Twill vs Cotton- A Fabric Guide

Twill and cotton are popular names in the textile industry and are used to produce clothes and many other items. These fabrics have unique qualities that make them a top choice for most people. However, it can be hard to tell the difference between twill and cotton because of their many similarities. In this twill vs cotton comparison, we’ll take a look at the defining features of twill and cotton, the different types, and what both fabrics are made of. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Twill vs Cotton: What is Twill Fabric?

Twill fabric is any fabric woven using the twill pattern. This usually includes tweed, denim, and several linen and cotton material types. When you look at each twill fabric, there are diagonal lines in each material thread. This diagonal weaving pattern usually distinguishes twill from every other kind of fabric. For most wool suiting materials, this diagonal thread design makes it look elegant and drapes well for clothing like blouses.

Despite its unique appearance, the twill fabric offers a durable structure ideal for bags, clothing, and upholstery. Many people also use it for bath towels. Most times, fabrics are not labeled twill fabrics. Instead, people refer to it by the material used in the weaving. This could be cotton or wool. 

What is Twill Fabric Made of?

Most twill fabrics come from cotton, polyester, or wool. This weave is common in denim and several types of polyester materials. You can create each fabric using different kinds of materials. However, the yarn within the material has to form a diagonal weaving pattern to become a twill fabric. Polyester is also a common fabric used in the production of fabric. It is a sturdy, synthetic material that costs less than all-natural materials like wool and cotton. 

Despite this, cotton twill fabric remains quite popular as well. Most jackets and jeans still contain the unique cotton threads in a twill weave. Cotton twill weave is also common in bedsheets if you’re looking for a top-quality and durable option.

Twill vs Cotton: What is Cotton Fabric?

Cotton is a staple fiber, which means that it features different fiber lengths. Cotton fabric comes from the cotton plant from the genus Gossypium. It comprises cellulose, an insoluble organic compound that’s important for the plant structure. The plant is soft and fluffy and requires a lot of sun to grow appropriately.

The earliest cotton production was in the fifth millennium B.C and started in India. The cotton fabric was created using the cotton gin, which separates the fluff from the plant seeds. It made the production easy and spread the material quickly, becoming a popular textile. In the Industrial Revolution, inventors created several technologies like spinning frames, spinning mules, and spinning jenny to simplify the production process further. With these technologies, Britain became a leading cotton producer, and manufacturers began to spin cotton at an even quicker rate.

However, the mechanical cotton gin invented by American Eli Whitney revolutionized cotton production. This increased cotton fabric production in the United States as the new tool made it easier to separate the seed from the cotton. The hours of manual labor required to create a bale of cotton significantly reduced from 600 hours to 12. At the same time, the southern states in America started producing more top-quality cotton with stronger and longer fabrics. 

Twill vs Cotton: Type of Twill Fabric

A vital fact to note is that there are different types of twill fabric because twill fabrics are materials made using the twill weave. Below are some of the popular twill fabrics you can find. 

Denim Twill

Denim is a type of twill weave cloth created using the warp-facing technique. This technique using means the blue warp threads would cross the white weft. This created a material that looks blue-grey on the front and whitish when put in reverse. So when you look at the twill denim, you’d see the diagonal lines that are characteristics of the twill weave. Denim is a twill fabric because it uses the unique weaving pattern known as twill weave.

Tweed and Houndstooth Wool

Some popular fabrics featuring the twill weave pattern are houndstooth and tweed designs. When creating outdoor materials like winter coats or suiting materials, you’ll often find these designs in the wool fabric. Tweed uses the twill weave to create v shapes up and down the pattern rather than the common fabrics. Usually, this kind of wool comes from pre-dyed yarns so that the contrast of the v shapes is apparent. Houndstooth patterns are more complex because they look like several tiny dogheads with sharp teeth, made evident by several colors. Despite the complexity of the pattern, the houndstooth pattern still uses the twill weave.


Another standard twill fabric is khaki/chinos. It comes from a lightweight cotton cloth and features a twill weave. It also offers a softer feel and more drape that’s not present in denim. Khaki usually features one solid color, so it can be difficult to note the diagonal lines in the weave-like other fabric. However, khaki is typical in the production of tough workwear. If you’re looking for thick, heavy-duty, durable clothing, you can opt for khaki with twill weave.

Cotton Twill

Another common type of twill in this twill vs cotton comparison is the cotton twill, any diagonally-woven fabric that features cotton fiber. Cotton twill can feature drill, denim, khaki, or gabardine materials. This type of twill offers a stiff feel and a dense weave, making it an excellent choice for trousers or pants. Note that it doesn’t drape as well as other types of cotton but offers the same level of durability.


Polyester twill is another type of cotton twill you should note in this twill vs cotton comparison. It is a common fabric today, so it is no surprise to find it using the twill weave. For example, many khakis feature polyester material today, using the twill weave. You can also find jacket materials that feature the diagonal weaving of the twill fabric.

Twill vs Cotton: Types of Cotton Fabric

There are several types of cotton fabrics available. In this section of the twill vs cotton comparison, we’ll be exploring the standard options; let’s take a look.

Quilting Cotton

This kind of cotton is also known as craft cotton; people also refer to it as printed cotton. It is plain weave cotton that is relatively lightweight. However, they are closely woven and commonly used in the fashion industry. Most manufacturers use this fabric to make tunics, aprons, dresses, tops, blankets, and even skirts.

Brushed Cotton

In this twill vs. cotton comparison, brushed cotton is another common type of cotton. Other names are flannelette or flannel. It is a medium-weight cotton fabric with a surface fiber brushed to one side of the material. This gives the brushed cotton a warm and soft look and feel. Brushed cotton is popular in the production of casual shirts, linings for beddings, jackets, children’s clothing, and more. Manufacturers also use brushed cotton for making pajamas and nightgowns because of its lightweight.

Pima Cotton

This is the finest type of cotton available, so most people refer to it as the higher end of cotton fabric. It comes with longer fibers than the regular cotton; it is also extra soft to ensure comfortability. Pima cotton is native to South America, resistant to wrinkles, and exceptionally durable. Various products are made using Pima cotton, including bedsheets, clothing, underwear, and many more. 

Egyptian Cotton

This is another top-quality type of cotton and is common in producing several products like bedsheets, dresses, clothing, and many more. However, it is also quite expensive but offers more elegance and quality. In addition, it is wrinkle and fade-resistant; Egyptian cotton is native to the Nile River Valley.

Upland Cotton

Upland cotton is a type of cotton that makes up 90% of the total cotton production in the world. It features short fibers and is native to Central America. However, it also originates from Central Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It is amongst the most popular types of cotton and is also quite affordable compared to other options.

Organic Cotton

This is any cotton that’s grown without the use of chemicals. For example, if cotton comes from cotton plants, not genetically engineered, it qualifies as organic cotton. Being free of chemicals, it includes pesticides and fertilizers. Organic cotton is usually top-quality and grown by cotton producers.

Knitted Cotton

Knitted cotton features a single yarn looped continuously to create a braided look. Manufacturers usually use multiple threads to create this woven fabric. Many products are made using knitted cotton, including button-up shirts, denim jackets, jeans, and trousers. It is also used to create sweaters, t-shirts, underwear, leggings, and many more.

Cotton Lawn

This type of cotton is lightweight, is a plain weave cotton fabric, and comes with a crisp, smooth feel. Sometimes, it is sheer and reasonably strong because of the fine weave and is common in the production of tablecloths, children’s cloth, blouses, and blankets.

Levant Cotton

Levant cotton comes from the levant seed of the Gossypium herbaceum cotton plant. It is common in oil extraction, feed, and food production. Most producers refer to it as old-world cotton, and some commercial cotton manufacturers use it to create clothing and other items.

Twill vs Cotton – Which is Better?

It can be quite challenging to compare twill and cotton. This is because twill is less of a fabric and more of a weaving pattern used in creating many fabrics, including cotton. On the other hand, cotton is a natural fiber used in creating many popular materials like denim, poplin, and more. So you can have a twill textile made of cotton or, more specifically, a cotton twill fabric made into khaki or denim. However, one cannot refer to one as being better than the other because they’re two different things.

However, if this twill vs cotton comparison focused on cotton fabric made using the twill weave and cotton fabric made with other weaving patterns, then it’s easier to tell which is the better option. We hope this twill vs cotton comparison provides insight into the two fabrics and how you can use them appropriately.

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Twill vs Cotton- A Fabric Guide When you buy anything made of fabrics, you probably wonder what makes them unique. This twill vs cotton comparison provides the details you need.
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