Pile (textile)

Ghiordes knot
Senneh knot
The yellow yarn is the pile and the horizontal and vertical yarns are the warp and the weft

Pile is the raised surface or nap of a fabric, consisting of upright loops or strands of yarn.[1] Examples of pile textiles are carpets, corduroy, velvet, plush, and Turkish towels.[2] The word is derived from Latin pilus for "hair"[3]

Length and density

The surface and the yarn in these fabrics are also called "pile". In particular "pile length" or "pile depth" refer to the length of the yarn strands (half-length of the loops). Pile length affects and is affected by knot density: "The greater the knot density, the thinner the weft and warp yarns and the more weakly are they twisted; the smaller the density, the coarser are the foundation yarns."[4] Designs and motifs are also affected by and affect pile depth: "A carpet design with a high knot density is better adapted to intricate and curvilinear designs, which of necessity must have a shorter pile length to avoid looking blurry. A carpet with a lesser knot density is better adapted to bold, geometric designs and can utilize a long pile for softer, more reflective surface that appeals to the sense of touch."[5]


  • Loop
  • Uncut
  • Cut
  • Knotted
  • Tufted
  • Woven
  • Cord
  • Twist

See also


  1. ^ "Pile." The Oxford English Dictionay. 2nd ed. 1989.
  2. ^ "pile", Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Pile," Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. retrieved from dictionary.com 10 September 2007.
  4. ^ Tzareva, Elena (1984). Rugs & carpets from Central Asia: the Russian collections, p.12-3. Penguin.ISBN 9780140063691.
  5. ^ Denny, Walter B. (2014). How to Read Islamic Carpets, p.43 & 61. Metropolitan Museum of Art.ISBN 9780300208092.

Media files used on this page

Jute nahtlos.png
Author/Creator: SoylentGreen, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hessian Fabric made seamless. It will serve to create a normal map in Blender.
Batik Indonesia.jpg
Author/Creator: MartijnL, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0 nl
Batik cloth purchased in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
MacLachlan hunting tartan (D. W. Stewart).svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
A representation of the Maclachlan hunting tartan. This tartan is the oldest tartan to bear the name MacLachlan. This tartan is referred to as the Old MacLachlan, MacLachlan, and Hunting MacLachlan. This sett was first published in Old & Rare Scottish Tartans by D. W. Stewart in 1893.
Thread count: Y6, W4, Bk32, G32, Y6, W4, R48.
Sources: MacLachlan Clan Tartan WR1710 MacLachlan Hunting Tartan
Noeud turc.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Noeud senneh.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5