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What Is Knitting Gauge? Does It Affect the Garment?

Have you ever noticed the 3gg, 7gg, and 12gg in product description of knitwear? In today's blog post, I'm going to talk about one of the most important aspects of knitwear: the gauge.

gauge differences

Knitting gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch that you get when the garment is knitted with a certain yarn and needle size. It is also sometimes called tension or stitch gauge. They are important as gauge is crucial for making sure that the knitwear is accurate to the design and macthes the measurements of the pattern.

There are two main types of gauge for knitwear: tighter gauge and looser gauge. Tighter gauge means that you have more stitches and rows per inch, which results in a denser, firmer and warmer fabric. On the other hand, loser gauge means that you have fewer sticthes and rows per inch, which results in a lighter, softer and drapier fabric. Both types have their pros and cons, depending your preference on knitwear's style.

woman crew neck wool & silk blend bottom sweater

Woman Crew Neck Wool & Silk Blend Bottom Sweater

Tighter gauge garments are made with smaller needles and thinner yarn, resulting in more stitches per inch and a denser fabric. They hold the shapes better and resist stretching, pilling, abrasion or sagging over time. Tight gauge knitwear also provides more warmth in insulation, as they trap more air in the fabric. They have smoother and finer appearnce, and can show off intricate patterns and details better, as stitches are more difined.

However, tighter gauge garments can be less breathable and comfortable, as they can feel stiff or heavy on the skin. They can also be more prone to pilling or snagging, as the yarn is more exposed to friction and wear. The last downside of tight gauge garments could be the higher cost in price, as they require more yarn and higher quality materials, such as 100% cashmere.

Racked stitch knitted pullover

Racked-Stitch Knitted Pullover

Looser gauge garment is made with larger needles and thicker yarn, resulting in fewer stitches per inch and a looser fabric. Loose gauge garments are more breathable, flexible and cozy to wear, as they allow more air circulation and movements in the fabric, which can be more casual and relaxed. They also have more drape and movement.

However, looser gauge garments can also be more fragile, more likely to snag and tear. They lose their shape easily and become stretched ir dusirted over time. They also provide less warmth and insulation, as they allow more air escape from the fabric. Loose gauge garments also have a coarser and fuzzier appearance, which can look less polished and sophisticated. They can hide intriate patterns and details, as the stitches are less defined.

sweater pile

Depending on your personal taste, style and purpose, you can choose the knitwear from different gauges. You might prefer tight gauge knitwear for formal or professional occasions, or loose gauge knitwear for casual or cozy ones. You might also mix and match different types of knitwear to different season, outfits or moodes. View today for more inspirations!

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