The fabric structure is the fundamental unit that controls all properties of weft knitted fabrics. S Senthil Kumar discusses derivatives of structures in weft knitted fabrics, besides the properties, requirements and application of various weft knit structures.

Knit fabrics are popular for their feeling and extensibility, with weft knit fabrics being widely used. From the production perspective, it is easy to produce knit fabrics than woven. Structure is an important criterion for any material, especially for fabrics. So, to increase fabric durability and dimensional stability, fabric structures and properties play a vital role. Among all types of weft knit fabrics, the single jersey fabric is most popular. Knitted fabrics have special characteristics that make them suitable for creating a wide range of garments and accessories like tights, gloves, underwear and other close-fitting garments. Their properties can be changed with the use of various structures and stitch length.

Stitch notations

The weft knitted structural units can be represented using the following methods:

a) Line diagram

b) Symbolic notation on graph paper

c) Schematic or diagrammatic notation

A line diagram representation is easily understood by beginners, but it is comparatively difficult to produce, particularly for complex designs. Symbolic notations on graph papers are widely used for the representation of knitted structures. Any type of loop or knitted structure can be represented on a graph paper with the help of some symbol. There are a large number of horizontal and vertical lines at equal distance which divide the paper into large number of squares. Each square is used to represent one loop. The horizontal rows are used as courses, whereas the vertical columns indicate the wales in the knitted structure. The presence or absence of some particular symbol in a square indicates the various types of loops or stitches.



Characteristics and properties of rib structure

  •          Rib fabrics are double-faced structures as well as balanced structures.

  •         Both face loops and back loops are visible on both the sides of the fabric, and fabric has identical appearance on face and at back.

  •          Both face loops and back loops are visible on both the sides of the fabric, and fabric has identical appearance on face and at back.

  •          Fabric surface is vertically corrugated or ribbed.

  •          Fabric is much thicker, usually double, than single jersey fabric.

  •          Fabric surface is rough or harsh in feel.

  •          Fabric does not curl at the free edges.

  •          Fabric can easily be unroved from the end last knitted.

  •        Fabric has good extensibility in length direction, but the width-wise extensibility and the recovery are much higher than single jersey fabric.

Needles in the two beds are not face to face but needles in one bed are in between the needles of the other bed so that they do not touch while raised for clearing.