Category Archives: Fabric

What’s the difference between knitted fabric and woven fabric?

knitted fabric

woven fabric

What’s the difference?

Knitted fabrics (knits) are made by being knit.

Woven fabrics (wovens) are made by being woven.

(I’ve always assumed that’s where the names all came from, but I’m not sure which came first.)

Both are creating using yarn (fluffy, soft string) or thread (thinner/finer than yarn). In fact most fabrics are created using either yarn or thread.

Knitting is where you take a single length of yarn, and use it to create a row of loops, and then another row of loops on top of that, etc.
The loops are called stitches (not to be confused with a stitch in sewing), and you knit using needles. The needles are used to hold and manipulate the stitches (loops). How you manipulate those stitches determines what pattern your finished fabric has.

Weaving is done using a loom and multiple pieces of yarn or thread. You have parallel lines of yarn going vertically along your fabric, this is called your warp. Then you have yarn that moves horizontally across your fabric (right to left) over and under the warp (the threads moving vertically along your fabric). This yarn moving horizontally over and under your warp, is called your weft, and it “weaves” in and out of your warp. How the weft weaves over and under the warp determines the pattern of the finished fabric.


What does that mean about the finished fabric?

A couple things.

Knits are generally stretchier than wovens. Since knitted fabric is comprised of loops stacked on top of loops, this loops can expand, and then contract again. Woven fabric is based on a grid (remember that it has threads that go up and down as well as left and right.) That makes wovens much more “stable” and less stretchy, than knits.

Because knits are stretchy, they also knits move with your body more than wovens do. This is why knits are used in athletic wear, and most casual clothing.

But because knits are used in athletic wear and because they drape more and move more, knits are more casual than wovens. So, most put-together/office/”grown up” clothing is usually made of woven fabric (of course sweaters are the exception, as well as some women’s blouses.)

The stability of wovens also means you’re able to tailor them, which makes them better than knits for sharper, more tailored garments (think suits & jackets.)

So to recap…

Knits: made of loops of yarn/thread
Wovens: are made of a grid of yarn/thread

Knits: have stitches
Wovens: have a warp & a weft

Knits: less stable
Wovens: more stable

Knits: more stretchy
Wovens: less stretchy

Knits: more casual
Wovens: more formal

That’s the very basics of knitted fabric and woven fabric.
Of course, you can go deeper there are exceptions & caveats & more layers to explore, but these are the basics.

Which is your favorite? Knits or Wovens?

Raiding the Fabric Bins

I was up at my parents’ house for my sister’s graduation and managed to get home with a good chunk of the fabric I had up there. Here’s a selection of those…


A blue & white cotton plaid. Not quite sure what it’ll be but probably a dress of some sort.


A crazy amount of this cherry cotton. I have no idea what I was planning for it, but I bought a kind of crazy amount. I’m thinking maybe a maxi summer dress? I’m trying to avoid going too cutsy with it.


A rayon(?) crinkle chiffon(?) with a cute flower print. I’m thinking maybe a layered godet skirt?


A black cotton with a white koi print. No plans, just liked it.


A very cute bicycle print that I couldn’t pass up on, even though I don’t bike…


A white (very wrinkled) chiffon.


And a printed blue/white cotton.

Most of this was inherited or picked up somewhere along the way.
And most of it continues in the theme of buying light colored fabric, but mostly wearing black…


also…. June 1st is tomorrow… WTF did that happen?!?!?!!!

A trip to the garment district.


I was wandering around midtown and ended up in the garment district, and somehow a bunch of fabric came home with me.
ha! I say that like I haven’t been trying to get to the garment district all week!


I picked up a yard of black cotton jersey, that I swatched in this post, to make a couple tank tops and camisoles.


And then a yard and a half of a black rayon that I plan on making a skirt out of. I have a great skirt that I absolutely adore everything about except that it’s made out of a jersey and keeps freaking growing. So I want to pattern it and remake it in something that won’t grow on me.


A yard of a black, white and limb green silk print. I’m not usually a huge fan of florals, I think they can go cutsy easily, but this is a very graphic print. I almost passed this up, but I’m super glad I got it. This is destined to be a skirt. I basically want to stick a waist band on it and let it do it’s thing.


This fabric has never seen a natural fiber. But I got two yards of it to make a kimono. It’s a navy blue sheer with these shiny thread squares all over it, and there’s just something I love about it. I picked up two yards because it’s narrow, and it was the last of the bolt so I got a deal on it.


I’m not actually sure what the fiber content of this is, I might do a burn test later and see, but  I loved the print so I picked it up. I’m thinking about doing a over-shirt with the wrong side (the solid purple) as the main body, and then the right side (the plaid) as the inside of the shirt. Since I almost always wear my over-shirts open and with the cuffs rolled up that means you would be able to see the inside of the shirt fronts and the cuffs.  I think if I were to reverse (use the plaid as the outside, and the purple as the inside) it might go a little 90s goth for my current tastes. Of course I might change my mind at the last minute, or forget this plan and do something else entirely. We shall see…


I also picked up some jersey ball point needles, and a twin needle. I’ve never used a twin needle before so I’m excited to play with it.

And that’s all I have for today.

The grey & white dress has been hanging so the hem can settle, and I took apart a safari shirt that I bought, own and have loved to death so I could pattern the original and remake the dress.

Finishing the grey dress and realizing we’re in the middle of May has kind of lit a fire under my ass. June 1st is not that far away… here is the timeline.