The Difference Between Knit Fabric and Woven

Posted by Jen Anderson on

The Difference Between Knit Fabric and Woven

Why should you care about this? The more you understand clothing, the more you'll be able to enjoy your wardrobe. We've spoken a lot about different styles and how they might work with or against your body's natural shape. Fabric type will let you know how a garment will drape, and how you should take care of it so you can enjoy it for years.

What We Carry

plus size clothing new arrivalsVikki Vi Classics are knit. But some toppers, robes, kimonos, dusters, etc. are made from woven fabric.

How to Tell Them Apart

You can look closely at fabric and see how the threads are put together. Woven material has threads criss-crossing in a basketweave pattern, and knit fabric is one piece of yarn looped through itself. But let's be realistic. The knits we're talking about are made with very fine yarn - you'd need a magnifying glass for this.

Knits stretch, and wovens don't. Knit fabric will stretch a lot from side-to-side and a quite a bit from top-to-bottom. Woven material may stretch a little side-to-side, but not at all top-to-bottom.

plus size clothing new arrivalsThe other major difference is that when you crumple up knit fabric, it won't wrinkle that much. Woven fabric will wrinkle like crazy if you crumple it.

What This Means For Fit

Since knit stretches, it gives you a little wiggle room. Where a woven dress might be uncomfortably tight across the bust, a knit dress will expand to accommodate your curves so you can move and breathe easily. But not all knits are the same. Our jersey classics and regular classics are both made with knit fabric. But the jersey fabric is much lighter than our signature slinky knit material. They both drape very nicely. In my opinion, the jersey is so light that it feels barely there (in the best possible way).

plus size clothing new arrivalsCheaply-made knits may not drape, clinging to your body so tightly that the whole world can see whether your belly button is an innie or an outie.

Woven material is great for toppers because toppers are not meant to be fitted and they're more structured than our other pieces.

What This Means For Care

Because knit fabric stretches, it can grow. If you've ever worn a chunky cotton knit sweater that was a foot longer at the end of the day, you've experienced this first hand. The heavier a material is, the more gravity will stretch it out. Which is why you don't hang up sweaters. But this applies to more than just sweaters. Our jersey classics are lightweight enough that they can hang in the closet without ill effects. But if you put the regular classics on a hanger, they will become significantly longer over time.

On the other hand, woven fabrics should be hung in the closet to keep them from wrinkling. 

What This Means For Travel

When you pack a suitcase, you want everything to come out with as few wrinkles as possible. This is why knits are perfect for travel. They don't wrinkle in your suitcase and if they do pick up a few slight wrinkles, you can hang them up and let the fabric's natural weight pull the wrinkles out.

So Which Is Better?

Neither. Different garments call for different types of fabric. The important thing is that you know what to expect and how to treat each of them properly.

Shop New Arrivals including woven toppers from Dessori and knit Vikki Vi classics.

Check out our other posts about caring for your Vikki Vi.

1 Comment

Very informative

—Frances rainbolt,

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