There are two basic kinds of fabric in the fashion world. There is knit fabric and there is woven fabric. Knit is t-shirt fabric - it stretches. Woven is bed sheet fabric - it does not stretch. Why is it important to distinguish? When you enter the garment manufacturing world you need to know this basic distinction to establish your level of knowledge.

The first question I ask my fashion start-up clients is: what kind of fabric does your garment use? If they don’t know the difference between knit and woven then I know they are totally green.

Another reason for knowing the difference between woven and knit is because most factories work with one fabric or the other not both. For example, Thai Son Sewing factory is a sportswear factory and they work with knit fabric. Intermax sewing factory is an outerwear factory and they only work with woven fabric.

Knit sewing factories in Vietnam make t-shirts, polos, hoodies, dresses using circular knitted fabrics like single jersey, pique, interlock etc. They don’t make wedding dresses or mens dress shirts which use woven fabric. Below are two images that clearly distinguish the two kinds of fabric.

By the way, my name is Chris and I work with Thai Son sewing factory in Vietnam. I am a fashion start up consultant based in Vietnam. I can help you quickly learn basic information you need to find the right factory fast. Learn more.

Here is a great illustration that shows you what is the difference between woven and knit fabric?
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Difference Between Circular Knit and Flat Knit

Don’t confuse circular knit with flat knit. Circular knit is made with a machine that knits the fabric in a cylinder and the weight is “light.” Circular knit fabrics have gauges from 12 to 22 which basically means that the fabric is thin like t-shirts.

Flat knit is made with a machine that knits the fabric in sheets (or flat) and the gauge is 2 to 10. Flat knit is thick sweater fabric like your grandmother usually makes sitting in a rocking chair with two needle-sticks. Below is a picture of a circular knit machine and flat knit machine. Thai Son works with circular knit fabric. Understanding how these two machines are different is key to understanding the answer to, what is the difference between woven and knit fabric?

A great reference for more info is what is the difference between woven and knit fabric on What The Craft website.
Circular Knit Machine
Flat Knit Machine Vietnam
Vietnam Sewing Factories with Low MOQ
My name is Chris and I answer your questions about producing apparel in Vietnam based on my experience working here for 12 years. How can I help you?

Contact me for advice about producing in Vietnam.

I offer consulting and factory introductions. If you just want to read and learn I wrote a series of books explaining the basics like: sourcing fabric, controlling quality, getting price quotes and samples.

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Differences Between Woven and Knit Fabric.

In simple terms: Knit fabric is t-shirt fabric and woven fabric is mens dress shirts or bed sheets.

Knit fabric is looped together and stretches. Examples of knit are single jersey, interlock, pique, rib and ponte roma.

Woven fabric is interlaced at right angles. Woven fabric does not stretch. Examples are Twill, Chiffon, Denim and Poplin.

Why is this important? When you enter into the garment manufacturing world you need to know what fabric you are working with.
The first question I ask people when they contact us about Vietnam garment manufacturer is: what kind of fabric does your garment use? If they don’t know the difference between woven and knit fabric then I know their level of knowledge and experience. What is the difference between woven and knit fabric? What if the fibers are so tiny that you can’t tell if they’re crossed or looped? One way to find out if it’s knit or woven is to test how it stretches.

Because knit fabric is made from one continuous thread (much like the one continuous yarn in your hand-knitting), it stretches all over. Woven fabrics, on the other hand, will only stretch diagonally or as a sewer might say, on the bias.
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Email Sim: [email protected]

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Mailing Address
Thai Son S.P Co., Ltd.
153 Ung Van Khiem
Ward 25, Binh Thanh District
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Zip Code: 700000
Tel. +84 903926973
Attn: Ms. Sim
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