In our last post, we outlined all of the common woven fabric types you might encounter. For today’s post, we’ll delve into the knit fabrics. Don’t worry this list isn’t nearly as long the woven list.
You may recall that knit fabric are made up of interlocking loops of yarn. Most knits tend to stretch, though the amount of stretch can vary greatly. The lengthwise rows are called RIBS and the crosswise rows are called COURSES. These rows correspond to the lengthwise and crosswise grain of woven fabric.
Knit fabrics (for garments) are typically sold by the yard and come folded double and are rolled on cardboard bolts in common widths of 36″ (92 cm), 45″ (115 cm), and 60″ (152 cm). You may even find smaller widths for specialized rib knitting for wrist and neck bindings.
Knit fabrics you may encounter:
Double Knit: Knitted fabric with both sides identical; has excellent body and good recovery.
Fleece: Soft, warm napped knit.
Interlock: Fine-gauge knit fabric produced by interlocking or interknitting stitches on a circular knit machine. Both front and back look identical. Usually used for T-shirts or lightweight pajamas.
Jersey: Generic term for plain, weft-knitted fabrics with extensive crosswise stretch. It does not have a distinct rib.
Matte Jersey: Dull tricot made of fine crepe yarns.
Penne: A pile fabric with a longer pile than velvet, but shorter than plush. It has a high luster.
Single Knit: A fabric constructed on a circular machine with one set of needles around the cylinder. The yarns inter-loop (a loop within a loop). Weights of fabrics vary from very sheer to heavy.
Spandex® Lycra®: Highly stretchable synthetic fiber in a knit fabric. Used primarily for swimwear and active sportswear.
Stretch Lace: Ornamental textile without the aid of background fabric, made with stretch yarns.
Stretch Velour: French word meaning velvet with a short dense warp pile constructed of stretch yarns.
Stretch Velvet: A fabric characterized by a short soft dense warp pile constructed of stretch yarns.
Sweater Knit: Knit fabric resembling hand knitting.