The Difference Between Knit and Woven Fabric

You’ve picked out your pattern and you have a print that you love. Well, now you’re ready to get sewing! If you’re confused in many patterns, the directions will specify the type of fabric to be used, either woven or knit.

It may be that orange and pink leopard print you planned on may not be the right fabric for your project. Apply the following tests to identify the fabric that you are working with, and after doing, see if it is the right fit for your project.

 Yarn of knit fabric

The basic difference between woven and knit fabrics is in the yarn or thread that composes them. A knit fabric is made up of a single yarn, looped continuously to produce a braided look.

 Yarn of woven fabric

Multiple yarns comprise a woven fabric, crossing each other at right angles to form the grain.

Stretching is one of the tests to know whether a fabric is knit or woven. A knit fabric will stretch easily along its width, slightly less along its length, and it may also produce a run or lose its shape if stretched too much. A woven fabric will have barely any give along its width, and only slightly more give along its length.

The wrinkle test is another way to measure your fabrics. Take a small sample of your fabric and ball it up in your fist. If it springs back with little effect on shape or smoothness, it is most likely a knit. If the creases from your test stay in the fabric, it is most likely a woven.

Apply the fray test if you’re still unsure. Manufacturers apply blobs of glue or starch on the lengthwise edge of flat knits to prevent curling. The width edge of knits will often fray, but woven fabrics have a selvage on their width edge. Therefore, unlike knits, woven fabrics will fray along their lengthwise edge.

Now that you know how to identify your fabric, it’s time to get sewing! Also, don’t forget to add a custom woven label or a custom sewing label to your finished product for a smooth and polished look.