Fabric stores are some of the most magical places to be! Yards of lace, silk, and twine can have you occupied for hours. But, there might be a material that you come across and wonder…what exactly is that? It happens to the best of us!
Standard fabrics like cotton, polyester, and wool are all labeled as twill fabric. But, what does this mean? We’re here to shed some light on this issue! After all, where there’s a twill, there’s a way.
Defining twill fabric
Essentially, twill is a certain way of weaving fabric. This means any fabric can be twill, as long as it is weaved in this specific method!
In the twill style, fabric fibers are woven at a right angle. Specifically, the weft thread is woven over and under one or more warp threads, creating a tightly woven fabric with a unique, diagonal rib pattern.
So many clothes can be made in this style! Business suits, uniforms, overcoats, shirts for men, and more. Intrigued? Why don’t we take a closer look at this highly adaptable, highly attractive fabric?
The history of twill
The twill fabric dates back centuries, perhaps even to ancient times! Silk serge, a variant of what we now know as twill, was found in Greece and France – Charlemagne’s tomb had silk serge dyed with Byzantine motifs inside, dating to the 8th or 9th century AD.
In Britain, we’re quite famous for our woollen twill fabric, particularly our tweed suits! For many years, cotton twill dominated the industry as an accessible material in the pre-modern world. Nowadays, you might find more polyester twill fabric on the market – it’s a fairly modern invention, surfacing in the 20th century.
Can all materials be labeled as twill?
Essentially, yes. Twill refers to the style of weaving, not the material itself, so the possibilities are fairly endless! This is why there are so many different variations of twill, including:
- Natural Twill: Cotton, wool, and silk.
- Synthetic Twill: Polyester and polyester blends.
Twill made from cotton produces quality Denim, Gabardine, or Chino. Gabardine is a product you’ll find in Burberry jackets, coats, and suits! From silk, you can find twill fabric such as Foulard and Surah, popular in scarves and ties. Our very own tweed is devised from twill made from wool, as is houndstooth and herringbone twill.
Rest assured, if a fiber can be weaved in the twill style, it shall be done! Because twill is so diverse, we can use it in so many things – not just clothing!
Furniture can benefit from a little twill upholstery, too. You can often find sofas and armchairs covered with a cotton drill, wool, or a synthetic polyester blend. This makes them comfortable, appealing, and quite durable.
Twill is a method of weaving made to last, tightly knit, and easily handmade. You can sew with twill at home, as long as you use a fully enclosed seam and sharp needle!
We highly recommend investing in twill fabric for the future, and that’s our professional opinion at T.M Lewin!