Of all the countless types of fabric there are to use for making clothing and other items with a quality Juki sewing machine, every one of them falls into one of two fabric categories: knit or woven.
Knits and wovens are made using different processes so they behave differently; making an incorrect selection can affect the items you sew on a machine like the Juki HZL-DX5.
The first step in choosing the right fabric for your many projects is understanding the considerable difference between knit and woven fabric and how to recognize each.
How Is Knit Fabric Made?
Knit fabric is made by interlooping a single thread back and forth, each row of loops building on the previous row to create a fabric that has a flat, braided look to the loops.
It’s made with a variety of fibers and commonly used to make fabric like jersey, velour, tricot, rib knits, and more.
Knit fabric is used to make sweaters, socks, swimsuits, active wear, and other garments that need to have some degree of stretch.
How Is Woven Fabric Made?
Woven fabric is made by interlacing many threads in and out of other perpendicular threads to create a fabric through a weaving process.
Also made from a large variety of fibers, woven fabrics have a fine crisscross pattern and can be woven using different techniques to make fabrics like muslin, twill, satin, and more.
Woven fabric is used for making countless types of garments and other items when little to no stretch is desired.
What Are the Main Differences Between Knit and Woven Fabric?
Knit and woven fabrics behave very differently because of the way they are made, so it’s important that you select the right one for any projects you decide to create with your Juki sewing machine.
Due to their differences, each needs to be cut and sewn using slightly different techniques:
- Stretch - The main difference between these two fabrics is that knits stretch to varying degrees depending on the fiber, while wovens do not stretch at all. The easiest way to determine if a fabric is woven or knit is to hold it on diagonal corners and pull to see whether or not it stretches.
- Fray and Unravel - While both types of fabric can fall apart at the cut edges, they do it differently. Woven fabrics will fray at the lengthwise edge as multiple threads pull out of the weave. Knits will unravel at a cut width edge as that one single thread pulls out or drop pieces of loops when cut on the length edge.
- Curl - Knit fabrics will curl up on the cut length edge; woven fabrics do not curl at all at the raw edges.
- Seams - Due to the way knits can unravel, it’s important to sew secure seams that enclose the raw edges to prevent this from happening. Knits should be sewn using a serger or overlock machine or at least use an overlock or zigzag stitch on a standard machine like the Juki HZL-DX5 to sew over the raw edges.
Choose Knits and Wovens Based On Their Unique Qualities and Differences
Knits and woven fabrics are available in countless types, made from all kinds of fibers to fit every need.
Still, it’s critical that you understand the differences and how each may not be suitable for every project you decide to make with your Juki sewing machine.
Carefully consider things like stretch and fray before you buy fabric for a project so whatever you sew with a machine like the Juki HZL-DX5 comes out just the way you expect it to!