Flat-Knit Compression Garments
A flat-knit compression garment can be likened to knitting a jumper using knitting needles – just a bit more technical! The compression garment is manufactured as a flat piece of fabric on a knitting machine using straight rows of needles – similar to a jumper. Once it is removed from the knitting machine it is usually sent to a sewing department where the edges are sewn together – again in a similar way to how a jumper is sewn together – and the finished garment has a seam. However, new technologies now mean that not all flat-knit compression garments have a seam. In the same way stitches can be added and dropped when knitting a jumper, stitches can also be added and dropped during the knitting of a flat-knit compression garment. This is very beneficial in managing lymphoedema as we are not all the same size and being able to alter the width and shape of the final knitted garment allows for a bespoke fit.
There are also other benefits to a flat-knit compression garment. Special knitted options can be added to the garment as it is being knitted or when it is at the sewing department. For example, if you have a garment (or sometimes referred to as a stocking) that fits your entire leg, that is it covers your foot and finishes at the top of your thigh, your healthcare professional may suggestion a ‘silicone band’. A silicone band helps to secure the garment in place and prevent it from slipping down. There are many different options that can be added to a flat-knit garment to ensure it is tailored to your individual needs.
A flat-knit garment has other benefits too. The nature of a flat-knit garment means that it sits flat against the skin. This allows the garment to bridge any gaps which may occur if there are skin folds or creases which helps to prevent the garment from digging in and irritating the skin. In general, flat-knit garments have less stretch and are stiffer than circular-knit garments so are better at managing swellings.
For more detailed flat-knit product information, please click here.