The Different Types of Knitting Machines

August 20, 2019

Source: Industry Reports

Knitting is the method of interweaving yarn to create fabric, textile, or any type of garment. If you’re a hobbyist, hand knitting will be more favorable for you. But as for producers of textile products, they can’t rely on mere hands alone (though they are really skillful hands). It will be more practical for fabric and clothing manufacturers to invest in machinery that will make the production fast-track and standardized.

What is a knitting machine? A product of automation, a knitting machine is a device that is used to create any knitted material, but commonly, clothing. It is a bed of latch hooks or needles. It also comes with a knitting carriage.

There are various types of knitting machines. Mostly for factory use, some for household use. For manufacturing purposes of fabrics and garments, knitting machines are grouped into two: weft knitting and warp knitting machines. Under these two major types, the machines are further subcategorized based on their knitting technology and form.

  1. Single Jersey Circular Knitting Machine

It is also recognized as ‘single-knit machine’ or ‘single jersey machine’. Single jersey circular knitting machine is utilized for making single jersey fabrics--a weft-knitted fabric mostly turned into shirts. The fabric is formed through one set of needles. Normally, this equipment carries various gauges of cylinders that must be uncomplicated to alter. The gauges should also meet the changing requirements of different clothing and fabrics.

  1. Double Jersey Circular Knitting Machine

To make double jersey fabrics in factories, a double jersey circular knitting machine should be employed. Sometimes, it is called an interlock machine or a rib machine for it produces rib fabric. This equipment uses two sets of needles that make the front and back of the fabric appear identical, unlike the single-knit machine. Usually, this machine is more expensive than the former one.

  1. Flat Knitting Machine

Flat knitting machines usually produce garments such as hats, cardigans, dresses, jumpers, trousers, pullovers, scarves, and many others. A flat knitting machine has two needle beds, both are stationary. These two beds are filled with latch hooks or latch needles.

Beneath the knit carriage, the cam system is attached along with the yarn carriers. Across the machine width, the carriage moves reciprocally. The machine gauge would normally have 3 to 18 needles per inch. The machine width measures up to 79 inches.

  1. Hand Knitting Machine (V-bed)

This is a manual flat knitting machine. The hand knitting machine (v-bed) is popularly used for interlocking yarns and knitting the parts of a sweater. V-bed hand flat machine performs different knitting actions. The rest position, clearing, yarn feeding, and knocking over. 

  1. Garment-length Circular Knitting Machine

Just like the flat and circular knitting machinery, the garment-length circular knitting machine has a so-called ‘timing or counting device’ that is used to initiate an added mechanism dubbed as a garment-length programming mechanism or machine control. In a wale-wise direction, the mechanism synchronizes the action of knitting so as to produce a repeat sequence of the garment-length structure. As the length varies, the garment width may remain the same or not.

  1. Computerized Knitting Machine

The computerized knitting machine has been creating magic in the fabrics and clothing it manufactures. The main and most exceptional feature of it is the feasibility of individuation. As the fabric producers have their own pieces of tailored equipment, specifications and requirements will never be a hindrance in terms of the machine's versatility.

Today, most of the businessmen in this field utilize this type of machine to fabricate textile products, not just garments and clothing, but also, publicity and promotional materials. Also, each apparatus may feature a computerized needle actuator, color-striper, and a micro-computer control system. Check this Computerized Jacquard Circular Knitting Machine.

  1. Warp Knitting Machine

The warp knitting machine can be classified into two: tricot and raschel machines. The tricot warp knitting machine only uses the bearded needle at first. The number of needles per inch (of the machine gauge) is from 24 up to 40 needles. The fine filaments are also knitted. Guide bars don’t usually exceed 4 pieces. Simple structures are comparatively produced and these machines are normally built wider.

Meanwhile, for the raschel warp knitting machine, latch needles are commonly used. Guide bars reach up to 16--thus, it is considered more versatile. This machine is more appropriate for making furnishing and outerwear. The raschel machines are more compressed and run at a slower speed.


Each type of machine provides ease in the production process of textile products. It’s just that, one can still be considered different from the other--according to their specialized features. Upon choosing the right knitting machine, consider factors like the type of product that you produce, the versatility of the equipment, the cost, and of course, the features of the knitting machine. May you find the one that best meets your needs!

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