A knitting machine is a machine which we use to make kn […]
A knitting machine is a machine which we use to make knitted garments or fabrics. By using a knitting machine, we form loops of yarn and then connect them into different types of knits. Concerning design, purpose, and type of knitting needles used, machines utilised for making knitted fabrics can be of different types. Depending on the number of knitting needles present per unit length of the needle cylinder, we can classify these knitting machines into further categories.
Different parts of a knitting machine:
The looper, the take-up motion and the yarn feed motion are the chief working parts of a knitting machine.
The looper consists of a needle cylinder with the needles, a presser (for spring needles), sinkers, yarn guides and some other elements. One sinker is usually present in each gap between the needles. The sinkers along with the blades of complex shapes fold the yarn to form loops. If the needles are stationary, then the sinkers move the yarn along the shaft of the needle, but if the needles are moving, then they hold the yarn. The presser is commonly a plate, wedge or disk pressed on the needle hook. The primary role of the presser is to prevent the loops from falling into the hook.
Mechanism of knitting:
When we lay the yarn on the needles, then with the help of the yarn guides, take-up motions, brakes and other attachments the yarn feed motion maintains a constant tension. In some yarn feed motions, we measure the length of yarn for each row of the loop. If we are using weft-type knitting machines, then we feed the yarn in the form of individual strands, but in the case of warp-type machines, we feed the yarn in groups. Along with maintaining a constant tension, the take-up motion draws the finished product off the needle cylinders. The weight of the take-up motion creates a tension which we can use to draw off the finished material. We can also draw the knitted fabric utilising rollers.
The mechanisms which control the consistency of feed, the yarn tension as well as the proper working order of the needles automate the process of knitting. These processes which automate the knitting procedure also rectify all the defects such as running loops that may appear during knitting. In the case of fully-fashioned machines, various unique mechanisms are available by using which we can easily transfer the loops along with altering the width of the cloth, introduce the reinforcing yarn, form separate loop rows, form complex, three-dimensional shapes in articles like hosiery and gloves as well as can change the density of the knit. We have various electronic control devices to select or introduce the needles in knitting patterns and open-work weaves. We commonly use circular knitting machines for knitting artificial fur because these machines contain miniature carding devices in every loop-forming system. The miniature carding devices knit the tufts of long fibres in the form of loops to form a nap.
For doing further advancements in the knitting machines, we will have to increase the number of loop-forming systems, increase the size of gauges available, and automate the whole process of knitting.
Apart from having industrial knitting machines we also have home hand-knitting machines and devices. The chief components in hand machines are the carriage, loop-forming elements consisting of latch needles and sinkers as well as a row counter. The primary function of the carriage is to control the action of the needles and the sinkers. We move the carriage along the guide tracks by using a hand. The knitting devices consist of a rack with pins and pull-out hooks. We manually hang the loops on the rack by which the hooks get moved and then adjust the tightness of the knit.