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Difference between warp knitting and weft knitting

We all remember our grandmas sitting on their favourite chairs and knitting away. But what kind of knit were they making? Was it a warp or a weft knit? Which ones are better for certain garments? And what's the difference between those 2 knits? If these questions are swirling around in your head too, then on to find out more knitting secrets!

What Is A Knit?

Knitting is the process of turning yarns into fabric. A knit consists of loops and stitches, where loops are fundamental to the knit and stitches are the smallest stable unit. Loops are interlocked together to create a knit. The direction the interlocked loops run in determines what kind of knit they are making; it also determines the fabric tensile strength.

Warp Knits

Warp knits are vertical loops running down the length of the fabric. Warp knits are less elastic than their counterparts and more durable. Warp fabrics are less likely to come apart. When knitting a warp, each needle has its own yarn and the yarn rows run parallel to each other. Due to this, warp knits are only manufactured by machines and have a higher commercial value. Thus intricately knitted fabrics are mass-produced like Milanese, Raschel, and Tricot. Raschel knits produce fabrics with delicate patterns and lacy designs. CIFRA utilises Raschel knits in their seamless garments for a more luxurious appearance.

Weft Knits

Weft knits are a common knitting technique where loops run horizontally to create the fabric. The knits only use one set of yarn and are very stretchy. Since the weft knits run horizontally they can easily snag and lose their shape. Weft knits can be done by hand or machine, although they are less used than the warp knit. The fabrics that weft knits create are double knit, interlock, jersey knit, purl knit, and rib knit.

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