Knitting is one of the basic methods of fabric construction and an extremely popular method. Designers prefer knitting garments for several reasons. The flexibility of the fabric and the ease of making smaller garments are just two of those. Knitted garments have many applications. From T-shirts, pajamas, winter wear and lingerie to bedsheets – the areas where knitted garments can be used are numerous.
The distinctions to be kept in mind by designers when it comes to knitting garments stems from the basic construction of the fabric. Here is a brief introduction to what knitting garments incur and how one can distinguish between different types of knitted garments.
Knitting essentially is the inter-looping of one or more yarns to produce the fabric. The way this inter-looping happens is what differentiates the different types of knitting garments. The looping is done in one direction only. So, it can either be horizontal (across the breadth) or vertical (across the length). Based on this classification, there are two methods of knitting garments.
This is the more common form of knitting that is easily recognizable. When you see someone knitting a sweater with a ball of wool, they are using the warp knitting method. In this form, the breadthwise inter-looping is done, generally with a single yarn. While the method provides the benefit of stretchability associated with knitting garments, it has its own set of limitations.
As only one yarn is being used, the warp-knitted garment is prone to runs. A single cut can unravel the whole fabric. Also, if one loop gets missed during the knitting process, it will cascade down right up to the end. Warp knitting is one of the techniques of hand knitting garments by using knitting needles.
This is the other mechanism of knitting garments. In this case, the inter-looping occurs in a vertical manner (along the length of the garment). Generally, three or more yarns are used to carry out weft knitting, making it difficult to be managed by hand. Thus, knitting garments using this method implies using machines for the same. The advantage, in this case, is these garments are not as prone to runs, making them sturdier than their warp knitted counterparts.
Knitted garments are preferred over woven garments due to their elasticity. When knitting garments in a specific manner, they can stretch up to 500% of their original size. Some of the knitted garments are better at retaining the shape, while others stretch a lot, allowing flexibility of movement. Here we take a look at 6 ways of knitting garments that are highly in demand by designers and manufacturers alike.
The jersey knit fabric is used commonly in T-shirts but has more recently even started to be used in making bedsheets. The fabric, however, has a tendency to shrink and thus needs to be washed carefully – either in cold water or by hand. All its desirable qualities make it a preferred manner for knitting garments.
Due to the knit stitches, the rib knitted garments do not stretch in the vertical direction. However, they possess a lot of cross stretching capability, thanks to the purl knits. This makes them useful in trimmings. The one thing that can be said about rib-knit fabric, though, is that it is a lot stiffer when compared to other knitted fabrics. The ability to resist curls after being stretched makes it ideal for outerwear like T-shirts and Sweaters.
Some of the other notable ways of knitting garments that designers generally use are Milanese Knit, Raschel Knit, Lace Knit and Mesh Knit. All of these fabrics are segregated based on the method employed for knitting garments. However, using a combination of these methods or different materials for the yarn, further differentiation can be made. Thus, knitting garments offer a wide variety of choices for designers.
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