Discover How Denim Is Woven and Learn About the 3 Key Inventions That Have Revolutionised Weaving
The main reason that knowledge about how denim is woven has become household trivia is the popularity of selvedge denim. Ever since the connoisseurs that started the vintage denim scene began identifying jeans as valuable based on the edges of shuttle-loomed denim, weaving has been something denimheads talk about.
But why do we have two different methods for weaving denim? How did weaving evolve? Actually, what is weaving? That’s what this article answers.
The five production stages of denim that the series discusses:
What Is Weaving?
Weaving is defined as the interlacing of two sets of yarn at a fixed 90° angle. It’s the yarns’ right angle at one another that distinguishes weaving from knitting in which the yarn meanders in a series of interlocking loops.
The two sets of yarn in a weave perform different tasks. The yarns that run across—known as the weft, the filling or the pick—is threaded over and under the yarn that runs downwards, which is called the warp or ends.
To weave a piece of fabric, you need three principal motions: shedding, picking and battening. First, shedding moves the warp yarn up and down to create the weave pattern. Next, picking interlaces the weft with the warp. Finally, battening presses the weft in place after the interlacing.
For denim, the dye is important too. Denim is woven from an indigo-dyed cotton warp yarn and an undyed (or bleached) weft yarn. However, with the advancement of alternative dyes such as sulfur, I would argue that the definition of denim can be stretched to include garment-dyed twills as well.
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