Two of the most popular methods used to manufacture wool scarves are by knitting or weaving the material. Both methods produce high quality products (if high quality materials are used) but there are some distinct differences in how knit scarves and woven scarves are made and therefore the final product as well. For reference, all Worthington Corners scarf collections are made of woven wool materials.
Photo by Peter Halling Hilborg
Woven materials are made by weaving the thread or yarn in a lengthwise and crosswise pattern using a loom. The vertical threads on the loom are called the warp threads and the horizontal threads are called the weft threads. The weft thread is woven horizontally through the vertical warp thread. The resulting product has a basket pattern when viewed up close.
Due to the ninety degree angles of the lengthwise and crosswise woven fibers, woven fabrics do not have any stretch to them when worn. They do stretch along the diagonal, or "bias" as a seamstress would say, but that has no impact on the final product only how the a fabric would be sewn into a garment or accessory. Woven fabrics are also much more durable and longer lasting than their knit counterparts.
Photo by underthesun
Knit materials are made by looping one piece of yarn or thread over itself repeatedly. This technique results in a fabric that can have a range of elasticity - from little stretch to extreme stretch depending upon the way that the threads are looped around themselves. The fact that knits have any stretch at all is due to the use of one continuous thread. Without looped fibers, the fabric would have no give or stretch.
Up close, the pattern of knit material looks very similar to a braid. The size of the pattern loops and resulting "chunkiness" of the final product depends on the size of the needles and yarn used. Knit materials are also less likely to wrinkle or crease.