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Knitting vs. Purling: What’s The Difference?

You may be curious about the process of purling and knitting. What are they exactly? How are they performed, and how are they so different from each other?

What materials are used for both of these processes, and what really is the most efficient way to create an article of clothing?

Due to the vast variety of clothing creation techniques, all of them vary in the way they are performed and the ease of the process. Let’s dive deeper into this Knitting vs Purling comparison and see what they really are.

Key Takeaways

  • Knitting and purling are very similar techniques to each other
  • Knitting is a technique that is threaded from the front, while purling is threaded from the back
  • Both of these techniques do not affect the quality of the product, but the material used does.
  • Knitting creates a v shape, whereas purling has a wavy texture to its products.

What is the process of knitting?

Knitting is a technique used in the creation of a wide variety of products ranging from clothing, to even home and practical items. This technique is practiced with large needles that are threaded in a specific pattern to create a final product.

Overall, comparing the process of knitting vs purling is needed, as both of these techniques are extremely similar to how they are really performed. Knitting is one of the easier techniques for clothing production.

However, due to the similarity of knitting and purling, there are a few main key differences that make each one of them stand out from the one another. Let’s look at the main comparison and features of this technique.


As both knitting vs purling are very similar in how they are initiated, the main and key difference between these methods is the way the thread is produced.

The process of knitting is performed as the thread of yarn is looped into the stitch, and the pattern is performed over and over again until finally, a fully knitted product is created at the end of this process, making a tightly threaded item.

Knitting is the more simplified version and it is the best for starting out creating hand-made products as it can be easier to learn than other techniques out there. If you are looking for an easier method, then knitting is your best choice.


Knitting produces tightly-woven fabrics that are threaded in a specific shape. The knitting process provides products that are shaped and structured exactly like the letter v, as this pattern is most prominent on these products.

If correctly produced, this technique will provide the best and highest quality products out there, as it creates some amazing patterns as well as products that provide warmth and comfort to their consumers.

However, this also may vary in regards to what material you are using, as using a cheaper material may result in different end products. Using yarn from cotton, for example, will provide a more comfortable material with better durability.


Overall, knitting is immensely practical and less time-consuming than any other commonly known technique out there, as knitting is easier to learn and can save you many long efforts and hours of work if done correctly.

Knitting can also benefit a better understanding of the type of material you are using, and it will improve your craft if you are looking to start with an easier and very popular process. The only main downside of this technique is that it provides similar/almost the same-looking products.

However, knitting can also be combined with other various techniques such as sewing and even purling, as the combination of both of these techniques will provide unique-looking patterns.

What is purling?

Purling is very similar to knitting, using the same materials as the previous technique with a slight twist which makes it slightly more complicated.

When comparing knitting vs purling, we can see that these techniques vary strictly in pattern and outcome, and do not affect the quality of the final product, as the same materials are used for both of these techniques.

However, there is one main key factor that varies between these techniques, and some more slight and less noticeable factors as well. Let’s look at how different they are.


The main difference between knitting and purling is found within this category. Purling is essentially different from knitting when you put it in this specification, as the way that the yarn is threaded is different.

Purling is a mirrored process of knitting, as knitting requires threading the yarn from the front side of the product, in this case, purling is achieved with the thread being threaded from the back of the thread and then continuously repeated.

Purling can be complicated to achieve, as the purling process can take a while to get used to, as opposed to the classical way of knitting and the overall generalized pattern that many are used to in this modern age.


The shape and outcome of a purled product are very different from an ordinary knitted product. A purled fabric or clothing item does not retain the v shape that the previous technique does, which forms its unique wavy type of pattern.

The quality of these products is the same if performed correctly. If this technique is completed correctly, you can expect the same results and the same overall quality for this technique as the previous one.

As again previously mentioned, the quality can also vary by the type of yarn that is used in these techniques, as some yarns are more recommended for this technique than others or even the quality and material produced will also affect it.


This technique is not very beginner friendly in the slightest. It is not recommended to use this technique if you are just starting by hand and creating new products. This technique may require time to master and get used to.

However, if correctly done, purling can open the world for a better variety of patterns on your products, which will essentially create better diversity and allow you to be easily able to have a variation in products.

This technique can also be used in combination with knitting or vice versa, as it is very encouraging to have this technique experimented with by others along the way.

Final words

All and all, in the end, it still depends on your preference and which one you find more fascinating. I personally prefer knitting over purling even though they are pretty similar to each other. It’s easier, and more understandable and it delivers the same outcome/quality of products.

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