Basics

Cut and Sew, Shaping, and Seamless Construction Methods. 

Knitwear can be produced using three methods: cut and sew, shaping or seamless construction.

The cut and sew method involves knitting a panel of fabric, cutting out the garment pattern and then sewing the panels, as you would when sewing a woven fabric. Cut and sew produces the most waste and the lowest quality garment.

Shaping is the most common method for producing quality knitwear with minimal waste. Shaping involves knitting the garment panels to the exact shape required for construction then linking them together.

Seamless construction produces the garment three dimensionally in one entire piece and can be designed so no further construction processes are required. Seamless construction can be achieved on normal or specialised industrial knitting machines, depending on the design.  As no waste is produced, seamless technology can be popular when using expensive yarns or labor costs are high.

Seamless Vs Shaping Garment

Production comparison

 

 Cut and Sew

 Shaping 

Seamless

The chart below shows the comparison of waste by each method of manufacturing when making a medium sized ladies sweater.

Cut and Sew Shaping Seamless
30% loss of fabric due to cutting out of pattern on square of fabric = 130 grams wasted per garment. 14% material loss from 1 cm seams being knitted =700cm2 per garment.6% of total fabric area for yarn required to link garment = 42 grams. No waste – no linking required
Per 1000 garments:130 g x 1000 = 130 Kg of waste    
130 Kg waste yarn = 48 sheep (based on 2.7 kg per sheep)
Final garment weight = 300g Final garment weight = 136 grams Final garment weight = 128 grams

Quick response to market

Shaping:

Each panel of the knitted garment has to be linked together therefore taking longer to make and increasing the manufacturing lead times.

Seamless:

Because the product is completed on a machine it is ready for immediate shipment. Using a digital program means the quality control can be guaranteed and repeat orders can be done exactly as they were the first time. Orders can also be done on demand.

Visible benefits 

  • No seams on shoulder or side  – ideal for a good fit and silhouette
  • Eliminate consideration of seams creating lines in design
  • Beautiful draping
  • Light finish for bulky garments by elimination of bulky seams

Stretch Benefits

Continuity of knit fabric is maintained, as there are no seams.

  • Retains elasticity
  • Increased mobility

Pattern based silhouette

  • Have comfort of 3D knitting
  • No tugging under sleeve produced by small gusset being knitting in under arm

Material savings and ecological knitwear

  • No waste