Fabrics - Double Down on Double Knit

Look To This Fabric When Searching For The Height Of Durability

Double KnitsNeed a garment to provide function and durability for active lifestyles, workwear or sports? Look to the expanding double-knit offerings from suppliers.

Because these fabrics are "double-layered," they're thicker than a single knit. Two sets of needles are used in the knitting process to interlock yarns. The result is a medium-weight to heavyweight fabric that looks the same on both sides. It has less stretch than a single knit, yet still provides the type of resiliency and durability that many apparel buyers – from sports teams to companies outfitting outdoor employees – are looking for today.

"What double knits allow Ash City (asi/37143) to achieve aside from performance benefits is versatility through the product line," says Elson Yeung, product line manager/designer for the supplier.

Yeung highlights the company's men's and ladies' EDry color-block polos, which have both cotton and polyester. "The double-knit structure puts the comfortable cotton layer close to the skin while the top layer adds moisture-wicking performance," Yeung says. "This gives us the best of both worlds with comfort and performance in one garment."

Uniforms in both the workwear and athletic wear arenas are frequently fabricated from double knits, particularly polyester and poly-blends. "Double-knit polyester applications in the sports market are especially strong in areas where durability and flexibility are of paramount importance," says Andy Lehrer, president of Teamwork Athletic Apparel (asi/90673). "When compared to a warp-knit polyester, a double-knit fabric can provide excellent four-way stretch. A baseball pant, for instance, will flex both around the leg and down the length of it. When a player slides, the double-knit fabric has better give, which makes for a more durable, more comfortable, and better-performing product."