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An introduction

to knitted fabrics

Ing. Irena Lenfeldová, Ph.D. KTT, FT, TUL, 2008/2009


History
The earliest known knitted fabric was
a pair of socks found in an Egyptian tomb,
which dates back to the 4th century B.C.
Today, it is known that these early socks were
worked in Nalebinding.
Nalebinding is an ancient craft which involves
creating fabric from thread by making multiple
knots or loops, and is done with a needle made
of wood or bone.
• The first knitting machine was constructed
around 1589 by an English reverend named
William Lee (1550-1610).
• to knit an entire row of loops at once. 2
In 1759, Jedediah Strutt of Derby and Belper patented
the "Derby rib frame." This would have been the first
conversion from a single bed to a double bed frame and started a
great period of inspiration for development for the knitting
frames.
Crain & Porter came up with our first "color changer." I
love the story of how strings were attached to needles and "draw
boys" (yes, real boys) were instructed to draw back manually
selected needles by means of these strings to create the two
color work! From there the punch card system of selecting
patterns was developed in 1798 by Joseph Marie Jacquard. At
first, due to the popularity of lace, this accessory was used for
lace fabric then developed into the multi color work.

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WILLIAM COTTON was born in SEAGRAVE in 1819. He
became an apprentice to a firm of hand stocking machine builders
(1846 – 1864 patented cotton machines) . A common
contemporary expression said that COTTON had "turned the needles
upside down."

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• Mr. Lamb of Northville invented the first
domestic machine around 1867. It was said to have
84 needles and weigh about 15 lbs.
• The Reference in Cassell's Household Guide of
1870 advertised the Craine Knitter: "It had a
massive metal plate keyboard in which deep, square
grooves for the reception of 106 needles are cut,
and "asort" of metal carriage or traveler, which can
be moved forward or back on the keyboard with the
greatest facility by the aid of a short ball-crowned
handle." This was one of several sock knitting
machines of that era.

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• Warp knitting, the second and smaller section of machine
knitting, was never a handmanipulated craft. It was first developed
by Crane and Porter in 1769 as a method of embroidery plating, by
means of multiple warp thread guides, onto stocking fabric as it
was being knitted on the hand frame.
• As the technique improved, purely warp intermeshed loop
structures without the weft knitted ground began to be knitted and
Crane patented his warp loom in 1775. Tarrat is credited with
developing the first efficient treadle-operated warp knitting frame
in 1785.
• The German warp knitting industry developed in Chemnitz and
Apolda, after Reichel brought a British hand warp loom to Berlin in
1795.

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Basic terms

• Knitted fabric – are built up from row after row of


intermeshed loops. The newly-fed yarn is converted
into a new loop in each needle hook.
• Weft knitted fabric – can be unroved from the end of
the fabric knitted last.
• Warp knitted fabric – threads tend to have an
vertical path through the structure.
Loop – characteristic unit in knitted structure;
opened or closed
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Weft and warp knitted structure

The subsequent loops formed The subsequent loops formed


from one thread are placed in from one thread are placed in
the same course. the subsequent courses.
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Basic expressions
• Stitch (loop) – can be intermeshed through the head of the
old loop in a manner that will show a face loop stitch on
one side and a reverse loop stitch on the other side.

• Face loop – show the side limbs of the needle loops or


overlaps as a series of interfitting ‘V’s. The face loop-side
is the underside of the stitch on the needle.
• Reverse loop – shows the new loop meshing away from
the viewer, show the sinker loops in weft knitting.
• Tuck stitch – the yarn passes from the sinker loops to the
head that is intermeshed with the new loop of a course
above it.
• Float stitch – shows the missed yarn floating on the
reverse side of the held loop.
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Loops (stiches)

Needle head
Two limbs (legs)
Intermeshing point
Two foot
Old loop

Face loop Reverse loop


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Tuck and float stitch

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Basic conceptions
Knitted loops are arranged in rows, these are termed courses
and wales.
• Coarse– is a horizontal row of needle loops produced by
adjacent needles during the same knitting cycle.
• Wale – is a vertical column of intermeshed needle loops
generally produced by the same needle knitting at
successive knitting cycles.

Basic parameters of knitted fabrics


• Wale density [m-1] - is obtained by counting the number
of wales in one meter
• Coarse density [m-1] - is obtained by counting the number
of coarses in one meter
• Stitch density (square) [m-2] - refers to the total number
of loops in a measured area of fabric – e.g. 1 m2 12
GAUGE: basic characteristic of
the knitted machines.
• are normally gauged on the English
system (E) of needles per inch (npi).

•one inch = 25,4 mm

It corresponds with the fine of machine


and it influences choice of yarn count
(linear density) which we want to used
for producing the knitted fabrics. It
affects fabric properties appearance and
weight.
• Coarse gauge – 5
• Fine gauge - 40 13
Types of structures
• Weft knitted structures
Single-faced (plain): show the face stitches in the form of the
limbs of the loops as a series of interfitting „V“s.
Double-faced (rib): show the face loops of one set on one side
and the face loops of the other set on the opposite side.
Purl: face and reverse stitches in the same wale.
Interlock: requires a special arrangement of needles knitting
back-to-back in an alternate sequence of two sets.
• Warp knitted structures
Single-faced
Double-faced
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Kniting notations
Symbolic representation of a knitting repeat sequence and
eliminates the need of time-consuming written descriptions.
Three types of notation system:
System – prof. PRUSA: using the horizontal and vertical lines
for each weft knitted structure.
System VUP: using the letter - symbol for each weft knitted
element.
System: each point represents a needle in plan view from above
and after the thread path has been drawn, it also represents its
weft stitch.
For warp knitting – lapping diagrams with the use of point paper.
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Prof.PRUSA
Face stitch Reverse stitch

Tuck stitch Float stitch 16


VUP

Face stitch V
Reverse stitch O
Tuck stitch .
Float stitch _
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System
Reverse loops

Face loops

Tuck stitches

Float stitch
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Some properties of knitted fabrics

• Extensibility
• Elasticity
• Drapeability
• Curling
• Thermo-insulating
• Permeability
• Knocking
• Etc.
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Single faced fabric - plain
Technical face

V V V
Technical back
V V V
V V V

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Single faced fabric
Technical face

Technical back
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Single faced fabric - tuck stitch

O O O
O · O
O O O

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Single faced fabric – tuck stitch

Technical face

Technical back
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Single faced fabric – float stitch

O O O
O - O
O O O

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Single faced fabric – float stitch

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Single faced fabric – tuck and float
stitch
single jersey
hopsack
structure

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Single faced fabric – petinet
O O O
O b O
O O O

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Single faced fabric - plush

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Double faced fabric - rib

V O
V O

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Double faced fabric - balanced

V ─ V O ─ O

V ─ V O ─ O
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Double faced fabric

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Double faced fabric – tuck and
float stitches

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Tuck stitches

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Double faced fabric – weft
insertion

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Purl fabric
One course of
face stitches

One course of
reverse stitches

V V V V
O O O O
V V V V
O O O O
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Purl fabric - patern

V V V V V V

V V V O O O

V V V V V V

V V O O O V

V V V V V V

V O O O V V

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Purl fabric

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Interlock fabric

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Interlock fabric

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Warp knitted fabrics
• Warp knitted fabrics are a product of a technology process
carried out on warp knitting machines.
• Their characteristic feature is that the subsequent loops formed
from the same warp thread are situated in the subsequent courses.
This characteristic is the result of the knitting process, which is
based on drawing the warp threads simultaneously through the
loops in the last formed course.

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Principle of warp knitted fabric
production
All ends supplied from the same warp sheet have identical lapping
movements because each is lapped by a guide attached to the same guide bar.

• same needle, wale


• subsequent courses
subsequent
• courses and subsequent
wales
Lapping opened
closed
Structure - needle notation

3
2
or 3-2/ 0-1//
0
1
Links recording
Thread of guide bars:
Schematic • full
stitch drawing • pattern
Guide bar moving
• The arrangement of each warp
thread in the stitch results from
the movements of the guide bar,
the guides of which lead the warp
threads.
• Sample: opened cord lap
needle notation: 3-2/ 0-1//

1. Shog - behind the needles (1 – 3)


2. Swing - from back to right side (3 – 3)
3. Shog – in front of the needles (3 – 2)
4. Swing - from right to back side (2 – 2)
Single guide bar warp knitted fabric
Pillar stitches

Needle notation: 1-0/ 0-1// Needle notation: 1-0//

Opened lap Closed lap


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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
tricot

Needle notation : 0-1/ 2-1// Needle notation : 1-0/ 1-2//

Opened lap Closed lap


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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
tricot
Opened tricot

Closed tricot

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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
cord

Needle notation: 3-2/ 0-1// Needle notation : 2-3/ 1-0//

Opened lap Closed lap


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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
cord
Opened cord

Closed cord

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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
satin

Opened lap
Needle notation: 4-3/
0-1//

Closed lap
Needle notation: 3-4/
1-0// 50
Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
satin

Opened satin

Closed satin

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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
atlas

Opened lap

Needle notation: 3-4/3-2/2-1/1-0/1-2/2-3


Closed lap
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Single guide bar warp knitted fabric -
atlas
Technical face

Technical back
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Two guide bar warp knitted fabric

In opposition

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Two guide bar warp knitted fabric

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Two guide bar warp knitted fabric

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Nets - open work structures
Laying-in and weft insertion
Directionally orientated structures, warp or
weft fibres laid straight, interconnected b
stitches. (0°, 90°, +45°, -45°).

Suitable for technical warp


knitted textiles with using
the special fibres (glass,
carbon, etc.) 58
Inlay
An inlaid yarn is never formed into a knitted loop.
Inlaid fabric consists of a ground structure of
overlapped threads that hold in position other non-
knitted threads which were incorporated into the
structure during the same knitting cycle.
Application: lace and curtain, technical textiles

Pillar and inlay

Needle notation: I. 0-1/ 1-0//


II. 0-0/ 2-2
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Inlay

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Double needle bar warp knitted
fabrics

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Double needle bar warp knitted
fabrics

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Double needle bar warp knitted
fabrics - spacer structures

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Resourses:
• Spencer, D.J.: Knitting technology, Cambridge, 2001
• www - firms: Groz-Beckert, Liba, Karl Mayer, Monarch,
Mayer&Cie,Stoll, Mueller-frick , Rius-comatex, Shima Seiki
• Lectures ZTOV – FT TUL – czech version
• Kovaříková, M.: Vazby a rozbory pletenin, SNTL 1987
• Daněk, V.: Osnovní pletení, skripta VŠST Liberec, 1984
• Kočí,V.: Vazby pletenin, SNTL, Praha, 1980
• Kovář, R.: Základy pletení, TUL 1998
• Photographs of knitted structures (using with LUCIA) – Romana
Zdvihalová, I. Lenfeldová

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