What is Knitted fabrics | Definition And Meaning

What is Knitted fabrics | Definition And Meaning

Knitted Fabrics

Knitted fabrics consists of a structure formed by interlocking loops of yarn. This term is used because the yarn is fed horizontally to form rows of loops which are individually locked vertically with the corresponding loop in the next horizontal row. This is the type of knitting which can be produced by hand using two knitting ‘needles’ and one ball of yarn.

Knitting machines can produce either a flat fabric or a tubular fabric according to type. It will be seen that the interlocked loops form vertical rows which are called Wales and horizontal rows which are called courses. If the fabric is correctly on grain, wales and courses intersect at 900 and are thus the directional equivalent of warp and weft, as far as grain is concerned.

     Stability of a simple knitted fabric is much less than that of an ordinary woven because any tension exerted on it will never be along the line of a yarn, but will distort the loop structure so that it can be stretched in any direction.

This simple structure can also be unraveled very easily from the top down-wards, and if the yarn forming a loop is broken it immediately releases loops so that a ‘ladder’ quickly forms which will widen and lengthen under tension. The instability of simple type knitted fabric was a limiting factor in their use for garments.

     At one time hosiery and undergarment formed the main bulk of garments made from this type of fabric because shapes could be kept simple and the stretch of the knitted structure enabled a close fit to be obtained without complicated cutting or styling.

Knitted fabrics are now strenuously competing with woven in many clothing uses due to the fact that improved machines and techniques have produced knitted fabrics in complex structures which in some cases are equal to woven in stability and in addition makers-up and consumers are more accustomed to handling and using stretchable materials so that prejudice against knitted fabrics no longer exists to the extent to which it once did. Techniques of fabric lamination and bonding, also serve to make knitted fabrics easier to handle by the maker-up and to give them more stability for garment use when required.

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