Types of Knit Fabric

30 of the Best Types of Knit Fabric Used for Making Clothes 

For some people, the material doesn’t matter until they become fashion designers. Specific types of sewing fabrics are used for making particular dresses. The names of fabric can tell you a lot about its material and where to use it. 

Fabrics are classified into four categories such as woven, non-woven, knit, and braid. A knit fabric is a fabric from which t-shirts are made. Knit fabric can be useful in making beautiful clothes. Different types of knit fabrics come in vivid colors and prints that can help you hide a multitude of faults in the body by their excellent elasticity property.

Knit fabric is a popular stretch fabric that is made of yarns created into loops and interconnected to make a beautiful textile structure. The primary raw materials for knit fabrics are linen, wool, silk, cotton, and rayon. Many manufacturers combine various synthetic fabrics to achieve the best quality and durability and sell knit fabric online.

5 Differences Between Knit Vs. Woven Fabric – Points to Consider

If you’re a fashion designer, you can tell if a fabric is knit or woven by just looking at it. It is not easy for a beginner to find the differences between the two. 

Knit fabric is made from one single thread and stretches in length, while the woven fabric stretches in a diagonal direction. Here are a couple of the essential differences between knit vs. woven fabric.

Look

The main difference between these two fabrics is the yarn. Knit fabric is made from a single yarn and looped in a continuous way to create a braided appearance, while multiple yarns are looped in a crisscross pattern to make woven fabric.

Wrinkle

Types of knit fabric
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When it comes to wrinkle-resistant, woven and knit fabric behaves in different ways. Knit fabric can be pressed but retain its original shape after a stretch, while woven fabric leaves wrinkles on the surface.

Stretch

Stretching the fabric is the best way to identify knit and woven fabrics. Knit fabric has much more stretch than woven fabric. 

You can try to stretch the fabric in both widthwise and lengthwise. It is a knit fabric if it stretches, and if it doesn’t, then it is a woven fabric.

Edge

The edge of the fabric is treated in a different way in both fabrics. When a t-shirt has curls at the bottom, then it is made from knit fabric. 

The edges of knit fabric can curl with ease because of the stretch capacity. Woven fabrics can unravel with ease because they are made from different pieces over and under.

Threads

White blue and gray knit textile
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Take a close glance at the fabric, and you will see individual threads that make it. When the threads are looped, it is known as knit fabric, and if threads are stitched in a crisscross pattern, then it is a woven fabric.

2 Ways of Manufacturing Different Types of Knit Fabric

There are two main ways of manufacturing different types of knit fabric: warp knitting and weft knitting. These methods can also vary based on the knitting process.

Warp Knitting

Warp knitted fabric
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Warp knitting is a manufacturing process of fabric in which loops are made in a vertical way with the length of the fabric from every warp yarn. A needle will be there in each yarn. 

The stitches in these types of knit fabric have a criss-cross diagonal look that is smoother than weft knits.

Warp knit fabric is ideal for making clothes that require soft, warm wear and higher density properties. Different types of yarn can also be processed through this method. Carded, combed filaments are some of the yarns which cannot be processed with weft knitting.

Weft Knitting

Dimensional characteristics of preshrink
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In weft knitting, loops are made from a single yard and placed in a horizontal way. Each row of loop builds upon a prior consecutive loop. The intermeshing of loops can have a flat or circular form on a course-wise basis. 

Types of fabric made from this process are comfortable, warm to wear, and have less elasticity. Based on the types of yarns used in it, these properties can differ. One can learn to sew this fabric manufacturing process with ease.

6 Characteristics of Knit Fabric by the Yard

Characteristics of knit fabric by the yard
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Knitted fabrics are known for their exceptional characteristics and properties. There are several characteristics of knit fabric by the yard which make them better than woven fabric. Here are six of the best properties and characteristics you should know.

Wrinkle-Resistant

Due to the knit’s elasticity property, it is wrinkle-resistant. Try it by folding in a ball and then releasing. When you let go of the fabric, it will spring back into its original shape without any wrinkles.

Easy to Maintain

Knit fabric doesn’t require much care, but you should check the care labels and woven labels before buying different types of knit fabric. You can do machine wash for knit fabric. 

Types of jersey fabric
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Since it’s wrinkle-resistant, it doesn’t require ironing. Every knit fabric type by the yard has different caring tips. Here are a few to watch:

    • Polyester knit fabric requires cold wash since it can melt when the temperature is too high. Avoid the dryer.
    • Different types of wool knits require hand wash and can be laid flat to dry. Make sure you purchase mothballs when packing your winter clothes.
    • Cotton Knit fabric by the yard is safe for machine wash. You can just lay it flat to dry.
    • Nylon knits are used in making activewear and swimwear. Avoid putting this knit fabric in the dryer. Do not use bleach since it is a spandex blend, and you don’t want to turn those whites yellow.
    • Silk knits require a hand wash in cold water and let it lay flat to dry. Make sure you don’t soak silk in water for a long time. You can use a dry cleaner for silk knit fabric and make your life much easier.

Stretchy and Flexible

Knit fabric is made from a series of loops which makes it stretchy both in width and length. The texture is flexible and unstructured, so it can conform to many shapes and stretch over them. The stretch makes it perfect for body-fitted and zipper-less dresses.

Lightweight and Comfortable

Knit fabrics are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They are great for workout and travel clothes due to their soft feel and stretchy characteristics. You can choose t-shirts and thin cardigans made from knit fabric on the hot summer days.

Soft

Many knit fabrics can give you a soft touch. A tight-knitted fabric can give you a smooth feel, while a loose-knitted fabric might feel bumpy or ridged.

Cheaper and Comes in Every Color

Different types of knit fabric
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The knit fabric manufacturing process is cost-effective and simple. It can be made faster than woven fabrics. There are many sewing knit fabrics used in the market in various colors. 

Some yarns are dyed to color a few stitches or rows. Tweed yarns have a wide range of colored fibers, whereas Heathered yarns have a small number of colored fibers. Knit fabric can be found in every color palette you ever dreamed of. 

20 Different Types of Knitting Fabrics and Their Properties

If you’re wondering, “how many types of knit fabric are available in the market?” This section is for you. There are different types of knitting fabrics that might confuse you when you shop for knit fabric.

Different types of knitting fabric
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In the first instance, all types of knit fabrics look the same. When you have proper knowledge of different types of knitting fabrics, you will know that they all vary based on their distinct properties. Here are the most common knitting fabrics you should know.

Jersey Knit Fabric

Everything you need to know about jersey fabric
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It is one of the light to medium weight jersey knit fabrics by the yard. Jersey knit fabric is considered the most economical weft knitting process. Both knit and purl stitching are used with a single needle to make this textile fabric. 

Jersey knit fabric is also known as plain or single knit. It provides excellent stretch in both course and Wales direction with at least 40% in width after stretching. Jersey knit fabric is ideal for making t-shirts and dresses. 

It can also be made in different fibers such as silk jersey, wool jersey, etc. This knit fabric is also perfect for some draped clothes such as tops and dresses. You can also make different types of scarves from jersey knit fabric. 

Rib Knit Fabric

Rib-knit fabric is also known as double jersey fabric that has raised distinct vertical textured lines on both sides of the fabric. It is made by alternating wales of knit and purl stitches and knitted with two needles using a weft knitting process. 

The rib-knit fabric can be easy to identify because of its distinct vertical cords. The cords are twice thicker than plain knit and have excellent dimensional stability.

There are two basic types of rib knit fabric based on the sequence of purl and knit stitches. The 1×1 rib has one purl and one knit stitch sequence, whereas the 2×2 rib knits have two knit and two purl stitch sequences. 

The rib-knit fabric can be made in a circular or flat knitting machine. Since it is a stretch knit fabric and lies flat on one side, it is perfect for making turtlenecks, neckbands, hems, and bottom edges of different types of sleeves

Camisoles, cardigans, sweaters, etc., are made from rib-knit fabrics. Many people also prefer rib-knit fabric for home furnishing items. Ribbed knit fabric blended with spandex offers excellent stretch.

French Terry Knit Fabric

Grey french terry fabric
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French Terry knit fabric is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and highly absorbent fabric. It is a knitted terry fabric with soft piles of yarn and loops on one side and a soft, smooth surface on the outer side of the garment. 

It gives the utmost comfort, making it ideal for everyday clothes. It can be found in wool, bamboo, hemp, and cotton fibers.

Interlock Knit Fabric

It is a type of double-layered knitting fabric created by alternating knit and purl stitches in both coarse and wales directions on a knitting machine. You may need to learn advanced sewing techniques to learn to sew this fabric with two sets of needles. 

It looks like two layers of single knit on front and back. Interlock knit fabric has better dimensional stability than a single jersey. Among three basic types of knitting fabric, interlock knit fabric is more stable and stretches along the lengthwise direction. 

This heavier and thicker knitting fabric provides better insulation properties since it can trap air between different layers. Interlock knit fabric is best when you have to sew tanks, pants, and skirts.

Mesh Knit Fabric

Mesh knit fabric
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If you’re wondering, “what is a knit fabric with mesh?” Then here is your answer. Mesh knit fabric is a durable, open-work knit fabric that looks like tulle fabric. It can be found in beautiful prints and colors. 

It is a lightweight, sheer fabric that comes with excellent stretch and strength. Read these 35 intermediate sewing projects to make beautiful clothes from mesh knit fabric. You can also stitch sequins using a sewing machine to make eye-catching sequined fabric.

Fleece Knit Fabric

Fleece knit is another type of knitting fabric that is thick, warm, durable and has excellent stretch properties. This fabric takes less time to dry, making it ideal for activewear. It can come in wool, cotton, hemp, and bamboo fibers.

Purl Knit Fabric

Purl knit fabric
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Purl knit is a bulky fabric that comes with the 2-way stretching property. They are 2-3 times the thickness of jersey knit fabric. It is made by using a double-ended latch needle and reversing loops knitted in a crosswise course. 

Purl knit fabric has the same appearance on both sides of the fabric. Both Purl and knit stitches are placed in the same column along the length of the fabric’s surface. Purl knit fabric is often used in making sweaters, underwear, hosiery, knitwear, etc.

Elastane Knit Fabric

Elastane knit fabric is popular in making clothes. You might have 10 tops in your wardrobe, out of which eight are made from this knit fabric. This fabric has the comfort of cotton or polyester and the stretchiness of knitting. 

Elastane knit fabric is a lycra or spandex knit blended fabric. It is one of the softest knit fabrics that offer utmost comfort, making it perfect for making sleepwear. Nylon Lycra is another semi-opaque knit fabric that can be used for making swimwear and activewear.

Tricot Knit Fabric

Different types of jersey fabric
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Tricot knit fabric is a smooth fabric that is made by using a bearded needle and filament yarns. This soft and thin fabric has lengthwise ribs on one side and crosswise ribs on the backside. 

Tricot knit fabric offers great breathability, softness, drape, and crease resistance due to its structure. These types of knitting fabric are often used for dresses, lingerie, and nightwear.

A half tricot knit fabric is made by a single warp knit method, while a full tricot knit fabric is made from a multibar warp knit method.

Milanese Knit Fabric

Milanese knit fabric is a drapey, smooth, and light-weighted fabric that is used for making gloves. This knit fabric is made by using two sets of yarns knitted in a diagonal direction. 

The outer side of the fabric has a fine vertical rib, and the back side has a diagonal structure.

Raschel Knit Fabric

Different types of knit fabric and their uses
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Raschel knit fabric is dense and compact, stable or stretchy, open or lofty, and single-faced or reversible. This fabric is made by using one latch needle and spun yarns. 

The knits of this fabric can be lacy, patterned, or even piled. You can identify this fabric by looking at its intricate design. The machine is used to produce tubular or flat warp-knit fabric. Due to its high customization property, Raschel knit fabric can be used in making any garment.

Piled Knit Fabric

There are three different types of piled knit fabric available in the market.

Eyelash knit

This is a knit fabric that comes with a pile. It looks like faux fur due to piles. Eyelash knit fabric is used for making sweaters and trims.

Stretch Velvet

It is another fabric that looks like velvet with many piles on the surface and knitted backing. Stretch velvet offers a tremendous 2-way stretch capacity which makes it perfect for making body-hugging dresses.

Velour

It is a super soft pile knit fabric that comes with 4-way stretch properties.

Sweater Knit Fabric

Sweater knit fabric falls under the Raschel knit category. These types of knitting fabrics are close-knitted and have a stable and robust feel. They are comfortable to wear and used for making different types of sweaters. 

Some sweater knit fabrics have beautiful texture, and some have open weaves with open holes between knitting, which looks like a sheer fabric.

Handmade Knit Fabric

Handmade knit fabric
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Knitting is considered as a hobby among many men and women. Handmade knit fabric is prepared by using knitting needles, yarns, and countless hours of patience. 

This knit fabric is much more beautiful than any other machine-made knitting fabric. Read these easy beginner sewing projects to start sewing clothes with handmade knitting.

Double Knit Fabric

Double knit fabric is a medium-weight knitting fabric that has the same appearance on both sides. It has less stretch capacity than a single jersey fabric. This fabric is much more stable, thick, and fluffy than any other knitting fabric. 

Two special needles are used for making double knit fabric. Different fibers such as cotton, wool, rayon, etc are also used for making double knit fabric. 

Ponte di Roma is one of the famous double knit fabrics that has a fine crosswise rib texture. Ponte knit fabric is often used for making pants.

Waffle Knit Fabric

Waffle jersey fabric
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These types of knit fabrics are soft and thicker than cable knit fabric. They are breathable and have high absorbent properties. They can make your garment much more enjoyable without overheating you. Waffle knit fabric was first used in textured clothes in industrial cleaning.

Scuba Knit Fabric

It is a double knit fabric made from 95% polyester and a 5% spandex blend. Scuba knit fabric is smooth on both sides and has a nice drape. It comes with the 2-way stretch property.

Many popular fashion brands choose scuba knit fabric because of its versatility and comfort. This knitted fabric has 30% to 50% horizontal stretch, ensuring it can hold onto its original shape. Skirts, shorts, and many dresses require horizontal stretch, and thus, scuba knit fabric is best for it.

Black Knit Fabric

It is another type of knitted fabric that has black colored texture. This knit fabric is perfect for making jumpsuits, pajamas, and casual wear.

Bullet Knit Fabric

Backyard bugs bullet knit fabric
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This gorgeous double knit fabric is known for making dresses, head bows, and other lightweight dresses. Bullet knit fabric has a crepe-like texture and is pretty stretchy. Many women’s leggings and sportswear are made from bullet knit fabric.

Cable Knit Fabric

Cable knit fabric is a popular alternative for sweater fabric. Cable knit fabric is a double knit fabric made by the loop transfer technique. 

This fabric has a rope-like look where plaits are loop transferred with adjacent wales. In this fabric, the cables produce heavy cords, and stitches are often found in sweaters. 

The classic cable knit fabrics are another type of cotton fabric that is soft to the skin and is great for casual dresses, skirts, and jackets. 

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Knit Fabric

Different types of knit fabric have gained popularity because of their unique benefits, affordable pricing, and uncomplicated care requirements. Here are a couple of the pros and cons of knit fabric.

How many types of knit fabric
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Pros of Knit Fabric

Here are some of the advantages of knit fabric.

Fabulous Stretch

Knit fabrics offer 4-way stretch property. You can make body-hugging dresses that can take the shape of your body with ease.

Versatility

This is one of the reasons behind this fabric’s demand. Manufacturers use different types of knitted fabric pdf to make dresses, tunics, underwear, shirts, trousers, gowns, etc. All knitted fabrics are airy, thin, and can make you feel cozy.

Comfort

Different types of knitted fabric pdf
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Knit clothes offer great breathability and soft texture. The garments made from knit fabric can allow your body to breathe in summer and keep your body warm in winters.

Cons of Knit Fabric

There are a couple of disadvantages of knit fabric.

Difficult to Sew

Knitted fabrics come with raveling edges which makes it challenging to sew with seams.

Prone to Pilling

Dry cleaning is one of the best ways to keep the shine of your fabric. Knit fabrics blended with synthetic fibers are prone to pilling and have a dense and elastic structure.

5 Tips for Sewing Knit Fabric

When someone learns to sew different types of clothes, their first project starts with woven fabric. When you visit a fabric store, you will notice that most of them are woven fabrics. 

Tips for sewing knit fabric
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Even when you start browsing Pinterest, you will see that most of them have used woven fabric. Woven fabric is popular, but the knit fabric is fabulous. When you take a close look into your wardrobe, you will find that you have a high percentage of clothes made with knitted fabric.

Knit fabric comes with a lot of advantages which makes it more favorable. If you’re searching for how to sew knit fabric, here are some of the valuable sewing hacks you should know when sewing knit fabric.

Needles

You will require particular types of needles. Regular needles are pointy and might damage knit fabric. It might also create holes in the knit fabric, which will look bad. 

Make sure you choose stretch needles or ballpoint needles. A double-needle or twin needle is also considered as one of the fantastic needles for knit fabric.

Zigzag Stitch

How to knit zigzag stitch
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Knit fabric requires a stitch that can expand the fabric, which just means that classic stitches are way out of the question. Sewing machines come with a variety of stitch options. 

One standard stitch is a zigzag stitch which works best for knit fabric. There are also stretch stitch, triple straight stitch, and triple zig-zag stitches available. Make sure you try these stitches on a tiny knit fabric to see if you’re getting the right stitch.

Use a Walking foot

One common problem when sewing knit fabric is that the seam puckers up and might look wavy after it’s done. You can avoid this condition by using a walking foot. 

The walking foot has fed dogs on top, which moves with ease. Without this device, it is impossible to sew the perfect knit garment.

Use Tissue Paper

Tissue paper for stabilizing delicate fabrics
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By putting tissue paper between the machine foot and fabric, you can prevent the knit fabric from stretching. You can also keep tissue paper under the fabric when sewing a two-layer knit garment. 

The needles will create a perforation which makes it easy to remove the paper after finishing the process.

Use Right Thread

Threads are not stretchy as much as the fabric, which means they can snap. That’s annoying, right? Use polyester threads or high-quality cotton threads when sewing knit fabric.

8 Different Types of Jersey Fabric and Their Properties

Jersey is a popular knit fabric. In the past, jerseys were often made from wool fabric, but nowadays, you can find cotton jersey knit fabric and synthetic jerseys. They are breathable and have high absorbent properties with a close-knitted structure.

Jersey fabric was first found in the Channel Islands, where it was used for making sweaters and undergarments. Until the 20th century, different types of jersey fabrics were not popular in the textile industry. It was used just for making men’s underwear and sportswear.

Coco Chanel was the first fashion brand that took bold moves in 1916 and made classy jersey garments. Within no time, jersey fabric has secured its place in today’s textile industry. Different types of jersey fabrics are used for making classy and stylish garments. Here are some of the types of jersey fabrics.

Single Jersey

Jersey knit fabric
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Single jersey fabric is a knit fabric that weighs less than 140 grams per square meter. This fabric is made up of a single sheet of knit fabric. These types of jersey fabric have one flat side and one piled side.

Jacquard Jersey

Jacquard jersey fabric comes in a variety of designs that ranges from simple shapes to eye-catching brocade patterns. Just like jacquard fabric, it uses industrial knitting machines to create unique patterns.

Stretch Jersey

Stretch jersey fabric
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It is another type of jersey fabric with common jersey fabric such as polyester or wool with a combination of spandex or other elastic fibers.

Cotton Jersey Fabric

Cotton jersey knit fabric is one of the common types of jersey knit fabrics. It is soft and fluid, which makes it great for making any type of garment. 

Cotton knit fabric is light to medium weight fabric and is ideal for making everyday clothes. Many designers experiment with high-quality cotton jersey fabric and use hang tags to promote their branded clothes.

Interlock Jersey 

Interlock jersey fabric
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Interlock jersey is also known as a double knit jersey. This combines two separate sheets of single knit fabric weave to create a smooth, silky surface on both sides.

Interlock jersey has a double thickness of a single jersey which makes it more durable and insulative. Interlock jerseys are often famous as Christmas knit fabric.

Slub Jersey

Slub jersey has a textured pattern that comes from using irregular slub yarn and weaving jersey fabric.

Clocque Jersey

Double cloche knit fabric
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This jersey fabric features puckered and raised patterns that can be used with knitting sewing machines.

How to Distinguish Types of Single Jersey Fabric and Interlock Fabric

If you want to know whether a fabric is an interlock or a single jersey, here are two things you should check.

Single jersey and interlock pattern compare
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Curling

Stretch your fabric in a horizontal way. If the curls are over on the stretched edges, it is a single jersey fabric. 

In case if it doesn’t curl, then it is an interlock fabric. That’s one of the main reasons interlock fabric is popular for laser cut and free cut clothes.

Knitting Pattern

Take a glance at the knitting pattern of single jersey fabric. You will see that both sides look different. 

In plain knitted or double knitted interlock fabric, both sides look the same. This method will work just for plain knitted fabric. If another knitting method is used, then it won’t work.

Conclusion

There are many types of knit fabric used in the textile industry. The main task here is to find them in the fibers you want to wear. The different types of knitted fabrics are made to serve different purposes. 

You can use them as per your specific sewing project needs and wear them all at one time or on a particular occasion. Make sure you find the right color and check the stretch property to find the ideal knit fabric for your next sewing project. 

This guide will provide answers to your most asked question, “what are the different types of knit fabrics” and help you understand their properties and applications.

Choose the best-knit fabric, and you are ready for your sewing project. 

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