3D Knitted Garment

Creating 3D knitted garments using different types of knitting machines

Cutting patterns of a 3D knitted garments represent the two-dimensional components of the clothing. The process of cutting is a part of the design and product development. The cutouts which we get after the process of cutting help in producing the garments. We then develop these patterns according to the different dimensions to get different clothing sizes. The task of creating different garment sizes is a complex process, and we call it as grading. After performing the task of grading the designer or cutting technician manufactures a three-dimensional garment consisting of unstable two-dimensional fabric cutting patterns. But this 3D garment is still not ready to wear by a person in its current form.

We commonly use two types of techniques to make the 3D garment to fit the physical requirements of the 3D body i.e.

(a)    Reduction of the surplus area: we can reduce the extra material with the help of darts, seams, folds or gathers.

(b)    Addition of fabric material: Surface addition is possible by inserting an extra fabric to the existing material.

We can compensate the circumferential differences, for example, between the chest region and the waist region by reducing or adding on the material. The technique of 3D knitting helps in the creation of complex 3D shaped knitted fabrics having excellent drapability. We can form a three-dimensional textile structure by joining the two-dimensional sections. The outline of the 2D sections has such a shape that when we combine them, it results in the formation of a 3D model.

Creating three-dimensional knitted fabrics on flat knitting machines:

For producing the three-dimensional knitted fabrics on flat knitting machines, we use the technique of needle parking which includes two processes of shaping:

  • Extension: In the process of extension we increase the number of active working needles.
  • Constriction: While doing the operation of constriction we reduce the number of active working needles.

When we create 3D knitted fabrics on flat knitting machines then by using electronic needle selection, we can either activate or deactivate the needles. To perform the tasks of extension and constriction we have to activate and deactivate the individual needles. When we increase or reduce the number of active needles, there are some needles which remain inactive for a particular time. The function of inactive needles is to hold the last knitted loop. The takedown rollers continuously enhance the tension on the stitches which we have “parked” on the inactive needles. Then we apply a load to the yarn which finally leads to the distortion of the loop. During the load application process when the load exceeds the maximum tensile strength of the thread, then it results in the breakage of the thread. When we use the technique of needle parking for creating three-dimensional garments, then the main task is to transfer the three-dimensional shape to a two-dimensional pattern because for carrying out the shape forming operations we require a two-dimensional pattern.

Creating three-dimensional knitted fabrics on small circular knitting machines:

Small Circular Knitting Machine possesses a unique feature called a pendulum heel element. While manufacturing socks or bandages on these knitting machines we make use of the pendulum function. The product width depends on the size of the machine. The diameter of the small circular knitting machine is less than 165 mm.

The sinker process parameter sets the loop height. But when we are using these knitting machines, then we have a benefit of online varying the height of the loop for each course. By altering the loop height, we can increase the length of the fabric in the direction of Wales. Performing the process of knitting using different sinker heights for different courses, we can get a three-dimensional shape. One example of manufacturing a 3D fabric on small circular knitting machines by using the technique of sinker height variation is the knitting of jersey fabrics on different needle beds with separate setting conditions. We can change the circumference of the fabric by varying the row to row length of mesh. In the case of flat knitting machines, the height of the sinker gets automatically adjusted during knitting. Thus, we can easily vary the length of the mesh, and by changing the mesh lengths, we can create a 3D shape.

Creating 3D knitted garments on large circular knitting machines:

By using the large circular knitting machines, we can manufacture the fabric tubes which we then cut to a 2D fabric. So far, we have not been capable of three-dimensional knitting garments by the large circular knitting machines. In these knitting machines, we can neither have the function of needle parking nor the pendulum function. We commonly use this technology for mass production; therefore in large knitting machines, the needles have to move continuously.  Needle parking or pendulum functions results in the discontinuous movement of the needles thus reducing the productivity to a non-profitable level of operational costs.

One of the crucial requirements for doing 3D knitting on large circular knitting machines is to create 3D elements without changing the continuous movement character of the needles. Also, we need to modify the hardware of the knitting machine to a minimum for enhancing the chance of dissemination of the structure to the industry. Jacquard large circular knitting machine can quickly adapt to the new method of knitting with a minimum hardware investment.

Creating 3D knitted garments using large jacquard circular knitting machines:

Firstly, we examine the current state of the art of creating 3D structures by using cutting patterns. For manufacturing 3D knitted garments out of a 2D fabric, we integrate darts during the design process. Moreover, different knitted structures, i.e. tight and loose patterns are interdependent which results in a “bulge” effect of the entire fabric. We can also change the dimensions of weft knitted structures by using different machine parameters. Though by varying the dimensions we can add or reduce the volume of the fabric. We have a limited range of variable dimensions which cannot result in the full reduction or addition of the material. To overcome this dilemma, we have developed a pattern which enables the machine to produce the desired dart structure. So, 3D knitting is possible on large jacquard circular knitting machines. We can manufacture a 3D half dome prototype according to the 3D measurements that we require by using these knitting machines. In future, we can use this technology in various fields such as medical, automotive, the sports textiles as well as the aerospace sectors.

Contact us:

Bharat Machinery Works is one of the leading manufacturer and supplier of all kind of knitting machines whether they are Flat Knitting Machines or Circular Knitting Machines. Our machines are worldwide famous for their remarkable qualities. Knitting machines manufactured by our company offers best performance and functioning. Moreover, we always update our machines according to the latest advanced technologies to meet the ever increasing demands of the customers.

So, contact us for getting the best quality flat and circular knitting machines at affordable costs.

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