The Benefits of Knitwear
Knit fabrics can be soft and supple. Their breathability helps keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cold.
Various point-like ornaments can be added for style and wear, like sequins or beads. Long loops can also be drawn out and secured, forming a shaggy texture to the fabric; this is known as loop knitting.
Comfortable to wear
As a fabric that is so soft and stretchy, knitwear offers unmatched comfort. It’s ideal for wearing around the house during the day and can also be worn with formal attire at night.
This comfort extends to the sewing process too as knit fabrics are very forgiving. This is a great thing if you are a beginner in the sewing world because you can be less precise and the fabric will still fit together well. The fabric’s stretchiness also makes it easy to work with when cutting out pattern pieces as there is more flexibility and wiggle room.
Knitted garments are perfect for travelling. They can keep you warm and comfortable on the plane, train or bus while allowing your body to move freely. They can also be worn with jeans or a dress for a casual look that will not make you feel overly dressed up or uncomfortable.
When buying knitwear, try to choose sustainable options. There are a number of brands that use environmentally friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled wool and viscose. They also use fair trade practices to prioritise workers and animals over profits. Some of these brands include Counting Cloud, Kowtow and LANIUS. They also use the latest technology for knitting such as flat knitting, circular knitting for body-mapped garments and warp knitting to make their products as eco-friendly as possible.
Colour is an important part of knitwear. A well-chosen shade can transform a garment. It might be a light Knitwear grey, which will complement shirts and suit jackets, or something darker like navy blue or charcoal which will work well with jeans or khaki trousers. Rich colours like purple, forest green or burgundy can also look elegant.
The fact that knit fabrics are created by interloping one set of yarn with another gives them more flexibility than woven fabrics. The threads in weaving are straight, running lengthwise (warp threads) or crosswise (weft threads). In knitting the yarn has a meandering path, forming symmetrical loops (also called bights) above and below the main course of the yarn. This allows knitted fabrics to stretch in different directions, which is especially helpful for garments that need to respond to body movements, such as socks and hosiery.
Knitwear can be made from a range of materials, including wool, cotton and acrylic fibres. Many companies source their materials ethically and sustainably, avoiding any form of cruelty to animals or people. At The Slow Label, our knitwear is organic, plant-dyed and mulesing-free – so that it causes no harm to either the makers or the environment.
Unlike woven fabrics, knitted fabrics allow air to move freely through the loops of thread, making them more breathable. They also tend to be soft, stretchy, and flexible. They can be made with a variety of materials, including cotton, wool, and polyester. The fabric’s tightness and structure also affect its breathability.
Woven fabrics are composed of multiple fibers that crisscross each other, like a finely woven wicker basket, giving them a more rigid structure and crisp appearance. The gaps between the threads give them a more structured appearance that is less flexible and softer than knitted fabrics. Woven fabrics may be more wrinkle-resistant, but they also have a tendency to pill.
In addition to its comfort, knitwear is easy to launder and has a natural recovery that lets it bounce back when stretched. This makes it perfect for casual wear and — when styled appropriately — professional and formal occasions. It’s also a great choice for close-fitting dresses and skirts that flatter the figure with a sleek silhouette.
As sustainability matters become increasingly important to consumers, knitwear companies are putting sustainable production at the forefront of their business models. They’re sourcing their raw materials from ethical sources and using eco-friendly dyeing processes. They’re even experimenting with flat and circular knitting techniques, body-mapped garments, and textile laminates with breathable films to improve their products’ breathability and functionality.
Knit fabrics have an incredible amount of stretch in all directions, which makes them perfect for zipperless, form-fitting garments. They are also wrinkle-resistant, so if you scrunch a sweater in your hand it will bounce back into its original shape. This makes them ideal for travel and casual wear, but they can also be used in formal attire when styled appropriately.
The soft texture of knitwear isn’t just functional; it’s beautiful, too. It’s often embellished with smocking, lace or embroidery for a delicate, classic look. It’s also a popular choice for adding a variety of point-like ornaments, such as bobbles and sequins.
Different knitting techniques and stitches result in one-of-a-kind Knitwear fabrics. Interlock, for example, has visible vertical ribs on both sides and is a medium or heavyweight fabric with good shape retention. Rib knit, on the other hand, has a smooth surface and is both stretchy and soft.
While most brands selling knitwear apparel products in Europe are mass producers that manufacture their clothing overseas, there are a growing number of small boutiques and innovative start-ups that focus on higher-end quality products with enhanced environment-friendliness and fair production conditions. These companies are increasing their focus on knitwear for men, women and children. They’re also looking into innovative production technology like flat knitting, circular knitting for body-mapped garments and warp knitting to further improve their product lines.