Triaxial weaving uses three sets of parallel fibres, known as the warp, the whug and the weft. These fibres are typically at angles of 60 degrees to each other. The whug is not present in conventional, biaxial weaving. The three sets of parallel fibres can be interwoven in a variety of patterns, producing fabrics with a variety of different weights and properties. Desirable properties exhibited by triaxial fabrics include extremely lightweight, good resistance to damage, near-isotropic strain resistance and the ability to withstand shearing forces. The fabrics have a long history in traditional cultures, mainly in basketry. In modern times, some of these fabrics have found uses in a variety of industrial applications, most notably the reinforcement fabrics of composite materials.
Triaxial weaving comes in a variety of forms with different properties and relative densities. The simplest and most basic pattern described below. The fabric shown is sparse. It typically has about half as many structural elements per unit area as a rectangular woven fabric made using the same elements. One of the features of this fabric is that it has holes in it.
While this makes it unsuitable for some applications, it does help with applications that require holes or ventilation, such as chair fabric, linen baskets, and light shades. Alternatively, it is appropriate where a light material is required, but that is still very strong. This fabric is sometimes known as the basic triaxial weave. This sort of weave is one of the lightest simple weaves known. It is relative density (compared with the density of a single flat sheet) is 1.0.