Knitted fabric is a type of textile created by interlocking loops of yarn, forming a flexible and stretchable structure. It differs from woven fabric, which is produced by interlacing two sets of yarn at right angles to each other. Knitting allows for the creation of a wide array of fabrics, each with unique characteristics, making it a versatile and popular method in the textile industry.
How Knitted Fabric is Made?
The process of creating knitted fabric involves using needles to manipulate yarn in a series of loops, producing a continuous fabric. There are two primary types of knitting: weft knitting and warp knitting.
Weft Knitting: In weft knitting, a single yarn runs horizontally across the fabric, forming loops as it progresses. Common knitting techniques like jersey, rib, and purl fall under this category. More about the weft.
Warp Knitting: In warp knitting, yarns zigzag both horizontally and vertically, creating a more stable and less stretchy fabric. Tulle and tricot fabrics are examples of warp-knitted textiles. More about the warp.
Characteristics of Knitted Fabric
Stretch and Flexibility: Knitted fabrics are inherently stretchy due to the interlocking loops. They can stretch in multiple directions, providing comfort and ease of movement.
Breathability: The structure of knitted fabrics often allows for air circulation, making them breathable and suitable for warm weather.
Texture and Design: Knitting allows for a vast array of textures and designs, from smooth, plain surfaces to intricate patterns and cables, offering great design versatility.
Drape: Depending on the yarn and knitting technique used, knitted fabrics can have varying degrees of drape, which is how the fabric falls and hangs.
Versatility: Knitted fabrics find applications in a broad spectrum of products, including clothing (t-shirts, sweaters, socks), home textiles (blankets, cushions), sports apparel, and medical textiles.
Types of Knitted Fabrics
Single Knit: Basic weft-knitted fabric with a distinct right and wrong side. Commonly used for t-shirts and lightweight garments.
Double Knit: A more substantial knitted fabric created by interlocking two layers of loops. Often used for jackets and reversible garments.
Jersey: A commonly used knitted fabric with a smooth, flat face and a textured back. It's comfortable, stretchy, and versatile.
Rib Knit: Characterized by vertical ridges on both sides, created by alternating knit and purl stitches. Often used for cuffs, collars, and hems.
Interlock: A variation of rib knit with two sets of needles creating a more stable and reversible fabric.
Advantages and Applications
Knitted fabric is popular for several reasons:
Comfort: It provides a high level of comfort due to its stretchability and flexibility.
Efficiency: It's often quicker to produce compared to woven fabrics, especially for simple designs.
Athletic Wear: Many sportswear and activewear garments utilize knitted fabrics due to their stretch and breathability.
In conclusion, knitted fabric represents a cornerstone of the textile industry, offering a vast array of possibilities in terms of design, comfort, and functionality. Its continuous evolution and adaptability ensure its continued prominence in diverse applications across various sectors.
Learn more about types of knit fabrics.
Learn about knit garments.
You may also have interest in learning about woven fabrics.