What is "Face" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 02-Oct-2023 ( ago)
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Fabric Face: The Textile's Tale Told on the Surface

Fabric Face: Delving Deep into the Heart of Textiles

Within the realm of textiles, understanding the subtleties that dictate the aesthetic, feel, and performance of fabric is paramount. At the forefront of these subtleties is the concept of the "fabric face." The "face" of the fabric pertains to the surface designated to be on the outside, the one meant for display or to come into contact with the skin. Knowledge of fabric face is essential for manufacturers, designers, and consumers alike.

History and Origin

The concept of fabric face is as old as weaving itself. Ancient civilizations, when crafting textiles, would naturally produce fabrics with different textures and patterns on each side. These artisans soon recognized that one side often had a superior finish, either in terms of design, texture, or durability. This superior side started to be referred to as the "face" of the fabric. As textile manufacturing techniques advanced, the delineation between fabric face and back became more intentional and nuanced.

Types of Fabric Face

  • Printed Face: Fabrics designed with specific patterns or images on one side.
  • Woven Face: Determined by the weave pattern, where one side is intentionally designed as the outer surface.
  • Brushed Face: Fabrics that have undergone a brushing process, producing a soft, raised texture on one side.
  • Napped Face: Resulting from a napping process, these have a fuzzy and warm texture on the face.

Tips for Handling Fabric Face

  • Always check labels for guidance on how to treat and maintain the fabric face.
  • Be gentle when cleaning the fabric face, especially for delicate or brushed fabrics.
  • For textiles with a distinct face, such as velvets, always smooth in the direction of the nap to maintain appearance.
  • Avoid direct high-heat ironing on the face, as it can alter its texture and appearance.

Profiles of Leading Manufacturers or Users

  • Louis Vuitton: A luxury fashion house, Louis Vuitton often employs distinct fabric faces in its apparel and accessory lines, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.
  • Burberry: Renowned for its iconic trench coats, Burberry relies heavily on fabric face, especially in its signature check pattern.
  • Ikea: As a leading home furnishing brand, Ikea's range of fabrics for furnishings often showcase distinct fabric faces to elevate aesthetic appeal.
  • Levi Strauss & Co.: In the world of denim, the face of the fabric dictates the look and feel of jeans. Levi's, being an industry leader, is acutely aware of this.
  • Adidas: For sportswear, the fabric's face can influence performance. Adidas, with its innovative materials, often uses specialized fabric faces for enhanced comfort.


  • Apparel: From everyday wear to haute couture, the face of the fabric dictates the final look and feel of clothing.
  • Furnishings: Be it curtains, upholstery, or bed linen, the fabric face determines both aesthetics and tactile comfort.
  • Accessories: Bags, hats, and scarves, among other accessories, rely on the fabric face for their visual appeal.
  • Performance Wear: In sportswear and activewear, the fabric face can dictate breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and overall comfort.


The intricacies of textiles are manifold, and the fabric face is a pivotal component in this complex dance. It's not just about the visual allure, but also about the tactile experience and functional performance. The fabric face is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship of ancient artisans and the technological advancements of contemporary textile industries. It underlines the beautiful symbiosis between form and function. As consumers become more discerning and manufacturers more innovative, understanding the nuances of fabric face becomes even more crucial. It serves as a reminder that in textiles, every surface, every texture, and every weave has a story to tell.

Traditionally, the side of a fabric that offers a finished or polished appearance. The face is normally used for outward print and decoration.
The right side or the better-looking side of the fabric.
That side of a fabric, which is intended to be shown by reason of weave or finish, presents a better appearance. In many fabrics, especially industrial ones there are no distinction between face and back.
The better looking side of or the correct side of the fabric.
The side of a fabric that is intended to be used outermost.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

A lightweight, plain weave fabric traditionally of wool or wool blends with a napped, fleecy surface. So named because the texture resembles the breast of an albatross. Usually light in color- used...
Leather that has an opaque color coat and clear top coat. Defects are removed during the tanning process. Finished leather has been buffed and embossed during manufacture to make the hide more...
Shag 43
Shag (fabric) is typically used to make a deep-pile carpets. This is the oldest use of the term. Shag carpet is sometimes evoked as an example of the aesthetic from the culture of the U.S. 1970s....
This final operation in yarn manufacture consists of the drawing, twisting, and the winding or the newly spun yarn onto a device such as a bobbin, spindle, cop. tube. cheese, etc. Spinning requires...
The Pad-Steam process is a textile finishing technique used to apply chemicals or dyes to fabric. It is a combination of two steps: padding and steaming. This process is widely employed in the...

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