We commonly employ linear flatbed knitting machines for creating warp knitted garments. These machines contain two needle slabs, one for each side of the two-layered cloth material. The garment gets joined from the edges by the yarns getting knitted on each slab to manufacture a circular fabric finally. As it’s tough to produce warp- knit structures on circular knitting machines, warp knitting technology has become unsuccessful in entering the circular knitting market.
These knitting machines mainly utilize three types of motions to create stitches, which are as follows:
- Reciprocating movement of the needles occurring in the vertical plane to create and cast off stitches
- Swinging movement to shift the yarns from the front to the reverse of the needles or vice versa
- Shogging movement to form overlaps and underlaps just parallel to the plane containing the needles
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The knitting needle cycle of a flatbed warp- knitting machine:
We can explain the whole cycle in six steps as depicted in the following image:
The process begins when the needles are present at their highest position with the preceding loops available around their stem.
(1) In step 1, threads move to and fro to shift from the backside to the front of the needles.
(2) Then there occurs the overlapping stage. In step 2, the yarn executes a sideways shogging movement from one needle space to the other to get laid under the hook of the needle. These threads then get rolled to the back of the needle.
(3) In step 3, the needles begin to move in the downward direction.
(4) Phase 4 includes the closing of the latches as the needle moves down. The loops of the preceding cycle present under the needle latch finally reach the peak of the needles. The yarn then gets pulled down by the fabric tension. We also call this phase, the underlap stage.
(5) In stage 5, the needles rise again, and the threads show a shogging motion behind them.
(6) The yarn present in the hooks causes the latches to get opened. The thread moves down concerning the needles to form the new loops.
- During this phase of the cycle, needles are present in their lowest position.
- Starting from the point where the last stitch gets cast off, every thread travels to the new location. The yarn finally reaches its destination, which is just past the target needle.
- The ultimate position of the thread should be such that the target needle must rise in the front of the yarn.
- The needle should be available at an appropriate height to enable the thread to pass under the needle hook.
- This stage begins when the needle has reached its highest position.
- During this phase, the yarn gets wrapped around only one needle. The thread gets positioned under the hook of the needle. It is necessary for the yarn to present sufficiently near the stem to ensure that the needle picks it up on its downward movement.
- Path of the thread depends on whether overlap has executed in the same direction as that of previous under lap or in reverse one.
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