Knitted fabrics are textile fabrics consisting of loops. Due to this loop structure, knitted fabrics are very flexible and adaptable. A knitted fabric can be made from just one single yarn.
When knitting on knitting machines, the yarn is placed along the knitting needle, picked up by it, formed into a loop and then pulled through the previous loop. This creates a loop from the previous loop.
There are flat- and circular-knitting machines. Flat knitting machines can be used flexibly and are suitable for producing complete items. Circular-knitting machines are used to make fabrics sold by the metre for ready-to-wear clothing.
On flat-knitting machines, the single needle selection makes it possible to produce different knitting patterns resulting from the combination of the knitted binding elements loop, tuck or no-knit.
A spacer fabric consists of a base and a top layer, which are kept apart at a certain distance by the spacer yarn. They are made on machines with two needle beds. The adjustable parameters here are distance and hardness grade.
Loops can be formed in different sizes and even passed between the needles, allowing for the creation of various shapes and sizes of knitted fabrics, as well as textured fabrics.
Just as patterns are created using different colours, different materials can also be used to create desired effects. For example, stronger and less elastic areas can be created by using rubber, or sensor surfaces by using electrically conductive threads.