How to calculate the GSM of a circular knit fabric

Written by jenny roberts Google
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How to calculate the GSM of a circular knit fabric
Cut off a peice of material before calculating the GSM. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

You have designed a range of clothing that will be manufactured using a circular knit fabric. Knowing the grams per square metre is a useful tool in discovering the durability of a fabric, and how susceptible it is to damage or tears. The higher the GSM of a fabric the more resilient it will be to wear and tear, though this doesn’t necessarily mean a better quality. Circular knit fabrics are created using a process that links circular stitches in a continuous chain, examples of this are jersey, rib and mesh fabrics. Circular knit fabrics are widely used in safety clothing and automotive interiors due to their strength and resistance.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Piece of circular knit fabric
  • Weighing scales
  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Calculator

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  1. 1

    Measure the piece of material and calculate the total area. If you have a square piece of material multiply the length by the width. If it is a round piece of material the calculation is “pi (3.142) times the radius squared.”

  2. 2

    Weigh the item of fabric, you need to know the total grams of the piece of fabric in order to calculate the GSM. If using an imperial scale which will give you the weight in ounces convert it knowing that 1 ounce is equal to 28.35 grams.

  3. 3

    Divide the weight in grams by the area in square metres of the piece of fabric to get the GSM of your circular knit fabric. For example a piece of fabric weighing 450 grams (14.9 oz) with a total area of 2.5 metres square (27 square feet) will give you a GSM of 180.1.

Tips and warnings

  • The higher the GSM the more expensive the material will be as more material is used to weave the fabric.
  • GSM is the standard scale used in the textiles industry internationally.
  • As a guide, GSM for t-shirts can be as low as 100 whereas towels can be up to 900.

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