Comparison between Weaving and Knitting 

Last Updated on 07/11/2021

The method or process of interlacing two yarns of similar materials so that they cross each other at right angles to produce woven fabric. The warp yarns, or ends, run lengthwise in the fabric, and the filling threads (weft), or picks, run from side to side. Weaving can be done on a power loom or hand loom or by several hand methods.

Basic construction of woven fabric is to interlacing yarns at ninety degrees to each other was the same on all continents. Of course, different mechanisms were used to hold the yarns in place. Those yarns that run the length of the fabric are called warp, and those that run the width of the fabric are called weft or filling.

woven fabric structure
Fig: Woven fabric structure

Woven fabrics are produced on a loom. Warp threads pass from the warp beam and across the loom, passing through holes in the heddles, through the reed and onto the cloth beam. Passing the warp through holes in the heddles allows the yarns to be raised in sequence to produce a gap that the weft yarn passes through. This gap is called a shed. The reed beats the weft yarn after it passes through to push the yarns closer together. The weft yarns are held on a rapier (or shuttle) so they may pass under the warp yarns. The edges of the fabric, where the rapier flips around to return, are called the selvedge. Often, there are twice as many warps on each selvedge edge to offer a stable, neat-edge finish to the fabric. Fabrics for fashion and furnishings are usually produced in widths of 90 cm, 115cm, and 140cm whilst 240cm width is made for sheeting.

A method of constructing fabric by interlocking series of loops of one or more yarns. The two major classes of knitting are warp knitting and weft knitting.

Knittings consist of interlocked meshes that are produced perpendicular to the production direction. A loop that is connected to other loops is called a “mesh.” Meshes possess a head, a foot, and two legs. They are connected via two upper and two lower crossing points, as shown in Figure 2. The meshes perpendicular to the production direction are called “course”; those meshed in the production direction are called “wales.”

Structure of a knitted fabric- courses, wales, and crossing points
Figure 2: Structure of a knitted fabric: courses, wales, and crossing points

Difference between Weaving and Knitting:
Important difference between weaving and knitting is given in below table.

   Topics         Weaving          Knitting
1. DefinitionThe fabric forming process by interlacement of threads.The fabric forming process by intermeshing of loops.
2. Set of ThreadsTwo sets of threads – Warp and weft are used in making the fabrics.One or one set of thread(s) – either warp or weft-is used in making the fabric.
3. ElasticityVery less or no elasticity.The fabric shows high amount of stretch and elasticity due to loop structure.
4. Number of preparatory processWeaving requires more number of preparatory processes.Knitting requires less number of preparatory processes
5. Dimensional stabilityFabrics are more dimensional stable due to tighter construction and intersecting of warp and weft in right angle.Because of loop structure and inability of yarn to return to original position, the dimensional stability is poor.
6. Bending propertyFabric does not bend easily and results less comfort and form fitting property.Fabric bends easily and results good comfort and form fitting property.
7. MachineMachines are mostly flat.Machines are flat as well as circular.
8. DurabilityMore durable.Less durable than woven Fabrics.
9. Tearing propertyIt is easy to tear the fabric.It is difficult to tear the fabric.
10. StretchabilityFabric is less stretchable.Fabric is more stretchable.
11. RigidityFabric is comparatively more rigid.Fabric is comparatively less rigid.
12. StiffFabric is stiffer and has harsh feel.Fabric is less stiffer and has soft feel.
13. Moisture absorptionThe fabric absorbs less moisture.The knitted fabrics absorb more moisture because of their loose construction.
14. Slacking and low sensingThe fabric provides good stability due to intersecting of yarns at right angle.It creates problem after wearing for a long time.
15. Air permeabilityAir is less permeable due to compact construction woven fabric.Air permeability is more due to voluminous structure of knitted fabric.
16. CreaseWoven fabrics are more inclined to crease. So ironing and iron retention are better knitted fabric.Knitted fabrics are more resistant to crease. So it requires no ironing.
17. Production costProduction cost is more due to warp preparation and desizing process.Production cost is less due to modest manufacturing process.
18. YarnTPI of yarn is comparatively higher than knitting yarn.TPI of yarn is comparatively lower than woven fabric.

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