What are Knit Fabrics?

What are Knit Fabrics?

In the world of woven and knitted fabrics, one must conclude that there is a difference between the two.  Understanding what knit fabrics are may take a little time to make the distinction, however, this is ansimple skill to develop. Knit fabrics are “one continuous yarn [that] is looped repeatedly to create what looks like tiny rows of braids” (Threads Magazine, 2009). Whereas woven fabrics are “multiple yarns [that] cross each other at right angles to form the grain, like a basket” (Threads Magazine, 2009). In perspective, you can stretch and ball up a knit fabric and it should maintain a wrinkle free appearance; however, the woven fabric will unfortunately wrinkle easily.

The main thing to keep in mind when working with knit fabrics is that you’ll need to be able to identify what type of knit fabric you have in order to get the most benefit out of it. There are a few different types of knit fabrics to be aware of when you’re working on a new knitting project; “jersey knits, double knits, sweater knits, and novelty knits” (Conner et al, 2018). The jersey fabric is “light-weight” and “stretches fairly well” (Conner et al, 2018).  It is the most common fabric used; especially for things that need elasticity like t-shirts.

The next two knit fabrics you have are the double and sweater knits. Now the double knit is done with multiple needles to create a double layer which give the fabric more stability. The sweater knit require a little more detail due to the thickness of the fabric. This type of knit is mostly used for sweaters and lighter to heavier coats. The final type of knit fabric to consider is the novelty knit. This is “a ‘catch-all’ for all the other knits out there” so if the other types of knit fabrics don’tquite fit your knitting project, this is the one that should do the trick.

At the end of the day, you want to create something that will not only make you proud, but it should be a comfortable fit as well. “Knit fabrics are comfortable to wear and easy to fit because they will stretch over the wearer” (Conner et al, 2018). Of course, the decision is up to the designer as to what he or she wants to create, but knowing what knit fabrics are and how they work can open a variety of creation possibilities.  Developing that keen eye to know what knit fabrics look and feel like will become easier the more that you work with them. The more you use knit fabrics the better you will be at making the distinction and getting the type of results you expect!