Yarn Dyed Woven vs. Printed

by Sierra Neale

Patterns can be created or applied to textiles in many different ways. Two of those methods are through weaving and printing. Prints are applied to the surface of the fabric after the fabric is woven. Prints can be applied to fabrics in a variety of methods, a few of which will be discussed in another upcoming article, so stay tuned! In yarn dyed designs, the design is created during the weaving process. Due to the more complicated production process yarn dyed designs tend to cost more than printed items. 

However, there are some prints which are designed to create the illusion of a yarn dyed woven texture. This is usually done to give the look of a woven without the higher price and to achieve a textured look while retaining a smooth, soft hand feel. One example of this technique in use can be seen in our Brielle Home Callan comforter set. The print on the face fabric was designed to look like a yarn dyed woven texture. This bedding is not only OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified but is also made in a percale weave for a smooth hand and garment washed for extra softness!

How to tell if something is either printed or yarn dyed?

You can sometimes identify printed fabrics by looking at the yarns, if the individual yarns are not different colors and if the color is only visible on the face of the fabric it is most likely a print. However, while in prints the color is usually only visible on the face of the fabric that is not always the case. Depending the type of dye, the printing technique, the color(s) and how much the dye saturated the fabric during the printing process some color may be visible on the reverse side of the fabric.


The below image is a fabric close up of the Brielle Home Lacy Medallion Printed Comforter Set which is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and features a 100% cotton percale solid reverse that has a smooth, cool and crisp hand-feel.. You can identify this as a print since the individual yarns themselves are not different colors since the design/color is applied to the surface of the already woven textile.

Brielle Home Camila 100% Cotton Comforter Set  in the below photo is another example of a print. This elegant and dimensional floral is printed on a cotton sateen for a soft feel and features a slight sheen.  It has a solid charcoal reverse which is also in a sateen weave.


The Brielle Home Quartz Striped 100% Cotton Comforter Set is a yarn dyed woven stripe. This set features a light weight, soft grey and white yarn dyed stripe on the face and a solid white percale reverse. You can often identify if a fabric is a yarn dyed woven by paying close attention to the construction of the fabric. Do the colors and patterns in the design look like they are coming from the individual yarns and how they interact with each other?  In the below close up image of the fabric it is clear that stripe pattern is coming from the different colored yarn (white and grey) therefore, this design is a yarn dyed woven pattern and not a print.

Another example of a yarn dyed woven design is the Brielle Home Palm Desert 100% Cotton Comforter Set  features a light weight and soft yarn dyed striae stripe on the face and a cool, crisp percale on the reverse.

In the below detail images of the face fabric you can see that the striae stripe pattern is coming from the various colored yarn.


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