A video version of this post can be found here.
You didn’t think we forgot about our discussion of weave structures, did you? Well, today we’re bringing part two by diving deeper into the world of twill weave fabrics! We became acquainted with standard twill in part one, but there are many variations to explore. Let's talk about herringbone, houndstooth, and point twill, but don't forget to check out the links down below for more derivatives to learn!
Herringbone weave is created by a repeating pattern of V-shapes, which resemble the bones of a herring fish (hence the name). This design is achieved by weaving the threads in a zigzag pattern, where each weft thread passes over and under warp threads, just like in a standard twill. The magic lies in the alternating direction of the diagonal lines, which meet in an offset v shape to form herringbone's distinctive pattern. This elevated design has more interest than a standard twill but maintains a timeless elegance. This becomes abundantly clear when you consider that this pattern isn't reserved solely for fabric, it's found in other applications like wood furniture, tile backsplashes, and flooring!
Houndstooth, sometimes called Dogstooth, is named for the shape produced by its broken check pattern. This design originated in the Scottish Lowlands and gained popularity through its integration into haute couture by Christian Dior. The pattern of a houndstooth weave is made by strategically switching out light and dark threads within a standard twill weave. The patterns created by each color are arranged to interlock diagonally, creating an interesting visual texture that some compare to an optical illusion.
The pattern produced by a houndstooth weave can be scaled up and down, and multi-scaled houndstooth checks are often combined to form intricate plaids!
Point Twill is very visually similar to Herringbone, but there is one important distinction. In a Herringbone weave, the point of the v shapes is broken and offset. In a Point Twill, the v shapes are continuous, forming chevron stripes throughout the fabric. This design is a variation of the standard 2x2 twill, with the pattern being reversed periodically to form the chevron design.
Other Twill Variations
Other twill derivatives include many variations of Diamond Twill, Twill Damask, and Undulating Twill. Cally from the blog Weaving Space had a 12 Twills of Christmas series that is also very interesting! I recommend checking it out.
As you can see, the world of twill weaves is incredibly diverse, offering a plethora of designs to suit every taste and application. Have you worked with any of these fabrics before? I'd love to know how their unique designs elevated your sewing project or contributed to the design process!