What are Denier, Filament, Ply?

What are Denier, Filament, Ply?


Denier is a unit of measurement that is used to determine the fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments used in the creation of textiles and fabrics. Fabrics with a high denier count tend to be thick, sturdy, and durable. Fabrics with a low denier count tend to be sheer, soft, and silky.

A denier as a unit of measurement equals one gram of mass per 9,000 meters of length. In other words, if you were to gather up 9 kilometers (9,000 meters) in length of a given thread to weigh, that weight (in grams) would equal the denier of that thread. Denier is usually abbreviated with a lowercase letter “d,” so a fabric with a 50-denier thread will be listed as “50d” in a list of specifications about a piece of gear or clothing.

For reference, it’s helpful to know that denier is based on a natural source: a single strand of silk is approximately one denier; a 9,000-meter strand of silk weighs about one gram.


A slender threadlike object or fibre, especially one found in animal or plant structures.


In the textile industry, ply is a process used to create a strong, balanced yarn. It is done by talking two or more strands of yarn that each have a twist to them and putting them together. Two-ply yarn, for example, is composed of two single strands; three-ply yarn is composed of three single strands.

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