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Warp knitting

Warp knitting is defined as a loop forming

process in which the yarn is fed into knitting
zone, parallel to the fabric selvedge.
Warp and weft knitting are similar fabric
manufacturing processes as both utilise
needles to form and intermesh loops.
As the name implies, the loop formation is
warp wise, i.e., vertically upward.
Unlike, weft knitting, most of the warp
knitting machine is open width/flat knitting.
Warp knitting forms fabric by interlacing loops of
yarn, but vertically down the length of the fabric
in contrast to weft knitting.
In warp knitting, each needle loops have its
own thread, means there is one warp for one
wale, and it also differs in the way in which the
yarn is fed to the needles.
Further, the source of yarn on a warp-knitting
machine is a warp beam containing a very large
number of parallel yarns, similar to a warp
beam on a loom.
Sometimes, more than one warp is needed,
depending upon the fabric design.
In warp knitting, however, each needle is
supplied with a yarn (or yarns) and all the
needles knit at the same time producing a
complete course at once so the total number of
individual yarns is equal to the total stitches in a
The needles produce parallel rows of loops
simultaneously that are interlocked in a zigzag
The stitches on the face of the fabric appear
vertically, but at a slight angle; and the stitches
on the back appear horizontally as floats at a
slight angle.
Advantages of warp knit fabric
Dimensional stability
In general, warp knitted fabric are more stable than weft
knitted fabric. By modifying its structure (by weft insertion),
the warp knitted can be as good as woven fabric
Fabric tightness
The warp knitted fabrics are thinner than double knitted
fabrics and the loops are smaller than double knitted fabric
Fabric appearance
Most regular warp knitted fabrics give a nice, clean and
balanced loop on surface. Normally the technical face and
back for warp knitted are different
Yarn cant unroved
Weft knitting Warp knitting
The loops are formed across the width The loops are formed vertically down
of fabric the length of fabric
It possible to knit with ONE thread Warp beam is used
Staple as well as Filament yarns can be Filament Yarn can be worked
worked Successfully. Successfully.
Latch Needles are used Latch, Beard or Compound Needles are
Less Versatile M/c. Versatile M/c
Speed reduces with Design change in Change in Pattern does not affect the
Cams Speed of M/c
Fabric Quality is not Consistent Fabric Quality is Consistent
Loops are not Uniform Loops are Uniform
Stretch in Both Direction Stretch in Widthwise Direction
Less Dimensional Stability More Dimensional Stability
Cheaper To Produce Costlier To Produce
A warp knitted structure is made up of two parts.
The first is the stitch itself, which is formed by
wrapping the yarn around the needle and drawing
it through the previously knitted loop.
This wrapping of the yarn is called an overlap.
The diagram shows the path taken by the eyelet
of one yarn guide travelling through the needle
line, making a lateral overlap (shog) and making
a return swing.
This movement wraps the yarn around the needle
ready for the knock-overdisplacement.
The second part of stitch formation is the
length of yarn linking together the stitches and
this is termed the underlap, which is formed by
the lateral movement of the yarns across the
At the back side of the fabric, the diagonal line
of yarns (i.e. underlaps) run right and left
throughout in a zigzag manner.
These underlaps play an important role in
influencing the pattern effects.
The length or extent of these underlap floats
and their direction of running cause a variety of
design possibilities in warp knitting.
The recognition of laps in a knitted fabric is the
most important distinguishing feature
identifying warp knits.
Basic combination of overlap and underlaps
All warp knit fabric structures are composed of
both overlap and underlap:
If the underlap and overlap are in opposite
directions then the stitch formed would have a
closed character

If the underlap and overlap are in the same

direction, then the stitch formed will have an
open character
Warp Knitting Machines
Types of warp knitting machines
The classification of warp knitting
machines is based on a number of factors
such as
The type of the needles used
Numbers of guide bars
Machine speed
Machine complexity
The warp beams
To ensure uniform conditions of warp feed and
tension, the yarn ends are supplied from flanged
beams attached to shafts that turn to unwind the
warp sheet in parallel formation.
For convenience of handling, a number of
beams may be attached to a beam shaft to
achieve the full width of the warp sheet; for
example, a warp sheet 84 inches (213 cm) wide
might be supplied from a full-width beam, from
two beams each 42 inches (106 cm) wide, or
from four beams each 21 inches (53cm) wide.
The guide bar
Each guide bar is normally supplied with a warp sheet
from its own beam shaft to suit its requirements of
threading and rate of warp feed for its particular
lapping movement.
The guides
Warp guides are thin metal plates drilled with a hole
in their lower end through which a warp end may be
threaded if required.
They are held together at their upper end as a single
unit in a metal lead and are spaced to the same gauge
as the needles.
Single needle bar structures
A swinging motion and a shogging movement act at
right-angles to each other in order for their threads to
form overlap and underlap paths that combine as one
thread path around the needles.
The swinging motion is in an arc from the front of the
machine to the hook side and a later return swing.
It occurs between adjacent needles and is a fixed,
collective, and automatic action for all the guide bars as
they pivot on a common rocker shaft.
It is derived, in a similar manner to the needle and other
element bar motions, from the main cam-shaft and is
adapted via levers, pivots and linkages.
The two swinging movements produce the two side
limbs when combined with the overlap shog.
When the overlap is omitted, the guides swing idly
between adjacent needles and achieve no useful
The sideways shogging movement that occurs parallel
to the needle bar produces the underlaps and overlaps.
The occurrence, timing, direction and extent of each
shog is separately controlled for each guide bar by its
pattern chain links or pattern wheel attached to a
horizontal pattern shaft driven from the main cam-shaft
but set at right angles to it at one end of the machine.
The guide bars are shogged independently sideways,
parallel to each other, along linear bearings that
support them in the swinging frame assembly, which
is keyed to the guide bar rocker-shaft.
A shogging movement can occur when the guides
have swung clear of the needle heads on the back or
front of the machine.
On the hook side it will produce an overlap and on
the side remote from the hooks it will produce an
The timing of the shog during the 360 degrees of the
main cam-shaft revolution will thus determine
whether an overlap or underlap is produced.
The pattern mechanism
The shogging movement is initiated by varying the
radius of the continuously turning pattern shaft, either
in the form of different heights of pattern links that
pass over a pattern drum attached to the shaft, or in the
form of carefully-shaped solid metal circular cams,
termed pattern wheels, attached to it
An increase in height from one link to the next
produces a thrust against the end of the guide bar,
shogging it positively into the machine;
a decrease will produce a negative shog towards the
pattern shaft as the result of the action of a return
A constant height will produce no shog and the guide
bar will continue to swing through the same needle
The periphery of the pattern wheel or chain track is
scanned by a roller that is linked by a flexible, ball-
jointed push-rod to the end of a guide bar.
The underside of the rod near the roller is supported
on a slide that moves freely on a metal surface as
shogging occurs.
The drive for the pattern shaft is obtained from the
main cam-shaft, via bevel gears and a universal joint,
to a worm that drives the worm-wheel of the pattern
The ratio of cam-shaft speed to pattern shaft speed is
usually 16 : 1; therefore, 1/16th of the surface of a
pattern wheel would represent one course or knitting
Pattern wheels provide accuracy and smooth running at
high speeds, but they are only economical for long
production runs of the common, simple repeat
For fancy structures, frequent changes of pattern, and
long pattern repeats, the shogging movements are
obtained by assembling a chain of re-usable pattern
The main parts of TRICOT MACINE are :
The warp beam carrying warp threads.
The sley bars which space the warp threads.
The tension bar which maintains tension in the warp
threads, one bar foe each warp.
The knitting element, comprising the warp guides,
sinkers, needles & presser bar.
The fabric take up rollers which take the fabric from
the rollers at a constant rate.
The batch roller which winds up the fabric on a large
rolls &
The crank shaft drive within a case which holds the
mechanism for driving the knitting elements.
Rest position:
It is a start of the knitting
As shown in figure the
needles have risen to 2/3 of
their full height from
The sinkers are in forward
position, holding the
previously formed loops.
The presser is withdrawn.
Guide bar swing:
With the sinkers forward holding
down the fabric, the hooks and
tongues rise, with the hook rising
faster, until the head of the latter is
level with the guide holes and is
As shown in fig, the guide bar
swings from the front of the
machine to the back of the
machine taking the yarn through
the gap between two adjacent
The needle, sinker and presser
remain idle in this position.
The overlap and return
The guides swing for the
overlap and swing to the
front of the machine
The hooks and the
tongues start to descend
with the tongues
descending more slowly,
thus closing the hook.
The rise:
Fig shows the second swing
in the cycle taking the yarn
between adjacent needles
back to the front of the
At this time the needle bar
moves upwards to place the
overlap below the open
beard on the shank of the
The newly fed yarn slips
from the hook portion to the
needle stem.
Fig shows that the
needle start moving
downward and the
yarn is trapped in the
hook of the needle.
The presser bar
moving forward to
close all the needles.
The sinkers start to
withdraw as the
needles descend so
that the old loop is
landed onto the closed
Thus the landing is
Knock over:
As shown in fig the sinkers
start to withdraw as the
needles descend so that the
old loop is landed onto the
closed hook and then
knocked over as it descends
below the sinker belly.
At this point the under lap
occurs before the needles
begin their upward rise and
sinker move forward to
hold down the fabric.
Tricot fabrics
The fabric produced on a tricot machine is called
The simplest fabric is made on a single guide bar
machine, and is called tricot jersey.
Tricot fabrics are often described by the number
of yarn guide bars used to make the fabric, such
as two bar fabrics or three-bar fabrics.
Although tricot knitting machines have a small
number of yarn guide bars, they can make a
variety of fabrics.
Tricot fabrics are produced in a wide range of
fabric weight types, surface textures, and
designs and are used in an equally wide range
of products.
Typical uses for these fabrics, in addition to the
popular types used for lingerie, include fabric
types for loungewear, waitresses' and medical
uniforms, and backing for bonded fabrics,
blouses and dresses, men's shirting, slacks, and
automobile upholstery fabric
Raschel machines were developed by Wilhelm
Brafuss, it is named after the famous French
Actress, Raschel Flex.
The raschel knit ranks in importance of
production with tricot, but it surpasses it in
variety of products, which range from veiling's
and laces to power nets for foundation garments
to such pile fabrics as carpets.
The main Parts of the RASCHEL MACHINE are :
The ground beams and pattern beams having an access
from front, top and back
The tension bar (one for each warp) which maintains
tension in the warp threads.
Guide bars and guide bar levers and the sley bar.
The knitting elements comprising guides, sinkers,
needles, latch needles and trick plates.
The fabric tension rollers, situated close to the knitting
The fabric batch roller &
Main drive for the cam shaft.
Raschel machines gauge is expressed in the standard E
gauge (needles per inch).
There is a wide gauge range, from E 1 to E 32.
The finest gauge single bed raschel is E 40.
It can knit lightweight foundation and swimwear at
speeds between 1,900 and 2,200 rpm in a yarn count of
approximately 80 dtex.
The guide bars are numbered from the front towards the
back of the machine.
More number of supply beams can be accommodated in
raschel knitting so that atleast four 32 inch diameters
beams or large numbers of small diameter pattern beams
are engaged.
Larger number of warp beams necessitates larger
number of guide bars with raschel machine.
Raschel fabrics are knitted on machines having
two to forty-eight guide bars, which accounts for
the wide variety of fabrics.
Programming the large number of guide bars can
be very complex and expensive.
The warp sheets are taken through tension rails,
which are the tension compensating devices.
The fabric is drawn downwards from the needles,
almost parallel to the needle bar, at an angle of
120-160 degrees, by a series of take-down rollers.
Holding down:
In the holding down position
as shown in fig.
the needle head is just in line
with the loop edge of the trick
The guide bars are at the front
of the machine, completing
their under lap shog.
The sinker bar moves forward
to hold the fabrics down
whilst the needle bar starts to
rise from knock-over.
In clearing position, as
shown in Fig , the needle bar
rises to its full height;
the old overlaps slip down
onto the stems after opening
the latches, which are
prevented from flicking
closed by latch wires.
The sinker bar then starts to
withdraw to allow the guide
bars to overlap.
The sinker bar starts to
withdraw and the guide
bars swing to the back of
the machine and then
shog for the overlap.
Returning swing:
As the guide bars
swing to the front, as
shown in Fig
The warp threads wrap
into the needle hooks.
Latch closing:
The needle bar descends
so that the old overlaps
contact and close the
latches, trapping the new
overlaps inside.
The sinker bar now starts
to move forward.
Knocking - over and
As the needle bar continues to
descend further, its head
passes below the surface of
the trick-plate, drawing the
new overlap through the old
overlap which is cast-off.
The trick plate supports the
old loop and the sinker
advance towards the trick-
plate, the under lap shog of
the guide bar starts.
Raschel knitting systems can produce fabrics
ranging from fine lace like material to heavy
blankets and even carpets.
Each of these, of course, is done on different
gauges of raschel machines.
These knitting systems are capable of producing
fabrics with interesting surface effects, almost to
the point of being three dimensional.
Raschel knits do not stretch significantly and are
often bulky; consequently, they are often used as
an unlined material for coats, jackets, straight
skirts and dress
Tricot Machine Raschel Machine
Needles Beard Latch or Compound
Machine Gauge Finer Gauge 24s-40s Common Gauge 30,40 & 56
No. of Guides bars Two, Three, Four bars Between 4 and 36
Yarn Used Finer continuous Filament Coarser Filament or
Yarn Coarser, Decorative Staple
Spun Yarn
Weight of fabrics Light Weight Heavy Weight
Properties More Resilient, Better Drape, Less Resilient, Poor Drape,
Higher Bursting Strength, Lower Bursting Strength,
Better Dimensional Stability. Poor Dimensional Stability.
Soft Hand & Even. Hard Hand & Uneven.
Opaque & Tight & Loose
Cloth Take up The fabric comes off the The fabric comes off the
machine at 90o to the needle machine at 170o to175o the
bed needle bed
Speed Higher Less
Versatility Less Versatile More Versatile