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Twill fabric explained for newbies

Fabric Insight: Twill Fabric Explained for Newbies

Twill is a weaving practice used widely in the textile industry for a long time. Twill fabric weave is characterized by diagonal lines and ridges, unlike plain or satin weave. The Denim, foulard, or the shirt you wear every day could probably be twilled.

Twilled fabric weave has often darker color on the front and a lighter shade inside. So how does this work? On a weaving loom, the yarn running vertically is the warp, and the yarn running horizontally is the weft. 

For a twill, the weft runs over, and under more than one warp yarn, when the pattern is offset on the next run, the weave repeats on three or more picks and diagonal ribs are created on the face of the fiber. Technically, any textile fiber could be woven into a twill pattern.

Why Twill Fabric?

The twilled fabric has high thread count, and the filling yarns passes over one and under multiple warp threads making the woven fabric opaque, durable, and versatile. The minimal interlacing as compared to other weaves supports the free movement of the yarns resulting in well draped and softer textiles. Creasing and stains are less noticeable in twilled fabrics due to uneven exterior making it ideal for sturdy work clothing and upholstery.

Uses of Twills

Twills can be applied in various ways. It is more appropriate to classify them based on the woven sides. Even-sided and Warp-faced twill are generally in use. Foulard or neckties, herringbone, houndstooth are few Even-sided twills. Chino, gabardine, Denim are some warp-faced twills.

Even-Sided Twill

Foulard or Neckties

Lightweight twill weaves are used for men’s foulard. Foulard is the French word for scarves or neckties. Usually, twilling is done using silk yarns or polyester, or a mix of both. Although these textile pieces look thin, the twill interweave makes them strong and lasts longer.

Herringbone Twill

This twill weave is one of the most popular fabrics known for its elegance and professional appearance. The weave resembles broken zigzag, more like the bones of a herring fish and is usually woven using wool yarns. It is also called broken twill weave, with V-shaped patterns. These are used in making suits, sweaters, and most outerwear.


It is a fabric pattern twilled in dual-tone, characterized by abstract broken checks, usually in a black and white combo; other colors are also seamlessly paired. These are bit bolder than herringbone when repeated at larger sizes with sharp edges and wobble shapes. Usually woven using sheer wool yarn, for long blazers, overcoats, and suits. It is thick and durable drapes perfectly, creasing and soiling are less noticeable.

Warp-Faced Twill


A twill textile made of 100% cotton and these days, cotton and synthetic blends is also used to twill chino fabric. They are typically khaki-colored, primarily used in making casual fits and trousers. The yarn twilled are lightweight and comfortable unlike heavy yarns used in Denim. The fabric is light and breathable and best worn in summer.


It is a strong twill textile that is warp-faced in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads closely woven, making the fabric strong and draped. Cotton yarns often dyed in indigo color are used to till. The warp thread is usually dyed leaving weft plain in most cases or is dyed after twilling for darker shades. Denim fabrics are sturdy and durable, stains & creases are less noticeable, and this hard-wearing twill is very popular and versatile.


Gabardine is twilled using worsted wool. It may also use cotton & textured polyester or its blend. It is warp-faced, tough, and tightly woven fabric with a visible diagonal pattern. Gabardine twills are mainly used in making suits, trousers, and overcoats. It is firm, durable and lustrous.


Do you have any clothing that uses Twill fabric? Let us know in the comments below!