Warp and Weft

What is warp and weft?

Warp and Weft go hand in hand (literally).  Warp refers to the vertical lines on a woven cloth, while weft refers to the horizontal lines.  To weave cloth, the warp is pulled tightly on the loom, creating vertical lines that guide the weft over and under.

The process of warp and weft

This simple technique started over 8,000 years ago with people hand-weaving the weft thread through the warp.  During the Industrial Revolution, the fly shuttle changed the way people weaved fabric.  The fly shuttle weaved the weft through the warp with interconnected bars.  The fly shuttle has three moving bars.  Two of these bars will move up and down, attaching the weft thread through the vertical warp.  Then, the weaver has to pull the third bar to reestablish the tension needed for the next row. 

The classic warp and weft pattern can still be seen in most of your clothes today.  Through the years, the pattern has gotten smaller and less rustic with more advanced technology.  Today, our clothes are made with finer thread and more intricate patterns.