knitted vs woven shade cloth


When it comes to selecting the right shade cloth for various applications, the debate often centers around “knitted vs woven shade cloth.” Both types are made from same raw materials, but they differ significantly in their construction and performance characteristics. Understanding these differences is crucial for making an informed decision.

This article will delve into a detailed comparison between knitted and woven shade cloths, examining 10 key aspects ranging from their material composition to their installation processes. Our aim is to provide a clear and straightforward guide to help you choose the most suitable type for your specific needs, whether it’s for agricultural use, architectural applications, or general outdoor shading.

| Key Takeaways:

  • Woven shade cloth is made by interlacing threads in a crisscross pattern, creating a uniform, tight structure that’s durable and maintains its shape.
  • Knitted shade cloth, on the other hand, is made by looping threads together, resulting in a stretchy, flexible fabric that’s easier to cut and customize without fraying.
  • The choice depends on your need for durability versus flexibility.

1. Difference Of Materials

Mono Shade Cloth   Silver Shade Cloth
                                     Knitted Shade Cloth                                                                                     Woven Shade Cloth

Both knitted and woven shade cloths are made from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), a type of plastic known for its strength, durability, and resistance to moisture. HDPE is a popular choice for outdoor applications due to its ability to withstand various environmental factors.

While the base material is the same, the differences in the knitting and weaving processes give each type of shade cloth distinct characteristics and advantages. This shared foundation in HDPE ensures a level of quality and resilience in both knitted and woven shade cloths, making them reliable choices for a range of shading needs.

2. Difference Of Threads

The distinction between knitted and woven shade cloth extends into their thread composition.

  • Knitted shade cloth is often made using a combination of mono-filaments and tape filaments, either as mono+mono, tape+tape, or mono+tape. This combination enhances the cloth’s flexibility and resilience.
  • In contrast, woven shade cloth typically utilizes a mono+tape configuration. This structure lends woven cloth a higher degree of rigidity compared to its knitted counterpart.

The choice of thread or filament directly influences the cloth’s overall texture, strength, and suitability for different applications.

Comparison Table Between Knitted and Woven Shade Cloth

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3. Difference Of Structure

The structure of shade cloth is a key factor differentiating knitted and woven types.

  • Knitted shade cloth features interlocking loops of thread, creating a flexible and stretchable fabric. This knitting process allows the cloth to adapt to various shapes and structures, making it ideal for irregular or curved surfaces.

knitted vs woven shade cloth

  • On the other hand, woven shade cloth is created by interlacing threads in a crisscross pattern, which results in a more rigid and stable fabric. This weaving method provides a consistent shape and higher dimensional stability, making woven cloth suitable for applications requiring more structural firmness.

The structural differences between knitted and woven shade cloths directly impact their functionality and application suitability.

4. Difference Of UV Resistance

Both types, being made from HDPE, inherently possess a good level of resistance to ultraviolet (UV) rays. It’s important to note that the UV resistance of both types can be further enhanced by the addition of UV inhibitors during the manufacturing process. This characteristic is vital for ensuring the longevity of the shade cloth and the protection of the area or objects beneath it from harmful UV exposure.

5. Difference Of Shading Effect

The shading effect, an important factor for many users, varies between knitted and woven shade cloths.

  • Knitted shade cloths generally offer a more diffused shading effect. This creates a softer light and can be ideal for applications like plant nurseries where direct sunlight needs to be gently filtered.
  • Woven shade cloths, on the other hand, provide a more uniform and denser shade due to their tight weave. This makes them suitable for applications requiring more substantial sun protection, like in outdoor seating areas or for protecting vehicles.

The choice between the two depends on the specific needs for sun protection and the desired aesthetic effect of the shade.

6. Difference Of Air Permeability

Air permeability is a key aspect that differentiates knitted from woven shade cloth.

  • Knitted shade cloth generally allows for better air circulation. This makes it a favorable choice in areas where maintaining airflow is essential, such as in agricultural settings where plants need both shade and ventilation.
  • Woven shade cloth, due to its tighter weave, tends to have lower air permeability. This characteristic can be advantageous in settings where reducing wind speed is desired, like in outdoor market areas or patios.

The choice between knitted and woven based on air permeability depends largely on the specific environmental needs and the desired balance between shade and ventilation.

7. Difference Of Shrinkage

When choosing between knitted and woven shade cloths, understanding their shrinkage capacity is crucial.

  • Knitted shade cloths are known for their flexibility in size adjustments. They typically allow for about a two to three percent stretch or shrinkage. This feature makes them suitable for applications where slight size alterations might be needed after installation.
  • On the other hand, woven shade cloths are more stable in their dimensions. They exhibit minimal stretch or shrinkage, maintaining their size and shape over time. This characteristic is particularly beneficial in situations where maintaining consistent dimensions is essential, and any change in size could affect the cloth’s performance or aesthetic appeal.

8. Difference Of Application

A notable application of knitted shade cloth, specifically the mono+mono type, is in construction, where it is often referred to as construction safety net. Its flexible and durable structure allows it to catch debris and provide a barrier, reducing the risk of accidents on construction sites.

Beyond construction, knitted and woven shade cloths find varied applications based on their distinct properties. For instance, woven shade cloths, with their tighter weave, are often used in agricultural and greenhouse settings for protecting crops, while knitted cloths are popular in residential and commercial spaces for sun protection and aesthetic purposes.

The choice between knitted and woven shade cloths should be guided by the specific requirements of the intended application, considering factors like durability, flexibility, and environmental conditions.

9. Difference Of Lifespan

The lifespan of shade cloth is a critical aspect to consider when comparing knitted and woven types. Generally, both types, being made of HDPE, exhibit robust durability and resistance to environmental wear and tear. However, the lifespan can vary based on the construction.

  • Knitted shade cloth, with its flexible and resilient structure, tends to withstand constant use and environmental stress, leading to a potentially longer lifespan. It’s particularly resilient to tearing and fraying.
  • Woven shade cloth, while also durable, may have a slightly shorter lifespan in harsh environmental conditions due to its more rigid structure.

It’s important to note that the actual lifespan of both knitted and woven shade cloths can be influenced by factors like the intensity of UV exposure, the frequency of use, and maintenance practices. Proper care and installation play significant roles in maximizing the lifespan of any shade cloth.

10. Difference Of Installation

Installation is a vital aspect to consider when choosing between knitted and woven shade cloths.

  • Knitted shade cloth, known for its flexibility, can be easier to install. Its stretchable nature allows for a more forgiving installation process, accommodating slight measurement errors.
  • Woven shade cloth, being more rigid, requires more precise measurements and handling during installation. It’s typically more suitable for straightforward, flat installations where a taut, uniform appearance is desired.

Both types may require specific fixtures and support structures, depending on the application. The ease and method of installation can be a deciding factor, especially in DIY projects or situations where professional installation may not be feasible. Considering the installation process and requirements is crucial for ensuring the shade cloth performs effectively and lasts its intended lifespan.


In summary, the choice between knitted and woven shade cloth involves a careful consideration of various factors including material, structure, UV resistance, shading effect, air permeability, shrinkage, applications, lifespan, and installation.

Both types have their unique strengths and suitability for different environments and uses. Understanding these distinctions is crucial in making an informed decision that aligns with your specific requirements, whether for agricultural, construction, residential, or commercial purposes.

Ultimately, selecting the right shade cloth can significantly impact the effectiveness and longevity of your shading solution. If you’re in need of a quality shade cloth, consider reaching out to QiBang Netting for expert advice and a wide range of options to suit your specific needs.

FAQs about Knitted And Woven Shade Cloth

Is knitted or woven shade cloth better?

Knitted shade cloth is more durable and flexible. It resists fraying and unraveling, adapts well to irregular shapes, and typically offers better airflow. Woven shade cloth, while providing tighter coverage and greater UV protection, may be less resilient to wind and environmental wear.

Can both knitted and woven shade cloth be used for agricultural purposes?

Yes, both knitted and woven shade cloth can be used in agriculture. Knitted shade cloth is more flexible and allow more air to pass through, making them ideal for protecting plants from heat while ensuring good airflow. Woven shade cloth, on the other hand, provides a denser coverage and are better for applications requiring more durable and long-lasting protection.

Are there significant cost differences between knitted and woven shade cloth?

Typically, knitted shade cloth is less expensive than woven ones. This is due to the simpler manufacturing process and the generally lower material costs. However, the cost can also depend on other factors like UV treatment, color, and the specific type of fabric used.

How do I choose between knitted and woven shade cloth for my project?

The choice between knitted and woven shade cloth depends on the specific requirements of your project. If you need more flexibility and better airflow, a knitted shade cloth would be suitable. If durability and higher shade percentage are your primary concerns, a woven shade cloth would be a better choice. Consider the environmental conditions and the specific needs of your project when making your decision.