What is Rib Knit? Fabric Description & Guide

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What is rib-knit used for? A rib knit is a fabric with distinct and visible perpendicular ribs on its front and back. In other words, rib knits are reversible double-faced fabrics. Typically, a rib knit is used to create bands on t-shirt neckbands, turtlenecks, hems, cuffs, etc. Moreover, it has purl stitches and alternating knits on parallel rows using a weft knitting method.

What is Rib KnitPinWhat is Rib Knit


What is Rib Knit Fabric?What is Rib Knit — Knit Fabric vs. Woven FabricWhat is Rib Knit — Rib Knit vs. Ribbing FabricWhat is Rib Knit — PatternsWhat is Rib Knit — Rib Knit vs. Other Knit FabricsWhat is Rib Knit – ComparisonsWhat is Rib Knit — CharacteristicsWhat is Rib Knit — SewingWhat is Rib Knit — Caring InstructionsWhat is Rib Knit — In Conclusion

What is Rib Knit Fabric?

One can make whole garments using this fabric since it has an incredibly soft feel and crosswise stretch. You can create clothes, such as camisoles, sweaters, cardigans, and more. Moreover, different rib knits are available (e.g., 1×1, 2×2, 3×3, or 6×6). 

What is Rib Knit — Knit Fabric vs. Woven Fabric

What is rib knit fabric? A knit fabric is done by looping long yarns together, while a woven cloth is created by weaving a fiber with another using a criss-cross design. You will see a one-way thread going in a single direction on a knit fabric surface. This kind of formation makes knit fabric stretchable, which is its most remarkable feature. 

What is Rib Knit — Rib Knit vs. Ribbing Fabric

What is rib knit, and how is it different from ribbing fabric? Ribbing fabric and rib knits are two different kinds of clothing materials. Rib knits are designed to create whole garments, not only for cuffs, waistbands, and neckbands (though, as mentioned, this is intended for these purposes as well). On the other hand, ribbing fabric is a substrate (a tight type of rib knit) that is explicitly made for cuffs, waistbands, and neckbands. It is usually a hundred percent cotton. Therefore, it is not suitable to be made as a whole garment because of its stiffness.

What is Rib Knit — Patterns

What is rib knit and its patterns? Rib knit, also sometimes known as ribbing, has textured vertical lines that are raised. This pattern is made with a double knitting machine with textured vertical lines. You can quickly identify a rib knit because of its perpendicular ribs. 

There are two primary rib knit patterns: 1 x 1 rib knit and 2 x 2 rib knit. The 1 x 1 knit pattern is one knit plus one purl stitch, while the 2 x 3 sequence is two knits and two purl stitches. Not only are rib knits perfect for sewing necklines, cuffs, turtlenecks, or sweaters, but also it is best in creating rugs or mats and other home accessories.

What is Rib Knit — Rib Knit vs. Other Knit Fabrics

1. RIb Knit vs Jersey

This is the most commonly used type of fabric among other knit fabrics. To create this pattern, both purl stitches and knits are combined using one needle. For that reason, this material is referred to as a plain or single knit. Moreover, you can easily distinguish a jersey knit because it has a wrong and right side. Jersey knit is commonly used for sewing basic T-shirts. Also, it is excellent for creating draped garments, such as tops and dresses. 

Jersey Knit Features:

LightNot stretchy like rib knit fabric unless you add spandexDistinct wrong and right sideEdges easily curl up when pulled

2. Rib Knit vs Interlock

This type of knit fabric has similarities with rib knit. Some say it is also a ribbing variation because it is made using two needles. Moreover, it looks like two layers of a single knit put in a layer. For that reason, it is also referred to as a double-faced rib. If you want to make skirts, tanks, or pants, an excellent type of fabric is an interlock. 

Interlock Knit Features:

Denser and heavier than jerseyNot very stretchy (similar to rib knit)Unlike jersey knit fabric, it is reversible and has not the wrong or right sideMore stable than rib knit or jersey knit

3. Rib Knit vs French Terry

A French Terry cloth is a knitted terry fabric featuring soft piles and loops of thread on a single side. Usually, it is soft on the inside of a piece of clothing and has a soft, smooth surface on its opposite side. Moreover, it is a lightweight, absorbent, and moisture-wicking fabric that is very comfortable to put on for any season. 

4. Rib Knit vs Fleece

A fleece knit is a warm, durable, and stretchable material with a deep thick pile. It dries up quickly, which makes it excellent activewear. 

What is Rib Knit – Comparisons

As mentioned, a rib knit fabric has textured perpendicular and raised lines, which is created using a double knitting machine. You can identify one easily through its vertical ribs. Compared to all the other types of knit fabrics mentioned above, below are key features of rib knit you must remember.

Rib Knit Features:

Denser than JerseyCompared to Jersey and Interlock fabric, rib knit is very stretchy (1 x 1 rib pattern is more stretchable than 2 x 2)Both sides of the cloth are almost identicalNot very smooth compared to a Jersey knitEdges do not curl up even when pulled

What is Rib Knit — Characteristics

If you are an expert in knitting, then you probably know what ribbed fabric looks like. So, what is rib knit and its characteristics? As you may already know, it is a clothing material with elevated vertical ribs, which are incorporated alternately by purl stitches and knit stitches. 

When you see a fabric named 2 x 2, it means that alternately two stitches knits and two purls are combined to create the ribs. Moreover, ribs can have a 1 x 1 sequence, which means that alternately one stitch of knit and one purl stitch are combined. As a result, the rib knit will be tighter compared to the 2 x 2 pattern. 

Other rib knit patterns include 3 x 3, 3 x 2, or 4 x 1. Remember that the beginning number points to the knitted rows and the second one points to the purled rows. A typical rib knit aligns to the hem and makes a stretchy fabric with excellent recovery. Fitted designs are perfect for rib knit fabric because they fit the body without stretching or curling. 

Rib knit material is generally made of rayon fibers or cotton, or a combination. Note that compared to cotton material, rayon knit fabric has better recovery. Also, they are very soft. 

What is Rib KnitWhat is Rib KnitPinWhat is Rib Knit

What is Rib Knit — Sewing

If you are a beginner in sewing knit fabric, it can be challenging to sew a rib knit. However, following the steps below will help you create lovely garments without much effort. Keep in mind to avoid overstretching the fabric while sewing.

Use a Walking Foot – With a sharp needle and a stretch thread, it is better to use a walking foot when working with rib knit material. It will help you evenly sew the fabric without stretching it. Also, remember that it is crucial to lessen foot tension for the machine to feed evenly through the material smoothly.Use a Serger – A serger machine is usually the best method to sew rib knits. When you adjust the settings of a serger, you will need to treat the fabric as a bulky type. It is better to increase the feed setting often to avoid stretching the material while sewing. Also, you need to increase the stitch width for better results. When you use a serge to sew a rib knit on different settings, you will notice that increasing the feed prevents the material from overstretching. Read more about how to use a serger.Use Hemming Tape – When hemming rib knit clothing, it is better to use double-sided tapes that are super adhesive. Not only does this type of tape help you put the hem in place, but it also gives it more heft. You will see that your sewing machine will produce a cleaner hem with the help of hemming tape. 

What is Rib Knit — Caring Instructions

You can prewash a rib knit fabric using a warm temperature, then dry it on a medium-dry cycle. Do not dry your garments inside the dryer after you sew them to keep them in good condition. That is because if your rib knit contains rayon, it will begin to form fluff balls after two to three trips in the dryer.

To prevent that from happening, you can clean your garments inside and out by washing them manually. Then, dry them flat on top of a towel to avoid stretching. By doing that, you will maintain the newness of your rib knit clothes for several years.

What is Rib Knit — In Conclusion

Now that you have an in-depth idea of what is rib knit, you can easily find the material in stores or identify garments made of rib knit. Rib knit fabrics are perfect for making any type of outfit because of the variety of patterns you can use. The stretchy and soft features of rib knits make it the best choice for people who love to keep themselves cozy any season of the year.

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