Warp Knitting

Warp Knitting Manufacture

Warp knitting is the least common form of knitting. Instead of the stitches running horizontally across the knitted piece of fabric, like in weft knitting, they run vertically down the fabric. They are knitted in continuous widths, meaning that long pieces of fabric are made and then the garments are cut out, much like it would be done with a woven piece of fabric. It is the most complex form of knitting; this is why it is seldom used. Warp knitting requires the use of a machine, it cannot be done by hand.

Warp knitting is generally used for knitting fibres such as Aramid, Carbon and glass as it puts less pressure on them and uses more careful handling than weft knitting. It is the fastest method of producing fabrics from yarns as one of the main differences from weft knitting is that each needle has its own yarn which produces a zig zag chain, these chains are then all interlinked to produce a fabric, bu this does mean that the width of the fabric cannot be increased or decreased like it can with weft knitting. Warp knitting is useful because it can process many different yarns that regular knitting machines cannot such as staple, filament, combed and carded. Warp knitting machines can also be used to make pile fabrics.

Warp knits include Raschel knit and Tricot.

Properties of Warp Knitting

  • Less elastic than weft knitting
  • More run resistant than weft knitting
  • Denser than weft knitting
  • Less likes to become misshapen that weft knitting
  • Type and weight of yarn dictates the type of fabric that is produced
  • Warm to wear
  • Comfortable
  • Usually soft and drapey
  • Curls at the edges
  • Easy to sew

End Uses of Warp Knitting

  • Historically used for blouses, lingerie and gloves
  • Tricot is often used for underwear
  • Often used as an unlined material for jackets, coats and skirts and dresses
  • Lace fabric and trimmings

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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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