What Is the Difference Between Knitted and Woven Fabric?


Quick Answer

Knit fabrics contain loops of fibers that allow the material to stretch in one or both directions, while woven fabrics only stretch on the bias. In knit fabrics, a continuous loop of yarn is used to construct the material, giving it a braided appearance. In woven fabrics, multiple strings of yarn cross each other, creating the appearance of a basket weave.

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What Is the Difference Between Knitted and Woven Fabric?
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Full Answer

There are two types of knitted fabrics: weft-knitted and warp-knitted. Weft-knitted fabrics are constructed by looping long strings of yarn together by hand or using a machine. This type of knit is used to make socks and T-shirts. Warp-knitted material is constructed of yarn that interlocks vertically. This type of knit stretches less than weft-knitted material, and it is used to make swimwear and underwear.

Woven fabrics are constructed using yarn in a combination weft and warp weave. In a weft weave, the yarn goes across the width of the fabric, while a warp weave goes down the length of the loom. There are three types of woven fabric: plain-weave fabric, twill-weave fabric and satin-weave fabric. In a plain weave, the warp and weft are aligned, forming a crisscross pattern. A twill weave features a weft and warp pattern that is offset to create a diagonal pattern on the fabric's surface. A satin weave uses a complex arrangement of warp and weft threads to create a smooth, shiny surface.

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