If you have a knitting machine that can do patterning (punch card or electronic) you can probably make fabric like this. The technique is called "knitweave" and you can use yarn that is much too thick for the knitting machine for the face of the fabric.
I made the fabric for these cushions (which, BTW were not designed to be placed on the red upholstery in the photo) using a thin acrylic yarn from Michael's (Woolike) for the base. In the cushion on the left I used 3 strands of Woolike in different colours for the face but in the one on the right, I used Lopi which is a bulky wool yarn.
Making this fabric couldn't be easier than it was on my Brother 892 punch card machine. I punched a card from the Harmony Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches (a great resource). The Brother machine selects the needles ahead of knitting the row (as you can see at right) and it was a simple matter to lay the face yarn over the selected needles and just knit across.
I'm fascinated by the fabric this makes. It is very thick and stable across the width (since the face yarn is mostly laid straight, not knitted) but stretchy in the length. I'm sure I could make fabric for a very warm jacket...
At left is another piece I knitted with a different card, showing the colours of my Mom's couch upholstery.
|Extreme close up|