Fabric Dictionary: What Is Twill Fabric?

Fabric Dictionary: What Is Twill Fabric?

Twill fabric is any fabric made with a twill weave, which can easily be identified by its diagonal pattern. Commonly known twill fabrics are denim, chino and others.
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Twill fabric is a durable, thick, and textured fabric that can be used for a variety of apparel or décor applications. Woven in a twill style weave, twill is made to be thick and features a diagonal ribbed texture woven into the fabric itself. Additionally, these fabrics can be made or blended with any fiber, some of the most popular ones being cotton, polyester, and spandex. Some twill fabrics can even be woven with different colored threads for a heathered appearance. A versatile fabric with many applications, twill can be used anywhere, at any time. Read along as we discuss everything about Twill fabric, from how it’s made to how to use it.

What Kind Of Fabric Is Twill?

Twill fabric is any fabric that is made with a twill weave. In this type of weave, the horizontal, weft threads are woven alternately over, then under, a set amount of vertical warp threads. The over-under weave pattern in the next row is then offset by one or more weave stitches from the previous row. This results in the diagonal ribbed pattern across the face of the fabric. Twill fabrics can be woven with multiple-colored threads for a subtle, mixed color effect.

Twill weaves can vary by the amount of vertical warp threads they are woven with. This is often labelled with a number designation such as 3/1, 1/2, or 4/2. In this number sequence, the first number is the number of warp threads the weft is taken over, and the second number is the number of threads the weft is taken under. For example, denim is a type of twill fabric that is woven in a 3/1 twill weave. Other types of twill fabric include chino, drill, and gabardine.

Twill fabrics are known for being thick and dense due to the yarns being packed tightly together during the weaving process. This results in the fabric being thick, durable, insulating, and opaque.

What Is Twill Fabric Made Of?

Twill fabric can be made or blended from any fibers, both natural and synthetic. The reason for this is because the word “twill,” refers to the weave style not the content. Since twill fabric can be made with a variety of fibers, let’s discuss some of the most popular fibers used to make twill fabric.

    • What Is Cotton Twill Fabric? Cotton twill is a twill fabric, woven or blended with cotton fibers. As fiber cotton is soft, breathable, absorbent, and hypoallergenic. Cotton twill fabric is a great option for crafting apparel like pants and uniforms since they will be comfortable, easy to wash, and keep the wearer cool and dry. Some examples of cotton twill fabrics include denims, chino twills, and brushed twills.
    • What Is Polyester Twill Fabric?: Polyester twill is a group of twill fabrics made or blended from polyester fibers. Unlike cotton, polyester is more affordable, insulating, and wrinkle resistant. A synthetic fiber, polyester is derived from petroleum and requires less resources to produce than other fibers, meaning that polyester costs less. Additionally, polyester fibers tend to not wrinkle, and are more insulating than other fibers. Use polyester twill fabrics to sew decors like curtains, table covers, and upholstery for furniture.
    • What Is Stretch Twill Fabric?: Stretch twill fabric is any twill fabric that contains a blend of spandex fibers. Spandex fibers, also known as lycra or elastane, are stretchy fibers that are derived in a lab from prepolymers. Adding a blend of spandex to twill increases its elasticity, making the fabric shape conforming. Spandex is so stretchy that only a small amount is needed to make the fabric stretch. It is common to find stretch twill fabrics containing a blend of 1-10% spandex.

What Does Twill Fabric Look Like?

Twill fabric is generally an opaque, thick, fabric that often has a ribbed texture. This ribbed texture comes from diagonal lines on the surface of the fabric that are formed during the weaving process. Depending on the fibers used, twill fabric may vary in density and luster.

Some twill fabrics can appear different since their surfaces are altered. Brushed twills and microsuedes are two examples of twill fabrics that are abraded to achieve a soft, raised, napped texture. Furthermore, twill fabrics are often dyed vibrant and bold colors. Sometimes, the vertical weft and horizontal warp threads are woven with multiple-colored yarns to achieve a heathered look, or even multi-colored patterns like houndstooth, or stripes. Other times, twill fabrics can be printed on, after they are woven, with detailed patterns like camouflage or animal prints.

What Is Twill Fabric Good For?

Twill fabric is a versatile fabric that can be used for a variety of applications, from apparel to decors. As apparel, twill fabric can be used to make pants, shirts, and jackets. Since twill is a durable, thick, easy to clean fabric, it is also popularly used for uniforms. As décor, twill fabric can be used to upholster furniture. Additionally, twill fabric has a fluid drape when its hung. Twill fabrics are also commonly used for curtains, bed sheets, and table covers in homes and businesses.

Which Season Is Twill Fabric For?

Twill fabric can be used for any season, at any time. Since twill refers to the weave type, the characteristics of the fabric may differ based on what fibers were used. Twill fabrics made with cotton fibers are more breathable, and thus are more suitable for warmer seasons like spring and summer. Polyester twill fabrics tend to be more insulating and are more suitable for colder weather. That being said, there is no set rule for when to wear twill fabric. A lightweight and thin twill made from polyester can keep a wearer cool, while a heavyweight and thick twill fabric sourced from cotton can keep a wearer warm.


Twill is a strong, dense fabric that features a diagonal ribbed pattern. A group of fabrics, the word twill refers to the ribbed weave style that the fabrics are woven with. These fabrics can vary in their other characteristics since twills can be woven with any fibers, such as cotton, polyester, and spandex. While some may differ in their traits, there are twill fabrics for any application or season. tIf your next project needs a beautiful, yet sturdy, durable fabric, give twill a try!.

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