When it comes to dog apparel, "knit fabrics" are often used to ensure that our furry friends can move comfortably. While the term "knit" might conjure up images of woolen sweaters, knit fabrics can also be made from cotton or polyester; they are characterized by yarns that have been knitted together to create a fabric. In contrast, "woven fabrics" are made by interlacing yarns to form a cloth and have the following distinctive qualities:
Characteristics of Knit Fabric:
- High elasticity and breathability
- Conforms well to movement and body shape, offering a relaxed feel
- Resistant to wrinkles
- Prone to losing shape with washing
Characteristics of Woven Fabric:
- Low stretchability and breathability
- Has a more formal appearance
- Tends to wrinkle easily
- Maintains shape after washing
1. Types of Knit Fabric and How to Choose Them
The term "knit" encompasses a variety of types. Here, we'll introduce some common fabrics used in dog apparel suitable for a webpage.
This fabric is created with a plain stitch, presenting a different appearance on the front and back sides. The front can be identified by the "V" shape of the stitches. It is thin and light, making it an ideal choice for T-shirts, tank tops, and camisoles. Among knits, it has relatively low stretch, which makes it more manageable for beginners to work with. However, one characteristic to be aware of is its tendency to curl at the edges, a phenomenon known as "curling."
Rib knitting results in a fabric that looks the same on both the front and back sides. It is soft to the touch and stretches well horizontally, making it suitable for fitted designs like T-shirts, tank tops, and camisoles. Its high elasticity also makes it ideal for use in necklines and cuffs where snugness is desired. Rib knit does not curl at the edges, which makes it relatively easy to handle. However, due to its coarse knit, the fabric can sometimes get caught in the sewing machine's needle hole. To prevent this, you can use a thinner thread than the fabric thickness would typically require, or reduce the pressure on the presser foot, which will make sewing easier.
Smooth knit is crafted with the same knitting technique as rib knit, but with a tighter stitch, which is what gives it the name "smooth." It is characterized by a slick touch and a glossy appearance. Like rib knit, it has high elasticity and, due to its denser stitches, it also provides superior warmth retention.
Denim knit is a general term for knits that have a denim-like appearance on the surface. Varieties include jersey, smooth, and loopback knits, making them perfect for casual items. Denim knit jersey is used for lightweight T-shirts, tank tops, and camisoles, while denim knit loopback is suitable for heavier garments like sweatshirts and hoodies.
Commonly known as "sweatshirt fabric" or "sweat material," this fabric has a looped, towel-like reverse side. When these loops are small, it's referred to as "mini loopback," which is somewhat lighter and suitable for spring and summer items. A downside of this material is its tendency to curl at the edges and to fray, which can result in loose threads and lint during cutting.
Named for its similarity to cardboard, ponte knit features a double-layered structure that offers high thermal insulation. It has less stretch and a substantial thickness, which prevents it from curling at the edges, making it a user-friendly fabric for beginners in knit sewing. It's an excellent choice for crafting sweatshirts and hoodies.
This is the type of fabric commonly used in "jerseys." It's characterized by its breathability and a smooth, dry touch. It does not curl at the edges and has a good thickness. It is an easy-to-handle fabric and is recommended for making sweatshirts and hoodies.
This fabric is made by bonding two layers of knit together, resulting in a single piece. "Double-knit gauze jersey" is akin to a knitted version of double gauze, offering a soft and fluffy touch.
Spandex Rib Knit
Commonly referred to as "rib," this fabric incorporates "spandex," a type of elastic yarn. "Tereko" refers to a knitting method that creates a textured, ribbed surface. Spandex rib knit, therefore, is a rib knit enhanced with spandex for increased elasticity. It comes in a range from thin to thick, with the thinner varieties also being suitable for T-shirts.
Spandex Rib Knit
This is a rib knit fabric that has been interwoven with spandex, a highly elastic type of rubber yarn. Due to its excellent stretchability, it is suitable for fitted T-shirt designs as well as for ribbing around the neck, arms, and hem.
Commonly known as "terry cloth," this is the knitted version of the fabric used for towels. It is highly absorbent and suitable for sporty garments like hoodies and sweatshirts. Since the surface consists of loops similar to those found on the back of fleece fabrics, longer loops can snag easily. Mini terry with shorter loops is recommended for spring and summer items, while regular loop length is better suited for autumn and winter apparel.
Velour features a brushed pile on the surface, with a noticeable direction to the nap. It's used for a variety of garments including dresses, jackets, and bottoms. Due to its "velvety" and soft nature, it can be a challenging fabric for beginners to work with.
2. How to Distinguish the Right Side and the Wrong Side of Fabric
Typically, the side of the fabric that looks the nicest is considered the "right side," and there's no rule that says you must use the fabric with the right side out. You can choose to use the wrong side out if you prefer.
For those who are particular about distinguishing the right from the wrong side, here are some points to consider:
Points to distinguish the right side from the wrong side:
- Clarity of color or pattern (the side where the colors or patterns appear darker and more distinct is the right side)
- Sheen or glossiness (the side that has a sheen and is smoother is the right side)
- Texture (for textured fabrics like rib knit, the side where the texture looks cleaner and more pronounced is the right side)
- Direction of fabric curl (the side towards which the fabric curls is often the right side)
Additionally, for fabrics with patterns, nap, or glossiness, it is necessary to check the orientation of the top and bottom.
For patterned fabrics:
Look at the pattern and decide which direction you prefer as the top.
For fabrics with a nap or glossiness:
Hang the fabric on a hanger or similar, and step back to view the fabric as a whole. Then, flip the fabric upside down, hang it again, and view it from the same distance. The correct orientation is the one where the fabric appears lighter and more lustrous when viewed. If you try hanging the fabric with the bottom side up, it should appear slightly darker.