An Introduction to 3-D Fabric Structure

Weaving is a centuries-old process that interlaces diverse linear materials from perpendicular directions in a variety of ways to build an integrated structure. For a long time, it was essential to include materials just from the warp and weft directions to make a material sheet (i.e. fabric). Fabrics in two-dimensional (2-D) sheet form offer various features such as drapability, flexibility, warmth, and strength, which all make them excellent for use as materials for clothing and other household end applications.
When high-performance fibers (such as glass, carbon, and aramid) are used to create such 2-D textiles, the woven fabrics have a wide range of technological uses, including textile composite reinforcements for the aerospace industry and body armor for military and police protection. The weaving method is also capable of producing structures with significant dimensions in the thickness direction generated by layers of textiles or yarns, which are commonly referred to as three-dimensional (3-D) fabrics.
Many of these structures are simple enough to weave on standard weaving machines with little or no modification. The immediate benefits of textiles with a significant thickness dimension include the structural integrity of the woven structure, geometric shape fulfillment, and volume necessary for many end-use applications.

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