What is Narrow Fabric?

Narrow fabric is a type of fabric that is woven or knitted in a small width. The Narrow Fabric Institute defines narrow fabrics as textiles no more than 12 inches in width (300mm) and made "by weaving, knitting, or braiding fibers or yarns with an edge to prevent unraveling."


Narrow fabrics such as webbing and tape play an important role in any industry or product that relies on textiles. This includes a wide variety of applications, from everyday to highly specialized products:

• The collars or hems of clothing

• Bookbinding

• Seatbelts

• Furniture

• Safety vests, firefighter safety gear, and other protective equipment

• Packaging

• Bags and backpacks

• Parachutes

• Military equipment and clothing

• Hiking and other recreation gear

• And much more

Most narrow fabrics tend to be 2.5" wide or less. At Wayne Mills, where we specialize in weaving a wide range of webbing and tape products, we weave fabrics as narrow as 1/8 of an inch and up to 7 inches wide. Our factory weaves the highest quality narrow fabrics with many services and enhancements available for improved performance or visual appeal. We pride ourselves on our extensive and diverse manufacturing capabilities.

Types of Narrow Fabric

Narrow fabric webbing or tape products are most commonly constructed using fabrics such as cotton tape, polyester, or nylon. Other textiles are also used depending on the needs of the product. Specifications such as fabric type, weave, width, and more can be selected based on a number of factors. Some of the most common fabrics and their uses include:

Cotton is known for its breathability and moisture-wicking properties, which is why cotton webbing is preferred in many apparel applications. Cotton is also a renewable and natural fiber.

Nylon is a synthetic fiber known for strength, durability, and superior resistance to abrasion. Nylon webbing is often used in military applications and is a favorite among many manufacturers.

Polyester is also a synthetic fiber and is known to be lightweight, strong, and durable, with resistance to wrinkling and outside conditions. Polyester webbing is commonly used for its ability to withstand heavy loads in products from military applications to sports products and more.

Spun polyester can also provide a soft hand feel plus great weather and abrasion resistance.

Protex® is a premium brand name modacrylic fiber with inherent flame resistance, making it popular for fire safety apparel and equipment.

Nomex® is a brand name textile that is dyeable with heat and flame resistance properties as well as low shrinkage. It is a popular fabric choice for military applications and even household items like oven mitts.

• More specific or unusual narrow fabrics can also be made from material such as carbon fiber, acetate, and other specialty fibers.

The Weaving Process

Our process for creating narrow fabrics is very similar to other textiles, but with the added need for small widths. Our factory addresses these constraints with a variety of specialized equipment, from looms and feeders to cutting and sewing machines.

We're proud to continue creating Made in the USA narrow fabric right here in Philadelphia, and the process can be quite beautiful to witness:


Recent Innovations

In recent years, narrow fabric has been used to create innovative products that were initially impractical to make or weren’t possible with traditional materials.

The narrow fabric industry as a whole continues to innovate to provide new and exciting possibilities, such as the creation of sweat-proof fabric that is also fire-resistant—without sacrificing any of the other product qualities. This has solved common problems for firefighters and other fire-facing occupations.

Explore Narrow Fabrics at Wayne Mills

Wayne Mills has been a reliable narrow woven fabrics manufacturer since 1910. Learn more about our wide range of textile products by exploring our products page or any other section of our website.

Be sure to contact us with any questions or to request a sample. We are here to assist you with ordering needs and specifications, product inquiries, or any other questions you may have!

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