Monday, April 13, 2015


The ease refers to the room that is given to allow the fabric to drape and make wearing a knitted garment comfortable. The ease tends to affect the width rather than the length and is typically calculated from the bust or hip measurements. Ease is either added or subtracted from the actual body measurements to accommodate how the garment fits and drapes. Understanding the ease will allow you to knit garments that fit your body and personal style preference.

Example of Positive Ease
Ermanno Scervino
 SS2015 RTW | Luxurious Looks Collection
Many designers write a pattern and detail the finished measurements which will include the calculation for the ease. Typically, you would want some ease in your garment so you would need to take your bust measurement and add in the ease calculation to give you the finished measurement. Alternatively, some designers write the pattern “to fit” sizes which includes the ease calculation. It is important to read the pattern sizes and review the schematics carefully to select the size that will best fit and flatter your body.

Positive Ease
This will add to the finished measurements making the garment bigger than the actual body measurements. A positive ease allows for movement and has a roomy effect allowing the garment to drape. Sweaters and jackets will typically have a positive ease.

Negative Ease
This will subtract from the finished measurements. A negative ease will be form fitting and will hug the body rather than draping.  Knitted hats would be a good example of an item that would require negative ease so that it stretches to allow it to cling to the wearer’s head.

A General Ease Guideline
Very Close
0 to +1
+5 or more

The weight of the fabric will also affect the ease. A heavy fabric or a hairy fabric such as mohair will require additional ease of at least 2” while a light-weight fabric may not require any additional ease. The fiber contents can also affect the way the fabric drapes. A yarn with a stiff fiber content will require additional ease to allow for movement while a ribbon yarn may not require any ease at all.

A designer will take into consideration the intended use of the garment, design style, the weight of the yarn as well as the fiber contents when designing a garment.

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