What is the Difference between Knits and Wovens in Clothing?

What is the Difference between Knits and Wovens in Clothing?

There are only two basic categories where fabrics fall under; knits or wovens. Getting to know these categories will help any clothing line manufacturer understand how they impact sewing and fitting concerns. This simple article aims to give you all the info you need about these fabric types and solve pattern difficulties. You should know the difference when you are in the product development process for your clothes.

Tests to Identify if a Fabric is Knit or Woven


1. Search for loops or grain.

In knit fabrics, you see a single yarn repeatedly looped which looks like small cornrows of braided hair. On the other hand, woven fabrics follow a more complex pattern since multiple yarns are weaved with each other at right angles to form grains similar to the pattern we see in a traditional basket.

2. Checking wrinkle resistance.

Both fabric categories can easily be crumpled by your hand but it is noticeable knit fabrics will slowly get back into form with a few wrinkles. Woven fabrics are evidently crushed with obvious signs of wrinklage.

3. Using the stretch test.

Knit fabrics easily stretch when pulled apart along its width. When pulled along its length, there is still a slight stretch but not as significant as the former. When excessive force is applied to the stretch, a fabric run will form and the loops get entangled. Woven fabrics never stretch but there is a slight pull when pulled along its width. The pull is only because of the loosened weave but not due to a loose pattern.

4. Inspecting the edges.

A knit fabric has a loose edge which is why most factories that make clothes seal the edges with glue or apply blobs of starch to avoid the fabric from unraveling and prevent the edges from curling. In woven fabrics, the lengthwise edges known as selvages are firm and will have no problems of fraying.

The following tests are proven by garment manufacturers to help identify whether the fabric is knit or woven. After being able to go through these tests, it won’t be long before you can easily identify knitted or woven fabrics just by looking or feeling the fabric.

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