There is a world of fabric available for home sewists to use with their Juki sewing machines to create beautiful, useful, and fun items. Yet in order to achieve the most success when sewing with all of these choices, you must be able to recognize the two main types of material which are knit or woven and know their differences.
All About Knit Fabric
Knit fabrics are produced on a machine that makes tiny knit stitches, just like the stitches made with knitting needles. Knit stitches are produced using a single thread that is continuously looped in and out, row by row. From the surface, these stitches may even resemble rows of tiny braids.
Because knit stitches loop around each other, they produce a softer fabric that is flexible and has a lot of stretch, especially diagonally. Knits are preferred for activewear, swimsuits, fleeces, and any garments requiring stretch and the ability to form fit better. This type of material is also wrinkle-resistant.
The biggest disadvantage of working with knit fabric is how it behaves while being cut as it can stretch and affect the pattern's precision. You may also have problems with knits while stitching on your sewing machines resulting in bunched and wavy seams. Knits tend to fray along the raw edges, so it is important to finish all edges to prevent this from happening.
All About Woven Fabric
In contrast, woven fabrics are produced on a loom that weaves multiple horizontal and vertical threads together at right angles. This technique produces a tighter fabric that looks like crisscrossed threads when viewed up close.
Woven fabric is stiffer than a knit, with little to no stretch. When stretched diagonally, the material can even warp out of shape. Woven fabric is preferred for making items like shirts, trousers, skirts, and other garments that will be fitted before being sewn on Juki sewing machines. This fabric is also used for quilts and many other items. It does wrinkle somewhat and require pressing.
Unlike a knit, woven fabric is much easier to use for a variety of projects sewn on your Juki TL2000Qi. Since it does not stretch, cutting and stitching are also easier. Unfinished raw edges can fray after a while, but not as severely as knits, which can easily unravel.
Which Should You Choose?
When deciding whether to use a knit or woven fabric on sewing machine projects, you should consider how your garment will be worn and how much stretch it should have. Most patterns call for one or the other; substituting could leave you with less than desirable results. The good news is that there are so many styles of each type, you have plenty to choose from.
If you do decide to use a knit, you should also have accessories to help you achieve the best results. This includes things like a walking presser foot and a serger or a machine that can produce an overlock stitch to finish the edges.
Before you start your next project, take a closer look at the fabric you've decided to use and determine whether it is a knit or woven. Each has its own qualities and you should choose the appropriate material for each item to make on sewing machines like the Juki TL2000Qi.
Sewists who know each of the various types of fabric available and what to expect from each one will be happy with the results when making things on Juki sewing machines!