Our fashion and design contributor Greg Cordeiro of New England Outerwear presents the following comparison: Knits vs Wovens: "There are endless possibilities when designing, buying, or choosing a textile. Two of the most common textile constructions and most often referred to in apparel today are knits and wovens. You may be thinking, 'so what are the advantages and disadvantages?' or 'How can I tell the difference?'"
A woven is created when two sets of threads are interlaced within each other to produce a fabric. These threads typically make up what appears as a crisscross pattern using the warp and weft directional method. Wovens must be finished on the edges using any variety of techniques such as a selvage or zig-zag stitching because they may unravel easily if not.
There are not necessarily advantages or disadvantages with either fabric when comparing side by side, but each serves better specific purposes for its own end use. Knits will have more stretch, and in most directions because of the loop formation. Wovens will have more stretch on the bias or diagonal of the fabric as opposed to vertically and horizontally. The dimensional stability is stronger in a woven than a knit because of the construction and density of the fabric. This means, a woven is more likely to maintain and retain its original composure compared to a knit. Although a woven is stronger, it will tend to be a bit thinner and lighter than a knit, which can be thicker and softer. All of these characteristics and more allow for the designer of a product to choose accordingly with their desired end use of the fabric.
—Greg Cordeiro is the founder of New England Outerwear, and a new contributor to Juxtapoz Magazine.