Knowledge Base: Ponte

Knowledge Base: Ponte

We have so much ponte in stock this season, I thought it was worth resurrecting this post from 2013. The examples in this post have been updated to current stock as if October 1, 2014.

Double Knit vs. Ponte… that is the question

Recently I saw a post on a popular sewing board asking the difference between ponte knit and double knit.  I am ever mindful of my role as business owner and do not post on sewing boards to avoid the pitfall of “advertising”.  But I thought the question was valid and deserving of a response.  As you all know I do not put myself out there as an expert on fabrications.  I am simply a business owner and sewist with a lot of years of experience and a good bit of research to back that up.  So here is how we respond to that question.

Double knit is a generic term that refers to the structure of the knit fabric. Double knits are weft knits produced using two needles on two needle beds. The result is a jersey that is flat on both sides and can often be reversible.  There are a wide variety of double knits on the market.  Ponte di Roma is one type of double knit.

Metropolitan Close Up
Metropolitan Close Up

How do you tell if its a ponte? The method of creating ponte knit results in a fine rib on both sides of the fabric.  If you look closely you can see a crosswise rib created by the process of using four yarns, two that are picked up at once and one that is front only, the other back only.

Ponte knit comes in a variety of weights

Dress Weight

This soft and light ponte is perfect for dresses and tunics that require drape.  Comfortable to wear year round.

Cosmopolitan in Cranberry Rose
Cosmopolitan in Cranberry Rose

Mid-weight

Our most popular and most available ponte weight.  Good for separates, but will also work for structured dresses and tops.

Bisque Ponte
Bisque Ponte

Separates Weight

Heavier than the mid-weight, this will work up well in  jackets, skirts or pants. Look to the lighter weights for dresses.

Cinnabar Ponte
Cinnabar Ponte

Fiber Content

We see the following fiber combinations in ponte knit.  Each one has its fans and its detractors. We rely on the hand and the fineness of the weave to determine our buys.  Whenever choosing a fabric, its important to have fiber knowledge to help you predict the behavior of the fabric that you purchase.  We’ve listed them in the order of our preference, but that said we have seen some poly/spandex that are wonderful in hand even to the fabric snobs at SBDF!

  • rayon/spandex
  • rayon/nylon/spandex
  • poly/rayon/spandex
  • poly/spandex