I have come across differing views on balanced vs. warp emphasis cloth and I would like to hear more weavers thoughts I will also be doing my own comparisions too. While I do the weaving for that I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Years ago I was advised that warp emphasis fabrics are better suited for clothing, because they drape better. So the shawls I've made since I've done with slightly more epi than ppi, this is also what I've done for the cloth for our re-enactment clothing.

More recently another repsected weaver stated that you should use perfectly balanced cloth for clothing and suggested I measure the epi and ppi in a fashion fabrics store. I don't feel comfortable going into a store and inspecting their cloth, but I have a friend who's closet is the size of a fashion fabrics store and she's goign to let me loose in her closet to measure fabrics.

So my real question is when you weave balanced cloth, what do you use it for, clothing, towels, table linens, other uses?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!




Well, that's a good question.  Uses of balanced cloth could be counted cross stitch, other embroidery techniques that rely on balanced cloth, plaids and tartans, colour and weave effects, lace weaves, just to name a few off the top of my head. Bwhich admittedly may not be functioning as I can't sleep tonight. :(

for scarves and shawls I sometimes push the balance 'off' for more warp emphasis, using a thicker warp and finer weft.  


Erica J

Thanks Laura, that sounds perfectly sound! I was surprised to be hearing from you this early in my day! :)

I've never really been a lace person, do I can see using lace for curtains, napkins, and I suppose clothes. are there any other common uses of lace I'm missing?

Sara von Tresckow

Most commercial fabrics are slightly "warp dominant" having a grain in the warp direction. This is helpful for sewing garments that they hang correctly as well as for drapery and other uses.

True evenweave such as for cross stitching is awkward for sewing.

If you look at archaeological finds, they, too are mostly a bit to a lot warp dominant.

Erica J

Thanks Sara,

I think one of the reasons I have questions about the use of perfectly balanced cloth, si that I primarily deal in extrant garments and recreating them. So I am curious to do the "fashion fabrics" test. :)


If you go to a fabric store that caters to quilters, you will see hundreds of bolts of crisp, stiff, balanced cotton fabric in all the colors and patterns you could want.  Perfect fabric for crisp corners.  As garment fabric, it's a bit stiff. Warp dominent, to some extent, has better drape.