Using needles, you can make knitted fabrics through interlocking yarns. Loops are created through the yarns that run either horizontally or vertically. The rows of loops are called courses and ribs or wales, respectively. Knitting can be done manually, using your deft hands, and of course, mechanically with the help of an industrial knitting machine.
Why love knitted fabrics? There are a lot of reasons to admire and be fond of knitted fabrics. They are light and comfortable to wear. Also, they are perfect for cold weather or winter in certain parts of the world. Knitted fabrics are very easy to maintain as well; they are known to resist wrinkling. Above all, the stylishness of knitted clothing is irresistibly charming!
There is quite a number of types of knitted fabric. If you’re just starting on knitting, It would help you to learn the common types first–their characteristics, appearance, what each is used for, etc. This is also a way of expanding your options when it comes to picking the more appropriate and preferable fabric type for your next project. Read on!
Jersey Knit Fabric
Due to its light to medium weight, this type of fabric is mostly used for the creation of dresses and shirts in general. Flat vertical lines are visible on its front and horizontal ribs are more obvious on its back. In terms of cost, the jersey knit is definitely inexpensive. The flat stitch can be modified. Terry, velour, and plush fabrics can be made out of this fabric type. Among all its subtypes, cotton jersey fabric is the highly preferred jersey knit.
Elastane Knit Fabric
Another common type of knitted fabric is elastane. It is most known for its elasticity and softness. Because of this, it is impeccably used for sleepwear and pajamas. This fabric is a synthetic fiber and polyether-polyurea copolymer. Elastane is also called spandex or lycra. It can also be used for swimwear and scuba diving outfits.
Purl Knit Fabric
One side of purl fabric mirrors the other. Normally, it is wielded for bulky and thick sweaters and clothes for children. The manufacturing process can be slow oftentimes. Understanding the purl structure can give you an idea about how its product works. Purl stitches can be a derivative for a plethora of patterns and designs. To create a one, knit and purl stitch alternately interlock with one another in a fabric wale. It is stretchable and appears flat.
Rib Knit Fabric
In what type of clothing do we typically see a rib-knit fabric? Yes, in long sleeve cardigans. Columns of wales are assembled as rib stitches fill both sides of the fabric. This type has excellent elasticity. The ribbed effect is shown fairly evident through the consistent vertical stitches. Per course in the fabric, yarn is bonded as knit stitch and purl stitch alternately to make a rib-knit fabric.
Double Knit Fabric
Double knit is almost twice as thick as that of a single knit. With less stretch, both sides are frequently identical. Due to its two-needle construction, it turns out to be thick and cottony. Wool, cotton, rayon, and others are fibers used for double knit fabrics.
Interlock Stitch Knit Fabric
Interlock stitch knit fabric is a variant of rib-knit fabric. Usually, this type of fabric is more weighty and thicker. When used with wispy yarn, it can be lightweight. Interlock knit fabric has a smooth surface with slender lengthwise ribs. This type is widely used for any design project such as knit fabric embroidery and fabric painting. Also, it’s best used for body fit dresses and other tailored clothes.
Lace Knit Fabric
Lace knits are famously used for formal clothing like wedding dresses or other gowns. Lace is a very delicate fabric and is a little difficult to maintain. Threads like linen, silk, gold, etc. are knitted to produce lace fabric back then. But today, cotton thread is the most common material for this type of fabric. Nonetheless, silk and linen threads are still available in the market.
Warp Knit Fabric
Tailored knitting machines are used to produce warp-knitted fabrics. Apparently, warp knit fabrics are formed through a vertical or warped direction of a series of yarn loops. They are positioned in parallel to one another.
Mesh Knit Fabric
Mesh knit fabric visibly features its net-like look with a considerable amount of spaces between interlocked yarns. It’s also called an openwork knit. It weighs lightly and is stretchable. It comes in a variety of prints and patterns.
Tricot Knit Fabric
Tricot knit fabric is characterized by its smoothness in texture. On the face side, the ribs are positioned lengthwise, and on the rear side, they are in crosswise. Tricot knitting machines work at a high speed that is why the fabric is exclusively derived from filament yarns. Filament yarns are of high-quality and uniform in diameter. Simple and plain geometric designs dominate the tricot knit fabrics. They are mostly soft and thin.
There you have it, the 10 common types of knitted fabric. There are still more, and you are yet to discover all of them as you become better at knitting. The types will guide you along the way and will give you a sense of understanding whether which fabric will work best on your varying projects–sweater, lingerie, hats, tight dresses, etc. Anyway, good luck with your knitting endeavors!