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Master’s in Textiles Technology from

DKTE’s Textile and Engineering
Institute, Ichalkaranji (Shivaji
University, Kolhapur), Maharashtra.
He has also done Diploma in Export
Management (Apparel Export) from
the Indian Institute of Export
Management, and Garment Export
and Merchandising Management
from NIFT, Bangalore. Presently, he’s
working as an Assistant Professor in
Department of Fashion Technology,
NIFT, Bangalore. (This is one of the
inputs from the series of his articles)

Basics of knitting - Weft knitting

K nitted fabrics provide comfortable
wear to almost any style of garment.
Most knits contour to the body's
on a crosswise basis. In this method each
weft thread is fed, more or less, at right
angles to direction in which fabric is
as double jersey, just as the name implies,
uses two sets of yarns on opposed needles
resulting in a heavier fabric that looks the
silhouette without restricting movement formed. Each course in a weft knit builds same on either side. Double knit fabrics have
because of its open structure. This makes upon the previous knitted course. Most little stretch; retain their shape and works
knit fabrics ideal for innerwear, bodywear of the weft knitting is of tubular form. It is best for tailored garments. Each of these
and sportswear garments. While many possible to knit with only one thread or fabric types is unique in appearance and
variations of knit fabrics exist such that cone of yarn, though production demands function.
used for hosiery, there are two basic types have resulted in circular weft knitting
of knit fabrics—weft knits and warp machines being manufactured with upto Plain jersey fabric
knits—and it’s the direction in which the 192 threads (feeders). Plain jersey fabric is the simplest weft
yarns making up the fabric are looped that knitted structure that is possible to
determines which type of knit the fabric Common weft knits produce with one set of needle. It is very
is. From these two types of knit fabrics In woven fabric structures, three weaves, economical to produce. It is having definite
come various subtypes that consumers are called basic weaves, viz., plain, twill face and back and is most easily
encounter in fabric stores and read within and satin. In a similar way, in a weft knitting recognised. Face is having all knit stitches
garment descriptions. structure, the following four structures are with smooth texture, while back is having
considered as basic weft knit structure. purl stitches with textured and mottled
Weft knitting is the simplest method of
• Plain jersey fabric • Rib fabric appearance. These fabrics are produced
converting a yarn into fabrics. Weft
• Purl fabric • Interlock fabric on flat as well as circular machines.
knitting is a method of forming a fabric in
which the loops are made in horizontal way Plain jersey fabrics, also known as single Characteristics of jersey knits
from a single yarn and intermeshing of jersey, have an identifiable right/face and • Stretch crosswise and lengthwise
loops take place in a circular or flat form wrong /back side. Other types are known • Stretches more in the crosswise


• Tend to run or ladder if stitch breaks End-uses of rib knits End uses for purl knits
• Fabric less stable and curls when cut • Collars and cuffs • Necklines • Bottom • Infant and children’s wear
• Special finishes counteract curling and edges of sweaters • Double knits • Sweaters • Scarves
improve stability jackets •Knit hats • Men’s hosiery • Fancy garment parts
• Highest machine productivity
End-uses of jersey knits Interlock fabric
• Sheets • Sweaters • Terry robes Interlock structure consists of two 1 x 1
• T-shirts • Men’s underwear rib fabrics knitted one after the other by
• Dresses • Hosiery and pantyhose means of two separate yarns, which knits
• Fully fashion garments alternately on the face and back of the
fabric and are interlocked together.
Jersey knit variations
Interlock is a reversible fabric, which has
• Fleece • Intarsia • Jacquard knits
similar smooth appearance on each side.
• Knitted terry • Knitted velour • Lisle
Interlock is produce on a cylinder and dial
• Plaited knits • Silver-pile knits
circular weft knitting machine, with
Fig: Rib fabric
alternate long and short needles opposite
to each other on cylinder and dial.
Purl fabric
Purl fabric has loop knitted to the front Characteristics of interlock knits
and back on alternate courses, in contrast • Reversible • It does not curl
to a rib fabric, which is knitted to the front • Firmer fabric • Less extensible as
and back on alternate wales. A simple purl compared to other jersey fabrics
fabric looks like somewhat like the back of • Heavier and thicker as compare to rib
jersey knit on the both side of the fabric. • It unroves from the course knitted the
The simples purl fabric is known as 1 x 1 last • Costlier fabric • Better insulator
fabrics. Purl fabrics are made on knitting
machines called purl knit machines or links-
or-links machines.
Characteristics of purl knits
Fig: Plain jersey fabric • Slowest of the knitting machines
• Both side similar appearance
Rib fabric • More expensive
Rib fabric is a double jersey knitted fabric • Good stretch in all direction
with vertical rows (wales) of loops meshed • Stretches out of shape easily Fig: Interlock fabric
in the opposite direction to each other. • Crosswise stretch less than a jersey knit
Simplest rib fabric is 1 x 1 rib having • Thicker than jersey knits End-uses for interlock knits
alternate wales knitted to the front and • Does not curl • Outwear fabric • Dress wear
back. The ribs tend to close up to create a • Can be unroved from either end • Skirt • Blouses • T-shirts
double faced fabric, which has the same
Variables in weft knitted fabric
appearance on both sides. Rib knits
A great deal of variety may be created by
fabrics are produced with the knitting
manipulating the following:
machines having two sets of needle,
normally positioned at rights angle to each • Fibre content • Yarn type and twist
other. • Fabric count • Colouration • Finishes
and • Variations of tuck, knit and miss
Characteristics of rib knits
• Also called as double jerseys fabric
• Its reversible fabric • More elastic than
(In the next issue, we would be discussing
jersey knits • More thicker than jersey
about Plain jersey and rib fabrics.)
knits • More stretch crosswise than
lengthwise • Edges do not curl • Very
stable • Running and laddering still a
problem • More expensive to produce
• Next highest machine productivity Fig: Purl fabric