What is Twill Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where

Fabric nameTwill
Fabric compositionOrganic or synthetic fabric fibers
Fabric possible thread count variations100-500
Fabric breathabilityMedium
Moisture-wicking abilitiesDepends on the type of fabric fiber used
Heat retention abilitiesMedium
Stretch ability (give)Low
Prone to pilling/bubblingDepends on the type of fabric fiber used
Country where fabric was first producedVarious countries; the term “twill” originates from Old English
Biggest exporting/producing country todayChina
Recommended washing temperaturesDepends on the type of fabric fiber used
Commonly used inJeans, slacks, shirts, bedding
Twill fabric
Twill fabric

What Is Twill Fabric?

When it comes to textile weaving, there are three primary techniques – satin, plain weave, and twill. Unlike satin and plain weave, twill is characterized by a distinctive diagonal pattern. It’s worth noting that “twill” doesn’t refer to a particular type of fabric fiber, but rather a weaving technique. While satin and plain weaves have straight patterns, twill creates a unique diagonal effect.

The History of Twill Fabric: From Ancient Weaving to Modern Times Twill fabric has been in use for thousands of years, making it difficult to trace its exact origins. While the word “twill” is a modern variant of the Old English word “twili,” which is a half adoption of the Latin word “bilix.” this fabric’s association with British culture is relatively recent. Despite this, twill weaving has been practiced in various cultures for a much longer time.

Twill fabric is characterized by diagonal lines, but there are numerous methods for weaving this fabric. Despite structural differences, all fabrics that display diagonal patterns are considered twill. Thus, twill fabrics can vary widely in construction, despite being classified under the same name.

Realtree Xtra Cotton Twill Camo Fabric
Realtree Xtra Cotton Twill Camo Fabric

Twill fabric’s distinctive diagonal pattern is most famously associated with denim jeans. However, this weaving technique is used in many other types of clothing and household textiles. The resulting diagonal lines create a unique visual texture that can be both visually appealing and structurally durable.

cotton was traditionally the primary material used in making twill garments and home textiles. However, modern production techniques have enabled the use of synthetic materials such as polyester to create twill fabric as well. While cotton twill may resemble cotton duck, the latter has a plain weave pattern that lacks the characteristic diagonal appearance. Twill fabric can be manufactured in a variety of colors, thread counts, and styles. The unique weaving technique of twill also results in excellent draping ability, making it a popular choice for many different applications.

How Is Twill Fabric Made?

how is twill fabric made

Regardless of the type of fiber used, twill fabric is recognized by its diamond pattern. However, different production processes are used to create the various fabrics that are used to make this textile. For example, cotton is a natural fiber that is obtained from the soft fibers that envelop the seeds of the cotton plant when it matures.

Once the cotton fibers are harvested, they are compressed into bales and transported to cotton yarn production plants. Here, the fibers are unpacked, mixed, and carded into long, thin strands. The strands are then combed and washed before being spun into yarn. The cotton yarn can be dyed during this process, or it can be sent to a textile factory on large reels for further processing into a finished product.

Printed Cotton Viscose Twill Fabric
Printed Cotton Viscose Twill Fabric


Polyester is a popular material for producing twill fabric, but the production process differs significantly from that used to make this textile. Polyester is derived from ethylene, a compound found in crude petroleum oil. This compound is then combined with dimethyl terephthalate to create a monomer alcohol, which is bonded with terephthalic acid to produce the polyester polymer. This synthetic material is then woven into twill fabric using specialized manufacturing processes.

After the polyester polymer is created, it is melted down and formed into long ribbons before being cooled and broken up. The resulting material is then melted again and extruded through a spinneret to create fabric fibers. These fibers are subjected to various treatments before being loaded onto spools. From there, they are ready to be woven into twill fabric using specialized manufacturing processes.

After the textile fiber is obtained, various weaving methods can be used to create twill fabric. While any weave pattern can technically be called “twill fabric,” there are numerous specific patterns that are commonly used. Typically, twill fabric is woven by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then passing it under two or more warp threads. This process creates a “step” pattern that appears diagonal when the fabric is completed.

How Is Twill Fabric Used?

how is twill fabric used

Twill fabric and its variations can be used to produce a vast array of apparel and home textiles. The most famous application of twill fabric is in denim jeans, which feature the characteristic diagonal pattern. In contrast, duck pants, also made from denim, feature plain weave fabric instead of twill. However, twill fabric is also used in many other garments, such as jackets, pants, and skirts. Home textiles, such as curtains, bedspreads, and upholstery, can also be made from twill fabric.

While twill fabric was commonly used to make jackets in the past, this practice is less common in modern times. Instead, twill weave is commonly used to make polo shirts and similar types of attire. However, twill fabric is not often used to make undershirts, underwear, or other lightweight fabrics that make direct contact with the skin. Instead, plain weave fabrics are typically used to make these types of textile products.

Pinky Beige Cotton Twill Classic Underbust Waist Trainer With Hip gores
Pinky Beige Cotton Twill Classic Underbust Waist Trainer With Hip gores

Twill fabric is a popular choice for home textiles, particularly for bed sheets. With the ability to produce high thread counts, twill fabric is in high demand for sheets and is also used for light blankets, duvet covers, and mattress covers. Additionally, twill fabric can be used to make other homewares such as tablecloths, curtains, and towels. Specific types of twill, such as diamond twill, are frequently used in the production of carpets and rugs. Twill fabric can even be used to make wall hangings, showcasing the versatility of this textile.

Where Is Twill Fabric Produced?

twill fabric in the world
Twill fabric is produced worldwide, but China is the leading exporter of this textile product.As biggest producer of polyester , biggest producer of cotton., China is well-equipped to manufacture twill fabric on a large scale. With its extensive resources and production capabilities, China has become a key player in the global textile industry.

Given that cotton and polyester are the most commonly used fibers in twill fabric production, it’s no surprise that China, as the largest producer of both, is the global leader in manufacturing this iconic textile. India, the United States, and Pakistan are also significant producers of twill fabric. However, with recent economic developments, there may be a shift in the textile industry, and China could potentially lose its position as the world’s biggest textile producer. Nonetheless, China remains the largest producer of almost every type of textile, for the time being.

How Much Does Twill Fabric Cost?

'Hauteur' draping petrol blue wool twill fabric
‘Hauteur’ draping petrol blue wool twill fabric


The price of twill fabric varies depending on the fiber used and the production process employed. Production efficiency varies between plants, resulting in different costs to wholesalers. While cotton and polyester are generally similar in price, specialty types of cotton such as Pima and Supima cotton can be significantly more expensive than standard cotton or polyester. Ultimately, the cost of twill fabric is determined by a range of factors, including the cost of raw materials, production efficiency, and the quality of the finished product.

What Different Types of Twill Fabric Are There?

different types of twill fabric

Twill fabric can be made from various natural and synthetic fibers, and it is available in a range of patterns. Here are some examples of different types of twill:

• Natural twill: There are different types of twill fabric that are made from natural fibers such as cotton.

• Synthetic twill: In addition to natural fibers, there are also types of twill fabric that are made from synthetic textiles like polyester.

• Zigzag twill: The most common form of twill fabric is the type that features the iconic diagonal pattern, which is what makes this type of weave so recognizable.

• Herringbone twill: While some textile experts consider herringbone to be its own fabric, it is actually a derivative of twill. Herringbone fabric features an iconic zigzag pattern that is achieved by using weft and warp threads of different colors.

• Diamond twill: a type of twill fabric that, when viewed in its complete form, takes on the appearance of multiple concentric diamonds composed of parallel lines throughout the fabric. While this type of twill is sometimes used to make apparel, it is more commonly used as a pattern in rugs and carpets. Diamond twill rugs and carpets are known for their durability, texture, and unique design. This type of twill can be made from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers, including wool, cotton, and polyester.

• Diaper twill: a type of twill fabric that was originally used to make diapers, as its name suggests. This fabric displays a complex diamond-shaped pattern, which is created by alternating the direction of the twill weave.

• Broken twill: a type of twill fabric that is not damaged, but rather features a distinctive alternating pattern.

• Elongated twill: type of twill fabric that is woven using a technique that involves crossing more weft threads with a single warp thread. This results in a fabric with an elongated appearance and a smooth, lustrous surface.

How Does Twill Fabric Impact the Environment?

Brushed Cotton Twill Fabric
Brushed Cotton Twill Fabrica

The environmental impact of twill fabric production can be significant and varies depending on the fibers used. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are more sustainable than synthetic fibers like polyester, which are derived from non-renewable sources and require large amounts of energy and water to produce. Polyester also contributes to air and water pollution, and its non-biodegradable nature makes it a threat to the environment. In response, clothing manufacturers and textile mills are exploring more sustainable ways of producing twill fabrics, including using organic and recycled fibers, reducing the use of water and energy, and using natural dyes. By implementing these practices, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of twill fabric production and create more eco-friendly textiles.

The manufacturing methods used to produce fabrics also play a significant role in their environmental impact. While cotton production can be inherently sustainable, unsustainable practices such as overuse of water, pesticides, and fertilizers can have negative impacts on the environment. Similarly, while synthetic materials like polyester are derived from non-renewable sources and require large amounts of energy and water to produce, manufacturing processes can be implemented to limit their environmental impact. These processes may include the use of recycled materials, reduction in water and energy use, and the use of environmentally friendly dyes and chemicals. By utilizing sustainable manufacturing practices, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of textile production, regardless of the type of fiber used.

While cotton is a renewable resource, unethical farming practices can lead to soil degradation and other environmental issues. The use of harmful fertilizers and pesticides can result in soil and water pollution, as these chemicals can leach into groundwater and contaminate the surrounding ecosystem. Furthermore, the intensive irrigation required for cotton production can deplete water resources and have negative impacts on local communities and wildlife. To address these issues, sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, natural pest control, and reduced water usage can be employed to promote healthy soil and minimize environmental harm. By supporting sustainable cotton production, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of this crop and promote a more sustainable future for the textile industry.

While cotton can be processed into fabric without the use of harmful substances, some manufacturers may use caustic chemicals in order to save time and money. However, this can have negative environmental consequences and can contribute to pollution and health issues for workers. Fortunately, there are many cotton producers that prioritize organic and sustainable practices, and seek certifications from organizations such as the USDA and ASA. These certifications indicate that the cotton has been grown and processed using sustainable methods that minimize environmental harm. Furthermore, cotton is biodegradable, which means that it can be rapidly broken down and reclaimed by the environment. By choosing cotton products from certified organic and sustainable producers, we can minimize the environmental impact of cotton production and promote a more sustainable future for the textile industry.

The production of polyester, which is commonly used to make twill, is inherently harmful to the environment. Polyester is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and the process of extracting usable polymers from this fossil fuel involves the use of a number of toxic chemicals. These chemicals can have harmful effects on the environment and contribute to pollution and health issues for workers involved in the manufacturing process. In addition, the production of polyester requires significant amounts of energy and water, which can have negative environmental impacts. However, by using recycled materials to create polyester and implementing sustainable manufacturing practices such as reducing water and energy usage, it is possible to minimize the environmental impact of this synthetic fiber. By choosing textiles made from recycled polyester and supporting sustainable manufacturing practices, we can help to reduce the environmental harm caused by polyester production.

Although it is difficult to entirely eliminate pollution from the production of polyester, it is possible to mitigate its environmental impact with advanced production processes that prioritize sustainability. However, once polyester is made, it poses a significant environmental problem because it is not biodegradable. Unlike cotton, which decomposes naturally over time, polyester fabric will persist in the environment for hundreds of years, polluting forests, oceans, and waterways. Additionally, when synthetic fabrics like polyester are washed, they release microplastics into water systems, which can have harmful effects on aquatic life and ultimately impact human health. To minimize the environmental impact of polyester, it is important to prioritize sustainable production practices, reduce waste by recycling and upcycling textiles, and explore alternative, biodegradable materials for use in the textile industry.

Twill Fabric Certifications Available

Various types of certifications may be available depending on the fabric used to produce twill weave. For example, organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be available for cotton twill fabric that has been grown using sustainable and environmentally-friendly methods. Other certifications may also be available, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which certifies that the entire production process, from the harvesting of raw materials to the finished product, meets strict environmental and social standards. Other certifications may focus on ethical labor practices, such as the Fair Trade certification. These certifications can help consumers identify textiles that are produced with sustainable, ethical, and environmentally-friendly practices, allowing them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

If the cotton used to make twill fabric is Pima cotton that was grown in the United States, it’s also possible for this fabric to be certified by the American Supima Association (ASA). ASA is an independent regulatory body that oversees the production of Pima cotton in the USA

For types of twill fabric that aren’t made from natural fibers, there are a few different certifications that might be available. The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) awards certifications to companies that make synthetic textiles with entirely recycled materials, but it’s hard to achieve this type of certification. Another certification available for synthetic textiles is the Bluesign® system, which focuses on the use of environmentally-friendly materials and production methods throughout the entire manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products. This certification guarantees that the production of twill fabric meets strict standards for sustainability and environmental protection, reducing the negative impact of synthetic textiles on the planet.

ISO 9001 is a global standard that outlines requirements for quality management systems. This standard ensures that synthetic fabrics meet a high level of quality and consistency. In addition, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provides manufacturing standards that cover various aspects of production, from safety to environmental responsibility. These standards are designed to promote safe and sustainable manufacturing practices and are widely recognized by industry professionals.


 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

 American Supima Association (ASA)

Global Recycle Standard (GRS) 


ISO 9001American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Author's Bio:
Sherry Lin

Sherry Lin

Sales Director of fabricstrades.com, a GRS-certified manufacturer of sustainable stretch fabrics. She love sharing fabrics procurement insights.

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