Knitted fabric

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A knitted fabric cloth sample

Knitted fabrics are the third major class of fabric, after woven and nonwoven fabrics.

Structure of knitted fabrics[edit]

Knitted fabrics are divided into two basic types: warp-knit fabrics such as tricot and weft-knit fabrics such as a hand-knit sweater. Weft-knit items have the drawback that they run when cut. Warp-knit fabrics are often used in lingerie.

  • knits can shrink but can also extend if a rib construction.
  • knits have nap.
  • ribs/wales versus courses.
  • generally more elasticity along the course than along the wale.

Knitting stitches[edit]

Over the long history of knitting across the world, hundreds of different knitting stitches have been created.

The basic building blocks of all hand knitting are the following stitches: knit, purl, cast on, cast off (also known as bind off), increase and decrease stitches. Use of a combination of these methods can provide a vast number of different textures to knitted fabrics.

In order to save space in knitting patterns, the names of stitches are normally abbreviated.

Composition of knitted fabrics[edit]

The most common fibres used for knitted fabrics are cotton & viscose with or without elastane, these tend to be single jersey construction and are used for most t-shirt style tops.

Knitted dress, 1967

History of knitwear[edit]

Coco Chanel's 1916 use of jersey in her hugely influential suits was a turning point for knitwear, which became associated with the woman.[1] Shortly afterwards, Jean Patou's cubist-inspired, color-blocked knits were the sportswear of choice.[1]

In the 1940s came the iconic wearing of body-skimming sweaters by sex symbols like Lana Turner and Jane Russell, though the 1950s were dominated by conservative popcorn knits.[1] The swinging 1960s were famously manifested in Missoni's colorful zigzag knitwear.[1] This era also saw the rise both of Sonia Rykiel, dubbed the "Queen of Knitwear" for her vibrant striped sweaters and her clingy dresses, and of Kennedy-inspired preppy sweaters.[1]

In the 1980s, knitwear emerged from the realm of sportswear to dominate high fashion; notable designs included Romeo Gigli's "haute-bohemian cocoon coats" and Ralph Lauren's floor-length cashmere turtlenecks.[1]

Contemporary knitwear designers include Diane von Furstenberg,[2] and Irakli Nasidze.

See also[edit]

Basic knitted fabrics


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vargas, Whitney. "Knitting Circle." Elle (Sept 2007): p192.
  2. ^ Bansal, Paritosh (2008-01-24). "Designer Von Furstenberg sues Target over dress". Reuters. 


  • Shaeffer, Claire. Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide. Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Company. ISBN 0-8019-7802-5. 

External links[edit]