What is Knit Fabrics?
Knit fabrics are fabrics made from interlocking loops of thread, which is in contrast to the lengthwise and crosswise weaving of threads found in woven fabrics. The result is a fabric that has varying degrees of stretch-ability, from slight to extreme elasticity. Knit fabrics are popular due to their ability to drape well on any body type, their comfort and their versatility. Along with degrees of stretch, knit fabrics can be made of different fibers and come in a variety of weights.
Double knit fabric is a firmer knit fabric that can be found in a medium to heavier weight. This type of knit has a minimum amount of stretch and can be sewn in much the same manner as woven fabrics. Examples of double knit fabric can be seen in sweatshirts and sportswear attire.
Single Knit Fabric Also known as moderate stretch or jersey knit fabric, single knit fabric is a light to medium fabric that has roughly 20 percent to 25 percent elasticity across the grain of the fabric. This knit fabric contours to the body loosely. Single knit fabrics are often used in t-shirts, shorts and sleepwear.
What Are the Advantages of Knit Fabrics? Knit fabrics are different from woven fabrics in that the strands of yarn are looped together as opposed to being straight. Knitted fabrics have been made for hundreds of years. The traditional method involves taking wool yarn and looping it around two needles. In modern times this same fabric can be produced much quicker by machines that can also knit many different types of material, such as cotton, silk and polyester. Warmth Knitted fabrics are warmer than woven fabrics.
The process of knitting--by hand or machine--creates pockets of air within the material used. These pockets of air act as insulation by trapping heat next to the body and so lend additional warmth. The looping of the yarn also creates an interwoven pattern that blocks the wind. The strands in woven fabrics run parallel and straight. This allows more wind to pass through. Elasticity Knited fabrics offer more elasticity than woven fabrics. This makes them more flattering to the human body, as the fit can be tighter. Bags and sacks can also be made from knitted fabrics so they will "give" a little when full without breaking. In woven fabrics the stitches can only stretch in one direction parallel to the weave. Knitted fabrics, on the other hand, can stretch in any direction because the stitches are in loops and can bend in any direction without stressing the knitted material. Light Weight Full of air and loosely bound together, knitted fabrics are much lighter than woven fabrics.
The way in which the yarn is looped together means that less yarn is used. In woven fabrics, strands are tightly packed together and several criss-cross over one another, making the overall fabric heavier. Knitted fabric can be bound tightly using small needles and a tight yarn, or it can be knitted loosely by increasing the diameter or the needles. The larger the loops, the less material needed to make the fabric and the lighter it will be.
Absorbent Knitted fabrics are more absorbent that woven fabrics as the stitches have more room to expand. As any fabric absorbs water it expands. In a woven fabric, the material is bound together tightly and cannot expand far, so it stops absorbing water. With knitted fabrics, the stitches are bound loosely. When the fabric starts to expand the knitted material has space that it can move into before putting strain on the stitches. The negative result of being absorbent is that the knitted material will become heavier and may lose its shape as it absorbs liquid. For more information and more helpful articles visit: http://www.jingsentextile.com.