Difference between Plain Knit Fabric and Rib Fabric

Last Updated on 17/02/2022

Plain Knit Fabric:
The simplest and most basic structure is the ”plain knit” which is also called ”single knit”. Plain is a knit structure family, which is produced by the needles of only one set off needle with all the loops intermeshed in the same direction. Plain knitting is still a very popular technique with many knitted fabrics. Although the plain knit family encompasses a great number of structures all produced on a single needle bed.

plain knit structure
Fig: Plain knit fabric structure

End Uses of Plain Knit Fabric:

  • Knitwear
  • Hosiery
  • Underwear
  • T-Shirts
  • Pyjamas
  • Sportswear
  • Baby clothes
  • Fully fashioned knit wear etc.
plain knit fabric
Fig: Plain knit fabric

Rib Fabric:
Rib, also called ‘Double-knit’ is the second family of knit structures. Rib requires two sets of needles operating in between each other so that wales of face stitches and wales of back stitches are knitted on each side of the fabric. Rib fabrics are knitted on machines with two sets of needles. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction.

rib structure
Fig: Rib structure

End Uses of Rib Fabric:
Rib fabric is suitable for collars, handcuffs, waistbands, warm outerwear, underwear, socks, swimwear and special types of trims for use with other knit or woven fabrics.

rib fabric
Fig: Rib fabric

Difference Between Plain Knit Fabric and Rib Fabric:

Plain Fabric & MachineRib Fabric & M/C
1. Face side and Back side of fabric are different1. Face side and Backside of fabric are same.
2. Less expensive2. Expensive
3. Lighter fabric3. Heavier fabric.
4. Produce by S/J m/c.4. Produce by Double Jersey m/c.
5. The m/c. contains no Dial.5. The m/c. contains Dial.
6. The m/c. contains Sinker6. The m/c. contains no Sinker
7. The m/c. contains one set of needles7. The m/c. contains two set of needles
8. Extensibility:

a)      Length wise – 10 to 20%
b)      Width wise – 30 to 40%

8. Extensibility:

c)      Length wise – 50 to 80% (for 1´1 rib)
d)     Width wise – 30 to 45% (for 1´1 rib)

9. Thickness & Warmth: Thicker and wormier than plain woven made from same yarn.9. Thickness & Warmth: Much thicker and wormier than plain woven made from same yarn.
10. Curling: Tendency to curl10. Curling: No tendency to curl
11. End use: Ladies stocking, fine cardigan, men and ladies’ dresses, sweater etc.11. End use: Socks, cuffs, warm outerwear, under wear etc.

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