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5 Best Fabric Weaves for Block Printing |Indoweave Fabrics

Block prints, the oldest technique of printing on fabrics, certainly enhance the look of your cushion covers, bed sheets, curtains, or table linen. Designs are endless, be it beautiful motifs inspired by nature or geometry or abstract designs or designs inspired by ancient architecture. But have you thought about how choosing the right fabric and the right weave can help enhance that block print even more?

A lot has been written about the best fabric material to use for natural and synthetic dye printing and we know that for natural dyes, natural fabrics made from cotton, silk, linen, blends of cotton, and linen make the best base. For synthetic dyes, pretty much all fabrics are workable. 

But we will not talk about fabrics here today; we will talk about 5 weaves that can make a fantastic base for printing. We won’t delve into too many technical details as weaves can be used in combination too and many new ways are available to use the weave innovatively. So let’s get to it.

Plain or Canvas Weave Fabrics

Simplicity is the key to any design and of course, a plain weave fabric in linen, linen and cotton, cotton, hemp, and other natural fiber blends can bring out the intricacies of a block print on the weave. As the name suggests, it is plain and allows room for creative renditions on the natural or dyed fabric. Most home furnishing fabrics are heavy fabrics and a plain weave complements the body of such fabrics.
Go with repeat, full coverage nature-inspired designs or geometric designs to focus on the aesthetics against a firm backdrop of a plain weave fabric. 

Plain or Canvas Weave Fabrics
Printed on 100% polyester plain weave fabric
cotton plain weave fabric
Printed on 100% cotton plain weave fabric
tencel blend
Plain weave fabric in linen and tencel blend

Twill Weave Fabrics

The twill weave is one of the three basic weaves and it produces diagonal lines on the face of the fabric. In-home textile fabrics, it creates a textured pattern. It is a fairly popular weave for bedsheets, light blankets, cushion covers, sofa covers, curtains, chair pads, and tablecloth, as it in a way helps to hide the stains. 

While printing on twill weave fabrics is far less common because of its rich texture and pattern, printing can be considered for bed sheets and table cloth. You may choose lightweight aesthetics for this heavy weave to complement the parallel rib design of the weave. Another way of enhancing twill weave fabrics is by adding block print trims around the product giving it a sharp finishing touch. 

Herringbone weave

This weave is typically regarded as a part of twill weave and is also called as broken twill weave. It gives a textured visual appeal just like the twill weave and draws a distinct “V” shaped pattern on the fabric.  It obviously appears more textured than a plain twill weave. 

Linen and linen blended fabrics woven in herringbone further enhance the slub look of the linen yarn and bring out a thick and sturdy body to the fabric.

You need to be very careful while selecting value additions like prints or block prints for a herringbone weave fabric.  Many designers prefer plain weave fabrics and do vivid colours of herringbone designs through block printing. However, if you have beautiful fabrics with self design of herringbone, then we recommend going ahead with abstract designs that are well spaced to balance the fabric weave design and your print design.

Herringbone weave
Distinct V shape design in a polyester/cotton blended fabric

Oxford or Matt Weave

This is a very interesting weave and makes for great breathable fabrics. It has been usually used for casual apparel wear. But it has found its space in home furnishings too. 

As this basket weave makes the fabric grainy, it is most popular for printing and block printing. It makes a great canvas for your block prints and accentuates the design overall. Use vivid colors, print parts, or print whole, this oxford weave fabric will portray your creative designs with much ease and visual appeal.

Matt Weave Fabrics
Matt weave fabric in blend of cotton, polyester, viscose and linen


Most of the weaves as we have discussed, other than the plain weave, help build character in a fabric and enhance its look and feel. Dobby weave visually appears like geometric, textured designs that may be repeated and woven-in the fabric. 

Home furnishing fabrics woven in linen, cotton, viscose, hemp, polyester allow a whole range of creativity for dobby weave. Depending on how heavy the weave is and what kind of geometric design or texture it brings out, you may experiment with bold print designs and make your cushion covers, curtains, throws stand out in your living space.

Dobby Fabrics
Dobby weave in 100% cotton fabric

Hope this blog helps you choose your fabric better and give your designs the canvas they deserve!