A woven fabric consists of warp and filling yarns that are interlaced at right angles to each other (Cole & Czachor, 2009, p. 31). Warp yarns are the lengthwise yarns in a fabric, whereas, the widthwise yarns are called the filling yarns. Along the lengthwise edge of the fabric, the selvedge can be found (a finish to fabric edges that is tightly woven). Key terms associated with using woven fabrics to complete a clothing project are:
Crosswise Grain: Filling yarns that run the width of the fabric.
Lengthwise Grain: Warp yarns that follow the length of the fabric. The lengthwise grain usually consists of stronger yarns that stretch less than the crosswise grain yarns or filling.
On-Grain: Fabric is cut parallel to the warp or filling yarns.
Off-Grain or Bias: Fabric is cut in a direction that is not parallel to the crosswise or lengthwise grain or a 45-degree intersection of the crosswise and lengthwise grains.
Check out the beginnings of our Fiber & Fabric Guide under the Fiber & Fabrics Basics section of the website!