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Plain Weave- What is Grosgrain Fabric?



Welcome back to a new post. Today, we will still be exploring other terms and concepts related to the basic weave. Previously, we have already learned about plain, satin and twill weave. On top of that, we have also learned about history which is related to the weaves. Today, we will learn about one of the plain weave variations, called the grosgrain.

Grosgrain Bowtie (Source:

However, do you know what exactly is grosgrain? Well, that’s why we are here today. In today’s post, we will learn why this particular fabric is called grosgrain.




Grosgrain is derived from the French word, which is a combination of two adjectives. The first is the word “gros” which translated into coarse or large. And grain is derived from French “graine”, which means texture. When we combined these two adjectives, it describes a cloth with a coarse texture in the horizontal direction.

Definition (Source: Google translate)



A grosgrain fabric is despite its name, a plain weave fabric. Which means that the same technique of 1 over and 1 under is applied to the weaving process. For your information, the 1 over and 1 under means that the weft thread will go over and under each warp threads. It is exactly this process of over and under repeated in cycles which produced the plain weave.

Grosgrain Ribbon (Source:

However, weavers were able to alter the plain weave fabric by changing the texture of the threads or yarns used. For the grosgrain, a thicker or heavier thread is used for the weft thread. Therefore, the end result is what appears to be very distinct and obvious threads in the horizontal direction.




Another name for this obvious and distinctive thread in the horizontal direction is called the “rib”. Therefore, a grosgrain is basically a plain weave with ribbed threads in the horizontal direction. It was once a very sought after fabric to make clothes, because of its durability and smoothness.

Plain weave (Source:

However, nowadays you don’t really see clothing made entirely from grosgrain fabric. An example of grosgrain fabric is found on the collar of regular polo-shirt. Try to take a closer look at the collar, and you will see the distinctive horizontal ribs. Now, that’s what we called a grosgrain fabric.

Polo collars (Source:



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