Double Knits Fabric – An Italian Innovation

Double knits fabric was first produced by Italian fabric makers for designer garments. Double knits fabric is comfortable to wear, wrinkle-resistant, and economical. These knits are identified by the vertical ribbing on both sides of the fabric. Examples of these knits are wool double-knits, polyester double-knits also known as ponte knits, and ribbing. These knits can return to their original shape when stretched on the cross grain.

Blue Ponte Double Knit Fabric Plum Double Knit Fabric Lavendar Double Knit Fabric

Fabric Characteristics:

• These knits are easy to sew

• Require a napped layout, single or double layer, right sides together

• Have little or no cross-wise stretch

• They do not run or ravel

• They are stable and firm without being rigid

• These knits retain crisp, structured shapes

• Sometimes they have a permanent crease line at the fold, which can be hard to iron or steam out

• Skipped stitches can be a problem

• Can be used for unlined and reversible garments due to the same ribbing on both sides

• These knits maintain their shape when hung up

Working With These Fabrics Requires:

• Sewing machine needles used should be 70/10-90/12 universal and stretch needles

• Hand sewing needles should be sizes 5-9

• Sewing machine settings should be a stitch length of 2-2.5 mm with a lightly balanced tension

• Sewing machine feet should be a standard presser foot, wide straight-stitch, roller or even feed foot

• Thread should be all-purpose cotton, polyester or cotton/polyester blend, and for topstitching all-purpose topstitching thread or silk thread size D, polyester thread is the most highly recommended because it has some stretch

• Tools and equipment required are sharp scissors, rotary cutter and mat, sharp shears, sewing straight pins, safety pins, pattern weights, a shim and stabilizers

• Markers recommended are Clo-Chalk, fabric markers

• Seams and hems can be plain, twin needle stitched, zigzagged seams just to name a few, hems hand blind stitched, machine blind stitched, to name a few, seam and hem finishes can be serged, and zigzagged to mention a few

• Interfacings recommended are sew-in or fused

• Closures can be all types

These Fabrics Are Suitable For:

These knits are good for jackets, pull-on-pants, cardigans, dresses, pull-on-skirts, and children’s clothing.

For information about the notions, tools, and equipment required to complete a sewing project, click here to view the sewing notions home page For more information about this family of fabrics some great references are:

Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide

More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina

For more interesting information about double knits fabric click here on

To continue exploring information about fabrics follow the links below.

Faux Fur
Fabric Facts
Fabric Content
Return to Sewing Fabric Home Page
Return to Sewing Home Page