Knit Fabrics

An Overview of Net Fabrics – Its History, Construction, and Types

By December 18, 2017 May 17th, 2019 No Comments

Net fabrics can be made using any sort of fiber by fusing, looping, or knotting yarns in a way that it crosses one another with spaces in between the threads. Fashionable netting feature shapes such as plain square, hexagonal, or even octagonal mesh.

Netting can be soft or rigid in terms of sizing and are popularly used to make ethnic wears, jerseys, and other such types of clothing. Net fabric is generally used to form sections of readymade garment or can layer a sturdy fabric for covering the entire garment. Below is some trivia regarding the origin of net fabrics, and the styles of construction.

History of Net Fabrics

Garments having an element of net fabric actually trace back to the Mughal period in India and western civilizations. Early nets were made by hand knotting yarns over one another with the intention of producing a certain geometric pattern on the fabric. In earlier times, net fabric was made using bare hands, and a machine was invented by John Heathcoat in 1809 to make net fabrics and woven ones almost indistinguishable to the naked eye.

Modern net fabric is made using tricot machines or Raschel machines, which would interlope the yarns and not knit it. The relatively larger knotted net fabric will not slip when in use, neither it is subject to spreading or distortions.

Types of Net Fabrics

There is an array of traditional net fabrics, some patented under certain trademarks. Below are two of the most common types of net fabrics sold in the United States textile segment.


These are made using hexagonal net that renders transparently thin texture or coarsely opaque as per the number of yarn used in production. Thin bobbinet is mostly bridal wears, but the fabric can feature stone or pearl embroidery since the sturdy material supports spread embellishments. Such fabrics are usually made in countries such as England and France and then imported to the US.


This is another finely stiff hexagonal mesh made of silk or raw nylon yarns. Tulle fabric is similar in looks to the bobbinet, is transparently thin, and is stiffer in comparison. Much like bobbinet, this type of fabric would render like a bridal illusion wear. It is usually used to trim or drape fabrics on clothing, which are lightweight, and are usually worn by women. Owing to the similarity in manufacturing and use, many people term tulle as bobbinet.

Author Luxury Knit

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