Last Updated on December 6, 2022
Knit vs Woven Fabric: The yarn or thread that knit or woven fabrics are the most common difference between knitting and woven fabrics. Usually, woven fabrics are created using multiple horizontal and vertical yarns. But with knitting, only one yarn is used to make the fabric.
Therefore, woven fabrics tend to be more durable compared to knit. Moreover, woven fabric fabrics are less prone to color loss and damage by chemical products like detergent and bleach. For this reason, it is best suited for use as fabric for upholstery.
On the other hand, Knitted fabrics are preferred for clothing as they are softer, warm, comfortable, and wrinkle-resistant. Now, we’re going to cover the difference between knit and woven fabrics in detail.
What is Woven Fabric?
Usually, the woven fabric features a non-stretchable rough surface. It is made up of two yarn sets called warp yarn and weft yarn. Alternately, woven fabric is a pattern of interlaced warp and weft yarns that are used to make by both manual and automatic machines.
Manual weaving uses handlooms, whereas automatic weaving uses power looms. Besides, there are two types of modern automatic looms. One is water-jet looms, and another one is air-jet looms.
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Types of Woven Fabric
The following are examples of woven fabrics:
Characteristics of Woven Fabric
Woven fabric is usually a more stiff and structured fabric. It tends to hold its shape more than soft fabrics. This fabric is not elastic, so it will stay stretched out regardless of how much you tug on it.
Prone to Wrinkles and Creases
Because of the structure of the woven fabric, it often holds wrinkles and creases. So it needs regular ironing to maintain its smooth appearance.
Woven fabrics are made with strands that are typically not as soft as knits, resulting in a slightly rough texture.
Woven fabrics rarely lose shape after washing and do not pill as easily as other fabrics.
Easy to Sew
Woven fabric is easy to sew. You don’t have to worry about puckering or gathering while sewing woven fabric.
It takes more time to weave a fabric, so woven fabrics tend to cost more money than knitted fabrics.
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What is Knit Fabric?
Compared to woven fabric, the knit fabric feels softer and stretchy. It is created using intermeshing single yarns, which are highly comfortable to wear against the skin. Also, circular and flat knitting machines are an essential part of manufacturing knit fabrics.
Moreover, a fabric made using the knitting process is easier to manufacture than fabric made using the weaving process. Therefore, knit fabric is cheaper to manufacture than woven fabric.
Types of Knit Fabric
The following are examples of knit fabrics:
- Cable knit
- Double knit
- Fleece knit
- French terry knit
- Interlock knit
- Jersey knit
- Jacquard knit
- Purl knit
- Ponte knit
- Raschel knit
- Tricot knit
- Velour knit
Characteristics of Knit Fabric
Stretchy and Flexible
The knit fabric has a lot of stretches. It’s made up of a lot of loops. As a result, it can be stretched both in terms of breadth and length. As a result, this fabric is suitable for form-fitting garments that do not include zippers. Knit fabric is flexible and unstructured, enabling it to conform to most shapes and drape or stretch over them.
The elasticity of knit fabric makes it highly wrinkle-resistant. It will return to its original shape if you crumple it and then release it.
Knitted fabrics are usually quite soft. Usually, tight-knit fabrics feel smooth, while loose-knit fabrics have a rough texture.
Easy to Maintain
Knit fabric does not necessitate a lot of extra care, such as hand-washing, and can be easily machine-washed. This cloth does not need to be ironed because it is usually wrinkle-resistant.
Knit fabric isn’t as long-lasting as woven cloth, and it is used to stretch or pill after some use.
Tough to Sew
Knit fabric is significantly more difficult to sew (by hand or on a sewing machine) than non-stretchy fabrics, owing to the difficulty of stitching straight lines free of gathers and puckers.
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Knit vs Woven Fabric: Which One Is Better?
Both have their pros and cons. So it’s difficult to answer this question. It depends on their application. After analyzing your particular needs, you should choose the best option for you. Here are some differences between knit and woven fabrics:
The main difference between knitting and woven fabrics is how they’re made. Woven fabrics are made on weaving looms. The width of these looms can be up to 54 inches. They consist of warp yarns, which are the lengthwise threads, and weft yarns, which are the crosswise threads. On the other hand, knitting means interlacing a single thread or yarn together to create a fabric.
Because of the tightly woven threads, woven fabrics are less flexible than knitted fabrics. The tension on weaving looms is frequently greater than knitting fabrics. Woven fabrics, which are the most common ones used for upholstery, are typically stretchy only diagonally. Because when clothing is on a piece of furniture, it tends to stay in place.
In contrast, knitted fabrics used to have a wide range of stretch properties than woven. It is knitted with less tension and composed entirely of a single yarn or thread. Consider how your clothing is more stretchy than your coach’s fabric, which is harder. If we used woven material for clothes, we would have much stiffer t-shirts and pullovers.
Woven upholstery fabrics are used to shrink less since they are made with tension and threads. On the other hand, when knitted fabrics are regularly washed, they tend to shrink. However, certain fibers don’t shrink as much due to their inherent fiber properties.
Knit fabrics will be more convenient for you if you are not a fan of ironing your clothes regularly. They contain few wrinkles due to their structure, which allows them to be easily pressed. However, woven cloth retains its shape. It also retains surface wrinkles. Therefore, some woven fabrics may not be crease-free even after pressing.
Woven fabrics are long-lasting and less prone to fading. It is because they are treated with cleaning agents such as bleach and detergent less frequently. In contrast, Knitted fabrics offer comfort, warmth, and wrinkle resistance. So they are preferable for garments, such as clothes. They are softer to the touch, but they might wear out more quickly.
Whatever project you’re working on, whether it’s knitting a cap or reupholstering a sofa, I hope this blog helps you better understand the fundamental differences between knit and woven fabrics and provides some basic ideas for selecting the proper fabric for your needs.
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“I like to turn a piece of string into something that I can wear.” I am dedicated to sharing knowledge on the necessary sewing equipment in The Sewing Stuffs.
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