M.Amsaveni, Assistant Professor,
Dept. Costume Design and Fashion,
Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Coimbatore.
Hand knitting needles
Warp knitting machine
Circular knitting machine
Rib knitting machine
In this type of knitting, the direction of loop formation is at right
angles to the direction of fabric formation. Normally the fabric is formed
vertically and the loops are formed horizontally. It is the most common
fabric formation technique for knitted fabric. It is usually knitted with one
piece of yarn, and can be made either by hand or using a knitting
machine. Weft knitting is the most common form of knitting as it is simpler
than warp knitting, the other form of knitting. There are four basic weft
knitted fabric structures: interlock, purl, plain, and rib. The action of the
needle during loop formation produces all these distinct weft knitted
structures. On the basis of the type of weft knitting machine, the weft
knitted fabric can be classified as single jersey or double jersey.
The second knitting method is termed warp knitting,
though its share in the production of knitted fabric is low
compared to weft knitting but it is used in technical areas.
In warp knitting, the yarn runs zigzag along the length of
the fabric. It requires the preparation of a warp sheet for
further use on machine. The most common warp knitted
designs or structures are raschel and tricot.
COMPARISON OF WARP AND WEFT KNITTING
S/No Weft Knitting Warp Knitting
1 Plain, rib, interlock, purl Tricot, raschel, milanese, crochet etc.
2 Loops are produced along the width of fabric Loops are produced along the length of fabric
3 Less production speed More production speed
4 Not necessarily each needle has its own thread Each needle has its own thread
5 Yarn is supplied from a cone held on creel Yarn is supplied from a beam
6 Knitting process can be done from a single yarn Large number of yarns are required for knitting a fabric
7 Staple yarn is preferable but filament is also used Filament yarns are preferable but staple yarns are also
8 Less preparatory processes are required More preparatory processes are required
9 Latch needle are used in all machines Bearded needle is mostly used but latch needle can also
use in some cases
10 Less variety of structure can be made Wide variety of structure can be made
11 Fabric has less aesthetic value Fabric has more aesthetic value
12 Fabric has good stretch ability in both directions, higher in
Fabric has low stretch ability in both directions, higher
in width direction
13 Dimension stability of fabrics is lower Dimension stability of fabrics is higher
14 Machines may be flat or circular Warp knitting machines are generally flat
15 Width wise more elastic Length wise more elastic
16 More shrinkage Less shrinkage
17 Easy snagging Less snagging
18 It may ravel from edges Does not ravel from edges
Course & Wales
The series of loops those are connected horizontally, continuously are called as course.
The horizontal row of loops that are made by adjacent needles in the same knitting cycle.
The series of loops that intermeshes vertically are known as Wales.
Vertical column of loops that are made from same needle in successive knitting cycle
GENERAL TERMS IN KNITTING
Parts of a loop
Each knit stitch (knit loop) is a basic unit for the knitted goods
H: Head or Crown or top arc
L: Side limbs or Legs
S: Bottom arc or Sinker loop
→A complete loop=Needle loop+Sinker loop
Needle loop is the upper part of the loop produced by
the needle drawing the yarn.
The lower part of the knitted loop is technically referred
as sinker loop. It is the connection of two legs belonging
to neighboring stitches lying laterally.
The open loop is one in which the loop forming yarns do
not cross at the bottom of the loop.
In closed loop the legs cross at the bottom, so that the
loop closing takes place.
Face loop and technical face
During loop formation, when the new loop emerges through the old loop from
back to the face side then it is termed as face loop or weft knitted loop.
The side of the fabric which contains all face loops or weft knit loops is known
as technical face.
Back loop and Technical Back
During loop formation, when the new loop passes from the face side
to the back of the previous loop then it is termed as back loop or purl
The side of the fabric which contains all back loops or purl loops is
known as technical back.
The knitted stitch is the basic unit of
intermeshing. It usually consists of three or
more intermeshed needle loops. The centre
loop has been drawn through the head of
the lower previously-formed loop and is, in
turn, intermeshed through its head by the
loop above it.
Knitting notation is a simple, easily-understood, symbolic
representation of a knitting repeat sequence.
Its resultant fabric structure that eliminates the need for
time-consuming and possibly confusing sketches and
Notations are used to express the knitted fabric structure
Notations are of four types:
2.Line diagram/ Looping diagram
3.Diagrammatic notation/ Chain notation
The length of yarn required to produce a complete
knitted loop (i.e Needle loop and sinker loop) is
known as stitch length or loop length.
A course length
The length of yarn required to produce a complete
knitted course is known as course length.
Course length= No. of loops per course X
Course length= No. of needles X Stitch
Stitch density refers to the total number of loops in
a measured area of fabric.
It is the total number of needle loops in a given area
(such as a square inch
Stitch density= Wales density x Courses density
=Wales per inch X Courses per
= WPI X CPI
Unit: number of loops per square inch
Or, SD= CPC x WPC (cm scale)
Single jersey & Double jersey
Single jersey or plain fabric: The weft knitted fabric
(Tubular/flat) which is produced by one set of needles.
Double jersey: The weft knitted fabric (Tubular/flat) which is
produced by two sets of needles.
Needle bed or needle carrier
Needle bed or needle carrier is the place where the needles are
located or mounted in a knitting machine. Needle moves up and
down in the trick of a needle carrier.
Two types of needle carrier:
Cylindrical or circular
Cylinder and Dial
Cylinder is a circular steel bed having grooves / tricks /cuts on it’s outer periphery into
which the needles are mounted.
With reference to the tricks, the needles move vertically up and down by their butt being in
contact with the cam track.
The diameter of the cylinder also varied based on the type and width of the fabric.
Maximum diameter of the cylinder: 46 inches.
Dial is the upper steel bed used in double knit circular machines.
Into the grooves of the dial, the needles are mounted horizontally and are allowed to move
radically in and out by their dia