Apparel Construction from A to Z: Knit Fabrics




We all have an idea of what knit fabrics are. Most of our closets have knit garments in them. Our most comfortable pieces are made from knit fabrics. I know Cotton's slogan is "The fabric of our lives". In reality, knitted fabrics are.

Types of Knit Fabric


Contrary to popular thought there are not multiple types of knits. There are just two knit types with several variants.

Warp Knit: Refers to a knit made from numerous parallel yarns looped vertically.

Weft Knit: Refers to a knit made with a single yarn lopped horizontally forming a row, also called a course, with each row built upon the previous row.

The major difference is the number of yarns used and the direction the yarn(s) are looped. Since warp knits use multiple yarns, this is a machine created knit. Weft knits can be made by hand or machine. So when you see someone knitting, they are making a weft knitted fabric.

Knit Variants


As mentioned earlier there are only two types of knits. There are several variants of these two types. I am just listing them, otherwise this post will be incredibly long:

  • Double Knit
  • Interlock
  • Jersey Knit
  • Milanese
  • Purl Knit
  • Raschel
  • Rib Knit
  • Tricot

Sewing with Knit Fabrics


Home sewing knits requires certain techniques. This is because of the inherent stretch of knit fabrics. You to adjust a pattern for the amount of stretch your knit fabric has. When sewing on a standard sewing machine you need to stretch the knit as you sew to make sure the stitching does not break.

If you have an overlock or serge machine, you are pretty good to go when it comes to sewing a knit fabric. These machines stretch the fabric while it is being sewn.

There is a ton of information to be found about knit fabrics. Since they are a part of virtually everyone's wardrobe. check out online resources like Threads Magazine. Also check out a few textiles books to learn more about knits and other fabrics in general.



Main Image Credit: By Mabalu via Wikimedia Commons

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