What Is Warp And Weft?

Wondering what is warp and weft? I have heard this term thrown about quite a bit lately and was wondering how it related to knitting?

What Is Warp And Weft?

what is warp and weftWarp and weft are terms that one seems to hear about from time to time when it comes to your knitting.  Warp and weft are knitting terms that relate to the widths and lengths of threads. “Weft” is a series of threads that run in a pattern through the warp. “Warp” is a series of threads that run from the front to the back.

The terms warp and weft are also used in reference to textiles, specifically those that are woven. In the literal sense, they are the technical terms for the two types of thread used to create a finished woven product.

In weaving, weft and warp  refer to the two sets of threads that are woven together to produce fabric. The weft  refers to the threads that run horizontally on the loom and get woven in front of and behind the warp. The warp  refers to the threads that are strung vertically on the loom.

When knitting, weft knitting comes in three fundamental stitches, plain knit, ribbing and purl. Weft knitting can produce circular and flat fabrics.

When knitting warp knitting, there are six stitches you could use, Milanese, simplex, Raschel, Tricot, Ketten Raschel, and crochet knit.

Weft knitting is usually done by hand rather than by knitting machine. Warp knitting on the other hand is mainly done on a knitting machine. 

In weft knitting, each needle loops into its thread, and with this loop, the weft knitting produces parallel rows with the loops interlocked.

Warp knitting only produces yardage whereas weft knitting produces yardage as well as shaped garments. When comparing the two, warp knitting is considered to be the fastest.

So To Sum It All Up:

  • In warp knitting, the needles knit concurrently for all yarns, and in weft knitting, the needles just knit in a series for each yarn.
  • Most of the weft knitting is done by hand and a knitting machine is rarely used. On the other hand, warp knitting is mainly done by machine and not by hand.
  • “Weft” is a yarn that runs back and forth whereas “warp” is that which runs up and down.
  • If you want to identify what is warp and weft in a piece of woven fabric, the selvage direction is the warp direction. The warp count is normally finer than the weft count and warp yarn is more twisted than weft yarn.
  • Normally with stripes, the effect is done in warp direction in both woven and printed fabrics.

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