Why are woven fabrics least stretchable?
Woven fabric does not stretch along the width, but it may stretch along the length. Knitted fabric is made up of only one continuous thread and hence it can stretch in all directions. However, unlike knitted fabric, woven fabric stretches only diagonally. This less stretchability of woven fabric is due to its tightly woven threads and independent yarns. The woven fabrics are woven on a loom which mainly works on tighter tension than knitting machines. This leaves less room for the fabric to slouch and change shape.
On the other hand, knitted fabric that stretches in all directions is due to less tension during its manufacture and construction from a single yarn. Hence the garments made by knitted fabrics are flexible and are mainly used for T-shirts, sportswear, swimwear, and many more. Whereas woven fabrics being sturdy is an excellent choice for upholstery and couch fabric.
Can we add stretchability to woven fabrics?
Stretchability in fabrics is formed by introducing a small amount of elastomeric fiber or filament into conventional woven fabric. These elastomeric yarns can stretch up to 90 % and are able to attain full recovery after being stretched.