Spacer fabric is a three-dimensional
knitted fabric consisting of two separate
knitted substrates which are joined together
or kept apart by spacer yarns.
First layer – hydrophilic nature
Second layer – hydroscopic nature
Spacer layer – mono or multi filament
This three dimensional fabric is
comprised of an initial layer for moisture
release, an interior layer for air flow, and a
third outer layer for heat dissipation.
According to the end uses the spacer
ends of mono-filaments may be polyester,
polyamide or polypropylene. These fabrics
are designed for air-flow and cushioning
The middle to create two separate
fabrics (spacer fabrics) are essentially pile
fabrics that have not been cut consisting of
two layers of fabric separated by yarns at a
90 degree angle.
Spacer fabrics (3D fabrics) are produced
through knitting and weaving technologies;
among these technologies knitting is the
most common manufacturing process for the
production of spacer fabrics.
There are two types of spacer fabrics:
warp-knitted spacer fabric and weft-knitted
The first type is knitted on a rib raschel
machine having two needle bars, while the
second is knitted on a double jersey circular
machine having a rotatable needle cylinder and
3D Spacer structures are much like a
sandwich the constructions comprising two
separate fabric webs which are joined together
by spacer threads of varying rigidity.
Where the face and back of the fabric
are knitted separately ,at the same time , it
is interconnected by monofilament yarns .
Three layer of this fabric is
constructed at the same time, so the cost of
laminating or combining is reduced.
Circular knitting machines with two
sets of needles have the ability to create two
individual layers of fabric that are held
together by tucks. Such a fabric was
referred to as a double -faced fabric also be
called as spacer fabric.
It is produced by flat , v-bed and purl
All techniques require the use of at least
three different yarns for each course of visual
The degree of space or height between
the two fabric faces is determined in the
circular knitting machine by the setting of the
dial height relative to the machine cylinder.
Spacer fabric heights preset in this way
can vary between 1.5 and 5.5 mm.
With the uses of high and low butt
needles, spacer fabrics are produced in weft
knitting by tucking on dial and cylinder needles
at the same feeder and knitting/plating on the
dial needles .
At feeders 1&3 spacer yarn knitted on dial
needle and tucked on cylinder needles.
Warp-knitted spacer fabrics consist of two
ground surfaces, which are bound through pile
yarns with stitches.
The production in Raschel machine with two
needle bars is possible and has great similarity to
Great flexibility is associated with warp-
knitted spacer fabrics because different materials
may theoretically be used in guide bars 1 and 2, 3
and 4, and 5 and 6.
Raschel spacer structure has more
advantages as it can be produced with
dimensional stability and/or stretch.
Also the air and water permeability of the
structure can be controlled.
In this method we can produce different
width of spacer fabrics without ripping or
The force required to press the two
surfaces together (pressure resistance) is
dependent on the mass of mono-filaments in the
structure, which means yarn count, stitch density,
and machine gauge in relation to the spacer fabric.
Some other properties of warp and weft
knitted spacer fabrics
AESTHETIC & COMFORT
Diverse surface design capabilities
Elimination of cut and sew operations
Increased attributes(eg. Wicking,
Varity of end capabilities
The 3D specialty structured spacer fabric
is a new emerging field for the new product
developments, as their differential
characteristics offer more extensive conditions
for varied applications.
Shanna M.Bruer, Nancy Powell, Dr.Gary Smith, “Three-Dimensionally
Knit Spacer Fabrics: A Review of Production Techniques and
Applications”, JTATM, Volume 4, Issue 4, Summer2005
“Warp knitting technology for production of technical textiles and their
applications”, ITB Fabric Forming, Volume 37, 1991
Ulrike Schlenker, “Use of warp-knitted spacer textiles in mattresses”,
Melliand International, May 2006.
Ahmet Unal, Gerald Hoffmann, Chokri Cherif, “Development of weft
knitted spacer fabrics for composite materials” Melliand International,
Prof. D. B. Ajgaonkar, “Knitting technology”, Universal publishing,