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Fabric Facts: 2x2 Rib Knit

Concise sewing and care tips for rib knit fabric.

Image credit: your own Vivie V.

Origins/Fun Facts

The truth is, knitted fabric has been around for a very long time. Some research sources suggest as far back as ancient Egypt, though it would likely have been made from wool—and certainly not in sweater form! When I think of the classic ribbed knit sweater I think of 1950s ski teams or perhaps men’s jumpers from the 1970s.

We’ve come a long way since then. Today we’re discussing 2x2 pattern rib knit textile.

Image credit: InStyle Magazine, November 2017


Traditional 2x2 rib knit is typically made from cotton... It is created from spun yard that is piece dyed. There are blends of cotton/polyester, with the occasional addition of spandex to provide more stretch. Purchased yardage may come in solid tube shape or a wide, flat piece of textile.


  • Rib knit, as per the name, is a knit textile whose traditional pattern is made by making two knit, then two purl, stitches at a time.

  • This is a fairly lightweight textile used primarily for shirting with a nice drape against the body.

  • Unlike jersey knit, rib knit does not curl up at the ends. It renders better elasticity in a finished garment so it does not stretch out as easily.

  • Cotton rib knit is fairly soft to the touch.


  • Use a ballpoint needle when sewing 2x2 cotton rib knit.

  • Knit fabrics sew best with one of numerous stretch stitches on your machine.

  • If possible, use a walking foot in place of a universal presser foot. It will help move the top and bottom pieces move through the feed dogs more evenly and prevent extra stretching.

  • Be especially mindful of sewing horizontally across the ribbing, as that tends to stretch and pull your fabric the most.


  • 2x2 cotton rib knit fabric should be hand washed or machine washed in the gentle cycle to help prevent stretching.

  • Launder in cool temperature.


Cotton 2x2 rib knit fabric is an inexpensive textile.

Until next time~

Yours truly,

Vivie V.

*Vivie V. is a fashion enthusiast from Chicago with a penchant for handmade and vintage pieces. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College, where her passion for the creative arts was heavily cultivated. When she’s not blogging for Tailor Village she’s concocting DIY fragrances, sewing her own clothes, and running her consultancy, Vivie V.’s Adorn Yourself.

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