Up Close with Woven Fabrics, Part II

This week's edition of Sewing Science we are Up Close with Wovens, Part II!  I snipped a bunch of tiny samples from my swatch collection to see how some of these fabrics compare to one another.
Today we have denim, jacquard, and rayon.

Denim: This is a heavier weight, non-stretch denim from Cali Fabrics.

31x. These fibers have a distinctive weave compared to a cotton canvas (see Wovens Part I).

74x


259x

1040x. I love the irregularity of natural fibers.

Stretch Denim:  This is a medium-weight stretch denim from Cali Fabrics.
Stretch Denim, far left 

75x

167x

1200x
There is no difference in the weave between the two, just the presence/absence of lycra.

Jacquard: This one was really cool. You can obviously see that this is going to be interesting, but I didn't realize how many different weaves were involved until I put it in the microscope.
Green and black jacquard, far left
25x 
26x


There are at least 5 different weave patterns involved here!
40x

84x.  This is one of the large green spots visible in the regular photograph rising high over the rest of the fibers

92x


Rayon: This was another one of my favorites.  Why does rayon have such a fabulous drape compared to other woven fabrics? It's all in the weave...
Challis (left, zebra) and Bemberg lining (right)

Rayon Challis
25x. Check out the stair-step (for lack of a better term) weave of the fibers.
76x. Quite different from anything we've seen so far.



191x.  The reason for the beautiful draping properties of rayon challis!

778x

2740x
 Bemberg Rayon Lining
25x

81x.  This fabric also has a non-orthogonal weave or a bias weave or however you want to describe it.

510x

4110x.  Smooth fibers.
The bias weaves of the rayon make sense when you think of cutting a standard woven fabric on the bias to achieve a better drape - you're effectively rotating the original weave of the fibers 45 degrees such that it becomes like the natural weave of a rayon.

The images from today's post are some of my personal favorites, especially the jacquard and rayon.  Until next week, when I will return with the 3rd and final installment of the Wovens series.  Happy Sewing!

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