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What is "Pile fabric" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 07-Feb-2023 (1 year, 4 months, 17 days ago)
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Pile Fabric: The Luxurious Touch in Everyday Textiles


Pile Fabric: The Texture That Revolutionized Textiles

Pile fabric holds a distinguished place in the textile world due to its luxurious feel and versatile applications. The origins of pile fabric date back to ancient times, where civilizations like the Egyptians used piled weaving techniques to create plush textiles. However, it was during the industrial revolution that the production of pile fabric increased exponentially due to the invention of power looms.

Types of Pile Fabric

  • Velvet: Known for its luxurious feel and shiny appearance, velvet is one of the most common types of pile fabric.
  • Corduroy: Recognizable by its 'cord' or 'wale', corduroy is a durable and warm type of pile fabric.
  • Terry Cloth: Often used in towels and bathrobes, terry cloth has uncut loops of pile.
  • Faux Fur: Created to mimic the properties of real fur, faux fur is a pile fabric that provides warmth.
  • Carpet: One of the largest applications of pile fabric is in carpeting, where cut or uncut pile is used.

Tips in Handling Pile Fabric

  • Always consider the pile direction during pattern placement and cutting.
  • Use sharp fabric scissors to ensure clean cuts.
  • Avoid high heat when ironing pile fabrics to prevent crushing the pile.
  • For sewing, a walking foot can help maintain pile direction and prevent shifting.
  • Regular gentle cleaning can help maintain the longevity and luxurious feel of pile fabric.

Major International Manufacturers or Users

  • Ashley Wilde Group: This UK-based company is known for its luxurious pile fabrics such as velvets, widely used in home furnishings.
  • Yanjan Fabric: Yanjan Fabric, based in China, is a major manufacturer of faux fur, a popular type of pile fabric.
  • VF Corporation: As the parent company of popular brands like The North Face, VF Corporation makes extensive use of pile fabrics in clothing.
  • Mohawk Industries: As a global leader in carpet manufacturing, Mohawk Industries produces a vast amount of pile fabric.
  • Kingston Mills: Located in India, Kingston Mills is renowned for its high-quality terry cloth, widely used in the hospitality industry.

Applications of Pile Fabric

  • Clothing: Pile fabric, particularly velvet and faux fur, are used in the production of high-end clothing.
  • Furnishings: Due to its luxurious feel, pile fabric like velvet is commonly used in upholstery, curtains, and cushions.
  • Carpeting: Carpets and rugs are one of the most significant applications of pile fabric.
  • Towels: Terry cloth, a type of pile fabric, is used extensively in the production of towels and bathrobes.

In conclusion, the impact of pile fabric on the textile industry is undeniable. Its myriad of applications and varieties make it a vital part of the fabric world. From the red carpets of Hollywood to the bathroom towels in homes, pile fabric continues to add a touch of luxury to our everyday lives.


Pile fabric
Pile fabric is a type of textile characterized by raised fibers or loops that create a soft, fuzzy surface. It is commonly used in various applications, including clothing, upholstery, and home furnishings. The distinctive feature of pile fabric is its three-dimensional texture, which provides comfort, warmth, and aesthetic appeal.

Pile fabrics can be categorized into two main types: cut pile and loop pile. In cut pile fabrics, the loops of fibers are cut to create a plush surface. This type of pile fabric includes velvet, corduroy, and velour. On the other hand, loop pile fabrics have uncut loops that form the surface texture, such as terry cloth and some types of carpeting.

The production of pile fabric involves specialized weaving or knitting techniques. In weaving, an additional set of warp or weft yarns is incorporated into the fabric, creating loops or raised piles. These loops can be left intact or cut to achieve the desired texture. In knitting, specific knitting techniques like terry or intarsia knitting are employed to create the loops or pile effect.

One of the most well-known pile fabrics is velvet. Velvet is a luxurious fabric with a dense pile of evenly distributed cut fibers. It has a smooth and soft feel and is often used for high-end apparel, upholstery, and drapery. Velvet can be made from various fibers, including silk, cotton, rayon, or synthetic materials like polyester.

Another popular pile fabric is corduroy, which features parallel ridges or "wales" formed by raised pile yarns. Corduroy is durable, warm, and versatile, making it suitable for trousers, jackets, and upholstery. It is commonly made from cotton, although synthetic versions also exist.

Terry cloth is a loop pile fabric known for its excellent absorbency. It is widely used for towels, bathrobes, and other absorbent products. Terry cloth can be made from cotton or a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers.

The applications of pile fabric are diverse, ranging from fashion to interior design. In the fashion industry, pile fabrics are used for various clothing items such as jackets, coats, dresses, and accessories like hats and scarves. Pile fabric's softness, warmth, and texture add a touch of luxury and comfort to garments.

In the realm of upholstery, pile fabric is a popular choice for furniture and decorative purposes. Upholstered furniture, cushions, and curtains made from pile fabrics provide an inviting and cozy ambiance. Pile fabrics add depth, texture, and visual interest to interior spaces.

Top users and manufacturers of pile fabric include textile mills, garment manufacturers, and interior design companies. Established textile mills produce pile fabrics in large quantities to supply to various industries. Some renowned manufacturers of pile fabric include companies like Mohawk Industries, Richloom Fabrics Group, and Kravet Inc.

Fashion designers and luxury brands often incorporate pile fabrics in their collections, utilizing their softness and texture to create standout pieces. High-end fashion houses like Gucci, Chanel, and Prada have been known to use pile fabrics in their designs. Additionally, interior designers and decorators seek out pile fabrics to add warmth, comfort, and visual appeal to their projects.

In conclusion, pile fabric is a versatile and luxurious textile known for its raised fibers or loops that create a soft and fuzzy surface. Cut pile and loop pile are the two main types of pile fabrics, with examples including velvet, corduroy, and terry cloth. Pile fabrics find applications in fashion, upholstery, and home furnishings, providing comfort, warmth, and aesthetic appeal. Prominent users and manufacturers of pile fabric include textile mills, garment manufacturers, fashion designers, and interior design companies.
Pile fabric
It is a fabric that is characterized by long floats of yarn or loops of yarn. In case of warp pile the warp loops are formed which may be cut or uncut. In case of weft piles long floats of weft are formed that may be cut or uncut.
Pile fabric
Fabric with cut fibers or uncut loops which stand up densely on the surface. Usually has a plush feel (i.e., bath towel, velvet).
Pile Fabric
A fabric in which certain yarns project from a foundation texture and form a pile on the surface. Pile yarns may be cut or uncut in the fabric. Corduroy and velveteen are examples of cut filling pile fabrics.

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