AskDefine | Define weft

The Collaborative Dictionary

Weft \Weft\, obs. imp. & p. p. of Wave. [1913 Webster]
Weft \Weft\, n. [Cf. Waif.] A thing waved, waived, or cast away; a waif. [Obs.] "A forlorn weft." --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Weft \Weft\, n. [AS. weft, wefta, fr. wefan, to weave. See Weave.] [1913 Webster]
The woof of cloth; the threads that cross the warp from selvage to selvage; the thread carried by the shuttle in weaving. [1913 Webster]
A web; a thing woven. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

weft n : the yarn woven across the warp yarn in weaving [syn: woof, filling, pick]


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  1. the horizontal threads that are interlaced through the warp in a woven fabric; the woof
  2. the yarn used for the weft; the fill
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn under and over parallel warp yarns to create a fabric. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn".
The weft is a thread or yarn of spun fibre. The original fibre was wool, flax or cotton. Nowadays, many synthetic fibers are used in weaving. Because the weft does not have to be stretched in the way that the warp is, it can generally be less strong.
The weft is threaded through the warp using a shuttle. Hand looms were the original weaver's tool, with the shuttle being threaded through alternately raised warps by hand. Inventions during the 18th century spurred the Industrial Revolution, and the hand loom became the more robust spinning frame with the flying shuttle speeding up production of cloth, and then the water frame using water power to automate the weaving process. The power loom followed in the 19th century, when steam power was harnessed.
In modern usage, weft is a hairdressing term for temporary hair extensions which are glued into a person's hair.


The words woof and weft derive ultimately from the Old English word wefan, "to weave". It has given rise to the expression "woof and warp", meaning literally a fabric (the warp being the lengthwise threads, under and over which the side to side threads—the woof—are woven). The expression is used as a metaphor for the underlying structure on which something is built.

Metaphorical use

The expression "woof and warp" (or "warp and woof") is sometimes used metaphorically as one might similarly use "fabric"; e.g., "the warp and woof of a student's life" = "the fabric of a student's life."
weft in Danish: Islæt (tekstil)
weft in German: Schussfaden
weft in Spanish: Trama
weft in Esperanto: Vefto
weft in French: Fil de trame
weft in Indonesian: Lungsin
weft in Italian: trama (tessitura)
weft in Polish: Wątek tkacki
weft in Russian: Уток
weft in Swedish: Inslag (vävning)
weft in Thai: เส้นพุ่ง
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