A knitwear glossary for the fashion industry

We propose here below a basic knitwear glossary for the fashion industry and professionals

COURSE: A row of loops connected horizontally, made by adjacent needles in the same knitting cycle.

CUT & SEW KNITWEAR: This manufacturing technique involves the production of continuous lengths of knitted fabric. Panels are cut from paper patterns and sewed together using an overlocker machine. Traditionally, in cut and sew knitwear manufacture, ribs, welts, and cuffs are knitted and attached separately.

FINISHING: Operations like scouring (washing), milling or fulling a knitted garment to improve handfeel.

FLAT KNITTING MACHINE: Knitted fabrics are either weft-knitted or warp-knitted. A flat knitting machine is a knitting machine used to knit fabrics consisting of chains of weft stitches.

FULLY FASHIONED KNITWEAR: Each panel composing the garment is knitted following to the shape, by increasing and decreasing the number of “columns” (wales) and “rows” (curses).

Garments are then assembled with a linking technique and special machines called looping sewing machines.

GAUGE: The number of stitches per inch and rows per inch; the higher the gauge, the more stitches per inch, the more light and thin knitted fabric is.

Gauge is strictly related to yarn count: the thinner the count, the higher the gauge (and therefore the tighter the knit) should be.

INTARSIA: A knitting technique used to incorporate inlays that are colored or patterned differently one from each other.

JACQUARD: In a jacquard knitted fabric, yarns of different colors are knitted together to create a pattern.

KNITTING MACHINE PROGRAMMING: The activity required by a professional software devloper that involves the craeation of a file suitable for knitting machines (mostly Shima Seiki ans Stoll). Sucha an electronic flat knitting machine must be programmed with proper instruction to obtain the desired shapes and patterns.

LINKING: Joining up the selvedges of a knitted fabric panel loop for loop after the pieces have been knitted on a flat-bed knitting machine. Mainly for high-end and luxury knitted pieces, a slacker course of loops of yarn is created on the linking machine, which connects two pieces of fabric together.

LOOP: The basic unit of a knitted fabric.

OVERLOCK/MERROWED EDGE: An overedge seam that finishes off a raw edge fabric (not only knitted) or attaches two pieces of fabric together.

SEAMLESS KNITWEAR: Basically, this technique aims to make the whole knitted garments with 3-D shaping, with little or no cutting and sewing after production, saving time, labor, and yarn costs.

YARN COUNT: A numerical expression which defines its thickness ot thiness for a yarn.

WALES: Series of loops vertically intermeshed made from the same needle in successive knitting cycle.

The above knitwear glossary for the fashion industry is just a short introduction to this beautiful and fascinating world. Discover more with our professionals.


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