Pile knit is a specific type of textile construction characterized by a raised surface made of loops or cut fibers that create a soft and fluffy texture. This technique is commonly used in the production of fabrics such as velvet, terry cloth, and certain types of upholstery and carpeting. Pile knit fabrics are known for their luxurious feel, warmth, and ability to trap air, making them highly desirable for a range of applications.
The pile knit construction involves creating loops or tufts of yarn on the surface of the fabric. This can be achieved through different methods, including knitting or weaving techniques. In knitting, pile stitches are formed by creating additional loops on specific rows or using specialized knitting machines. In weaving, an extra set of warp or weft yarns is added to the base fabric to form the pile.
The length and density of the pile can vary depending on the desired effect and the specific application. Shorter pile lengths are often used for fabrics like velvet, where the loops are sheared or cut to create a smooth, even surface. Longer pile lengths are commonly found in fabrics like terry cloth, where the loops are left intact to provide enhanced absorbency and softness.
Pile knit fabrics are widely used in various industries, and their top users and manufacturers include:
Fashion and Apparel: High-end fashion brands often incorporate pile knit fabrics in their collections, especially for garments that require a luxurious and tactile feel. Pile knits can be used for dresses, skirts, jackets, and accessories like scarves and hats. Fashion houses like Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana have utilized pile knit fabrics in their designs.
Upholstery and Home Decor: Pile knit fabrics are popular choices for upholstery, as they add both comfort and style to furniture pieces. Sofas, chairs, and cushions made from pile knit materials offer a cozy and plush seating experience. Manufacturers like Kravet and Maharam specialize in producing pile knit upholstery fabrics for the interior design industry.
Automotive Industry: Pile knit fabrics find applications in the automotive sector, particularly for vehicle interiors. They are used for seat covers, headliners, and door panels, providing a luxurious and comfortable environment for passengers. Automotive textile manufacturers such as Adient and Lear Corporation incorporate pile knit fabrics in their product lines.
Carpeting and Rugs: Pile knit construction is extensively used in the production of carpets and rugs. These fabrics offer warmth, softness, and durability, making them ideal for residential and commercial spaces. Leading carpet manufacturers like Shaw Industries and Mohawk Industries produce a wide range of pile knit carpets and rugs for various applications.
Towels and Bathrobes: Terry cloth, a pile knit fabric, is widely used in the production of towels and bathrobes due to its excellent absorbency and softness. Companies like Abyss & Habidecor and Frette specialize in manufacturing high-quality terry cloth products for the hospitality industry and luxury home market.
Pile knit fabrics provide a versatile and luxurious option for a wide range of textile applications. With their softness, warmth, and aesthetic appeal, they continue to be favored by top users and manufacturers in the fashion, upholstery, automotive, carpeting, and home textile industries.
A type of knit construction which utilizes a special yarn or a sliver that is interlooped into a standard knit base. This construction is used in the formation of imitation fur fabrics, in special liners for cold weather apparel such as jackets and coats, and in some floor coverings. While any basic knit stitch may be used for the base of pile knits, the most common is the jersey stitch.