ITY or “interlock twist yarn” Polyknits

Are there e-mail newsletters that you look forward to receiving so much that you read it in it’s entirety?
One of my favourite sewing newsletters comes to my inbox on Fridays from Distinctive Sewing Supplies.  Catherine usually has some useful information to share with her readers.  Catherine  also has a blog where she shares some fun stuff about sewing.
Last week my newsletter from Distinctive  Sewing Supplies described ITY, and for me it was an OMG!  moment.  Now I know why I like those cool feeling colourful polyknits.
fabric choices
The mere mention of the word polyester can make people cringe. Even though the synthetic fiber has come a long way since its Brady Bunch days, people associate it with cheap and gaudy clothing.
Polyester was hailed as a magic fiber, a miracle fiber.  It needs no ironing, never wrinkles and washes well. Polyester marketers claimed it could be worn for 68 days in a row and still look good. Never mind how it might smell.  Another key selling point was the price. Polyester was cheap. It was none too difficult to make, either, and a number of companies started churning out inexpensive polyester clothes.
Introducing ITY (from Distinctive Sewing Supplies Blog)

ITY? What is that? It stands for “interlock twist yarn” which is confusing because interlock knit is a double-sided knit and that is not the same thing.

ITY knit has been around for several years. In fact, unbeknownst to me, I had been selling it for some time in a store I used to own and sold. I knew there was something special about the knit but I didn’t know it had an acronym. Now it’s being treated like some new wonder fabric. And often sold at a premium because of it.

ITY knit can be machine washed on gentle or hand washed in temperate water. The dryer is not recommended nor is dry cleaning. Drying  flat (which is not easy) is suggested. I would try putting it in the dryer on low or no heat for a few minutes. A touch up with an iron on synthetic setting is OK.

Don’t like polyester? It is claimed that ITY knits resist pilling better than any other knits and that the twisted yarn makes it more breathable. The drape is flattering, it is wrinkle resistant, and it comes in many beautiful colours and prints.  Some ITY polyknits have 5% to 8% lycra or spandex.

Suggested needleschmetz stretch 75 11s and thread:
Jersey needles, size 11/75, are the best choice. Choose a polyester thread for construction.
A small zigzag stitch (2.0 width, 2.0 length) will give you the best results for seams. Some machines have a “lightning stitch” built in (looks like a tiny lightning bolt which I recommend)  If you have a serger, (I prefer)) use a 4 thread balanced stitch for seamlightnings. Hems can be created by top-stitching with a twin needle, or by top-stitching with the same zigzag or lightning stitch used for construction. A 3-thread rolled edge by serger is my preferred finish, or, for the simplest hems, leave them raw. The seams do not require finishes, but the serger does finish them off beautifully.
Very lightweight tricot fusible interfacing can be used successfully for this fabric, and I use it exclusively.  Test the heat of your iron on a scrap, and use a press cloth to protect your fabric.
Tops, tanks, tees, skirts, dresses, cardigans, wraps, shawls, full pants.
K4101 B
Additional Tips:Reinforce shoulder seams with a strip of the lightweight tricot fusible interfacing, cut on the grain. This will keep the shoulder seams from stretching during wear. ITY jersey can sometimes be slippery to sew. A strip of tissue placed between the fabric and the needle when stitching will provide some stability. The tissue can be gently torn away after stitching. I also use small scraps of a wash away stabilizer that looks and feels like fabric.  Store your ITY jersey garments folded and laying flat or rolling.


3 thoughts on “ITY or “interlock twist yarn” Polyknits”

  1. I logged into Catherine’s blog. The “Shoot from the Hip” pattern from Dana Marie designs looks awesome. Any possibility of a class?

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