Difference Between Knit and Purl

Key Difference – Knit vs Purl
 

The knit and purl are two types of stitches that are used in knitting. However, these two stitches are essentially the same. The key difference between knit and purl is that knit stitch is knitted into the front of the fabric whereas purl stitch is knitted into the back of the fabric. Therefore, the back of a knit looks like a purl stitch and the back of a purl looks like a knit stitch. Simple knitted fabrics are always made of a combination knit and purl stitches. These types of stitches are also called garter stitch. Combining knit and purl stitches in alternating rows make the Stockinette Stitch.

What is a Knit

Knit stitch, also known as the plain stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. This is the first stitch any new learner of knitting will learn first.

Knit stitches look like “V”‘s stacked vertically. The back of the knit stitch looks like the front of the purl stitch. This stitch is worked from front to back, and the working yarn is placed at the back while this stitch is being made.Key Difference - Knit vs Purl

What is a Purl

As explained above, both knit stitch and purl stitch are used create the pattern of a knitted fabric. However, learners of knitting are always taught the knit stitch first; purl stitch is the second stitch learners learn.

Purling is considered to be the opposite of knitting. The front of a purl stitch looks like the back of a knit stitch.  The bumps in the knitted fabric are often made by purl stitches. The purl stitch is formed from back to front instead of front to back as in knit stitch. The working work is also kept in front when the stitch is knitted. Purl stitches look like a wavy horizontal line across the fabric.Difference Between Knit and Purl

What is the difference between Knit and Purl?

Formation:

Knit : Knit stitches are made from front to the back.

Purl : Purl stitches are made from back to the front.

Front vs Back:

Knit: The back of the purl looks like the front of the purl.

Purl: The back of the purl looks like the front of the knit.

Visual Effect:

Knit: knit stitches look like “V”‘s stacked vertically

Purl: purl stitches look like a wavy horizontal line across the fabric.

Image Courtesy: 
“How to knit.1″ By  Loggie assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 
“How to purl” By Loggie assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia