The warp ends show up on cuts – they reveal the key colour or colours that have gone into the weave. The warp ends are the stronger stable fibres that are tied at the top and bottom of the loom to create the weaving form. The wefts run through, so the warps ( if there is any difference ) are the stronger- robust enough to take the constant moving and abrasion that weaving and passing the shuttle through and back entails. So wool, linen, cotton or silk might be woven together or through another fibre- such as jute for a more rustic weave. Or multi-colours woven through a solid plain colour, or the warps in two colours with one weft running through, or a linen with a cotton etc. etc. It is this idea of endless possibility, that makes weaving so addictive and so fascinating.
It’s not always possible to tell what fibre or even what colour has been used for the warp until we look at the cut edges. Quite often as you look at a fabric such as shot silk, the selvedges will show the brightest unexpected colours and the warp ends show as the stable, solid colours that hold and calm the others. But it’s not always so, and can be the other way around. So, the ends on a horizontal cut tell you the warp threads.
“Ends” also often refer to the the bits left over, this can be the offcuts after the pattern has been cut – i.e. what is left of the pieces you’re working with, or it can be a roll end – i.e.the short pieces that are left of a much larger roll. Depending on company policy, type of material and stock levels a full roll can be anything from around 20 metres to 90 metres. The ‘end’ is the last bit – anything from 5 metres down to a few centimetres that is deemed unsaleable at the full price, so is sold off for less. All fabric houses have a need to sell on the rolls ends ( and any wrong colours etc. ) so it’s not unusual for them to have ‘warehouse sales’, where anyone with the stamina and will can pick up bargains of roll ends.