The process of textile production is vast and complex and there are many different methods of fabric construction. The two basic methods, often confused, are knitting and weaving. Weaving involves interlacing yarns; knitting involves an interlocking series of loops (also known as interlooping) of yarns. This basic difference has implications on the qualities of the finished material – knit fabrics are more flexible, traditionally bulkier, whereas woven fabrics are more rigid, prone to wrinkle, and more wind resistant.
As a manufacturer and supplier of technical meshes, we deal strictly with knit materials, more specifically warp knit meshes. Warp knitting refers to the “warp”, or the thread that runs vertically, as opposed to the “weft”, which runs horizontally. A mesh is characterized by a more open construction – think pool skimmer or mesh sports bag instead of grandma’s Christmas sweater; while both are knit, the sports bag is an open construction. Warp knitting is done primarily on machines in which individual threads for each needle are necessary. This allows for increased speed and flexibility of fabrication, as well as an increased capacity for the width of the fabric.
Within mesh warp knitting there are a variety of styles that each produce different characteristics in the resulting mesh, and therefore have different applications. Our two primary knits are Tricot and Raschel. Tricot knits use lighter weight yarns, with more stitches per inch to produce a higher guage fabric – much like the thread count of bed sheets. Raschel knits are thicker, usually used for more industrial applications, and have less stitches per inch. Each process has its advantages and disadvantages for different end uses. Some applications are able to use either method of construction, while others are much better served by one type or the other.
Here at Jason Mills, we focus on industrial and specialty fabrics – it’s our job and passion to know the intricacies of different textile types and their applications. With a broad line of over 100 different meshes, we’re confident we can research, develop, and provide the fabrics that fit the needs of our customers. Get in touch with our team today for quality textile expertise and solutions.