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Shear Talk with Kimberley - Rib Knits

Shear Talk with Kimberley - Rib Knits

Hey Friends!!

I am incredibly excited to share with you some of the things I’ve been sewing up this month with several of Shear Perfection Fabric’s AMAZING rib knits! If you haven’t seen or used rib knit before, you’ll notice that the fabric is characterized by textured vertical stripes or columns. I, greedily, accepted the chance to sew up 5 different kinds that vary in composition, texture and look - The Classic Rib, Sweater Rib, Custom Rib, Wide Rib and Foundations Ribbing. Not sure which to pick for your project?!? Check out my thoughts below!


The Classic Rib is like the “cotton lycra” of the rib knits. It’s stable and has some structure, while still being soft. Although it’s weight is 200 gsm, the ribbing texture makes it feel more plush. It’s a great fabric for almost any clothing item, keeping in mind that it only has moderate drape, so I wouldn’t use it for flowy tops or dresses. My ideal use for it would be loungewear, pyjamas and tights. More fitted tops like a turtleneck would also be amazing with this stuff! The fabric has some warmth to it, but the cotton composition makes it breathable. I made these cute Rocky Shore Leggings by Sofiona Designs in Wineberry. Warning - These will not pass the squat test on an adult! Haha!

The Sweater Rib is soft and lightweight. It feels lighter than the Classic Rib, despite its weight being higher at 225 gsm. When stretched or held up to the light, it is slightly see through. What I love about the sweater rib is the amazing drape it has, plus the great stretch and recovery! Perfect for all the loose fitting and flowy tops, dresses and cardigans. It is also perfect for a soft and slouchy beanie. I would not recommend for pants, except for maybe baby tights with elastic in the waist to style under a tunic or dress. I selfishly made myself this ultra comfy dolman Tundra Top from Sofiona Designs. This rib knit is versatile and I feel like you could even use the sweater rib for some summer makes.

If you’ve never gotten the foundations ribbing before, you’ll likely be surprised to find it comes in a tube! To use it, I typically just slice a straight line up the tube and voila, a regular looking piece of fabric! Ribbing is meant for cuffs and bands. They are perfect for leg and arm cuffs, arm bands, shirt waistbands and neckbands. I would not recommend for pant waistbands without the added support of an elastic. The Foundations Ribbing is not meant to be used as the main bodice, skirt or leg portions of a pattern. It would also work well for single fold binding. Though I haven’t tried it, I think it might be too thick for double fold binding, but if you do try it… let me know in the comments! Angela has brought in many different colours of ribbing to match her French Terry fabrics. Next time you grab some of the French Terry, tack on some of the coordinating ribbing to try! I used the Eiffel 65 here to go with this Jellyfish Euro French Terry fabric for this AppleTree BunnyHug shirt.

The custom rib is gorgeous! It’s drapey and so silky. Upon feeling it, you can tell it is polyester based rather than cotton and it has a bit of “slink” to it. Don’t let its slippery and silky feel scare you away, because it has great stability while being sewn! Like the sweater rib knit, this one is very versatile. You can make any style shirt, leggings, pyjamas, robes, cardigans and my favourite choice for it - dresses. If you’re daring enough, pair it with some lace and it could make some really cute lingerie. This little girl was lucky enough to get an Isla Dress by Simple Life Patterns to match my satin skirt in this custom print.

I absolutely love the look of the heathered wide rib. The textured vertical stripes are about ½ inch in width, with one being slightly thicker than the other. This rib is the thickest and the least stretchy of the bunch, but still has good 4 way stretch (about 50% in one direction, 40% in the other for the gray colour I tested out!). It does have excellent recovery and it is very easy to sew, since it is a tighter knit fabric. It is a more structured knit and as a result, the drape on it is only moderate. The feel of it is ‘rougher’ than the others, thus I would suggest using it for an outer layer or accessory that is not directly against your skin. I made the cutest little Cocoon Cardi (AppleTree Patterns) and Booties (Menta Patterns) for my newest niece, but modelled by my littlest. This rib knit is perfect for cardigans, dusters, outer layer of a lined dress/top, beanies, booties, mitts and headbands. It would be a great outer layer for a bomber jacket too - I think that might be my next project with it! The modern look and structure of the wide rib makes it perfectly suited to try some non-apparel items like accent pillows or stuffed animals!

You can check out the Facebook Live video HERE for more info!

To summarize, Angela has AMAZING taste in fabric, but get the right one for your project! Happy Shopping and Sewing!

Kimberley :)

Custom Rib
Classic Rib
Wide Rib
Sweater Rib
95% Cotton 5% Spandex 95% Polyester 5% Spandex 92% Cotton 8% Spandex 50% polyester 45% Vi 5% Spandex 80% Polyester, 15% Vi, 5% Spandex
230 GSM 250 GSM 200 GSM 260 GSM 225 GSM
70 - 75 cm in a Tube 160 cm 150 cm 160 cm 140 - 150 cm
Minimal Excellent Moderate Moderate Excellent
4 way - 100% /25% 4 way - 100%/50% 4 way - 100%/70% 4 way - 60%/50% 4 way - 90%/50%
Excellent Excellent Good Excellent Excellent
Very structured and stable Silky, Soft, Thinner Cotton like. Feels thicker than 200 - rib texture makes it feel more “plush” Structured and stable, a little scratchy/
Super Soft, Thin
Additional Comments/ Clarifications
Typical Cotton Feel, Though it has great recovery, it is not a compression fabric, so I wouldn’t use it for pants waistbands, unless supported by an elastic  Custom Designs Print very vibrantly on it, when stretch the base colour does show through. Very versatile rib base Recovery on this is still good, but not excellent. When stretched 10 inches to 20 inches, it shrinks back to about 11.5 inches. Though I would call it scratchy, I do not mean itchy. Best used as an outer layer.
Is thinner and can see through slightly, more when stretch
Is thinner and can see through slightly, more when stretch
Some Suggested Projects
Binding, Cuffs, Bands* Dresses, Flowy Tops, Skirts, Cardigans, Beanies, Pajamas, Scrunchies/
Hairbands, Lingerie, Robe
Pyjamas, Loungewear, Tights, Fitted Tops, Turtlenecks, Beanies Cardigans, Dusters, Beanies, Outerlayer of Slippers/Booties, lined Shirts or Hoodies, Home Decor (ex: Pillows), Non-apparel (ex: Dolls/ Stuffed Animals) Drapey Tops Dresses, Cardigans, Beanies, Scarves, Baby Tights, Headbands, Socks, Robes

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