What is A Sweater Knit?
A sweater knit is any knit that you would use to make a sweater! They are typically made using a heavier yard than knits you would use for t-shirts and other lighter weight garments. Sweater knits sometimes have fun texture and designs, such a cabling or a lacy look.
Traditionally sweater knit was made of wool, but now sweater knits are made from cotton, polyester, rayon, wool, and other fibers.
What does a sweater knit feel like?
Sweater knits have a variety of textures and softness. Some wool blends and other types of sweater knits can be described as rough and scratchy, while others go through a process called “brushing” to give it a soft texture.
What size needle should I use with sweater knits?
Due to the wide variety of sweater knits, there isn’t one size fits all for sweater knits. You can use size 100/16 for heaver weight knits or 70/10 for light delicate sweater knits. Your will want to use a ballpoint sewing needle. The rounded tip will prevent the needle from piercing the individual yarns and causing a snag in your knit.
Sweater Knit Sewing Tips
Before sewing your project, be sure to wash your fabric. Not only does this remove the chemicals and dirt from the manufacturing process, it also allows the fabric to shrink before sewing. Handwashing is best for most sweater knits. Looser knit sweater fabric can get stretched and skewed in washing machines and driers. When drying your sweater knit, reshape the fabric and lay it flat to dry.
Sweater knits can shift and skew when cutting and sewing. The best way to cut sweater knits is to use pattern weights and a rotary cutter. Scissors can skew the fabric and distort your pattern shape.
When sewing, you can use a long straight stitch, zig-zag stitch or your serger for construction. A long straight stitch works great on looser knits that won’t have a lot of stretch to the seams.
You may want to reinforce your shoulder seams with some clear elastic. This will bring some structure to the shoulders and prevent stretching or pulling of fabric as you wear it.
Caring for Sweater Knits
It’s best to wash your sweater knits by hand using a gentle detergent. This will decrease shrinking, pilling, and prevent areas of the garment from skewing/stretching. Handwashing wil also increase the life of your garment. Be sure to reshape and lay your item flat to dry. Hanging the garment to dry will cause gravity to stretch it downward.
Sweater knits are a large grouping of knits that people typically love to make sweaters out of! When sewing with sweater knits, treat the fabric gently and don’t stretch or pull when sewing. After your project is complete, continue to
Interested in working with sweater knits?
IndieStitch December 2022 box of IndieStitch featured the Adrianne Sweater from DIBY Club. IndieStitch sewing kits feature a variety of fabrics and patterns for the garment sewists. Check out our kits at IndieStitch.com!