a garment made out of regular fabric selling out quicker than one made from a good fabric. But when looked at with sound knowledge of fabrics and class, style, and luxury, a non-natural fabric will not make it to the mat.

What this means in essence is, that a piece of fabric has to be 100% fiber before it is good enough. Any fabric with synthetic fiber is not good enough. This can be likened to the world of jewelry where all sorts of semi-precious stones, aquamarine, and tourmalines inclusive are not allowed on the mat. Simply because the stones are half-precious.


Now the question is, what is the point of having 2% of other synthetic fiber in cotton? This is just to compensate for some of the disadvantages that cotton fabrics have. Of course, this also has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that you get to enjoy as high as 80% in quality of the fabric for an affordable price. Now the downside to this is that the moment you get used to tasting, there is no going back. For instance, we all know the value of 24k gold, now you can downsize to 18k gold and we all go home smiling, but it still doesn’t measure up to the worth of 24k gold.

The future of the world has a lot to do with fitting in, but this is about business and not taste. One important thing you should know is you can’t afford a luxury item that only a small number of people can use. If such an item becomes popular, it becomes less valuable. Quite several people may say a jeans hoodie is perfect just because JOBS  wears it, but they are unaware of the fact that JOBS goes to the white house putting on a suit and tie. And that the image he shows you in public is far from his complete image. And to think that his hoodie, which is a copy of the one in St. Croix is worth $175 but is made from the worst wool by Issey Miyake.

Just because everyone wears a particular type of clothing doesn’t mean you too should wear it. Don’t always go with the crowd. For example, in the book “Style” it is easy for the upper class to spot a tiny bit of polyester in an Oxford shirt simply because it is a middle-class sign. The Official Preppy Handbook had a lot of praises for JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, saying “She was more preppy than her mother in both dress and manner.” And this was because throughout her four years in Harvard Square, she never wore anything that was made out of unnatural fiber.

Fibers like Tencel, Modal, Lysol, and bamboo fiber are all synthetic fibers and not natural fibers. Although fabrics that are blended from natural fiber are still considered all good fabrics like the silk cashmere blends.

Sometimes the value of fabric won’t be gotten from a single fabric. If a designer of leather and silk made them separately, the fabrics may not be worth much even if they are original. But if he puts them together, it becomes really expensive and this is because the physical properties of both fabrics are completely different. Being able to blend both is very classy.

Section 2: A breakdown of common clothing fabrics: things you don’t know as a regular fabric buyer or as a consumer

As a buyer, you need to see things differently, so your answers to what is textile also differ, you will focus more on the application, so the following section will answer the question of what is textile in the application way.

2.1. Cotton and Silk fabrics

  1. Difference between the fabrics of cotton and linen: Generally, the higher the number of stitches or roots, the better the quality of the fabric. And the longer the pile, the finer the cotton, giving the body a good feel when worn.

Below are the three different grades of cotton fabric (by product name):

    • General Fabric: Short staple cotton
    • Good fabric: regular long-staple cotton, normal island cotton, Pima cotton.
    • Premium fabric: Egyptian cotton, West Indian Sea Island cotton.

Island cotton (Egyptian cotton) is in general terms long-staple cotton. Long as in the Egyptian origin of GIZA 45 70 which is the real Egyptian cotton. Other countries in the cotton industry like the United States and Peru referred to it as Pima cotton. But in North and South America as well as Australia’s long-staple cotton is also called island cotton.

It is even more difficult for the general public to differentiate between the fabrics because the above-mentioned kinds of cotton fall under a wide category. Furthermore, China’s Xinjiang introduced the Egyptian cotton species into the market. In terms of yarn prices, the West Indian Sea Island cotton > Egyptian cotton GZ45 > Pima cotton > nominal Sea Island cotton > domestic Egyptian cotton. This isn’t really in line with the prices of fabrics and end product prices but a brief classification. The industry can be very confusing with all of these names.

  1. Counts and Needles: There are two concepts involved, one is called count the second is called stitch count or several stitches. The count refers to the thickness of the thread and is represented by the letter “S” for example, 100S means 100 counts. If the number of strands per unit area is increased, the thinner the thread and fabric. There are also double and single strands. People may wonder why Egyptian cotton is referred to as good cotton, it is simply because of the high count of cotton.

Needle number has to do with the density of the fabric and is represented by the letters T and C. Way back, T is polyester and TC is cotton and a blend.

What is the meaning of 200 stitches? Take, for instance, a piece of fabric from the British standard method will normally be marked 133*72. What this means is that the warp yarn has 133 roots and the weft yarn has 72 roots. But this doesn’t show the density as it only made mention of the number of roots.

5 levels of cotton fabrics by several counts and needles:

The number of counts and needles complement each other, for a high count you will get high density, meaning 40s cotton fabric complements 200T, 250T. Just for reference purposes, below is a brief criterion that can be of use:

  • 5 levels of cotton fabrics by number of counts and needlesVery poor level: has less than 40 shirts, less than 30 bed linens, and less than 200T.
  • General level: has between 40 to 60 shirts and beddings between 200T to 600T.
  • The first level: has between 60 to 100 shirts and bedding between 800T to 1000T. Two students thought that more than 80 counts of cotton is similar to the texture of silk. This can be a problem because the difference is obvious and seeing that more than 80 counts of silk is pure luster, the concept of mercerized cotton is wide.
  • Good level: 100 count shirts, 140 counts bed linen, and between 1000T to 1400T. Fabrics of this level are of a great brand.
  • Luxury level: has more than 140 shirts and more than 1400T. However, it is important to know that higher doesn’t mean it is better. A 140 cotton fabric yarn will be very thin and will feel quite uncomfortable on the body. Similarly, more than 80S bedding will also feel too thin, very light floating, and have no texture, especially when you sleep at night. Numbers and indicators shouldn’t be the basis you rely on when choosing fabrics.

Not all clothes have counted on them and this is because their counts are usually very low, so they won’t be marked. But big brands are happy to mark out their count knowing that they used quality fabrics.

Hint: If the British method of standard density pays attention to the sum of two numbers outside the value. And also takes note of the front number (warp number) but not the back of a number (weft number). The difference between them is great.

Here is an example, an e-commerce or an online purchase platform advertises a 128*68 combed cotton twill with high quality and high-density twill cotton fabric, high count yarn, high-density fabric, moisture absorbing and comfortable, etc. All of these are just words and cannot be a high-count yarn, or high density, because the numerical value of 128*68 has completely countered the essence. So take note that everything has a standard which is why we advise you do well to ask for values directly when buying clothing online.

But you may also be able to differentiate without looking at values. Here’s how, pay attention to how the fabric of the cloth feels, look at the shine, and check how comfortable it feels on the body. And over time you would have gained the experience.

  1. Shirt fabric – the likes of Switzerland Alumo, Italy Monti, Italy Albini, Italy Leggiuno, and Italy Testa are really good fabric factories. If you see a shirt that has an Albini fabric label marked on it, you can be sure that the shirt is of excellent quality.
  2. Mulberry silk fabric (for clothing only and not bedding) – Below is a list of the types of mulberry silk that can be used for clothing only;
  • Plain crepe – this is regular fabric, that feels smooth, shrinks well, can be used as a shirt, and doesn’t easily get wrinkled.
  • Double crepe – easy to wear as a skirt, not flat, and easily gets wrinkled.
  • Crepe de chine – easy to get wrinkled, has thicker twills, and is thicker than a double crepe.
  • Aya – general fabric with twill and not so comfortable to wear.
  • Georgette yarn – best suited for scarves and easy to hook.
  • Bicameral – hardly gets wrinkled, rough, stiff, and tight with pimple grain. Best used for evening shirts and dresses.
  • Taffeta – has permanent creases that can only be hung, it is hard, stiff, degassed, and flat.
  • Jacquard silk – the frontal part of the silk is jacquard on the back part of the same silk and there are positive and negative, meaning it can only be used as outerwear. Wearing it close to the body will be uncomfortable and won’t get wrinkled easily.
  • Heavyweight silk – silk that is 16mm or more may seem like you are close to the heavens. Not easily wrinkled.

Millimetre (1 millimeter = 4.3056 g/m2, or mm for short) is the unit weight for silk. Any silk that is more than 12mm can be called heavyweight silk. The HERMAS women’s scarves and silk accessories are more than 22mm and for this reason, they are very expensive. However, the standard of silk isn’t based on the number of millimeters only, other factors like printing and dyeing are considered.

  1. Flax fabric: this is one of the best fabrics to use during summer, although it wrinkles easily but is very thick and breathable. Because it is wrinkle-prone, it feels precious and so a lot of brands use this fabric for marketing purposes.

2.2. Wool cashmere fabric

  1. Basic knowledge of wool cashmere fabric:

One thing you should know when talking about wool fabric is that it can only be wool and nothing else. The likes of fur and rabbit fur shouldn’t be mentioned when talking about woolen fabrics. Furthermore, wool and cashmere cannot be compared, as cashmere is eight times as warm as wool and one-fifth as heavy.

One way to know good and bad cashmere wool fabric, in general, is by calculating the number of counts. It is in the fineness of the fiber, like the finer the better, and the more expensive. Most people find winter-wear wool coats to be very uncomfortable and heavy, but this is because they purchase bad wool with no counts to speak of.

One more thing about wool and cashmere is they are countable. And can be categorized by grade from low to high as seen below:

  • Low grade – up to 50% lint content.
  • Medium-low grade – 50% to 95% wool content (if it isn’t pure wool, no need to talk about the count).
  • Medium-high grade – pure wool fabric with more than 95% wool content and a count between 100 to 200.
  • Luxury – wool that is between 120 and 180 counts is almost cashmere.
  • Top extravagance – pure wool with more than 180 counts like SUPER250 is the most expensive.

The wool that is the closest to cashmere is called Merino wool. Yet again figures are used to determine which is which. Just like the diameter of a human hair is about 75 microns, the same is applied with cashmere as it starts at 17 microns. But a cashmere of 15 microns is still of good quality. Merino wool can be as high as 20 microns in diameter, still serves the same purpose, and is more productive than cashmere. Merino wool can suffice as an alternative to cashmere.

Ranking of good wool fabrics from lowest to highest:
  • Mohair (Angora wool, around 25 microns – Merino wool).
  • Cashmere (19 microns).
  • Himalayan cashmere pashmina.
  • Tibetan antelope and Himalayan goat mixes, also known as sharpish and the finest Himalayan cashmere.
  • Capra Hircus Scottish sheep belly cashmere wool.
  • Shatoosh Tibetan antelope.

Out of all the wool fabrics that have been listed above, one wool fabric that is like the boss of all wool fabrics is the alpaca wool.

So now, again, what is textile? Aha, it depends on your pocket, you want top-class textiles?

Alpaca wool is like soft gold, has a very fine vicuna, and with less than 11 microns is way more expensive than cashmere. It doesn’t puff up or shrink too much. Below is how alpacas are ranked:

Alpacas ranking list:
  • Huacaya – fine fiber just like Merino wool, mass-bred, and the cheapest of all the other alpacas.
  • Iama – this is the biggest alpaca. Reared in large quantities in Australia, with a yearly worldwide production of about 600 tons of fiber completely fee of lanolin.
  • Suri – long fiber, free of scales, fine fiber, almost like that of angora wool, and is thrice the price of huacaya.
  • Guanaco – similar to vicuna but vicuna is rare. It is also produced in small quantities but not as expensive as Vicuna.
  • Vicuna – the smallest of all the alpacas and is produced in small quantities, like 4 tons only a year. Has fibers of about 11 microns like the Tibetan antelope, is very warm, and is the most expensive.


  1. Practical Knowledge on purchasing wool cashmere:

Below are a few practical tips to follow when purchasing wool cashmere:

  • Using fire to check isn’t effective because it can be mixed with rabbit wool. Using water is better because a bad cashmere will be ruined completely if washed.
  • The color of a good cashmere wool fabric must be more primitive in plain light.
  • Don’t dwell on numbers alone when choosing cashmere wool, other factors like the finishing, and the texture need to be considered as well.
  • Your thoughts about ring velvet being the best may be wrong because “dense and thin” and thin and thin” aren’t the same. Ring velvet has to be 200 sticks or more. As you can see below, the top is ok but the bottom is bad. Even as the top is tacky and the lower side appears classy, the color and light transmission ruin everything.
  • Suit fabric: when it comes to fabrics used to make suits, British ones will always outclass the Italian ones. And unfortunately, you won’t find any good suit fabrics in other countries.


British fabrics; are thicker and heavier, best for autumn and winter.

  • Scabal is the king of fabrics and is very expensive
  • Dormeuil, France, is almost like British fabrics and is cost-effective.
  • Hollan and Sherry, have a rich product line but don’t have prominent characteristics and this is because the majority of them are made in Italy, at Carlo Barbera.

Italian fabrics; lighter and thinner, best suited for spring and summer.

  • Ermenegildo Zegna, Trofeo, and the 13mm series are good.
  • Loro Piana, a very discrete brand, doesn’t show off or brag.
  • Cerruti, 1881, VBC juxtaposed and best suitable for daily suits. And
  • Carlo Barbera.


Wow, you have completed the buyer’s view on what is textile, do not stop, what is textile? let’s move on.

Section 3: Common terms and concepts in textile

The list below are terms and concepts that are common in textiles, which can also help you understand what is textile better:

  • Warp, Warp Yarn, and Warp Density:

The warp is the direction of the fabric length, the yarn is called warp yarn and warp yarn density is one inch within the arrangement of the yarn roots for warp density.

  • Weft, Weft Yarn and Weft Density:

The weft is the direction of the width of the fabric, the yarn is called weft yarn and the number of rows of yarn within 1 inch is the weft density.

  • Density:

is the number of roots that represent the woven fabric per unit length of the yarn. It is usually 1 inch or 10 centimeters within the number of roots of the yarn. In China, the national standard provided for use is 10 centimeters, but textile industries are more familiar and comfortable using 1 inch within the number of roots of the yarn to show the density. For example, “45×45/108×58” means that the warp and weft yarns are both 45, and the warp and weft density are 108 and 58 respectively.

  • Fabric width:

this has to do with the width of the fabric. The width is generally measured in inches or centimeters like 36 inches, 44 inches, 56 inches, and 60 inches. Width is commonly marked in the density of the cloth from the back, for example, fabric added to width as shown here; “45×45/108×58/60” indicates that the width is 60 inches.

  • GSM gram weight:

the GSM gram weight of the fabric is the gram of the weight of the square meter fabric. The gram weight is a very important technical indicator for fabrics that are knitted. Coarse wool also makes use of gram weight as an important technical indicator. Denim fabric gram weight is commonly used to express the number of ounces per square yard of fabric weight, for example, 7 ounces or 12 ounces of Denim, and so on.

  • Color Weaving:

this was called “first dyed fabric” by the Japanese. And refers to the first yarn or filament right after dyeing. After which, color yarn is used for the weaving process, also known as color-woven fabric. The production of color-woven fabric can also be referred to as dyeing plants like Denim, and other shirt fabrics that are color-woven fabric.

These terms are useful when you are in the textile business, they will be your weapons to help the wholesaler understand your requirements better.

Finally, we come to the most authorized part to answer the question of what is textile.

Section 3: A dependable technique to evaluate textile quality: textile testing

This will be the most authorized way, not only to help you identify what is textile, but also the trustable standard way to tell what is good textile, and what is bad textile.

An expert or professional laboratory personnel is needed to carry out testing for quality textiles. The use of professional testing equipment in line with the appropriate market and national standards is applied.

General textile testing involves the following;

  • Physical Performance Testing:

to carry out testing of the physical properties, the following are involved in the process; the density, yarn count, gram weight, yarn twist, yarn fabric, fabric structure, fabric coverage coefficient, weave shrinkage or fabric wrinkle, seam slip, tear strength, anti-crochet, yarn density strength, stiffness test, leak resistance, elasticity, recovery, permeability, garment flammability, bursting strength, water penetration, abrasion resistance, tensile strength, coil strength, the thickness of fabric, etc.

  • Chemical Performance Test:

this also refers to chemical property analysis and includes checking for PH content, lead content, azo dye test, heavy metal content test, water absorption, moisture content, odor, heat pressure, dry heat, acid spot, water spot, formaldehyde content, phenolic yellowing, storage sublimation, and many more.

  • Size Change Related Testing:

includes washing machine dimensional stability, dry cleaning dimensional stability, steam dimensional stability, and hand washing dimensional stability.

what this entails is how fast the color washes off, if it is affected by chlorine water or not, how quickly it reacts to soap when washing or dry cleaning, and so on.

  • Composition Yarn Fiber Test:

the following are tested; cotton, wool, silk, linen, polyester, viscose, spandex, nylon, the composition and content of fabric, yarn twist, and the like.

  • Eco-textiles control items tests:

items like azo dyes, allergenic dyes, extractable heavy metals, organotin compounds, total lead, total cadmium, carcinogenic dyes, pentachlorophenol, chloro-toluene phthalate plasticizers, and hexavalent chromium are not allowed.

Know more from our website’s main category: textile testing instruments

textile testing

Section 4: What’s the Difference between Fabric and Textile?

Ok, we have covered the topic of what is textile, but just like many of us, you may have the question of what is fabric, what’s the difference between fabric and textile? With our long years standing and counting in the manufacturing, testing, and research industry, we’ve come to figure out a significant challenge that’s faced by buyers who buy textile testing equipment so far has been difficulty in differentiating between textile and fabric.

From the earliest times, people have used fabrics of different types to cover, heat, personal adornments, and even to exhibit personal wealth. But recently, fabrics are still used for these purposes, and everyone is a final consumer.

Depending on the weather, we use different types of fabrics, such as wool for winter, cotton for summer, etc. We also use an umbrella and a raincoat to protect us from the rain. These are also made from other types of fabrics that are commonly called textiles. Here, I will discuss the difference between textile and fabric from two aspects: the definition of name and the application of testing.

On the Definition of Name

Textile definition

In a narrow sense, textiles are the products of textile fiber that have been processed and woven, which can be divided into two categories: woven fabric and knitted fabric.

Broadly speaking, textiles are from spinning to weaving to manufactured goods, that is, all textile materials and manufactured goods, including:

1 Yarn, thread, natural silk, rayon, chemical fiber short-length silk, elastic silk, metal wire, and other textile raw materials.

2 Knitted fabrics, woven fabrics, non-woven fabrics, natural fur fabrics, plastic fabrics, industrial fabrics(for industrial textiles, such as canopy cloth, gun clothing, filter cloth, screen, roadbed cloth, etc.), agriculture, medical textiles, and so on.

3 Clothing, clothing accessories, household textiles, decorative cloth products, gloves, hats, socks, bags, blankets, and other manufactured products.

4 Other Textiles: cloth toys, lighting, crafts, plastic products; hand crocheted, kraft silk, belts, ropes, belts, Sewing threads, Embroidery Thread, etc.

Three Classification Methods of Textiles

1 According to the structure, the materials, processing technology, texture, appearance, and main uses of textiles, can be divided into 14 categories.

2 According to the use of textiles, it can be divided into clothing textiles, decorative textiles, and industrial textiles.

3 According to the production of textiles, it can be divided into line, belt, chenille, woven fabric, textile cloth, etc.

Fabric definition

Fabric is a flat-film mass made up of fine-soft objects through intersecting, winding, and joining. Woven fabrics are made up of intersecting yarns. Knitted fabrics are made up of winding yarns. A piece of non-woven fabric is made up of yarns connected. The third fabric consists of yarns with an intersecting and winding relationship.

After many yarns constitute a stable relationship, it forms the fabric. Intersecting, winding, and joining are three relationships that can make the yarns to form a stable structure. By analyzing the yarn group and its running direction, running rules, and forming relationships in fabric, we can understand all kinds of fabrics clearly.

Fabrics are products made with different techniques such as knitting, weaving, crocheting, etc. Most fabrics are woven or woven, but there is also another type of fabric called non-woven. Non-woven materials are produced by braiding, felting, and twisting. However, all over the world, the fabric refers to the fabric used to make dresses.


On the Test Application

The Diagram between the Textile and the Fabric

If you are purchasing some testing equipment and are still skeptical about how to differentiate between fiber and textile. From the figure above, we can see that textiles are everywhere, from fiber to yarn, from cloth to clothing, from medical treatment to industry, and various industries. If there is no strict quality test in the production process for the textile, we can’t imagine what our life will look like. Fabric testing is only one aspect of textile testing, is a link to test the textile quality, but it is the most common and important link.

Search by Textile Property Testing for Color Fastness, Flammability, Strength, Abrasion, Permeability, etc.

All in all, not all textiles are fabric, while all fabric is textiles.


Through this article, hope we have covered the major contents about “what is textile”, and if we have ever missed any topic, please help us by leaving a kind comment, we wish to make this article the real ultimate guide on what is textile.

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