The appearance of a garment is greatly influenced by the fabric used for construction, not all fabrics are suitable for all garments. To choose a suitable fabric for a specific end use calls for basic knowledge in fabric construction and types of fabrics available in the market. Fabrics are produced mostly from yarns. Fabrics are constructed mostly either by weaving or knitting.
Woven fabrics are made by using two or more sets of yarn interlaced at right angles to each other. Much variety is produced by weaving. Woven fabrics are generally more durable. They can be easily cut into different shapes and are excellent for producing styles in garments. However, the raw edges ravel or fray easily and need to be protected. Fabrics having more fabric count (number of wrap and weft yearns present) keep the shape well. Low count fabrics are less durable and may snag or stretch.
Knitting is the construction of an elastic, porous fabric, created by interlocking yarns by means of needles. Knitted fabrics can be made much more quickly and easily than woven fabrics at comparatively less cost. Two yarns forming loops in each course of the fabric knit the fabric. Knitting machines form loops of yarn with many pointed needles or shafts. The vertical rows of loops are called ribs or wales, and horizontal rows of loops are called courses.