What is "Drill" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 04-May-2023 (1 year, 1 month, 20 days ago)
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In the textile industry, Drill refers to a type of strong and durable fabric that is commonly used for workwear, military uniforms, and heavy-duty applications. It is characterized by its robust construction, which contributes to its resilience and longevity. Drill fabric is known for its sturdiness, resistance to wear and tear, and ability to withstand demanding conditions.

Meaning and Definition

Drill fabric is a tightly woven cotton or cotton-blend fabric with a strong diagonal twill weave pattern. This twill weave creates a distinctive diagonal ribbing effect on the fabric surface. The weave structure gives Drill its characteristic durability and strength, making it suitable for applications that require a high level of ruggedness and endurance.

Characteristics and Applications

Drill fabric possesses several key characteristics that make it ideal for specific applications:

  1. Strength and Durability: The tightly woven construction of Drill fabric gives it exceptional strength and durability, enabling it to withstand heavy use and resist tearing and abrasion.
  2. Stiffness and Firmness: Drill fabric has a slightly stiff and firm feel, which adds to its robustness and makes it suitable for workwear and uniforms.
  3. Good Drape and Wrinkle Resistance: Despite its sturdiness, Drill fabric has decent drape properties and resists wrinkling, ensuring that garments retain a neat appearance even during long hours of wear.
  4. Breathability: While Drill fabric is tightly woven, it still offers reasonable breathability, allowing air circulation and moisture evaporation, which is essential for comfort during physical work.
  5. Easy to Maintain: Drill fabric is relatively easy to care for and can often be machine washed and tumble dried without significant shrinkage or loss of color.

Due to its unique properties, Drill fabric finds a variety of applications, including:

  • Workwear such as coveralls, uniforms, and heavy-duty jackets for industries like construction, engineering, and manufacturing.
  • Military uniforms and tactical gear due to its strength, durability, and ability to withstand harsh environments.
  • Outdoor apparel like hiking pants, camping gear, and hunting clothing that require toughness and resistance to abrasion.
  • Home furnishings such as slipcovers, upholstery, and heavy-duty curtains that need to withstand daily wear and tear.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several renowned international brands specialize in producing Drill fabric and incorporating it into their product lines. Here are some of the top users and manufacturers:

  1. Carhartt: Carhartt is a well-known American workwear brand that utilizes Drill fabric extensively in their rugged and durable clothing line, catering to professionals in construction, agriculture, and other demanding industries.
  2. Dickies: Dickies, a global workwear brand, offers a range of Drill fabric-based products, including work pants, coveralls, and jackets, known for their durability and functionality.
  3. 5.11 Tactical: 5.11 Tactical is a leading manufacturer of tactical gear and uniforms, incorporating Drill fabric in their military and law enforcement apparel due to its strength and resilience.
  4. Rothco: Rothco specializes in military and outdoor clothing, featuring Drill fabric in their product range, including military uniforms, tactical pants, and workwear.

Types of Drill Fabric

Drill fabric comes in different variations based on the fiber content, weight, and finish. Some common types include:

  • Cotton Drill: This is the most common type of Drill fabric, made from 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, offering a balance between strength and comfort.
  • Fire-Resistant Drill: This type of Drill fabric is treated with fire-resistant finishes or made from inherently fire-resistant fibers to provide additional protection for workers in hazardous environments.
  • Water-Repellent Drill: Some Drill fabrics are treated with water-repellent finishes to enhance their resistance to water and stains, making them suitable for outdoor applications.

Tips for Handling Drill Fabric

To ensure optimal results when working with Drill fabric, consider the following tips:

  1. Pre-washing: It is recommended to pre-wash Drill fabric before sewing to remove any shrinkage and minimize color bleeding.
  2. Use the Right Needles: Due to its sturdy nature, it is advisable to use heavy-duty or denim needles when sewing Drill fabric to prevent breakage.
  3. Proper Cutting and Marking: Use sharp fabric shears to cut Drill fabric accurately, and mark the fabric with tailor's chalk or washable fabric markers for precise sewing.
  4. Finishing Seams: Since Drill fabric tends to fray, consider finishing the seams with serging, zigzag stitching, or binding for added durability.


Drill fabric, with its robust construction and durable properties, is a preferred choice for workwear, military uniforms, and heavy-duty applications. Its strength, longevity, and resistance to wear and tear make it highly suitable for demanding environments. Top international users and manufacturers such as Carhartt and Dickies rely on Drill fabric to provide functional and long-lasting clothing options for professionals across various industries. By understanding the characteristics and applications of Drill fabric, as well as following proper handling techniques, individuals can create high-quality garments and products that meet the rigorous demands of challenging work environments.

Cotton twill. Left-hand twill. It has closer, flatter wales that ganardine. Medium weight and course yarns are used. Also made in some other weights. Some left in the gray but can be bleached or dyed. When dyed a khaki color, drill is also called 'khaki'.
A warp-faced piece-dyed twill fabric that has a stout texture and a higher number of threads per centimetre in the warp than in the weft.


Some drills are made with five-end satin weave and it is recommended that these be called satin drills.

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