Flat Machine Knitting and Fabrics
When the City of New York established a textile school in1919 I was asked to take charge of the class in knitting.Although very busy in manufacturing lines, I decided to giveup a part of my time to this educational work, believing it tobe my duty to do my bit toward helping to fill a long felt wantin the industry.
There being no suitable text book available, particularly onthe elementary subjects, I was obliged to prepare my ownmaterial for the instruction of the students. The results ofthis work are contained in this volume, which is devoted tothe various types of flat latch needle machines. It is myintention to follow this with other volumes covering circularlatch needle machines, spring needle machines, etc., with theirproducts.
The various chapters of this work have been published inthe knitting technical section of TEXTILE WORLD but Ibelieve their usefulness will be increased by this revision andpublication in more convenient book form.
One of the greatest needs for the advancement of the knittingindustry to the position it should occupy in the world oftextiles is available technical information, and it is hoped thatthis volume with the ones to follow will supply, in some degree,this need.
|I.||Development of the Industry How Cloth is Constructed—Study of Loop.||9|
|II.||Latch Needle Knitting Making Jersey Cloth on the Lamb Type of Machine.||16|
|III.||Rib Fabric Group How Stitch is Made for Different Cloths.||26|
|IV.||The Rack Stitch Making Shaped Collars—Opportunities in Designing Fabrics.||35|
|V.||The Double Lock Flat Machine How Different Stitches Are Formed.||44|
|VII.||Automatic Flat Latch Needle Machines Single Lock.||57|
|VIII.||Automatic Widening Machine Explanation of Mechanism Used.||78|
|IX.||Purl Stitch, or Links and Links Machine For Hand or Manual Power.||86|
|X.||Designs on Plain Purl Stitch Machines Automatic Jacquard Type—Details of Jacquard-Designing on Jacquard Machine.||97|
|XI.||Flat Latch Needle Automatic Narrowing Machine||113|
|XII.||The Flat Jacquard Machine How It Differs From the Purl Stitch Jacquard Machine—Type of Fabric Produced—Methods of Needle Selection—Difference Between Single Jacquard and Double Jacquard—Explanation of Design and Pattern Cards.||129|
Development of the Industry—How Cloth is Constructed—Study of Loop
Machine knitting is a much older industry than mostpeople realize, the first knitting machine having beeninvented in England about the year 1590. In spite ofthis early start the knitting industry has not made as greatprogress as some other lines of manufacturing. The greatobstacle to its progress, in comparison with that of its rival,the weaving industry, appears to have been the slow realizationby people in general, and the producers of knitted goods inparticular, of the possibilities of the looped fabric and thediversified uses to which it is suited.
For 250 years or more after the invention of the knittingmachine, knitted fabrics were in a general way supposed tobe fit only for hosiery. Then some enterprising knitter wokeup to the fact that knitted fabric was the ideal fabric forunderclothing to be worn next to the body, and there wasdeveloped a great industry in knitted underwear.
In very recent years, we have begun to realize that thisfabric is suitable for outer garments of various kinds, makingup into beautiful, comfortable and serviceable articles ofapparel, and the industry is surging ahead by leaps and boundson this line. The principal reasons for this are: first, the makingof knit fabric does not require, in its present state ofdevelopment, the technical skill required for the making ofwoven fabrics, notwithstanding the fact that many people notconnected with the industry look upon machine knitting as amost mysterious operation; second, the initial investment fora given production is not nearly so great as for woven fabrics;third, knitted fabrics can be produced, yard for yard, or poundfor pound, cheaper than woven fabrics.
Knit Fabric Construction
Knitting is the art of constructing fabric or cloth withknitting needles by an interlocking of loops. The essential10element of knitting is the loop, for the whole fabric is constructedfrom a succession of loops.
A loop is a very small length of thread, or yarn, taken atsome point at a distance from the end and drawn through, oraround, some object, usually another loop. Obviously this willresult in two loops. One of these coils around the instrumentor needle which draws it through and is called the needle loop,shown by the letter a in Fig. 1. The other loops around theobject or previous loop through which it was drawn, and iscalled the sinker loop, indicated by b, b in Fig. 1. These twoloops, not two complete loops, but rather one full needle loopand two halves of the sinker loop, make a stitch, as indicatedby the shaded portion of Fig. 1 from c to c.
Sinker Loop, Needle
Loop and Stitch.
A course is any number ofloops lying side by side in a linecrosswise of the fabric, as indicatedalong dotted lines a, a,Figs. 2 and 3.
A wale is any number ofloops in a line succeeding oneanother lengthwise of the fabric,as indicated along dotted linesb, b, Figs. 2 and 3.
Crosswise of the fabric isthe direction in which the yarnfeeds while the fabric is in theprocess of construction, formingloops adjoining one another,or the same direction as thecourse. Lengthwise of the fabric is the direction in which thefabric is built up by drawing one loop through another, or thesame direction as the wale. Therefore the width of the fabricis restricted by the number of loops or needles used as a base,while the length of the fabric has no restrictions other thanthe supply of material or the will of the knitter. Rib is analternative expression for wale, but is applicable more particularlywhere the fabric has a wale on both sides, in which caseit is shown as a rib fabric. Where a cloth has a wale on oneside only it is known as a jersey fabric, and is also sometimescalled flat goods. Rib fabrics will be taken up later for it ismy purpose to deal only with jersey or flat fabrics until thetheory of knitting is thoroughly explained.
Wale and Course, Face.
Wale and Course, Back.
A Study of the Loop
A study of the loop is very important to those who wish toacquire a knowledge of knitting, for the whole construction ofthe knitted fabric is from loops.In fact, knitted fabric is commonlyreferred to as loopedfabric.
Formation of Loops.
Fig. 4 shows the position orform into which the yarn isdrawn to form the loops of aplain jersey or flat fabric. Fig.5 shows a second course of loopsdrawn through the first. Fig. 6shows a third course. It isquite evident that in order todraw each of these courses ofloops through the preceding onethere must be something to sustainor hold the precedingcourse of loops as well as thenew loops during the period inwhich the new ones are beingdrawn through. There mustalso be something on which to12start the first row or course of loops for, as stated before, aloop cannot be made without something of stability to draw itthrough.
It is very important that the reader get firmly fixed in hismind the curves of the loops and the most simple methods offorming them, as he can then more readily understand thenecessary movements made on a machine. For this reasonI will first take up the most primitive method of knitting; i.e.,hand knitting.
Simplest Method of Forming Loops
The needles used for hand knitting are straight rods ofsteel, wood, bone or celluloid. Not less than two of these needlesmust be used as indicated in Figs. 7, 8 and 9. To start we takethe yarn and make a small slip knot or noose, with which weare all familiar, slip one needle through the loop thus made anddraw the yarn up so that it fits around the needle loosely.
Forming Loops by Hand, First Step.
Forming Loops by Hand, Second Step.
Forming Loops by Hand, Completed.
We now have the cornerstonelaid. Holding this needlein the left hand with the fore-fingerbearing lightly on theloop, we take the other needlein the right hand and slip itthrough the loop as in Fig. 7,next draw the yarn over theend of the right hand needle asshown, then draw this needleback to the point where it willpass the left side of the loop on13the right hand needle, but not far