Stitch density refers to the total number of loops in a measured area of fabric and not to the length of yarn in a loop (stitch length). It is the total number of needle loops in a given area (such as a square inch, or three square centimetres). The figure is obtained by counting the number of courses or pattern rows in one inch (or three centimetres) and the number of wales in one inch (or three centimetres), then multiplying the number of courses by the number of wales. (Using a measurement of three centimetres rather than one, is preferable for accuracy in counting).
Stitch density gives a more accurate measurement than does a linear measurement of only courses or only wales. Tension acting in one direction might produce a low reading for the courses and a high reading for the wales; when they are multiplied together this effect is cancelled out. Pattern rows rather than courses may be counted when they are composed of a constant number of courses.
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