Advanced Knitting

Radko Kovar
Faculty of Textile Engineering, Department of Textile Technologies

Technical University of Liberec, CZ

Brief Content:
1. Preparation of material for knitting 2. Bases of knitting technology 3. Knitted structures 4. Working and controlling systems of knitting machines 5. Yarn supply 6. Fabric take-off 7. Checking equipment 8. Machine drives 9. Knitted technical textiles


0. Introduction
‡ Advantages of knitting:
± High productivity ± Great variability (wide usage) ± Possibilities of shaping (ready-made clothes) ± Wasteless production

‡ History:
± Archaeology ± rests of knitted fabrics from 6-th century ± Mechanical knitting ± reverend William Lee ± 1589 ± invention of the first knitting machine ‡ No revolutionary inventions such as shuttleless weaving and open end spinning in knitting. Why? 1/3

1. Preparation of material for knitting
‡ Which properties should have yarn packages, suitable for knitting? ‡ How is it possible to improve yarn properties? Which properties are suitable for knitting process? ‡ Is material preparation necessary?

A. Aims of material preparation
The knitting system should be supplied by: ‡ Yarn of appropriate quality without defects, which could cause problems in knitting (thick places in yarn, parts of low strength«). ‡ Yarn flexible, with low friction coefficient. ‡ Yarn should have suitable axial tension with low variability.

Reason for yarn properties:
‡ Yarn must bear multiplied bend and tensile stress increase when high speed is used ... ‡ Yarn must fit into given gap g


Changes in yarn speed and stress

‡ Speed vy corespons with speeds of l1, l2, l3 change, is variable. ‡ Tensile force F is increased by friction.


Main operations of yarn preparation:
‡ The most important operation is yarn (yarns) rewinding:
± Individual yarns ± winding ± Many yarns ± warping

‡ Main aims of yarn rewinding:
± To form the yarn body of suitable geometry and mass (why extremes are not good?). ± To remove imperfect cuts of yarn, to decrease friction and increase flexibility.

Other operations of yarn preparation:
‡ Twisting (folding) of spun yarn ± reduction of torsion moment, increase of yarn durability. ‡ Texturing of multifilament. ‡ Bulking of some yarns (some fibers shrinks). ‡ Twisting or covering of multifilament yarns. Economical impact of preparation: the costs, caused by problems at knitting, are higher.

B. Knitting materials (yarns)
Suitable yarns: soft and bulky ± with similar character as knitted fabric, and so: ‡ Spun yarns ± with lower twist. ‡ Multifilament ± usually textured. ‡ Yarns forming stitches (loops) should be uniform, flexible, of sufficient strength, with low friction. ‡ Yarns not forming stitches may have another properties (even flex, glass, carbon fibers etc. could be used«).


Multifilament without twist ± problems when some filament is broken (creates bunches or neps, could be kept by neighboring yarns «): Impact of twist: migration of fibres occurs ± each filament is alternatively on the surface and inside the yarn.

C. Preparation of individual yarns
Unwinding in knitting process: Sometimes is interrupted, we cannot rely on creation of balloon. How to eliminate yarn to bobbin friction?

Usual bobbines (packages, cross-winding):
a) Conical (with higher slant ± cone ± angle). b) Vario-conical (slant increases with diameter). c) Bi-conical with lower slant (cone). Why? It is necessary to receive sufficient compactness if material of low friction is used.


Winding machines:
‡ Drive ± can be realized:


± From axis (tube) ± enables Äprecise³ winding. ± Peripheral (bobbin rolls on driving drum) ± chaotic winding.

‡ Yarn preparation (lubrication) by:
± Solid matter ± paraffin (for spun yarns). ± Liquid matter (oil etc., for multifilament).

‡ Yarn stretching (definition of axial tension):
± Setting of yarn elongation. ± Necessary for bobbin compactness. ± Checking of yarn strength. ‡ Yarn Äcleaning³ (sensors: photoelectrical, capacitive).

Change of position of yarn layers:
Through winding, next yarn layers presses to previous and push them near the package axis ± the yarn is shortened.


Precise and chaotic winding:


Drive (a ± from axis, b ± peripheral):


Peripheral drive by grooved drum:


Automatic winding machine, individual control:


Automatic winding machine, group control:


Automatic winding machine ± automate doffing:


Small rewinding machine (yarn rests etc.):


Yarn cleaning ± Uster ´Classimat´ (tester):


Fancy yarn folding:


Fancy yarn folding (loop yarn):


D. Preparation of warps

‡ Warp ± many yarns. Knitting from giant creel is not suitable, usual is to wind many yarns on one beam. ‡ Necessary condition ± similar length of all yarns in the fabric. ‡ If the yarn consumption is individual (patterned fabric) it is necessary to use creel.

1. Section warping
‡ Narrow warp beams are used, several of them form final warp. ‡ Advantage ± only one yarn rewinding.


Shape of the warp beam
‡ Yarn body shape should be cylindrical (the same length of all yarns). Examples of errors:


1. Section warping
‡ Warping machine:
1 ± beam; 2 ± pressure drum; 3 ± reeds; 4 ± electrostatic charge eliminators; 5 ± working table; 6 ± warp magazine; 7 ± photoelectrical sensor; 8 ± creel



Section warping ± example of machine

2. ÄBeam³ warping
‡ For lower yarns number are used so called Äpattern beams³ ± a set of X-wound bobbins on 1 tube:


2. Basics of knitting technology 2.1 Basic principles
‡ What are specific features of knitting, from which basic elements it is composed? ‡ How to save material at knitting?


Is it at all possible?
‡ May fabric be formed from one system of yarns with fixed all ends?


Yes, by change in yarn geometry
‡ Forming of kink (loop) on then yarn


Mutual interlooping of kinks
‡ Repeatedly kinks of the yarn are pulled through similar element from another yarns.

‡ Advantage: easy fabric creation (short movements). ‡ Disadvantage: easy destruction (symmetrical structure).


Basic elements:
‡ Kink (loop) of yarn (open, closed). ‡ Knitted stitch or loop (F - face, R ± reverse side).


Groups of elements:
‡ Course ± Wales. ‡ a ± Weft, b ± warp knitted fabric.


Loops in warp knitted structures:
‡ Yarn input: from previous course ± from the right or the left side ‡ Yarn output: into next course ± to the right or the left side Asymmetrical stitches mean worse shape stability of fabric


Another basic elements:
a) Tuck stitch (two loops are interlooped with one stitch) with only two crossing points b) Float stitch (on back or reverse of the loop) c) Face float stitch (on face of the loop)


Knitted products:
‡ Continuous fabric ÄYardage³ (metrage) ± flat a, ± tubular b.


‡ Pieces or panels:
± Not shaped c ± In-plane shaped d, e, ± Spatial-shaped f (or 3-D shaped). 1 ± welt (fast starting c.) 2 ± separating course

Example of products (sock):


Example of products (glove):


Example of products (cap):


Example of products (artificial vain, stent):


2.2 Patterning and classification of knitted structures
‡ Is it really necessary to draw knitted structures by Äloop diagram³? ‡ It is possible to create system (classification) of knitted structures?


What does it means µpatterning¶?
‡ Symbolic (simplified) representation of structure ± notation. ‡ Topological description of yarn interlooping without respect on dimensions and shape. ‡ Weft structures ± many possibilities, no of them is ideal (we shall try 3 systems: Prusa, VUP, ÄEnglish³). ‡ Warp structures ± one generally used system.

System of Prof. Prusa (Austria):
‡ It is not dependant on colors. ‡ Ideal for structures with loop transfer. ‡ Only local use.
1 ± face stitch 2 ± reverse stitch 3 ± tuck stitch 4, 5 ± transferred stitches

ÄEnglish³ system:
‡ Not providing an easy survey of structures with many courses i repetition.

‡ Widely used. ‡ Showing only 1 knitted course
1 ± face stitch (open!) 2 ± reverse stitch (open!) 3 ± tuck stitch 4 ± float stitch 5 ± symbol of needle

System VUP (Brno CZ):
‡ Uses the most common symbols (alphabet; some systems use X instead of V). ‡ Chosen symbols resembles appearance of knitted elements.


Warp knitted structures:
‡ The scheme of yarn path in fabric or yarn lay-in on needles.
± 1 ± knitted stitch (overlap) ± 2 ± float (underlap)


Classification of structures ± classes:
‡ WeS - Weft single faced (1 type of stitches) ‡ WeD - Weft double faced (Face and Reverse wales) ‡ WeP - Purl (F. and R. stitches in 1 wale) ‡ WeI - Interlock (2 intermeshed WeD) ‡ WaS - Warp single faced (1 type of stitches) ‡ WaD - Warp double faced (F. and R. wales)

Classification of structures ± groups:
1. Structures with full stitches number (all-knit). The best utilisation of machine productivity. 2. Structures with missing stitches. Some needles are not active (temporarily or permanently). 3. Structures with tuck stitches. 4. Structures with complementary yarns. To the basic structure some other yarns are added. These yarns are not necessary for fabric integrity. Connection with basic structure by double stitches, tucks or by another way. 5. Structures with loop transfer of with another structure modification.

2.3 Basic actions of knitting machines
‡ What enables knitting needle to catch and keep new yarn and simultaneously to release (knock-over) Äold³ stitch? ‡ How the activities of needles are coordinated in the course formation?


The types of knitting needles:
Knock-over of Äold³ loop 4: a) By swing of the latch 2 (latch needle). b) By pressing of long flexible hook (bearded needle). c) By independently controlled latch 3 (bipartite compound needle)

Examples of needles:


Production of needles (history):


Production of needles (history):


Non-traditional knitting principle:
Revolving knitting element ± till now not practically used (Czech invention; problems with elements bedding etc.)


Stitch formation (latch needle):
Positions and phases: a) Normal (basic) b) First tuck c) Clearing d) Second tuck + yarn feeding e) Latch closing f) Knock-over g) Loop length formation

Stitch formation - wave:
1. Needle track 2. Trick wall 3. Cams 4. New yarn 5. Needle buts 6. Old stitches 7. Hook of needle on stitch cam 8. Yarn feeder vw ± working speed vn-c ± speed of needles relatively to cams 1/60

Warp knitting (yarns feeding):
‡ Simultaneous feeding of many yarns on many needles. ‡ It is necessary: to supply at least one yarn on each needle in each course.

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