Knit Basics

History of Knitting

Knitting is one of the earliest methods devised to form yarn into fabric or even garments. The true origins of knitting are not known, but evidence of knitting dates back to 1000 BC. Crude hooked needles were first used to knit by hand. It was not until the 15th century that knitting became popular. Over the centuries, knitting has become a precise automated technology. Today’s knit fabrics range from very fine-gauge and lightweight sheer products to coarser-gauge products such as sweaters and other outerwear fabrics.

What Are Knits?

Compared with woven constructions, which are rigid and stable, knits more easily conform to a change in shape. The intermeshed loops of knits allow for flexibility as they stretch to fit the form. This mobility helps knitted fabrics to maintain a smoother appearance than woven fabrics, and it makes knitted apparel well suited for sports and other active endeavors.

Weft & Warp Knitting

“Knitting” is defined as the intermeshing of yarn into loops to form fabric. The two basic knitting methods are weft and warp knitting. In weft knitting, loops are formed in a horizontal direction by adjacent needles knitting in sequence. The yarn is fed to the needles from individual packages. In warp knitting, loops are formed in predominantly in a vertical direction by needles that knit simultaneously. The yarns are fed to the needles from one or more beams.