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We all love wearing knits – the stretch makes it comfortable to wear and forgiving if you gain or lose a few pounds. The fit makes all the difference. That’s why buying fabric online can be so difficult. You can’t feel a knit fabric before you buy it. You don’t know how much it can stretch. It can be hard to know what you’re getting. It’s disappointing to order fabric for a project and realize when it arrives that it just won’t work. It’s hard enough unless you go to a fabric store such as PFI Supply and have knowledgeable hep
To help make sure you get what you want when buying knit fabric, here the main types of knit with a guide to tell you what you can expect from each of them, as well as what clothing items to make from them.
JERSEY – Single knit. Flat vertical ribs on right side; dominant horizontal courses on wrong side. Little lengthwise stretch. Used for skinny T-shirts, pullover tops, lingerie.
DOUBLE KNITS: Firm, stable knits that are medium to heavy weight. Little to moderate stretch. Used for jackets, suits, pants, dresses.
INTERLOCKS – Fine rib on both sides. Light to medium weight. Moderate crosswise stretch. Watch out for runs! Used for heavier T-shirts, sportswear, sleepwear.
SWEATSHIRT FLEECE – Flat vertical ribs on right side; softbrushed surface on wrong side. Stable with little stretch. Used for sweatshirts, sweatpants, hoodies.
SWEATER KNITS: Smooth and lightweight to lofty and bulky. Stable without much stretch. Can be sold by the yard or as sweaterbodies with built in ribbing. Has a nap and may run. Used as sweaters or coats.
RIBBINGS – Prominent vertical ribs on both sides. Have significant stretch. Used for collars, hems, cuffs.
4-WAY STRETCH – Stretches lengthwise and crosswise. Gets its stretch from a manmade elastic fiber called spandex. Lycra is Dupont’s registered name for spandex. May be blended with nylon, cotton, polyester. Used to make form-fitting garments for activewear and swimwear.
KNIT TERRY – Includes French and stretch terry. Small loops on right side; smooth vertical ribs on wrong side. May shift with right sides together because of nap. Used for jackets.
VELOURS – Includes stretch velvets, stretch panne. Brushed nap on right side; smooth vertical ribs on wrong side. May shift with right sides together. Used for jackets.
MESH KNITS, TRICOT – Knitted with evenly spaced holes. Do not ravel or run but can snag. Can be woven, non woven and knit. Can be cotton, polyester or nylon. Use for T-shirts, tops and jacket lining and ventilation. If using for a dress or top, be sure to line it with a fabric of the same stretch. It is see through!