Learn all about the different types of knit fabric with this informative list. Now you’ll pair the right fabric with the right sewing project!
I was one of the few people that learned to sew knit fabric before woven fabric. I had sewn with woven fabric first, and I kind of hated it. Eventually I learned to sew all types of fabric, but I still love sewing with knit fabric.
I will teach you everything there is to know about the different types of knit fabric so that you can learn about them!
Do you love to sew? Try one of these sewing projects:
- How to sew knit fabric
- How to sew knit fabric with a sewing machine
- Jersey knit sewing projects
- Sewing gifts with knit fabric
- How to finish knit fabric edges
- How to hem knit fabric
- Eloflex thread review
- Seraflex thread review
The Ultimate List of Types of Knit Fabric
Weft Knit Fabric
Weft knit fabric is when the yarn is knitted horizontally, side to side, over the width of the fabric. The yarns are looped around each other to create row after row until the fabric is created. It can be created by hand and knitting needles or with a knitting machine.
Single knit fabric has a different look for the front and the back. The front has fine ribs going vertically or little “Vs” and the back has semicircle loops or little “Ms” across the back.
Cotton Spandex Jersey
Cotton spandex jersey knit fabric is a common knit fabric to find, and it is very easy to sew. It comes in a couple different weights, and it comes in all colors and prints imaginable. I love sewing cotton spandex jersey for kids.
Rayon Spandex Jersey
Rayon spandex jersey knit fabric is a very common knit fabric to find, but it can be pretty tricky to sew. It is usually lightweight with a lot of drape, and it comes in a lot of colors and prints. I don’t often choose rayon spandex jersey, but when I do it’s for women.
Double Brushed Poly and Single Brushed Poly
Brushed polyester jersey knit fabric can be brushed on one side (single) or both sides (double). Both are common knit fabrics, but double brushed poly is the most common. It’s easy to sew, it has a nice drape, and it comes it lots of colors and prints.
The colors are very vibrant and do not fade. Since it’s made from polyester it can pill over time. I love sewing double brushed poly in the winter for kids or adults.
Sweatshirt fleece fabric is a fabric that is knitted, and then the wrong side is brushed or combed with sandpaper to make it extra soft and fluffly. It doesn’t usually have a lot of vertical stretch and is called a stable knit. It’s easy to find and easy to sew.
It comes in a couple different weights from lots of different fibers. Sweatshirt fleece is usually a solid color, but sometimes you can find it in a print. I love sewing sweatshirts and joggers out of sweatshirt fleec.
Sweater knit fabric can be made it lots of different weights, fibers, blends, looks, and stretches. I have a whole post all about sweater knit fabric and sewing it.
Stretch Swim or Athletic Knit
Stretch swim fabric or athletic knit fabric is fabric that is made to be extremely stretchy. It can be tricky to find, but it is usually easy to sew if you know the right techniques (how to sew a swimsuit). These fabrics are usually a blend of nylon and spandex or polyester and spandex.
Because of the high content, these fabric have 4 way stretch which means it is very stretchy in all directions. You can find it in a lot of different colors. I love sewing swimsuits, leggings, and workout clothing with these fabrics.
Double knit fabric has the same look for the front and the back. These fabrics are knitted with two sets of needles to create the same look on both sides. They often have ribs to the fabric.
Rib knit fabric is a fabric that has pronounced ribs on the front and the back. It is not as easy to find, but it is pretty easy to sew. It is commonly used for neckbands, cuffs, and waistbands. My favorite rib knit to use is a spandex blend.
Interlock fabric has tiny little ribs on the front and the back. It is easy to find, it can be tricky to sew since it stretches out easily, and it is usually used for baby and children’s clothing. I usually find it as a 100% cotton fabric, but sometimes I can find it with a spandex blend.
Ponte de Roma
Ponte de Roma fabric is soft, strong, and stable. It doesn’t have a lot of stretch so it’s great for leggings, fitted dresses, and pencil skirts.
It’s usually polyester or nylon so the colors are very bright and hold up to lots of washing. It can start to pill over time. The front has a slight horiztonal rib look, and it can come in different weights.
Liverpool knit fabric is polyester based, and it has a crepe-like textured look. It has a lot of stretch, it comes in bright colors, and it is color fast. It’s a sturdy, lightweight fabric so it has a beautiful drape and hand.
I usually find it online instead of in a store, and it’s very easy to sew. It is commonly used for dresses, skirts, and lightweight jackets.
Scuba knit fabric is strong, has a nice sheen, and it has a lot of body. It’s great at holding is shape. It is compared to neoprene because they act similar, but neoprene is foam and scuba is knitted fabric.
I usually find it online is all sorts of colors and patterns. It’s usually a polyester spandex blend, so the colors are bright and hold up to washing. It is commonly used for dresses, skirts, jackets, and pants.
Special Weft Knit Fabric
Weft knit fabric is when the yarn is knitted horizontally over the width of the fabric, but these knit fabrics have extra special qualities.
Velour is a knit fabric that is like velvet, but it stretches. Velour has a pile on one side giving it is soft, cushioned look. It has a nap which means everything needs to be cut the same direction to look the same. It is often made from polyester and comes in beautiful saturated colors.
Polar fleece fabric is a type of stable knit fabric that has a two sided fluffy pile. It stretches along the crossgrain, but not along the grainline. Polar fleece is durable, insulating, soft, easy to wash, and it is made from polyester fiber.
It’s used in jackets, hats, pants, hoodies, and blankets, and the fibers can even be made partly from recycled plastic bottles. It comes in every print and color imaginable.
French terry is a knit fabric and not a woven fabric. The front of the fabric is a single knit jersey. The back of the has lots of loops across the whole fabric. The loops are really good at holding the warm air next to your skin keeping you warm.
French terry is a great fabric for Fall, Winter, and Spring. The stretch makes it comfortable to wear and the loops along the back keep you warm.
Warp Knit Fabric
Warp knit fabric is when the yarn is knitted vertically with each needle looping its own yarn vertically down the fabric. This is the fastest way to make knit fabric from yarns. Each yarn looping is it’s own vertically looped column. It can only be created by machine.
Tricot knit fabric has a zigzag weave that is textured on one side and smooth on the other. It does not run, so it’s very sturdy while being very lightweight. It has a 4-way stretch. It’s easy to find, and usually comes in neutral colors. I like using it for lingerie, and swimwear and activewear lining.
Raschel Stretch Lace
Raschel lace is a knitted lace fabric that is lightweight and has a beautiful drape. It is quicker to make than woven chantilly lace, so it’s a cheaper option. The lace designs are delicate and sophisticated, but the knit makes it comfortable to wear. There are lots of different designs and weights to choose from. It’s somewhat easy to find and as easy to sew as regular lace.
Stretch mesh knit fabric is created so that there is a lot of space or holes between the yarns. It is usually lightweight with a lot of drape for an overlay fabric, but sometimes it can be made as a power mesh for compression. It looks like netting, but it actually has stretch. It’s fairly easy to find and sewing it is similar to sewing netting.
If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!