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Knit Basics

Interlock, Rib knit and Jersey are the 3 most popular knits for clothing. Jersey is a single knit, interlock and rib knits are double knit.  (Jogging fleece, polar fleece, stretch terry, are also knits).

Identifying the type of Knit.

If you can't tell the difference, don't feel bad -- most clerks in fabric stores cant' tell the difference either!  The best way to familiarize yourself is to look in your closet.  An expensive knit top ($20 or more) will probably be interlock, everyday tees will probably be jersey, and girls leggings or mens/boys fitted briefs will be rib knit.

The face looks more or less the same on all 3 fabrics -- they all have have small vertical ribs.  Go to the back of the fabric and and gently pull the across the stretch.  Interlock will look more or less the same on the face and back,  jersey has a wavy pattern that runs perpindicular to the face rib.   If you're still not sure, cut a piece from selvedge to selvedge, if it's jersey the cut edge will curl on itself, interlock and rib will lay flat.

Side Interlock Rib knit Jersey
Face
Back

 

  Jersey Interlock RibKnit
Softness Soft Softest Soft
Durability Excellent Good Good
Drape Good Best Good
Uses Everyday Tees, shorts, dresses, lining, sleepwear Elegant Tees, shorts, dresses, lining, sleepwear Tight tees, skirts,  dresses, leggings, underwear, collars and cuffs
Stability Unstable, curls when cut, can  run (like nylon stockings) from cut edges. Stable, cut ends will lay flat, will not run. Stable, cut ends will lay flat, will not run.
Pros Durable, less pilling, easy washing Soft, elegant drape Soft, elegant drape
Cons Not as soft as interlock, not as warm.

Seams curl, before and after sewing, C/L blends especially tricky.

Requires more care in laundering (to keep pilling down) Ribknits with no lycra may stretch out over time.

Requires more care in laundering (to keep pilling down)

 

 

 
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