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A Guide to Wire Cloth Weaves: Types of Weaves & More


Wire cloth


What’s the difference between a medieval knight dressed for battle and a modern man dressed for business? Answer: They both wear cloth garments. Although one equips himself with cloth made of metal for protection against weaponry, the other sports more supple fiber threads. However, the difference rests only in the basic materials for which their respective occupations call.

Centuries of advancements have made wire cloth extremely useful in a wide variety of applications that require a stiff but flexible, permeable woven cloth. To avoid potential confusion when “wire” and “cloth” appear in the same sentence, the distinction between wire cloth and cloth covered wire should be drawn.

Wire Cloth Versus Cloth Insulated Wire

The term “wire cloth” can conjure up images of textile fabric designed to cover wires. In fact, during the early years of establishing an electrical grid, conductive wire insulated with cloth became mainstream. For that era, it was efficient. Nowadays, though, cloth insulated wire is used for historical replication — as in museum or theatrical pieces — or for handicrafts where only a small load is applied — as in decorative lamps.

Types of weave wire mesh

Wire Mesh Cloth Woven as a Fabric

Actual wire cloth  — also known as wire mesh cloth and wire fabric — has little to do with running juice to a lamp. It is, rather, cloth woven of wires — or even rods, as used in large concrete slabs — to form a sheet with spaces between the horizontal and vertical strands. Whether the gaps in wire mesh cloth are sub-micron or measured in inches, it is both porous and moderately flexible. The weave pattern helps determine the shape of the gaps which lends the mesh its versatility in hundreds of applications.

Types of Weaving Techniques

Creating fabric from wires borrows the techniques used in textiles. Both processes involve looms, long warp strands and weft, or shute, strands of a pre-set length. The warp wires can, theoretically, be infinitely long, but the shute wires, which run perpendicular to the warp wires, determine the desired width of the roll of cloth. Like thread or yarn cloth, wire mesh can take several types of wire weave patterns. The following are the most basic types of weaves.

Types of weave wire mesh

Plain Weave

The most basic method of weaving wire cloth uses the plain weave. The shute wire runs perpendicular to the warp with no frills. The gaps can be perfectly square or rectangular according to how close each weft strand is driven to its neighbors.

Twill Weave

A twill weave has the wires running over and under adjacent wires in multiples. A basic twill might have the shute running over then under two warp wires at a time with the first doublet offset by one warp strand at the beginning of each pass. Twills can also incorporate more complex patterns as desired.

Filtration Weaves

Filter cloth requires a very tight mesh. Two main tactics accomplish this result very well:

Dutch Weave — When the warp wires are of a larger diameter than the shute, the result is a Dutch weave. The fatter warps enable the shute wires to compress more closely.

Stranded Weave — This procedure uses several strands of wire to comprise each length of warp and shute wire. When applying the twill pattern, stranded weave has the capacity to create the tightest of meshes for microfiltration.

Easy Availability of Wire Mesh and Cloth for Every Application

With the ability to weave wire cloth in nearly any configuration specified, Newark Wire Cloth Company supplies a wide array of wire cloth products for a multitude of industrial applications. We’re proud to be wire mesh distributors to industries including automotive, aerospace, chemical, sanitation, pharmaceutical, food processing, research and development and paper production, often with same-day availability.

Remember, Cloth Insulated or Cloth Covered Wire Isn’t the Same

To recapitulate: Wire cloth:

  • Isn’t cloth insulated or covered wire
  • Is a fabric comprised of metal wires
  • Can be woven as plain weave, twill, Dutch or stranded as basic patterns
  • Serves in an endless number of applications.

Because Newark Wire Cloth began over a century ago as a wire weaving company, we’ve amassed quite an impressive knowledge base and product line. If you need custom wire cloth mesh, contact us today.

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