What is a sweatshirt knit? Features, sewing tips

If you have ever wondered what sweatshirt knit is and why it is so popular in the fashion world, then this article is for you. Discover what characterises this material, what properties it has and what garments can be sewn from it. We will also provide practical tips for sewing with this knit fabric. Enjoy your reading!

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What is the weave of a tracksuit fabric? What is a sweatshirt knit?

Sweatshirt knitwear is a popular fabric used for casual and sportswear. It is characterised by a distinctive weave that is extremely stretchy and comfortable, making it an ideal choice for those who value comfort in everyday wear.

Sweatshirt can have different types of weave, but the most common are two: loop weave and drape weave.

  • Loop weave is characterised by the fact that small loops are visible on the underside of the fabric, which give it a special softness. This type of weave creates a more airy and lighter fabric, making it ideal for warmer days and for layering garments. The loops on the underside of the fabric create a fine structure that provides comfort and good air circulation.
  • The draped weave is additionally combed, which creates a fine fleece that increases wearing comfort. The draping process involves mechanically combing the surface of the fabric, resulting in a soft, fluffy fleece. Such a fabric is usually thicker and warmer, and retains heat perfectly, so it is an ideal choice for colder days.

Properties of the sweatshirt knit

  • Breathable: Sweatshirt knitwear ensures excellent air circulation, allowing the skin to breathe freely. As a result, even during intense exercise, the wearer does not experience the discomfort of overheating. The breathability of the fabric also prevents excessive perspiration, which is crucial in sports and casual wear.
  • Soft and pleasant to the touch: one of the greatest strengths of sweatshirt knitwear is its softness. Thanks to the use of natural fibres such as cotton, the fabric is extremely gentle on the skin. Sweatshirt knitwear is pleasant to the touch and non-irritating, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin and children.
  • Elastic: The knitted sweatshirt fabric is characterised by its high elasticity, allowing it to adapt perfectly to the shape of the body. The elasticity of the fabric ensures freedom of movement, which is particularly important in sports and leisurewear.
  • Warm: Sweatshirt knitwear is excellent at retaining heat, making it ideal for colder days. Its structure allows it to form an insulating layer that protects against the cold. The thermal properties of sweatshirt knit make it a frequent choice for winter clothing such as sweatshirts, sweatpants, jackets or winter accessories such as hats and scarves.
  • Durable: The durability of the sweatshirt knit is another important asset. The material is resistant to stretching and abrasion, which ensures that the garment lasts a long time. Thanks to its structure, sweatshirt knitwear does not deform or lose its properties even after repeated washing. This is particularly important for everyday and sportswear that is used intensively.

Types of tracksuit knit

Sweatshirt knitwear comes in different varieties, the most popular of which are drape and loop knit. Each type has its own unique properties and uses that make it ideal for a variety of garments and accessories.

Draped tracksuit

Draped tracksuit is characterised by a soft, fluffy fleece on the inside of the fabric, which is created by additional scratching. This material is ideal for outerwear such as sweatshirts, trousers and warm accessories such as scarves and hats. Its fluffiness and cosiness also make it a popular choice for home clothing, providing maximum comfort and convenience.

Loopback jersey

Loopback jersey, unlike drape knit, has characteristic loops on the underside. This type of knit is slightly thinner and lighter, making it ideal for warmer days. It is just as soft and comfortable, but breathes better and is more breathable, making it an ideal choice for spring and summer wear. The loops on the underside create a soft texture that provides comfort and good air circulation, which is especially important in the warmer months.

At CottonBee, we have a wide range of loop sweatpants to suit different needs and preferences. Our collection includes:

  • Loopback Jersey 250 and 300: These two versions differ in thickness and weight, allowing you to choose the right fabric depending on your needs. Loopback Jersey 250 is lighter and more airy, ideal for warmer days, while Loopback Jersey 300 is slightly thicker and more durable, also suitable for colder days.
  • Organic Cotton Loopback Jersey: This is the ideal choice for those who value ecology and natural materials. Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, making it safe for the skin and environmentally friendly.
  • Reactively Printed Loopback Jersey: Thanks to modern reactive printing technology, we can offer a tracksuit fabric with beautiful, long-lasting patterns. Reactive printing allows for intense, long-lasting colours that do not fade even after repeated washing. This is an excellent choice for those who want to stand out with original, colourful designs.

What is the difference between draped and loop knit?

Sweatshirt knitwear comes in different variants, the most popular of which are draped and loop knit. The main difference between the two is the finish on the inside of the fabric, which affects their properties and use.

Draped sweatshirt is characterised by a fluffy fleece on the inside, created by mechanical scratching. This makes the fabric exceptionally soft and warm, ideal for colder days. It is ideal for the production of warm sweatshirts, jumpers, sweatpants, jackets, coats and winter accessories such as hats, scarves and gloves.

Loop sweatshirt, which has characteristic loops on the inside, is more breathable and lighter than drapey sweatshirt. Ideal for warmer days, it provides good air circulation and thermal comfort. It is often chosen for lightweight blouses, sweatshirts, tracksuit trousers for spring and summer, sportswear and layering where the breathability of the fabric is important.

What is worth sewing with knitted tracksuit fabric?

Sweatshirt knitwear is extremely versatile and can be used to make a wide variety of products. Its unique properties make it the ideal material for creating comfortable, functional and stylish clothing and accessories. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sweatshirts and sweatpants: Sweatshirts and sweatpants are classics when it comes to the use of knitted sweatpants. Thanks to its softness, elasticity and warmth, sweatshirt knit is the ideal material for this type of garment. Sweatshirts can be either plain or with a hood, zipped or tucked in over the head.
  • Dresses and skirts: Sweatshirt knitwear is also great for dresses and skirts. The material is stretchy enough for a perfect fit, yet soft enough for all-day comfort. Dresses and skirts in knitted sweatshirt can range from simple, everyday models to more elegant creations.
  • Sportswear: Sportswear made from knitted sweatshirt guarantees comfort during training and physical activity. The material is breathable, stretchy and durable, making it ideal for leggings, tops, sports jerseys and also shorts.
  • Pyjamas and nightwear: Sweatshirt knitwear is also an excellent material for pyjamas and nightwear. Its softness and softness to the skin ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. Pyjamas made from sweatshirt knitwear can range from classic sets with long sleeves and legs to summer sets with short shorts and T-shirts.
  • Home accessories: Sweatshirt knitwear can also be used to create various home accessories. Blankets made from this material are soft, warm and cosy – perfect for chilly evenings. Pillowcases made from sweatshirt knitted fabric add a cosy and modern look to the interior, and can be an interesting decorative element thanks to the different patterns and colours.

Tips for sewing sweatshirt knitwear

Sewing with sweatshirt knitwear can be a challenge, especially for beginners. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Needle: Use a knitting needle to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Stitch: Choose a stretchy stitch, such as a zigzag, to ensure that your stitches are flexible enough.
  • Thread tension: Adjust the thread tension to prevent wrinkling.
  • Ironing: Iron the knitted fabric carefully, using low heat to avoid damage.

Which needle goes with sweatshirt fabrics?

It is best to use a jersey or stretch needle when sewing sweatshirt knitwear. These are designed to gently pass through the elastic fibres of the fabric, minimising the risk of damage. This will ensure that the seams are durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Is it possible to carry out digital printing on a knitted tracksuit fabric?

Yes, it is possible to carry out digital printing on sweatshirt knitwear. Thanks to modern technologies such as reactive printing and pigment printing, it is possible to achieve long-lasting and intense colours on sweatshirt knitwear. Digital printing on sweatshirt knitwear allows full personalisation of designs and offers endless design possibilities, making it an ideal choice for creative fashion designers and garment manufacturers.

Advantages of digital printing on knitted sweatshirts

Digital printing on sweatshirt knitwear has many advantages that make it an extremely attractive solution:

  • Full design personalisation: With digital printing, you can create unique and personalised designs that accurately reflect your ideas and visions. This is ideal for designers who want to differentiate their products in the market.
  • Intense and long-lasting colours: Modern printing technologies such as reactive and pigment printing produce vibrant and long-lasting colours that do not fade even after many washings.
  • Fast and efficient: Digital printing is fast and efficient, allowing orders to be completed in a short space of time.
  • Eco-friendliness: digital printing is more environmentally friendly than traditional printing methods. The process uses less water and chemicals, reducing its impact on the environment.

Digital printing at CottonBee

At CottonBee, we offer both pigment and reactive printing on sweatshirt knitwear, allowing us to adapt to different customer needs and expectations:

  • Pigment printing: pigment printing is a fast and efficient way to achieve high quality prints on sweatshirt knitwear. It is ideal for short runs and personalised projects.
  • Reactive printing: Reactive printing is an advanced printing technology that produces intense and long-lasting colours. The reactive dyes penetrate deep into the fabric fibres, making the prints extremely durable and resistant to washing. This printing method is ideal for garments that require the highest quality and colour fastness.

Sweatshirt knitwear – summary

Sweatshirt knitwear is a versatile and comfortable fabric, ideal for creating a variety of garments and accessories. Its flexibility, breathability and softness make it a favourite choice of designers and wearers alike. Knowing the properties and types of sweatshirt knitwear, as well as practical sewing tips, will allow you to make the most of its potential and enjoy comfortable, stylish garments for any occasion.


Junior Content Specialist, dogs lover. Football coach after hours :)

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