If you’re new to sewing you may have heard fabric being described as either “knit” or “woven.” What is the difference between those and how does it affect the way you sew it?
Simply put, knits are stretchy and wovens are not. Knit fabric also does not fray like wovens do, which is handy if you’re a little lazy when it comes to hemming, like I sometimes am!
To sew these fabrics, you want to make sure you are using the correct needle and stitch. Woven fabrics are generally sewn with a universal type needle and with a straight stitch on the sewing machine.
Knit fabrics require either a jersey/ballpoint needle or a stretch needle and are best sewn with a serger. Sergers both cut and finish the seams, allowing the fabric to stretch without popping any stitches.
I have used both stretch and ballpoint needles for the same fabric with similar results. I just use the one that seems to work the best for the fabric or whatever I have on hand. Itch to Stitch did an experiment on ballpoint vs stretch needles that you can check out here.
Don’t have a serger? Don’t worry! Knits can also be sewn on a sewing machine. Click here to find out the best stitch settings for your sewing machine!