What Are the Main Differences Between Weaving and Knitting and Woven and Knitted Fabrics?

Updated on May 17, 2017


Weaving is the most popular method of fabric construction used. It involves interlacing of yarns as a means to manufacture the fabrics. Each yarn is called either a warp (vertical) or a weft (horizontal) and they are interlaced at right angles to make a fabric structure. In simpler words, imagine you are making a mat, and you are inserting a straw one over the other perpendicularly.

The resultant in a Woven Fabric and variations are made to make different types of woven fabrics.

Woven Fabric Structure - Interlacing of Yarns at Right Angles (Plain Weave)
Woven Fabric Structure - Interlacing of Yarns at Right Angles (Plain Weave)

Woven Fabrics

Some general properties of woven fabrics are as follows:

  • Since the yarns are closely packed, woven fabrics are usually dimensionally stable in nature
  • Because of the above reason, they are less stretchable than knitted fabrics (unless made from stretch yarns)
  • Woven fabrics usually do not provide as good drapability qualities as knitted fabrics do
  • They tend to crease and require ironing from time to time
  • Since they are less crease resistant, pleat designs can be imparted easily

Some examples of woven fabrics as follows

Examples of Woven Fabrics

Examples of Woven Fabrics
Examples of Woven Fabrics


Knitting is a process that involves intermeshing loops of yarns to manufacture fabrics. In simpler words, loops are formed using one or more yarns in preceding and succeeding rows. The resultant fabric is called a Knitted Fabric and it is later used in garments such as t-shirts, sweatshirts etc.

Knitted fabric structures can be created by hand, commonly seen in sweaters, but usually, to manufacture commercial garments, knitting machines are used to manufacture fabrics of different types. The knitting machines use one or more needles of different types to manufacture fabrics.

Knitted Fabric Structure - Interloping of Yarns
Knitted Fabric Structure - Interloping of Yarns

Knitted fabrics

Although there are many types of knitted fabrics available in the market, for different uses, there are some general properties of knitted fabrics:

  • They have inherent elasticity naturally
  • They may be inherently resilient
  • Knitted fabrics provide unique drapability qualities
  • They move easily with movements of the body
  • They are easy to care as they may require little to no ironing
  • They provide insulating properties in still air
  • They have poor crease retention which means that pleats of any form are likely to loose shape

Some examples of knitted fabrics are as follows

Examples of Knitted Fabrics

Examples of Knitted Fabrics
Examples of Knitted Fabrics

Table Summary for Differences between Knitting and Weaving

Method of Construction
Converting yarn into fabric by interloping of yarns
Converting yarn into fabric by interlacement of warp & weft
Capital Investment
Capital investment is less as compared to Weaving
The capital investment is higher than knitting
Machine Set Up Time
Setting up a machine is easy and faster
Not easy as compared with knitting
High Productivity
Less Productivity
Design Modification
Styles and designs can be changed easily and faster
Design modification is difficult as compared to in knitting

Table Summary for Differences between Knitted and Woven Fabrics

Knitted Fabrics
Woven Fabrics
Good elasticity as compared to woven fabrics
Less elasticity as compared to knitted fabrics
Crease resistance
Crease resistance is generally higher than woven fabrics
Crease resistance is lower than knitted fabrics
Ironing not required (crease resistance is high)
Requires ironing (crease resistance is low)
Permeability to Air
More permeability to air
Less permeability to air
Strength of the Fabric
Less stronger fabrics than woven fabrics
Stronger fabrics than knitted fabrics
Feel of the Fabric
Feel of the fabric is soft
More rigid as compared to knitted fabrics

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        hanisiscomel 4 weeks ago

        i dont know what is textile actually, but get to this course in diploma and i used to like it day by day!!

      • PGupta0919 profile image

        PGupta0919 11 months ago

        Yeah, there are many variations of weaves which can make such fabrics.

      • Magicality LM profile image

        Magicality LM 11 months ago

        Nice comparison ... There are more options nowadays though (like different weaving patterns creating elastic fabrics).