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Knitwear: Description of Fabric, Composition, Properties, Advantages and Disadvantages

Translated from French, the word knitwear translates as “knitted products.” Indeed, the knitted fabric is not intertwined like many other fabrics, but it is knit. Flexible loops around each other, join, forming an elastic material. That’s why the stable expression “knitted fabric” can be considered not entirely correct – jersey does not weave. However, the system of weft and warp threads, traditional for the fabric, is preserved.

Of this material are made garments and home textiles . Knitwear is known to mankind for thousands of years. There are archaeological finds confirming that they used this material in the 3rd century BC.


1 Composition of knitwear
2 Production features
3 Structure and interlacing
4 Properties and application of knitwear
5 How to care for jersey

1-Composition of jersey.

Knitwear is a huge group of fabrics with different kinds, weaves, processing methods. First of all, we should note the variety of raw materials used, the properties of the material depend on it.

knitted fabric

Raw materials are selected, guided by the functions assigned to the future product. The main attention is drawn to the quality of the threads. After all, in one case it is required that the fiber has a rigid structure, so that the thing takes a certain shape and retains it. In another case, for example, for stockings, you need high elasticity – the quality of the material is completely different.

Knitwear is made from the following raw materials:


  • yarn – consists of fibers of small sizes, which are produced by the method of twisting;
    threads – consist of a single fiber;

Combining yarn and yarn.

As raw materials, silk , flax, cotton , wool and various synthetic materials in the form of additives are used. They can differ in the type of twisting and length. Most often used are combined variants, in which natural and synthetic materials are combined.

Let us consider in more detail the types of fibers from which jerseys are made:

acetate – fiber from cellulose, treated with acetic anhydrite;
viscose – artificial fiber from recycled wood pulp;
Lycra – a synthetic elastic material, it stretches well;
Cotton – natural vegetable fiber, soft and hygroscopic, but strongly wrinkles;
silk – protein fiber, which is obtained from the cocoons of the silkworm; the material is light, durable, with a gentle glossy luster;
wool is a natural raw material that is obtained by shearing wool of sheep, goats, camels;
elastane – elastic synthetic fiber;
any combination of the above.

Combined knitwear

Combined knitwear, usually combines the best properties of natural and synthetic materials. For example, pure cotton is heavily worn and wrinkled, it does not sit well on the figure, and synthetic fabrics are electrified and can cause allergies. In the manufacture of mixed , that is, combined cloths, manufacturers achieve the best combination of optimum characteristics.

There are several varieties of combined knitwear. Among them we can name:


Vigonevoe – a material based on cotton with the addition of natural woolen fibers;
heterogeneous – the composition uses several types of threads, with different percentages, both natural and synthetic;
mixed – consists of several types of fibers, one of which predominates; additives can be various: synthetic, artificial, natural.

When creating clothes, cotton fibers are most often used . In addition, there are products in which cotton is combined with polyamide , acetate, viscose, wool and lavsan. In the production of stocking used cotton, polyamide and wool blend yarn. To create a smooth surface, always add threads of artificial material – so make blouses , shirts, night shirts . If you need to create a relief pattern, then special textured threads that add volume are used. Warm underwear is made from loose yarn.


2-Production Features

There are several ways to produce the material.

Cutting – it is used for creating linen, outerwear and gloves. First, the fabric of the fabric is made, and then the structural elements necessary for sewing the clothes are cut from the patterns. Stapling of parts occurs by using a special machine. One of the features of this method is a large amount of waste, which when making outerwear is about a quarter or a third. It is used only for inexpensive consumer goods.

Regular – expensive raw materials are used. The method is more suitable for small-scale production. The process is economical, but labor-intensive. The regular way involves knitting the whole product at once, rather than its individual parts. Additional binding is allowed only for small parts, which are fastened with small stitches. In the finished product, seams are imperceptible.

Semi-regular – it is used mainly when creating outerwear. Knitwear is made on a circular knitting machine. The edge of the material is formed next to the loops and does not require additional processing after manufacturing. The method is very economical both in terms of time costs and raw material consumption. There are no passes while sewing, which saves about 5% of the material. In a semi-regular way, you do not have to waste time on cutting parts, which helps save about 4% of the material.
Each knitting machine uses its own knitting machines.

Culinary smoothness is done on a circular knitting machine. A cylinder with a peripheral speed of rotation of up to 0.7 is used. The maximum number of needles on the largest shaft can be about 13.5 thousand pieces.
The futter interlacing is done on a single circular knitting machine. It has about a thousand needles, and it can form up to 8 knitting systems. Such a mechanism can produce 1800 rows of loops per one minute of operation at maximum speed. Knitting speed is adjustable depending on the desired mode.
At the final stage of production, jersey is given a presentable appearance. For this, there are the following ways of finishing:

Variegated – a kind of processing, as a result of which a multicolored surface of the fabric is obtained, already weaved threads intertwine.
Bleached – the material is clarified to a uniform white or light cream color. Bleaching is used as an independent kind of treatment, and also as a base for further staining.
Smooth-colored – the method of monochromatic color staining of the finished fabric.
Unfinished (harsh) – unmade knitwear is obtained at the very first stage of the fabric production. It is matter that does not undergo any additional finishing.
After processing, the jersey can be smooth or fluffy. To create pile on the surface, use special needles and knobs – the details are located on the shafts of pile machines.

3-Structure and interlacing

According to the structure of the weaving, two large varieties of knitwear are distinguished: cross-knitted (culinary) and base-woven. Any kind of jersey is created from two systems of threads – a horizontal duck and a vertical base.

Knitwear – stretch fabric

The cross-knit (knitting) knitwear is made as follows: loops of one row form a consecutive connection of one or several threads. The loops are connected one after another according to a certain alternation of thread systems. The weaving takes place in the direction of the loop series. To form, for example, a transverse weave, the threads are moved to the right side, displacing them under the needles of the knitting machine – the fabric will not be either vertically or horizontally.

To create the material, one fiber is used, which is done by one thread system – straight loops appear. Due to this feature, the canvas can be opened in any direction, it is very elastic. Let’s consider some kinds of cross knitted jersey.

Dvuhinaznka (“reverse jersey”) – looks like the reverse side of the surface. From this material, women’s head scarves and elastic bandages are made.
Interlok is a combined knitwear. A typical interlock pattern is called an elastic band. Due to the peculiarities of weaving, the interlock does not dissolve, it serves for a long time and looks adequately externally. The basis of the material is natural cotton. As a supplement, synthetic elastane is used. The density of the material is 220-330 g / m². Interlocks make underwear, soft pajamas and t-shirts.

Eraser ( riban ) – the elastic fabric. The material is produced in the form of a compact strip, the finished products come out of medium thickness. The products of the eraser are very form-resistant . The density of the material is 170-350 g / m². Eraser, sweaters, and also cuffs are sewn from the eraser. The material does not crumple at all.

Glade (cooler) refers to the weave, in which the differences between the purl and the face are obvious. The inside is formed by arcs, it is rough to the touch, and the facial consists of sticks, its texture is smooth. Finished canvas is very thin, no fleece. To get a horizontal row, the threads go around in sequence – the fabric is stretched better than the length. This material is used to create gowns, linen and light clothing for the summer. The basis is cotton threads, and as an additive – lycra. Synthetics are added to increase elasticity and elasticity. The result is a canvas with a density of 145-180 g / m² (the exact figure depends on the features of production, raw materials and preset modes on the knitting machine).
The warp knitwear is formed by separate threads or their entire systems, that is, the bases. Each stem forms several loops. To create a loop series, you need to use as many threads as there will be loops in the row. Let us consider in detail the varieties of warp knitting.

Atlas – yarns create loops in each of the fabric columns. Shift can occur in both directions during the weaving. Thanks to this position, a zig-zag pattern is obtained. For the manufacture of satin, silk is used, mostly artificial (from viscose or synthetics), or cotton. As a supplement, flax fibers can be used. The properties of such a tissue are determined by the composition and its ratio. From satin jersey sew curtains, bed sets and underwear.

Tights – strings during the dressing are moved one row to one side. When the loop is fully tied, the design moves to its original position. Columns are created from two strands located in the neighborhood.
Cloth – when knitting threads are superimposed on needles that are not located in the neighborhood, but in the direction of one side. The main feature of weaving – the underside acts as a face, because because of the specifics of production, the face looks less aesthetic. Cloth is used in the manufacture of underwear.
The chain consists of loops made in a vertical row. Loops are produced on each needle from one thread. From the chain make decorative fringe for finishing the edges of the canvas.

There are also two types of weaving that have significant visual differences:

  • Single – facial filaments are on one side, and purl – on the other.
  • Double – both sides are considered facial, and for the production of such a weave special round machine with two cylinders is needed.
    In addition to the above, there are still such variants of interweaving:

Combined – is divided into two varieties (jacquard and pressed).
Figured – this kind of weaving joins in rows with different elements of loops. This is one of the most complex weave.

Derivative – the hinges of the simplest interlacing are combined. To create a cloth under the hook, two threads are wound at once, which are connected at different angles.
The main thing. To create this kind of weave, use only one loops. This method is used to create an eraser and smooth surface.

Open-work jersey

Pressed combined weaving is used as a substitute for azhur (smooth patterned material). For its manufacture, machines with one or two cylinders are required. Not all threads get started and some are skipped. Despite the fact that they are not used, these threads serve to support workers. “Sketches” of this kind are connected in a loop with the main thread, which leads to the production of a pressed web.

A distinctive feature of Jacquard weave is the creation of complex drawings. This is a time-consuming process, in which a large number of needles are used. For complex combinations, additional processing procedures are used. These include fixing several threads in a loop during an interlacing and so on. Jacquard weaving is used for zigzagging and creating a pattern.

4-Properties and application of knitwear

The material has gained wide popularity due to its positive qualities, as well as affordable price and simple care requirements.


Let’s name the basic advantages of jersey:


Hygiene of the material

Practicality of use

A large number of different colors

Extensibility and elasticity

Absence of stiffness during movements

Relatively low cost of production

Pleasant tactile sensations

Strength of weaving and yarn

Simple and easy care

Air permeability


The material does not accumulate static electricity

Wide scope of use

With all the advantages of knitwear, there are a number of negative properties. Some of them are not so significant for buyers, and the advantages outweigh the cons. And nevertheless, it is worth mentioning the following features:

when using poor-quality raw materials, fabrics easily stretch;

jersey looks very simple;
because of the elasticity and tightness of the product, they easily emphasize all the shortcomings of the person’s figure.
From knitwear sew:

men’s and women’s clothing (sweaters, sweaters, turtlenecks, pants, dresses);
children’s clothes (sarafans, sliders);
linen and home clothes (pajamas, shorts, T-shirts);
Sportswear (T-shirts, sweaters, leggings, shorts);
bed sets;
outer clothing;
gloves, mittens, hats, scarves.

How to care for jersey ?

To maintain the tissue in good condition for a long time, it is necessary to perform basic rules for the care of textiles.

It is necessary to adhere to simple rules:

the tissue is rinsed several times, changing the water;
the material does not like it when it is strongly twisted and squeezed;
do not iron after washing;
when washing in a typewriter, you need to select the “manual wash” mode or wash with hands;
during washing, things must be compressed, not rubbed;
the water temperature should not exceed 40 degrees;
it is forbidden to dry knitwear in a centrifuge, dry horizontally, simply straightening the thing;
during washing, do not use bleach;
wet jersey do not hang on the hangers – the product will stretch;
for storage it is advisable to use special packages in which to add anti-moth;
the powder must be dissolved beforehand so that its fine fractions leave no traces on the matter;
when rinsing it is necessary to use the conditioner;
To smooth the product, steam can be used;
To eliminate spools, you must use a razor or a special machine to remove them.
Knitwear is very practical material. There are different types of fabric, differing in composition, appearance of weaving, finishing and processing. Knitted clothing is very popular and affordable. Care of things is simple.

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