What are Knitted Fabrics?

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KNITTED FABRICS

Knitted fabrics are elastic, breathable fabrics created by interlocking yarn with the use of needles. They are comfortable, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabrics making them very easy to travel in. These fabrics are often used in athletic clothing due to the stretch and flexibility. Knitted fabrics have a simple and quick production process, therefore, making them more cost-efficient than woven fabrics. 

TYPES OF KNITTED FABRIC

WEFT KNITTED FABRIC

Weft knitted fabric is created by knitting a piece of fabric where stitching runs left to right and creates rows. This type of fabric can be created by hand or a machine. It is the most common form of knitting used because of its simplicity.

Advantages: Weft knitted fabric is very elastic, stretchable and comfortable to wear. It is warm to wear, i.e. a good insulator. It does not fray easily and is very cost-efficient. 

Disadvantages: It shrinks easily. It also unravels when it is cut and has the tendency to curl at the edges.

Uses: T-shirts, underwear, sportswear, baby clothes, pajamas, jumpers, scarves, hats, and gloves

 

TYPES OF WEFT KNITTED FABRIC

Jersey

This fabric can create fancy patterns and is fast and inexpensive to produce. However, it does tend to run.

Double Knits

It has a more stable and compact fabric structure due to the fabric being made with two sets of needle beds. Usually made from polyester or wool and it does not unravel or curl at the edges. 

Rib Knits

It is used for its ribbing, usually found on the lower edge of sweaters, sleeve cuffs, and necklines. It is also a reversible fabric.

Purl Knit

 This fabric looks the same on both sides. Generally used for bulky sweaters and children’s clothing and has a slow production speed.

Interlock Knit

This is a variation of the rib stitch. Generally, the fabrics are heavier and thicker. The interlocking stitches prevent runs, unraveling, and curling at the edges. 

Bird’s Eve

The tuck stitches create an eyelet effect that resembles a bird’s eye. Another popular clothing fabric, especially women’s clothing due to the possibility to use multi-colored threads.

Cardigans

Another variation of the rib stitch, the pattern of tuck stitches create a raised effect making cardigans thicker. They are usually made from wool or acrylic.  There are two variations, the half cardigan, and the full cardigan. The half cardigan is generally knitted coarsely and is not reversible. It is usually used for sweaters and pullovers. The full cardigan is bulky and thick, however, it is reversible, unlike the half cardigan. 

Milano Ribs

Also, a variation of the rib stitch with two types, the half Milano and the full Milano. It has a specific pattern of knitting and misses. The half Milano has an unbalanced structure and is usually used for sweaters. However, the full Milano is finely knitted with better coverage, it is used as a suiting fabric. 

Pointelle

A type of double knit fabric with patterned miss stitches. The fabric has a very feminine appearance, similar to that of lace, it is an ideal fabric for children and women’s clothing. 

 

WARP KNITTED FABRIC

Warp knitted fabric is created by interlocking the loops vertically along the length of the fabric. This type of fabric is made by a machine, so it can be customized more.

Advantages: More resistant to runs. Less likely to become misshapen, warm to wear, comfortable, soft, drapey and easy to sew

Disadvantages: Less elastic, curls at edges, can be more costly

Uses: Blouses, lingerie, gloves, underwear, lace fabric, and trimmings. Also unlined materials for jackets, coats, skirts, and dresses

 

TYPES OF WARP KNITTED FABRICS

Tricot Knit

Made exclusively from filament yarns, it usually has a plain or simple design. The front of the design has vertical wales, while the back of the design has crosswise courses.

Raschel Knit

It is produced from spun yarns of different weights, these fabrics are recognizable by their intricate designs, lace or crochet appearance, and three-dimensional surface effect. 

Stitch Bonding

This fabric is commonly used for the production of composite materials and technical textiles. It involves layers of threads being joined together with a knitting thread. It is often used in fields like wind energy and aviation.  

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