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Lumberton, NC 28358


Knitting Basics

There are two broad categories of knit textiles: weft and warp. Weft knits are made by feeding yarn to all needles horizontally to construct a course. Weft knits can be produced on either a circular knit machine or a flat bed machine. In warp knitting, one yarn is used for each knitting needle. Each stitch in a course is made by a different yarn.

Alamac uses circular knit machines to manufacture weft knit fabric for apparel manufacturers.

Basic Weft Knit Stitch

Basic weft knit fabric


Example of Knit Course

Course: Row of loops or stitches running across the knit fabric

Example of Knit Wale

Wale: Vertical chain of loops in the lengthwise direction of the fabric, formed by one needle 

Glossary of Knitting Terms

Singleknit Knit fabric produced using a single set of knitting needles. It is usually a thin lightweight fabric.
Doubleknit Knit fabric produced on two sets of opposed needles. It is thicker and heavier than a singleknit fabric.
Technical Face The outside of the tube of fabric produced by a circular knitting machine. This may or may not be the outside of a finished garment made from the fabric.
Technical Back The inside of the tube of fabric produced by a circular knitting machine. This may or may not be the inside of a finished garment made from the fabric.
Knit Stitch An interlocking series of loops used to construct fabric. See the diagram above of the basic weft knit fabric.
Tuck Stitch A needle receives a new yarn without losing its old loop. A tuck loop always faces the technical back of the fabric.
Welt, Miss, or Float Stitch These terms describe the same formation. The stitch is created by not allowing the needle to raise high enough to receive a new yarn, causing the yarn to float behind the face stitches.
Inlay Stitch Combination of float and tuck stitches. In a 3x1 inlay, three needles float and one tucks. Commonly used in Fleece and French Terry fabrics.
Jersey Fabric The basic singleknit construction (T- shirt fabric) with the appearance of tiny “V” s on the face of the fabric and wavy courses on the back of the fabric.
Rib Fabric This doubleknit fabric draws some wales to the front and others to the back for a ridge effect. Ribs have a higher stretch and recovery than most knits and they are used for trim and body goods.
Interlock Fabric Two yarn feeds are required to create one course. The knitting on front and back gives interlock a smooth surface on each side of the fabric. Selected needles can be pulled out for poor boy looks.
Lacoste Fabric The original stitch configuration used in Lacoste shirts. The tucking pattern creates a tiny honeycomb look on the technical back of the fabric, which is used as the face for garments.
Pique Fabric The combination of knit and tuck stitches gives a small diamond appearance to the face of the fabric. It is the most popular fabric used in collar/placket shirts.

This is a very basic overview of the knitting process and its terminology. If you would like to learn more, e-mail your questions to anyone on our Contacts page.


Last modified: December 08, 2004

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