What is "Rib Knit" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 20-May-2023 (6 months, 9 days ago)
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Rib Knit

Rib knit is a popular fabric construction in the textile industry known for its unique ribbed texture and stretchability. It is widely used in the production of various garments and accessories due to its versatility and comfort. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of rib knit, including its history, types, tips for handling, and profiles of top international users and manufacturers.

History and Origin

The origin of rib knit can be traced back to the early days of textile production when knitting techniques were first developed. Knitting itself is believed to have originated around the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, with evidence of early knitting discovered in ancient Egypt and the Middle East. As knitting techniques evolved, rib knit emerged as a distinctive method characterized by its raised vertical ribs.

Types of Rib Knit

Rib knit fabric can be categorized into various types based on the arrangement and width of the ribs:

  1. 1x1 Rib: This type of rib knit consists of one knit stitch followed by one purl stitch, creating a series of vertical ribs and narrow valleys.
  2. 2x2 Rib: In this variation, two knit stitches are followed by two purl stitches, resulting in wider ribs and valleys compared to 1x1 rib.
  3. 3x3 Rib: This rib knit has three knit stitches followed by three purl stitches, producing even wider ribs and valleys.
  4. Interlock Rib: Interlock rib is a double-layered rib knit fabric created by interlocking two layers of 1x1 rib. It is known for its excellent stretch and recovery properties.

Tips for Handling Rib Knit

Handling rib knit fabric requires specific considerations to preserve its quality and shape:

  • Gentle Washing: Rib knit garments should be washed using a gentle cycle to avoid stretching or distorting the fabric's ribbed texture.
  • Avoiding Overstretching: When wearing or storing rib knit garments, it is important to avoid excessive stretching, as it may result in the deformation of the ribbed structure.
  • Proper Ironing: When ironing rib knit fabric, use a low heat setting and place a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric to prevent direct heat contact.
  • Storing Flat: To maintain the shape and elasticity of rib knit items, it is recommended to store them flat instead of hanging, as hanging may cause stretching or sagging.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Rib knit fabric is widely utilized by numerous international brands and manufacturers in the textile industry. Some of the prominent users and manufacturers include:

  1. Hanesbrands Inc.: Hanesbrands Inc. is a well-known global manufacturer of everyday basic apparel. They utilize rib knit fabric in their product range, including t-shirts, underwear, and socks.
  2. Lululemon Athletica: Lululemon Athletica is a popular athletic apparel brand that incorporates rib knit fabric in their leggings, tops, and sports bras, providing both comfort and flexibility.
  3. Gap Inc.: Gap Inc., a renowned clothing and accessories retailer, features rib knit fabric in their collections, offering a wide range of ribbed sweaters, cardigans, and scarves.
  4. Zara: Zara, a global fashion retailer, incorporates rib knit fabric in their trendy and fashionable knitwear, such as ribbed dresses, sweaters, and skirts.
  5. Patagonia: Patagonia, a leading outdoor clothing brand, utilizes rib knit fabric in their base layers and thermal wear, providing warmth and insulation in challenging outdoor environments.


Rib knit fabric, with its distinct ribbed texture and stretchability, has become an integral part of the textile industry. Through its various types and unique characteristics, rib knit offers both comfort and style in a wide range of garments and accessories. By understanding its history, types, and handling tips, one can appreciate the versatility of rib knit fabric and the global brands that utilize it to create fashionable and functional products.

Rib Knit
A basic stitch used in weft knitting in which the knitting machines require two sets of needles operating at right angles to each other. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction. This knitted fabric is used for complete garments and for such specialized uses as sleeve bands, neck bands, sweater waistbands, and special types of trims for use with other knit or woven fabrics. Lightweight sweaters in rib knits provide a close, body-hugging fit.
Rib Knit
A stretchy fabric normally used for trim. This stitch is formed by two sets of needles at right angles to each other, which provides more elasticity than jersey knit. The face of the fabric appears to be the same as the backside.
Rib Knit
A knitted fabric with alternating raised and lowered rows. More elastic and durable than plain knits, they tend to fit the body and are used frequently in T-shirts as well as for the trims of socks, sleeves, waists and necklines.

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