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Knitting Technology II

Final document
Electronics in knitting
• Mechanical pattern and programming data for controlling
knitting machines is stored in the form of punched cards,
chains, rack-wheels, peg drums, and needles butt

• These are expensive in material, bulky in space on the

machine or in storage, time-consuming to handle and
alter, slow in operation, and provide restricted facilities.

• Hydraulics, fluidics, and electronics provide alternative

systems of power transmission and signal storage with
the requisite speed and precision.
Disadvantages of mechanical knitting
• Restriction on pattern area, and freedom of design
• Pattern time and cost is directly proportional to the
pattern size
• Machine with more than double systems is almost
• delayed time is required in pattern correction and
Merits of electronics
• Smaller in size, micro-miniaturization of circuitry
• Less response time
• Compatible with existing mechanical systems
• Very high capacity
• Highly sensitive
• Automatic monitoring
• High adjusting facility
• Easy to transport
• Less power consumption
Fields or areas of electronic applications in knitting
• Stop motions
• Yarn feed system
• Course and stitch length
• Yarn tension
• Pattern selection
• Stripping
• Shaping of product
• Monitoring of various motions and settings
• Cylinder temperature and oil pressure
• Online quality measurement and control
• Operational data acquisition
• Preparation of design and knitting pattern (CAD)
• Production of knitted structures (CAM)
The compatibility of electronic signals and knitting data

• Electronic devices process information as binary digital

logic signals that exist in two states, ON or OFF.

• This can be directly translated as 1 or 0, YES or NO, TRUE


• This information can just as conveniently be translated

into knitting states such as KNIT or TUCK, TUCK or MISS
Electronic elements
• Resistors:- Nickel-chromium wires, ceramic as a core,
carbon-insulating powder composition, carbon-
• Inductors:- copper, iron etc…
• Capacitors:- dielectric (air, mica, ceramic, paper,
polyester, polystyrene, plastics…), silver compound
coating, lead, carbon, aluminum, phosphorus etc… as
• Diode & transistors:- germanium, silicone, etc… and
combination of other elements
• Silicon circuit boards
• Logic gates:- logic decisions (0 & 1
• Optoelectronic devices:- emitters (ele. →
ligh.), sensors (ligh. → elec.)
• Amplifiers, transformers, rectifiers (half and
full), filters
• Device that converts energy from one form to another form

• Used for measurement and control

Some of the transducers

1. Mechanical:- strain gauge type for measuring force, torque, and


2. Thermal:- thermistors, thermocouples

3. optical:- photoconductive, photoemissive, and photo voltaic (solar


4. Chemical:- PH and conductivity cells

The computerized knitting machine
• Automatic monitoring and adjustment facilities
provided by microprocessor control on modern
machines obviates the need for continual manual
• A single control unit can control a complete bank of
• It has means of receiving and transmitting
electronically generated data to/from mechanically
operating elements.
Comparison of warp and weft knitting machines
Warp knitting Weft Knitting
The loops are produced to the length of The loops are produced to the width of
fabrics the fabric
It is elastic to the length It is elastic to the width
Elasticity is less than the weft knitted Elasticity of the weft knitted fabric is
fabrics higher than warp knitting
Its shrinkage properties is less Its shrinkage properties is higher
Courses are needed for each pattern row Courses are equal to the pattern
Yarns are supplied from beam Yarn are supplied from cone
At least one yarn is required for each One yarn for any number of needle
Creating fabric by this method is suitable Hand wash is suitable for weft knitting
to dry wash
Any design is made easily All types of design is complex
It is specially suitable for producing coarse It is suitable for producing thin fabric
• Properties of weft knitting
 Very elastic
 Warm to wear
 Comfortable
 Shrinks easily
 Different properties can be achieved depending on the yarns
 Can stretch out of shape easily
 Does not fray
 Unravels when cut
 Curls up at the edges
 Various colours/patterns can be achieved
 Good insulator
• Properties of warp Knitting
 Less elastic
 More run resistant
 Denser
 Less likes to become misshapen than weft knitting
 Type of yarn and weight dictates the type of fabric that is
 Warm
 Less comfortable
 Usually soft and drapey
 Curls at the edges
 Easy to sew
End uses of knitting
• Weft knitting
Sportswear- jumpers
Baby cloths
Knitwear such as Jumpers, Scarves, Hats and
• Warp knitting
 Historically used for blouses, lingerie and gloves
 Often used as an unlined material for jackets, coats and
skirts and dresses
 Lace and trimming fabrics
 Mosquito netting
 Tulle fabrics
 Sportswear-swimming,
 Shoe fabrics
 Printing fabrics
 Advertising fabrics
 Coating substrates
 Laminating backgrounds
 Biotextiles
Fundamental stitches
• Weft knit
 Plain knit
 Rib knit
 Interlock knit
 Purl knit
• Warp knit
 Tricot knit, which is soft and less level to wrinkles
 Milanese knit, which can be recognized by the rib pattern on the
 Simplex knit, which is attractive thick and dense
 Raschel knit, which creates nets, veils, and laces
 Ketten raschel knit, which creates a raised pattern on the fabric
 Crochet knit, which is basic hand-crochet stitch
Warp knit offer over weft knit
• Higher production rates than weft knitting

• A wide variety of fabric construction

• Large working widths

• A low stress rate on the yarn that facilitates careful handling of fibers

such as glass, aramide and carbon

• Three dimensional structures that can be knitted on double needle bar


• With weft insertion, uni-axial, bi-axial, multi-axial and composite

structures that can be manufactured on single needle bar raschels.

Knit Garments
All knitted garments can be classified in to three categories
according to general production methods
a) Cut and sew
b) Fully fashioned
c) Seamless

1. Cut and sew

 Fabric is spread on cutting table.
 All parts of the garment are cut from the fabric except trims.
 The pieces are joined by sewing.
Ex. Circular knitting machines:- single jersey or plain web
machine and double jersey or rib machine
a. The relatively low costs of the fabric produced at high
speeds with low labor input
b. The opportunity for scale of production which particularly
shows benefits at the cutting stage.

a. The relatively high waste factors that occur even with small
garment pieces. Such wastage ranges from 17% to 50% and
is a significant cost burden on the garments produced
b. The high labour cost of assembly of the garment
Knit garments- cut and sew
Cut and sew
2. Fully fashioned
Fully fashioned is the process whereby portions of a garment are

shaped at the selvedges by progressively increasing or

decreasing the number of loops in the width of the fabric.

Fully fashioned knitting machines are those flat and circular

knitting machines that produce custom pre-shaped pieces of

a knitted garment.

Such narrowing and widening produces the shape of a piece of

garment that would otherwise be generated by cutting

a. There is little or no cutting waste

b. The edges of the garment pieces are sealed and not liable to

fraying, so can be joined by simple non-bulky seams

 Straight bar frame is common example

 Hand flat knitting machine can also produce men’s heavy rib

sweaters and fine gauge ladies suits and dresses

 Modern electronically controlled v-bed flat machines are

also used with a wide range of patterning

3. Seamless Garments
• Advantages
Improve Aesthetic value and comfort
Freedom of body movement
Inherent softness
Cost saving
Waste reduction
Fewer product failures
Design possibilities
Just in time production
Complete garment production by a seamless flat knitting machine
• As we know that, the main problem occurs mainly in the
welt or the cuff area.
• The machines those are used for manufacturing the
seamless garments are vary costlier and the skilled
operators are required.
• So the seamless garments are expensive as compared to
seamed garments.
• The production of a firm starting welt and the
introduction of shape during knitting are often features of
garment-length knitting sequences.

• A welt is an attractive and secure edge of a knitted article

that helps to prevent laddering or unroving of a structure.

• It is formed
 Either during the knitting sequence (usually at the start, and
parallel to the courses),

 Or as a later seaming operation during making-up.

Plain welt
• The plain fabric welt
• The inturned welt
• Accordion top
Rib welt
• Most fully-fashioned and stitch-shaped underwear and
outerwear garments, half hose, and socks have ribbed borders
containing a welt sequence that is produced by causing the sets
of needles to act independently of each other after the 1x1 rib
setup course.

• Three types of welt are possible when needles are arranged in

1x1 rib set-out.

• These are:

 The tubular or French welt.

 The roll or English welt.

 The racked welt.

The tubular or French welt.
The roll or English welt.
The racked welt.
Separation in knitting
• Knitted articles are often produced separately on single-cylinder
machines, Cottons Patent machines and some flat machines.

• Others are knitted in continuous string formation on many flat and

circular rib and purl machines because fabric tensioning is dependent
on a continuous length of fabric between the needles and the
takedown rollers. Also, there would be a danger of latches not being
open at the start of a new garment sequence.

• If the string of garments is separated by cutting, there is a danger of

either the welt being damaged or of unwanted yarn not being
removed. For these reasons, some form of separation course is
usually provided, normally in the form of a draw thread course,
preceding the first course of the new garment.
Imparting shape during knitting
• In addition to facilities for garment-length sequence
knitting, weft knitting provides unique opportunities for
width-wise shaping during knitting, with the sequence being
initiated and co-ordinated from the same central control

• The three methods of width shaping are:

 Varying the number of needles in action in the knitting width,

 Changing the knitting construction, and

 Altering the stitch length.


changing the knitting construction,
Shaping by altering the stitch length
The double-cylinder garment-length machine
• It has a revolving cylinder and internal sinkers and is capable
of knitting garment-lengths with a tubular welt and rib border.
• The main gauges are 6–12 npi
• Machine diameters are
16–20 inches (40–50 cm approx.) with six feeds;
22 inch (56 cm) with eight feeds; and
a 33-inch (84 cm) model with twelve feeds.
• The machine produces knitwear garments for adults,
children and infants with a separating course, welt-
1x1 or 2x2 rib border, and a body or sleeve panel

• Stitch patterning may include any of the following in

plain colour or striped-in colours:
Plain and purl,
Tuck rib,
Tuck purl,
Float stitch jacquard, and
Rib jacquard.
The RTR garment-length machine
• Its anti-clockwise revolving cylinder and dial cam-box has cam sections of
equal size whether they are for knitting feeders or rib loop transfer.
• A unit set in advance of the section can select the cylinder needles for the
knitting or transfer action.
• The original RTR has six cam sections, four for knitting (2 and 3; 5 and 6)
and two for transfer (1 and 4).
• Section 4 also has facilities via the back butt set-out of the dial needles for
changing the rib, either by collective dial-to- cylinder loop transfer or by
dial needle loop press-off.
• Machine speed ranges from abut 16-32rpm,
• Gauges- 16npi for underwear, 7npi for knitwear, coarse model 3-6npi.
• It soon became apparent that the machine’s garment-length
knitting sequence of draw thread separation course, tubular
welt, 1x1 or 2x2 rib border or waist, body panel section, and
press-off locking courses could be used for knitting
Double-jersey, or coarse-gauge knitwear as well as
Stitch-shaped underwear.
• Depending upon the end-use of its model, panels can thus be
knitted in 1x1 rib, dial-only knit, interlock milano rib, rib
jacquard, or half- or full-cardigan with selective patterning in
rib transfer, coloured stitches, miss, tuck, knit or raised cloque
relief stitch.

• Articles that can be knitted include vests and panties, cut and
sewn sweater dresses and trouser suits, jumpers, coarse-
gauge cardigans, and sweaters.
Cylinder cams of RTR machine
Dial Cam system
Quality control in warp knitting
A complete grey specification of a warp knitted fabric should include
the following details:
• Gauge of machine in needles per inch
• Number of guide bars in use
• Number of ends in each warp beam
• Types and linear densities of yarns used
• Run-in per rack of warp coming from different beams
• Knitted quality of the fabric in courses per inch or centimeter
• Order of threading of warp in each guide bar
• Lapping movement of each guide bar during one repeat of the
pattern or details of the pattern wheels or pattern chains
• Relative lateral positions of the guide bars at a given point in the
lapping movements
• Any special knitting instructions
Warp let-off
• Loop length is equally as important in warp knitting as in weft
knitting. In the form of run-in, it is determined by the warp let-off
which is either negative or positive.
• In the first arrangement, tension on the warp causes it to be pulled
from the beam as it turns against a controlled friction.
• The mechanism is self-compensating, releasing warp on demand. An
overall increase of run-in is obtained by increasing the speed of the
fabric take-up rollers, which increases the tension.
• In the second arrangement, the warp beams are positively driven to
deliver a predetermined run-in. The surface speed is monitored so
that, as the beam circumference decreases, the beam drive speed is
increased to maintain a uniform rate of let-off. The arrangement must
also be capable of catering for fluctuating let-off requirements in
patterned fabrics. Tension fluctuations that occur during the knitting
cycle are compensated by spring-loaded tension bars over which
each warp sheet passes in its path to its guide bar.
• On multi-guide bar raschel and tricot lace machines, the
spot beams that supply the partly-threaded pattern guide
bars are completely negatively turned. These light-weight
beams turn easily and have a three-spoked star attached to
one end on which small weights are placed and positioned
in order to ensure balanced rotation. At the other end,
weights attached to a collar provide controlled friction.
• Karl Mayer have now developed a computer control unit
that, from fabric parameters inputted via a keyboard,
automatically regulates the warp let-off of the machine.
The computer receives the machine data pulses from
encoder emitters on the warp beam shafts and the main
machine shaft. Control data computed by the system is
then transmitted as pulses to the individual warp beams to
drive a series wound d.c. motor and worm gearing.
Robbing back
• The possibility of re-distribution of available yarn in a loop between the needle,
sinker and guides within a warp knitting cycle due to variation of yarn tension
and the already established concept of robbing back in weft knitting encouraged
research scientists to investigate the occurrence of robbing back in warp knitting.
In weft knitting, robbing back is described by the difference between the
maximum or theoretical loop length occurring at knitting point and the final loop
length in the fabric. But as observed by Raz [3 and 4], in traditional warp knitting
maximum loop length is not at the time of down most position of the needle but
at the landing or cast-off point before joining the fabric. So robbing back value in
warp knitting is not calculated as in weft knitting. The amount of robbing back in
warp knitting is calculated as follows:
Robbing back = *100
• where lh = length of loop before casting-off on the outside of the needle hook
and lf = final loop length in fabric). The loop size on the outside of the hook is not
influenced by the machine setting and process parameters but only by the shape
and size of needle and hook closing element. As this loop length is always larger
than the final loop length in the fabric occurrence of loop length is confirmed.
Maximum robbing back of up to 80% has been observed for tighter fabric in warp
Needle bounce and high speed knitting
• ‘Needle bounce’ is a major problem in high speed knitting. This is
caused by the needle butt being suddenly checked by the impact of
hitting the upper surface of the up-throw cam after it has accelerated
away from the lowest point of the stitch cam. At this moment, inertia at
the needle head may cause it to vibrate so violently that it may fracture;
also the up-throw cam becomes pitted in this section.
• The Reutlingen Institute of Technology has carried out a considerable
amount of research into this problem and, as a result, a new design of
latch needle with a meander-shape stem, a low smooth profile, and a
shorter hook is now manufactured by Groz-Beckert for high-speed
circular machines. The meander shape assists in the dissipation of the
impact shock before it reaches the needle head, whose shape improves
resistance to stress, as does the low profile, whilst the gently-shaped
latch is designed to open more slowly and fully onto a cushioned
position produced by a double saw cut.
Calculations relating to Warp knitting
• Calculation in knitting mainly deals with production and requirement
of raw material
• Production may be calculated either in length (yards or metres) or in
weight (kg) per unit time say shift of 8 hours.
• For production related calculations in any knitting machine, the
essential parameters are
The speed (courses per min) of the machine
Size (diameter or width) of the machine
Contraction/shrinkage of the fabric in the machine
Gain or loss in weight during processing
Loop length or course length
Gauge of the machine
Count of the yarn used
Efficiency of the machine
• R = Machine rpm (revolution per minute)
• F = Number of feeders
• C = Courses per inch
• D = Number of needles
• N = Yarn count in English system
• E = Efficiency percentage of the machine
• l = loop length in inch

Yarn to fabric ratio = (run-in per rack × courses per unit length) / 480
Examples for warp knitting calculations.
• Example 1. Find out the number of needles in a 48 gauge
Raschel machine of 60 inch width and calculate the widthwise
shrinkage percentage to produce a fabric with 30 wales per inch.
• Gauge in Raschel machine is defined as the number of needles
per 2 inch,
• So needles per inch = 48/2 = 24. Then total number of needles in
the machine = 60 × 24 = 1440.
• Let shrinkage % is S, then 24 number of wales will be in (1 –
S/100) of fabric,
• As per given condition, {24/(1 – S/100)} = 30
• Simplifying S = 20, So widthwise shrinkage of fabric is 20%.
• Example 2. Find out the yarn to fabric ratio for a
warp knitted fabric with 21 c.p.c. (courses per cm) if
the run in per rack is 160 cm. What will be the %
change in the ratio if the cpc is varied to 27?
• Yarn to fabric ratio = (160 × 21) / 480 = 7 i.e., 7 cm
yarn in 1 cm fabric.
• In the second case, the ratio = (160 × 27) / 480 = 9
i.e., 9 cm yarn in 1 cm fabric
• So change in ratio = {(9 – 7) × 100}/ 9= 22.22%
• Example 3. Estimate the length and weight of warp for the
production of 2000m sharkskin fabric with 25 c.p.c. if the
yarn to fabric ratio for the front and back guide bars are 6 and
8 respectively. The number of warp in each beam is 1600 and
count of yarn is 60 denier.
• Front bar – Length of each warp = 2000 × 6 = 12000 m
Total length of warp in front beam = 12000 × 1600 m
Weight of warp in front beam = (12000 × 1600 × 60) /(9000 ×
1000) kg = 128 kg
• Back bar – Length of each warp = 2000 × 8 = 16000 m
Total length of warp in front beam = 16000 × 1600 m
Weight of warp in front beam = (16000 × 1600 × 60) /(9000 ×
1000) kg = 170.666 kg
Total weight of warp in fabric = 128 + 170.666 = 298.666 kg.
• Example 4. A 48 inch width and 36 gauge tricot warp knitting
machine runs at 1800 courses per minute. The machine has two warp
beams, each beam is having the number of yarns equal to the number
of needles in the machine. The resultant fabric with 48 courses per
inch is 20% shorter in width than the working width of the machine. If
the run-in per rack is 1.2 m and yarn denier is 90, calculate the – a)
requirement of yarn to produce 100 m fabric, b) GSM of the fabric
and c) rate of warp let-off.
• Number of needles in the machine = Machine width × Machine Gauge
= 48 × 36 = 1728
• So number of warp yarn in each beam = 1728. Then total number of
warp yarns in the fabric = 1728 × 2 = 3456
• One rack means 480 knitting cycles i.e., 480 loops along the length of
the fabric. So length of each loop = 1.2 m / 480 = 2.5 mm
• In one rack, length of fabric produced = 480 / 48 = 10 inch = 254 mm
• As per given condition, length of each warp in 254 mm length fabric =
1.2 m. Then length of each warp in 100 m length fabric = (1.2 × 100) /
.254 m = 472.44 m
• Total length of warp in 100 m length fabric = 472.44 × 3456 m =
1632752.6 m
• Now weight of 100 m length fabric = (1632752.6 × 90) / (9000 ×
1000) kg = 16.327 kg. So requirement of yarn to produce 100 m fabric
is 16.327 kg.
• Width of resultant fabric = 48 × (1 – 20/100) = 38.4 inch = 0.975 m.
.Area of fabric produced = 100 × 0.975 sq.m = 97.5 sq.m
• Then weight per square metre or GSM of the fabric = (16.327 × 1000)
/ 97.5 = 167.46. Length of yarn delivered from the beams per min =
1800 × 2.5 mm = 4.5 m. So rate of warp let-off is 4.5 m/min or 75