What Are Knits Fabrics:
It is common for sewing beginners to confuse all stretchy fabrics as being knit. The word knit however is not used to characterize the stretch of a garment but is rather a type of knitting process that creates stretch through the way the threads are interlocked and looped. A knit fabric is the opposite of a woven fabric in the sense that knits have a completely different construction process than wovens do. Knits are specifically knitted, whether by hand or on a machine, such that the different levels of stretch are achieved due to how the threads are intermingled in the knitting process used.
Most woven fabrics on the other hand, are build using a weaving process that doesn't necessarily promote stretch. That is not to say that woven fabrics cannot be stretchy, but there is a big difference: If a woven fabric is stretchy, it is most likely due to the addition of spandex (or Lycra) and not necessarily the structure of the weave itself. Knits however, are designed to be flexible, with varying degrees of stretch based on the knitting technique used and not necessarily the addition of spandex.
So if you are a newcomer to textiles, keep this in mind: Not all stretchy fabrics are knits. A knit is a fabric type that is created using a knitting process constructed such that it provides stretch. Knit fabrics, just like woven fabrics, can be made of any fiber content including bamboo, silk, cotton, polyester, linen and a variety of blends. Additionally, knits, just like wovens, are available in a range of weights, draping capabilities and softness levels. The difference is in the process used to build each one.
The Process Of Making Knit Fabrics: Warp Knitted vs. Weft Knitted
Warp and weft knits are terms that are often a point of confusion for beginners so we'll try to to differentiate between these two knitting techniques in a simple way. Weft knitting and warp knitting refer to two different processes used in the construction of knit fabrics.
Think of their main difference this way:
Weft knitting moves back and forth to form rows or courses, and uses continuous thread to create loops that interlock to build the knit fabric. Weft knits can be hand knitted or machine knitted, producing both shaped knitted pieces (for garment use) or straight yardage. Keep in mind that weft knits are more prone to shrinking and loosing their shape. Ribbing and sweater are both examples of weft knits.
Warp knitting is faster and can only be achieved on a knitting machine. As opposed to back and forth, warp knitting is produced at the result of multiple needles moving up and down, with each needle forming one loop arranged in parallel columns. Due to the use of multiple needles and the fact that warp knitting avoids moving horizontally in a course, it is much faster, inexpensive and commercially used in the textile industry, thus able to produce fast and long yardages. The warp knitting technique is not used in knitting pre-shaped garment pieces but rather a long strip of knit fabric in any width similar to the production of regular woven textiles. Warp knits are easy to care for and do not shrink as much as weft knits. Examples include: tricot, raschel knits (netting, textured stretch lace, etc) and crochet knits.
Working With Knit Fabrics As a Sewing Beginner
It is no secret that knit fabrics offer incredible comfort and provide a more adjustable fit than woven fabrics do. The sewing techniques associated with making a knit garment are also different than those used in the construction of a woven garment. For most conventional knit items, darts are not required and you can most likely skip the necessity for complicated zipper and button closures or time-consuming fabric raw edge finishes.
However, while the sewing steps may be fewer, stretchy, flimsy knits are more difficult to work with due to their rolling cut edges, and slippery, less structured nature. Serging/overlock stitching is often required to seal or/and clean finish the seams, and hemming knit garments can have a greater learning curve until you figure out a suitable technique for each fabric. It may be really tempting for sewing beginners to begin with knits just so they can skip sewing those intimidating darts and zippers (and that pesky set-in sleeve!). However, we encourage you to always start the learning process with woven fabrics.
Why wovens and not knits? Due to their shaping capabilities, knit fabrics have different proportions when laid flat than when they are on the human form. They are designed to be worn in a semi-stretched style. As a sewing beginner who might not be familiar with extensive patternmaking and dressmaking techniques, understating this negative space can be a complicated task. The difference in proportion when the fabric is stretched versus when it isn't (negative space) varies from knit fabric to knit fabric based on weight, stretching capabilities and type of knitting process.
Woven fabrics, on the other hand, don't change proportions thus wont cause too much confusion in the pattern-to-garment process. With non stretch woven fabrics, what you see in flat form is what you'll get once the fabric is on the body. Sewing knit seams is also more tricky due to the fact that if the stitch does not offer enough stretch and flexibility, it may break when the garment is taken on or off. When using a regular straight stitch to sew knits, you will have to either use stretch thread or actually stretch the fabric simultaneously in the stitching process to provide more give in the seam. A longer length stitch is also recommended. These precautions will prevent the straight stitch thread from ripping when the garment is worn or pulled over the body.
Finally, it is no secret that starting the learning process with woven fabrics rather than knits will provide a better understanding of the human body. Don't be put off by the additional closures and finishing techniques necessary for the making of a woven garment- these sewing techniques will eventually teach you a lot about sewing and how to make your own clothing.
What Is Recovery In Knit Fabrics:
When discussing knits, recovery is a term used to describe how fast a knit fabric returns to its relaxed non-stretched state after it has been stretched. You can also think of it as how bouncy or how stretchy the fabric is. You can identify the recovery of a knit fabric by measuring with a ruler a designated portion of knit in its relaxed state, and then measuring the same portion when the knit is stretched to its full capacity. Subtract the longer measurement (stretched fabric) from the smaller measurement (when the knit is in relaxed state). The result represents the amount of recovery a knit fabric has.
Before we get started with introducing some of the most basic knit fabrics below, there is one more concept to cover which is often another point of confusion for sewing beginners: Don't confuse fabric weave with fiber content. For example, if someone asks: What type of fabric is this? The question should most likely refer to the weave type as opposed to fiber content, although both should be used congruently to answer this question efficiently. Beginners often answer by providing just the fiber content assuming this is sufficient to identify the fabric type. In reality however, content does not provide enough information to identify the fabric weave or knitting process- content an weave are two separate things.
Fabric content is used to describe the type of fiber the fabric is made of. Content can be classified as synthetic or natural. Cotton, linen, rayon (viscose), polyester, nylon are all examples of fabric content. These fiber types alone however are not enough to fully identify type of fabric- the fabric weave must be identified. The weaving/knitting process describes the structure of the fabric and how its threads are intermingled to actually create the physical material. While knit fabrics and woven non-stretch fabrics often share similar content (fiber type), the structure of knits is very different than that of wovens. So to efficiently answer the question above (what type of fabric is this?) always refer to the weave additional to content.
For example: interlock knit, jersey knit, and sweater knit are all types of fabrics characterized by a particular style of knitting structure. Cotton interlock knit, polyester jersey knit, and wool sweater knit identifies both knit fabric type and content, thus is the best way to fully identify a textile.
To learn more about basic woven fabrics for sewing beginners, check out this tutorial: Picking The Right Woven Fabrics- Everything You Need To Know As A Sewing Beginner.
As we introduce you to the basic types of knit fabric below, keep the difference between knit fiber content and type of knit structure in mind. The knit fabrics listed below are characterized and named after their structure/construction process.
Main Types of Knit Fabrics You Should Know As a Sewing Beginner
Single Jersey Knit Fabric.
Jersey knit is perhaps one of the most commonly used fabrics in apparel. It comes in different fiber contents, thicknesses and weight offering enough versatility to be used just as efficiently in a T-shirt design as it is with more elegant dresses. It is recognizable by the fact that it has a different knit pattern on the back than it does the front, with the face side being flat while its wrong side featuring a zigzag-shaped texture (similar to a purl stitch). Jersey knit is very stretchy and considered one of the more draping knit fabrics. It can be broken down into a few different categories, such as interlock jersey, jacquard jersey, double jersey etc. As a sewing beginner it is sufficient for you to recognize a single jersey knit fabric using its most noted characteristics: Two different-looking sides, high stretch and very good recovery. What does good recovery mean? Jersey knit has high stretch and bounces back to its natural, un-stretched shape fast, without distorting the fabric's structure. One of jersey's attributes is that it stretches well both lengthwise and crosswise, although its crosswise stretch is higher than that in lengthwise direction.
Note: A popular type of high performance jersey is the spandex (Lycra) jersey which has a dense weave and added spandex content for stretch. This type of jersey knit features a high stretch, bouncy characteristic often used in activewear, dance wear, and other high performance garments/costumes.
Cotton Interlock Knit- Photo Courtesy of Eagle Fabrics.
As opposed to jersey knit, interlock is thicker and looks the same on both sides. Its appearance on either side looks like the flat face side of jersey knit described above. Due to its thicker nature and the fact that it looks the same on both sides, interlock can be classified as a type of double knit (described below). This is due to the way the loops are overlapped in the knitting process, which also forms a less stretchy, thicker fabric with decreased recovery. Interlock's recovery is a bit poorer than that of jersey knit. When stretched, it normally doesn't bounce back as fast as jersey knit, although it doesn't usually loose its structure during the stretching process. Cotton interlock knits have less bounce which means limited recovery.
Interlock knits stretch well crosswise but stretch very little lengthwise. Two way stretch is not something interlock knit is known for. As a beginner however, interlock is a great way to learn how to sew with knits. Its cut edges don't roll as much as those of jersey knit thus they are easier to fold and clean finish, offering increased stability during garment construction. Due to its thickness and structure, interlock lays flatter when cut but still provides enough stretch to forgo the addition of darts, zipper closures or other fit-focused seams used in sewing less stretch garments.
You are undoubtedly familiar with sweater knit whether you have previously sewn with it or not. Sweater knit comes in a lot of different gages, patterns, weights etc. For that reason, a large variety of sweater knit fabrics are available based on the yearn/thread used and the rich combination of stitches formed in the knitting process. For this sewing beginner-oriented tutorial, we'll talk about the simple stockinette stitch characterized by one side featuring a stacked "V" shaped knit stitch while its underside features purl stitches that appear as horizontal rows of curved lines.
As a sewing beginner it is enough for you to recognize the look and behavior of sweater knit and be familiar with the "V" knit stitch and purl stitch associated with it. In addition, you should also be familiar with what a wale is. A wale in knitting is characterized by the column of "V"s (or knit stitching) forming parallel, vertical structures along the length of a knit fabric.
On the subject of actually working with sweater knit fabrics, they can be a bit tricky depending on the thickness and density of the knitting stitches. The thicker and more open the sweater knit loops, the more it will unravel which can make it difficult to clean finish along the cut edges. A dense, finely-knitted sweater knit is easier to cut and work with due to the fact that its unraveling edges are easier to contain. For that reason, knit garment pieces are usually shaped directly on the knitting machine. However, if you find yourself working with a sweater knit fabric, make sure you staystitch the cut edges to prevent the loops from coming undone in the garment construction process. As a clean finishing technique, use a longer denser overlock/serging stitch along the fabric's cut edges. If you can chose between a denser sweater knit and one that is loosely knitted, the denser will be easier to work with from a cutting and clean finishing stand point.
Photo courtesy of Fashion Fabrics Club.
The best way to understand crochet knit is to compare its knitting process to that of sweater knit. Of course, both sweater knit and crochet knits can be knitted by hand, or using a machine to create longer yardage or shaped garments. To differentiate the two however, let us look at their hand knitting process. The difference between crochet knitting and sweater knitting is first and foremost, in the the tool being used. Crochet hand-knits are made using a hook while regular sweater knits are knitted using pointed needles. With a different tool comes a different knitting process. In a hand crochet knit, a loop is closed before another one is started. Vice versa, in a sweater hand-knitting process, the loops in a row are left open as the thread/yarn moves back and forth to knit the fabric. When a crochet knit is made on a machine, a warp knitting technique is used. This means that the fabric is knitted up and down using multiple needles at the the same time.
Crochet knits offer a lot more aesthetic variety than other knits do, like sweater for example. It provides various stitching options to build prints and patterns ranging from very open to more dense and compressed. Crochet knits are used in apparel for dresses, tops and as decorative trims. Working with crochet, especially those that have a more open weave, is similar to working with lace knits (described below) or a looser sweater knit. Just like lace, a crochet knit fabric (especially if made of finer thread/yarn) may contract and expand, taking on the shape of the human form, or whatever object it is draped on.
Example of a 3 by 3 rib knit. 3 parallel columns of purl stitching and 3 parallel columns of knit stitching.
Rib knits alternate between rows of knit stitching and purl stitching creating a set ratio of wales-to-purl stitch rows. Just like sweater knit, rib knit (or ribbing) can be found in varying weights and thicknesses, depending on the yarn/thread used in its construction. Due to its structure of alternating knit and purl stitches, rib knit has significant crosswise stretch with the fabric actually contracting inward to create a tight fit. For that reason, it is commonly used as cuffing along the neckline, sleeves and the hem of more casual knit clothing items. Not only does it provide structure, it expands quite a lot when needed while also contracting back into a smaller, structured shape when in relaxed form.
When used as a cuffing method, rib knit is often folded such that it clean finishes onto itself. Ribbing can be chosen based on thickens as well as desired ratio of wales. For example a 1 by 1 rib knit means that the knit fabric has 1 vertical column of knit stitching and another column of purl stitching, with this iteration repeating evenly through the entire length of the rib knit fabric. Of course, the ratio of knit-to-purl stitching doesn't have to be equal. A 3 by 2 rib knit for example, has a repeating pattern of 3 knit stitch columns and 2 purl stitch columns respectively. Just like sweater knit, rib knit is constructed using a weft knitting technique which means it requires a continuous thread (or yarn) to form the back and forth loops.
Ponte knit is perhaps one of the best inventions in the knit family. Why? Well, it offers a similar structure and stability as a woven but allows for enough stretch and give to create a comfortable, forgiving clothing item. Ponte knit is a very densely woven warp double knit that provides less stretch than other conventional machine-made knits. For that reason, it often requires the addition of fit-oriented seams, closures and darts similar to those of a non stretch, woven garment. Ponte knit is usually medium to heavy weight, and used on dressier knit items like suits, blazers, trousers and skirts. Due to the structure and stability of the weave, it is perhaps the only knit fabric that can be used in more tailored, structured applications.
As opposed to other knit fabrics, when sewing a ponte knit garment that is form fitting, some form of closure (like a zipper application) should be used as it does not stretch enough to be pulled over the organic shape of the body. While ponte knit is available in a variety of content combinations, the most commonly produced are blends of polyester, cotton or rayon. For added stretch, some fabric manufactures add a small percentage of spandex in the ponte knitting process to increase its elasticity.
For sewing beginners in particular, ponte knit is a perfect way to introduce knit sewing techniques. While still offering some stretch, ponte is easy to handle and most importantly, its cut edges to not roll and stretch out as much as other knit fabrics (like jersey for example). By starting with ponte knits, you can smoothly graduate to working with more lighweight, difficult-to-handle knits.
Fleece knit is mostly used in the construction of casual apparel items like sweatshirts, sweatpants, casual pullovers and long sleeve T-shirts. This comfy, warm (and fuzzy!) knit features a smooth surface on one side and a pile surface on its back. The smooth surface is conventionally considered the face of the fleece knit. Fleece knit's stretch falls somewhere in between interlock knit and ponte knit. It is not as stretchy as some interlock knits but stretchier than tailored ponte knit fabrics. The reason fleece knit is so desirable, especially in casual outerwear and sportswear, is its warm characteristic and quick-drying capabilities. It absorbs moisture efficiently while also drying fast and keeping the body warm during fall/winter seasons.
So how is fleece knit constructed, and how exactly is that fuzzy fleece pile achieved on its wrong side? Fleece knits are usually made of polyester, although cotton blends are also available. Two chemicals are combined to form a polymer which is then run through a machine to form strips of fibers as they cool down. These strips are then knitted together using warp knitting machines. To achieve the fuzzy, fleece underside, the surface of the fabric corresponding to the wrong side is then run through a napper which agitates the surface and brings out the fiber strands, creating the fabric's fleece underside. Finally, the raised fibers are shaved evenly to complete the fabric. An interesting fact about fleece fabric (and other polyester fabrics) is that the same polymer used in the manufacture of plastic. Recycling plastic into fabric production is one of the best ways to reduce and re-use plastic waste.
Stretch Raschel Lace
Raschel knits have varying degrees of stretch ranging from very minimal to high. Raschel knit fabrics are created on a raschel warp knitting machine which is somewhat descendant from a jacquard loom. For that reason, raschel knits are often a bit more bulky featuring interesting, raised textures and designs. They have the versatility to be knitted more dense or loose, some being much stretchier than others. Different types of yarns can be used including unique, novelty yarns which other warp knit fabrics may not be able to withstand. This versatility allows raschel knits to produce a variety of patterns which are often reversible. While raschel knits can be used as unlined fabrics in coats, jackets, dresses and more industrial applications like outdoor and military products, the most highly manufactured raschel knit is the raschel lace, netting and vails.
As a sewing beginner, raschel lace is what you should familiarize yourself with most. Raschel lace and trims offer a variety of prints and textures featuring a stretchy, semi sheer consistency. They have a sort of jacquard-like look to them which can be more bulky, raised and textured than other lace fabrics. Due to their elasticity, raschel knits are very commonly used for more form fitting lace garments like fitted cocktail dresses, evening wear apparel and costume design. Most raschel knits are made of polyester which is sometimes mixed with Lycra (spandex) for added stretch. The best part about raschel lace in garment construction is that the stretchier versions provide a way to avoid sewing darts or fit-oriented closures which are often very challenging with textured lace fabrics.
Printed ITY Knit. Photo Courtesy of Telio Fabrics.
ITY stands for Interlock Twsit Yarn and is a knit textile that in recent years, has become highly sought after by clothing manufacturers for its drape, comfort and wrinkle-free functionality. Think of ITY as being similar to interlock knit but featuring an actual physical twist in the thread. Twisting the thread in the machine knitting process creates a fabric that has a lot more drape and softens, making it perfect for the construction of flowey items like knit blouses, dresses, and trousers.
ITY knits are wrinkle resistant and feature a sort of draped bounce. They are also more densely woven and have very good recovery. ITY knits are commonly found in a variety of prints. The fine gage weave is able to take on fabric dyes and printing in a more sharp, pronounced fashion. For that reason, ITY knits are often used in casual-to-formal dresses and in recent years, have been a welcome addition to evening wear. They are mostly made of polyester and lycra (also known as spandex) combinations. Polyester fibers allow for a smoother, durable finish while the addition of spandex provides increased stretch and flexibility.
Photo Courtesy of Telio Fabrics.
Hatchi is a type of knit fabric that is characterized by its very soft, lightweight draped quality. It can either be a jersey knit or a sweater knit depending on the knitting processed used. Hatchi is extremely comfortable and flowey and often semi-sheer. Think of it as that summer knit you want in a light cardigan or v-neck tee. As a knit fabric that is very finely woven, it offers a smooth yet comfortably stretchy consistency. Due to their very thin, sheer characteristic, hatchi knits are sometimes used as underlays in crochet or lace knit garments.
When used in apparel construction, hatchi knits may be lined or double layered if a more opaque result is desired. They often feature both crosswise and lengthwise stretch, achieved both mechanically (through knitting style) or with the addition of spandex. It is very common to find hatchi knits in striped prints since they are so often used in the manufacture of casual long sleeve T-shirts and light cardigans. You'll find hatchi knit in various content blends from polyester, rayon, bamboo and cotton, with some options incorporating spandex for added stretch.
While a hatchi knit provides a beautiful option for sewing comfortable summer styles, it may not be the easiest fabric to work with for sewing beginners. Due to its very thin, flimsy characteristic, beginner dressmakers may find it challenging to cut to pattern and clean finish its raw edges. Some handling and cutting techniques associated with hatchi knits are similar to those associated with sewing sheer fabrics.
Thermal Knit (Honeycomb/ Waffle knits)
Photo Courtesy of StylishFabric.
Thermal knits are widely used for camisoles, long sleeve T-shirts and leggings mostly suitable for cold weather. The reason they are so ingenious is due to the structure of their waffle/honeycomb design. This special weave forms textured, waffle-like indents on the surface of the fabric which traps moisture and warm air to provide insulation and high moisture absorbency. Thermal knits have been adapted from honeycomb woven fabrics that provide moisture absorption in items like bath robes, towels and other household products. Waffle/honeycomb knits are not as stretchy as other knit fabrics like jersey for example. They are however stretchy enough to slide over the human body without the need for darts or other fit-oriented additions. Its minimal stretch is not necessarily an issue in apparel as it is mostly used for non-fitted, very casual clothing items.
Lace Sweater Knit Fabric. Photo Courtesy of Telio Fabrics.
You may be tempted to confuse lace knit with raschel knit (described above) but keep in mind that they are produced very differently resulting in different looking prints and textures. Lace knits can me hand made or machine knitted. Machine-made lace knits are usually built into the final garment pieces as they can unravel easily if cut and sewn in a conventional matter. As opposed to raschel knits which you can cut and sew as you would any warp knit fabric, lace knit seams are more difficult to sew and handle. If they are however cut according a sewing pattern (as is done with a conventional garment), a lace knit seam is most durable when connected to a non stretch, stable fabric.
Lace knits featuring a more open pattern do not maintain their structure well and have a habit of stretching or contracting depending on how they are draped or their placement in real time. Their shape changes and conforms according to the matter in which they are used. Lace knits feature "holes" of different sizes that are arranged to form a variety of different patterns which in terms, serve many design and aesthetic needs. These eyelet structures are achieved by suspending a stitch or a number of stitches in pre-designed areas of the knit such as to form patterns and print motifs. While lace knit lacks structure, its is fairly stretchy. It is commonly used in both apparel and household trims as well as accessories like shawls, hats and scarves. Home decor and household items, especially curtains, table runners and hand towels include the addition of lace knits or trims for decorative, ornamental purposes.
Photo Courtesy of Somerest Industries, Inc.
Tricot is a warp knitted fabric which is woven vertically into single columns forming zigzaged/ribbed rows. This knitting process results in a very sleek, dense, and durable knit which is often used in swimwear, lingerie, leggings and active wear. Tricot cut edges do not fray or unravel, allowing for less necessity to clean finish them using conventional methods. Tricot is also very durable, able to withstand long term wear and care. Along with its 4-way stretch, its content is often combined with high percentages of spandex for maximum stretch and elasticity. In addition, tricot knit fabric, whether medium weight or lightweight, matte or sporting a satin finish, has great recovery, instantly bouncing right back to its original non stretched state.
Lightweight tricot knits are commonly used for lining other knit garments. This is due to their great recovery and stretching capabilities as well as the fact that tricot is very soft, highly draping and comfortable against the skin. Some tricot knits are moisture wicking, depending on any additional processes and coating applied to their surface at the manufacturing stages. Due to the fact that tricot requires high funtionlaity with good recovery and durability, you'll often find this knit in nylon and polyester blends- synthetic fibers known for their strength, easy care and endurance.
As a sewing beginner, you should be weary of tricot's 4-way stretch when sewing the garment's seams. Due to most tricot's high stretch capabilities (especially when combined with spandex), a zigzag stitch or serger must be used to sew tricot seams. If you rely on a regular straight stitch, the stitch thread risks breaking as the garment is pulled over the body or during extensive movement.
Note: A loosely woven tricot knit is also available as fusible interfacing for backing stretch clothing items, especially tailored ones made of ponte knit or scuba knit (below). Tricot fusible interfacing is not necessarily very stretchy but offers enough stability and flexibility to work well as a knit underlay, adhering to stretchy knit fabrics more efficiently.
The myth of the double knit... Beginners are often confused as to the difference between double knit and similar fabrics like ponte and interlock. The answer may be a little different depending on who you ask- Needless to say, a knit fabric manufacturer will provide the most accurate answer. Double knit is constructed such that the fabric has a face on both sides making it reversible as desired. Think back to knit stitches and purl stitches described above. Conventionally, knit stitches (V shaped wales) are considered to be the face of a knit fabric while purl stitches correspond to the wrong side. In a double knit, the loops are interlocked during the knitting process such that the knit stitches remain on the outside on both sides of the fabric, while the purl stitch sides are enclosed in between. Some may argue that a double knit should actually separate into two layers when pulled apart. While some styles of double knit are fused together to behave that way, most are interlocked during the knitting process such that they do not separate. Ponte knit and interlock knits may be categorized as double knits.
If you are looking for a double knit at the fabric store, you may not find a roll or bolt of fabric labeled double knit. Double knit is a broad term used to categorize the type of fabric that is knitted to form two intermingled layers for which both sides can serve as the face. Double knits are easy to handle and sew, especially if you are a beginner. Their cut edges do not have much roll which makes them easy to work with and clean finish. Some double knits are woven into prints that are reversible offering two separate designs depending on desired look. Double knits are perfect for more structured knit dresses, skirts, trousers, blazers, deconstructed jackets and winter cardigans.
So how do you identify double knit at the fabric store? If it is medium to heavy weight and features a knit stitch on both sides, warranting it reversible (weather printed or not), it is most likely a double knit.
Photo Courtesy of FWD.
The best way to describe scuba knit is if ITY merged with ponte to create a very dense, smooth knit fabric. It has 4-way stretch and often features a combination of spandex for added elasticity. Scuba knit is characterized as a thicker double knit made of polyester fibers that are very finely spun, like poly microfiber. Just like ponte knit, you'll often find that scuba knit requires the addition of fit-oriented seams, darts and zipper closures in order to create a fully functional, comfortable garment. It has a structured, lofty, tailored characteristic that is easy to work with, featuring edges that do not unravel or roll. Scuba knit is a perfect building material for items that are a bit more tailored yet require some stretch for added comfort. Work/cocktail dresses, evening wear, blazers, skirts and trousers are all well suited for scuba knit.
Photo Courtesy Of Telio Fabrics.
A pique knit features parallel ribs or fine cord structures running vertical on the fabric's surface and forming a very fine diamond shaped texture. Pique fabrics are made on a doby loom which is able to create the textured surface piques are known for. Similar to waffle and honeycomb knits, pique knits are able to trap moisture also minimizing stain visibility on the fabric's surface. For that reason, a pique knit is the number one choice for polo shirts, tennis dresses and active wear. Although pique knits are very flexible, they do not stretch as much as jersey or sweater knits. They are usually manufactured from cotton or a cotton/poly blend. Cotton fibers are almost always included in order to increase moisture absorption and breathability.
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