knit fabrics are made up of a series of interlocking loops, that result in a flexible construction. While all knits have stretch, they vary considerably in amount and direction of stretch. The influential factors in stretch are the yarn and the particular knit structure empolyed.
There are two basic knit structures weft and warp. The first derives from age old techniques of hand knitting. The second, a modern innovation is the product of complex machines. Records show that the first knitting machine was invented in 1589. Today’s advanced version turn out an incredible range of fabrics from sheer lingerie knits to bulky sweater types, even piles and jacquared patterns.
Some terms are relevant to knit constructions. Knit st is a basic link in which a loop is drawn through the front of the previous one. Purl st a basic link in which a loop is drawn through the back of the previous one. All knit variations are achieved by changing the arrangement of these 2 basic stitches. Ribs are lengthwise rows of loops.
Knit fabrics may be tubular or flat. Some flat types have perforated lengthwise edges comparable to slevedges in woven fabrics. Complex stritches or special finishes sometimes obscure a knit structure, making it hard to tell whether a fabric is knitted or woven.
To settle the question pull a thread from one crosswise end. If loops show, the fabric is a knit, if a fringe appears, it is woven.
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