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How to select knit fabrics for sewing projects

Tips to select the correct knit fabrics for all your sewing projects - the correct names of knit fabrics you should buy for various dressmaking projects
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Knit fabrics are very forgiving – that is the first thing in my mind when I buy them for making clothes. It accommodates your curves, falls softly all around you, and is very comfortable, depending on the type of knit fabric it is. Here is how to choose the best one for your project.

How to select knit fabrics for sewing projects

Which are the best knit fabrics for making outerwear (jackets, coats, and cardigans)?

For structured jackets, you can use Ponte or scuba – both are firm smooth knit fabrics. Velvet is another knit fabric used for making jackets. If you want a thick warm fabric, Sweater knits can be used. A lightweight see-through cardigan can be made with stretch mesh.

Which are the best knits for making Tops, and Dresses?

Ponte, scuba and Liverpool are good choices if you want structured dresses.
Rayon spandex and cotton spandex are very stretchy fabrics but not too thick. For form fitting garments they are good.
If you want very soft material go for bamboo knits or cupro knits. Cotton jersey is also smooth and comfortable, but some varieties are quite thin.

Which are the best knit fabrics for making skirts?

For structured skirts (formal pencil skirts in stretchy fabric) you can use Scuba fabric or Ponte Roma fabric. They are smooth but very firm fabrics that can stand on their own

Which are some good knit fabrics for making pants and shorts?

Polyester pique is good as a lightweight moisture-wicking fabric for making pants/shorts for casual sportswear. Ponte is a thick knit used for making good-looking pants with a more structured look.

Which Knits have a soft fluffy feel for making sweatshirts, sweat pants, hoodies?

French terry and sweatshirt knit are two favorites. French terry has lots of loops on one side – on the back. Out of the many types of french terry material Bamboo french terry is the softest.
Apparel Polar fleece – This has a fleeced side and a normal ribbed polyester side.
Elastic flannel has raised a nap on the face.
If you are ok with thin sweatshirts, you can use cotton jersey knits. You can also use Jersey (polyester and cotton blend) and Triblend jersey (polyester, cotton, and rayon)

Which are the knit fabrics best suitable for making baby clothes?

Baby french terry, cotton jersey, and bamboo knits are all soft knit fabrics.

Which knits are good for making firmly structured clothes?

For structured clothes, double knits are chosen. Ponte is a commonly used double knit fabric.Scuba is even firmer and thicker than ponte. Liverpool is another similar double knit.
Double jersey is used to make jackets, coats, and nice dresses. The fabric is considered more stable and less stretchy than most other knits.

Which are the Knit fabrics with two way stretch?

You need a fabric that stretches side to side, not top to bottom, for making clothes.
Polyester pique has horizontal stretch; so do fabrics like french terry, sweatshirt knit, interlock, and cotton Lycra.
Jersey (polyester and cotton blend) and Triblend (polyester, cotton, and rayon) have 2-way stretch.
Cotton Jersey (T-Shirt Jersey) also has a 2-way stretch.

Which are the Knit fabrics with a four way stretch?

Cotton lycra has 4-way stretch; Infact most knits with spandex has 4-way stretch. Modal French Terry has a 4 ways stretch

Which knits are very comfortable to wear, even in mildly hot climates? What knits are best for making sportswear clothes?

Polyester pique is a popular fabric for making sportswear as it is lightweight and is also breathable, and has moisture-wicking properties because of the pique weave.
Breathability is an issue with a lot of knits because most have synthetic fibers and spandex fivers.
Bamboo knits are very comfortable to wear as they are breathable and very soft and absorbs moisture. Jersey knits and other knits made of cotton and rayon fibers are naturally breathable.

Which knit fabrics would I choose if I am concerned about the environmental impact of the clothes I wear?

Eco-friendly knits are biodegradable fabrics that do not pollute the environment (much; all textiles do pollute to some extent). Bamboo knits belong to this category of eco-friendly knits. They are soft and very comfortable on the body and naturally eco-friendly as well.
Cupro is made from cotton cellulose. it is a very comfortable fabric – moisture-wicking, and lightweight
Modal is a variety of rayon – it is made of cellulose and hence considered an eco-friendly option. It is a soft, lightweight natural fabric

Related posts: Different types of knit fabrics.; How to sew with knit fabrics

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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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