Fabrics > Construction > Pile

Woven pile is a method of fabric construction that creates loops or cut ends on one or both sides of the base fabric. An extra set of warp or filling yarns is inserted during the weaving process to construct pile weaves. Pile fabrics are defined by the type of raised surface (cut, uncut) and the direction in which the extra set of yarns is inserted during weaving to form loops or floats.

Fabrics in which the floats are cut are called cut pile fabrics. Fabrics in which the pile is not cut are known as uncut pile fabrics. Velvet, velveteen, and corduroy are cut pile fabrics, whereas terrycloth is an uncut pile fabric.

Fabric in which an extra set of warp yarns is used is called a warp-pile fabric. Velvet and woven terrycloth are examples of warp-pile fabrics.
Fabric in which an extra set of filling yarns is used is called a filling-pile fabric. Velveteen and corduroy are examples of filling-pile fabrics. Handwoven cut and uncut pile carpets and rugs are also examples of filling-pile fabrics (click on “view images” for examples of pile weave carpets).