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Chances are high that you have an example of pile weave underfoot right this minute. As a common form of textile weaving, the pile weave is a favorite technique when the situation calls for a feel that is plush, yet resilient. Here is how the pile weave is created, as well as some of the applications for pile weave in different types of textile products.
Creating a pile weave actually involves a weaving process that establishes three different layers. The first layer is referred to as the ground fabric. This layer is the foundation for the pile and acts as the binder for the material.
The second layer is composed of an interwoven layer of fibers that act as a cushion for the pile weave, creating a soft surface. The final layer is the actual pile. This third layer is created by running the fibers over metal rods or wires that creates a loop in the yard filaments. The looped yarn creates a raised effect that can be brushed back and forth with the hand. In many textile circles, this finished product is referred to as pile yarn.
Pile weave is capable of creating a number of different types of textiles. For example, loop yarn is trimmed to create the fabric that is commonly referred to as velvet. This form of velvet can be used for all sorts of clothing items, as well as bedspreads, pillow shams, and even the backdrop for velvet paintings that were so popular in years past. Because it is the process that creates the soft texture and not the actual fiber itself, this form of pile weave can be made from just about any natural or synthetic fiber.
The pile weave is especially popular in the manufacture of upholstery, particularly cloth automobile upholstery. Just as with the velvet material, the warped ends are cut short, leaving a slight nap that can be brushed back and forth with the hand. Often, sturdier synthetic fibers are used when creating the upholstery material, since the synthetic fibers tend to repel stains with more efficiency than many natural fibers.
Along with upholstery, the pile weave also is a favorite process when it comes to the production of wall to wall carpeting. The short loops are ideal for creating a soft feel underneath, and will tend to be easier to keep clean in comparison to some other types of floor covering. Along with the wall to wall carpeting, pile weave is a common application when it comes to area rugs as well. In fact, many handmade Indian and Turkish rugs still employ the hand weaving techniques that were developed centuries ago to create the loop effect.
Other textile items also employ the pile weave technique. Terry cloth towels are produced with a pile knit composition, which not only makes the towels softer, but also more absorbent. Both wide line and think line corduroy is made using a form of pile weave methods. Chenille bedspreads are another example of a durable yet comfortable item that is made possible by the application or pile weave production.
Pile weave can be found in just about every room of our homes, as well as in many of our closets. As a weaving technique that has proven to be versatile and capable of creating long lasting textile products, pile weave is sure to be with us for many years to come.