Up Close with Knit Fabrics, Part I

 I'm sure most/all of you know the fundamental difference between wovens and knits, mainly that knits are made from a continuous thread - like, when you knit by hand - giving them stretch. And wovens are created with a criss-cross pattern of fibers that are woven together, so they only have mechanical stretch on the bias.  Basically are the fibers crossed (wovens) or looped (knits).  After having seen the wide variety of wovens commonly seen in garment sewing, I have a selection of knits for this week.  First off, a cotton jersey - I believe this is 100% cotton jersey (no lycra/spandex) that I bought from Mood.

Cotton jersey, olive swatch, far right

This fabric has a medium amount of stretch - no spandex, so it's not super stretchy.  But you can see how the fibers are knit to allow for some stretch (compared to a cotton woven).
The irregularity of natural fibers are visible at high magnification.

Next up is a bandage knit, also from Mood:
Bandage knit, black-blue-red stripe, middle
This is a cotton-acrylic-spandex blend, with heavy stretch and recovery.
The top half of the above image is the black knit, and the bottom half is the red or blue fibers.  You can feel the texture in your hand, but it isn't very obvious to the naked eye that the different colors have a distinctive knit.


Last up for this week is a power mesh from Cali Fabrics.  This is a polyester-spandex blend (80/20) with about 65% 4-way stretch.

Power mesh, far right
It has a really interesting knit under the microscope:


Just like we saw in the posts about wovens, there is a huge variety of knits and loops and weaves that fall under the broad category of 'knits'!  That's all I have for this week, but I will be back soon with Knits Part II.  As usual, if I've missed anything or if anyone has a request or suggestion, let me know in the comments. Happy Sewing!


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