Textiles Cheat Sheet: Wovens vs. Knits

One of the hardest parts of shopping for fabrics, is not knowing the type of fabric you are looking for.  You have no idea how many times we have people come into the store and say “I am looking for black fabric, how much does it cost?” – well pretty much EVERY type of fabric comes in black and the price ranges dramatically! Fear not, we are starting a blog series that will help you learn about the different types of fabrics out there so you will know more of what you are looking for!rollstake2

Today, we will be covering the different between the two most common categories of fabrics: Wovens and Knits – feel free to comment if you have any questions!


Woven fabrics are made on a loom.  The yarns or threads that make up a woven fabric run along the length (grain or weft) and width (crossgrain or warp). The threads weave together to look like a basket.woven edge copy


Generally knits have more stretch and natural give than wovens.  Knits are made using a knitting machine.  Unlike wovens, that use multiple threads, knits are made using one long thread that is knitted together with interlocking loops. When knitted together, they look like a tiny row of braids.knit edge copy

As with any rule, there are exceptions to these two categories: Examples of this would be felt and lace.

Still don’t think you will be able to tell the difference? Do these tests to find the difference:

1. Stretch Test:

-Knit: When you stretch a knit across its width, you will have a significant stretch

-Woven: Most wovens cannot stretch across the lenghtwise grain, and there is minimal stretch across the crossgrain (width of fabric)

2.Wrinkle Resistance

-Knit: When you ball up a knit in your hand, it will easily crush, but once released, it will spring back to its original shape with little or not wrinkles

-Woven: When you wad up a woven, it will wrinkle easily once releasedcrinklewoven crinklewovenreleased

3.Inspect the Edges

-Knit: Either sold in a tube or flat – when it is flat, factories commonly put either starch or glue on the edge to keep the fabric from curling

-Wovens: Wovens have a selvage edge which is very strong and doesn’t giveselvage

We hope that you have found this blog to be helpful!!  We want to spread our knowledge and love of fabric with the cyberworld!  Feel free to also shop our products on our Etsy store!

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