In this paper a new approach for the detection of defects in woven fabric is presented where the singular value decomposition (SVD) method is used. SVD basically removes the interlaced grating structure of the waft and warp of the fabric leaving aside the defective part of the fabric. An intensity threshold value along with the module of definite size is considered for the binarization of the background free fabric image. Finally, for the removal of the noise from the binary fabric image the morphological opening operation with the suitable structuring element is performed. The technique is tested on 287 fabric samples consisting of five different types of defects in three types of woven fabrics from TILDA database. 94.08% success rate of detection of defects is achieved. © 2011 IEEE.