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Knitting vs. Weaving: What Is the Difference Between Woven and Knitted Fabrics?

I am a writer with special expertise in textiles, fabrics, printing, and dyeing.

Woven fabric structure—interlacing of yarns at right angles (plain weave)

Woven fabric structure—interlacing of yarns at right angles (plain weave)

What Is Weaving?

Weaving is the most popular method of fabric construction used. It involves the 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 result is a woven fabric, and variations are made to create different types of woven fabrics.

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.

Here are some examples of woven fabrics. . . .

Examples of woven fabrics

Examples of woven fabrics

What Is Knitting?

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 on the market for different uses, there are some general properties of knitted fabrics:

  • They naturally have inherent elasticity.
  • They may be inherently resilient.
  • Knitted fabrics provide unique draping qualities.
  • They move easily with movements of the body.
  • They are easy to care for 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 lose shape.

Here are some examples of knitted fabrics. . . .

Examples of knitted fabrics

Examples of knitted fabrics

The Difference Between Knitting and Weaving

Table summary of differences between knitting and weaving


Method of Construction

Converting yarn into fabric by interloping of yarns

Converting yarn into fabric by interlacement of warp and weft

Capital Investment

Capital investment is less as compared to weaving

The capital investment is higher than knitting

Machine Setup 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 knitting

The Differences Between Knitted and Woven Fabrics

Table summarizing the differences between knitted and woven fabrics

ParametersKnitted FabricsWoven 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-strong 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

Question: What is the difference between spinning and weaving?

Answer: Spinning is the process of creating yarn from fibers where as weaving is the process of creating fabrics from yarns.

Question: Can knitting be hand based and machine-based as well?

Answer: Yes, knitting can be both hand based and machine-based. There are various kinds of knitting machines available today which help us manufacture different types of knit fabrics on a large scale.

© 2017 PGupta0919


billi on June 02, 2020:

life is good

viji on April 18, 2020:


PGupta0919 (author) on September 25, 2018:

Thank you.

BN yadav on September 24, 2018:


PGupta0919 (author) on September 23, 2018:

Thank you

Rudraksh on September 23, 2018:

Easy to understand many differences

hanisiscomel on March 20, 2018:

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

PGupta0919 (author) on May 16, 2017:

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

Magicality LM on May 16, 2017:

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