Basketweave Fabrics

Have you noticed how a straw basket is woven? There is a distinct pattern to it. The basket weave pattern on woven fabrics takes after this pattern of weaving on the baskets, I guess.

weave of a basket

Two or three of the straws/reeds interlacing with each other in an under over, under over pattern. You get the similarity?

basket weave of a fabric.
Basket weaving pattern on a fabric.


What is a basket weave pattern?

The basket weave pattern is a variation of the plain weaving style of making woven fabrics. The pattern is a result of adding more than one filling and/or warp yarns. In this weave two or more warp and weft threads are woven side by side as one.

The type of warps and wefts may vary in its size, twist, texture and color. For eg in oxford cloth the yarns used in filling are coarser than the yarns used as warp threads.

In plain weave, just one each yarn is used as filling and warp yarns. In basket weave these more than one yarns are treated as one, though ; which is why it is similar to a plain weave.

And you may have seen this weave everyday, if you have a fabric covered couch like I do. The easiest examples of the basket weave fabrics will be found in the upholstery section of your fabric showroom. You will find that many sturdy looking heavyweight fabrics in this section are made in this weave.

Basket weave fabrics can be made of wool, cotton, linen, silk, rayon, or synthetics just like any other woven fabric.

Basket weave fabrics

Oxford cloth, Sail cloth, Canvas, Monk’s cloth.

Monk’s cloth usually has a 4*4 basket weave construction, though it can have different structure too. Oxford is a popular shirt and dress making fabric with a breathable basket weave construction. 

basket weave canvas fabric

Properties of basket weave fabrics

Basket weave fabrics are usually coarser than plain weave fabrics. They usually have a rougher texture.

They may also be more heavy weight.

These fabrics are said to be quite drapey and also quite breathable.

The strength of the fabric lies in the tightness of the weave. If a basket weave is tightly woven it can be quite stronger. But generally they are loosely woven.

Basket weave fabrics are said to be quite tear resitant. More than plain fabrics.

A loosely woven basket weave upholstery fabric may not be the most durable of fabrics, but the texture of the extra yarns in the pattern looks perfect. This is why these fabrics are quite popular in home decor for making curtains and upholstery covers. There is a unique charm to these fabrics.

Most of the basket weave fabrics are valued for their looks. Nothing plain about them. No pun intended.

The shirts made of basket weave fabrics like oxford cloth is considered as more casual wear than formal. They are quite soft.

Alternative names or variations for the basket weave

Hopsack weave. Matt weave

Updated on November 13, 2022 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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