Knitwear Manufacturing Technology: An Overview
Shubham Anil Jain
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India
Knitting is the practice of using yarn and needles to create loops of thread that interlock one another row by row. Many people have utilized this craft to make fabrics and apparel including socks, sweaters, scarves, caps, and gowns. The Oxford English Dictionary records the word “knit” being used for the first time in the 15th century. Its roots can be found in the Old English term cnyttan, which denotes a knot. But in contemporary English, this verb might signify a number of different things. The word is also used to define the verbs fuse and bring together. Knitting can be done in alone or with others. Considering that all you’ll need is a yarn and a pair of needles, it doesn’t take up much room in exploring your art.
Knits Fabric Manufacturing:
Knitting is the process of creating fabric by creating a series of interlocking loops out of a continuous yarn or yarns. Generally speaking, knit materials can be stretched further than woven ones. The weft, or filler knits, which include plain, rib, purl, pattern, and double knits, and the warp knits, which include tricot, raschel, and milanese, are the two main categories of knits. A knitting wale is a column of loops that runs lengthwise and represents the warp of woven fabric; a knitting course is a row of loops that runs crosswise and represents the filling.
Although commercial textiles are often created by machines, hand or machine fabrication is an option for most filling knits. Basic stitches include the knit stitch, which involves drawing a loop through the back of the previous loop before passing it through the front, and the purl stitch. Because each loop in a vertical row depends on the stitch below it, some filler knits are delicate. Runs can happen when a loop in a row breaks, freeing loops in the adjacent row. The most stretch is found in the crosswise direction of filling knits. The plain knits, also known as flat knits, feature a flat front and a back that shows a few short, horizontal loops. This pattern is referred to as stockinette when it is created by hand knitting. Velour and fake fur are two examples of the pile-surfaced fabrics generated by modifications of the plain knit. In rib knits, the wales alternately produce lengthwise ribs on both sides of the fabric. These knits are heavier than basic knits, have more flexibility, and last longer. Purl knits are reversible because they have horizontal ridges running across on both the front and the back of the cloth.
Additionally manufactured solely by machines, warp knits are typically less elastic, closer, and run-resistant than filler knits. They are woven on a chain loom with a different needle controlling each warp. Along the fabric’s length, the loops connect to one another. Fine, vertical wales on the surface and crosswise ribs on the back define tricot. It commonly serves as the backing for laminated fabric and has good draping characteristics, making it ideal for lingerie. Raschel knits have an open, lace-like design, with a much finer yarn holding in place a heavier, more textured yarn. Raschels can be produced in a range of textures, from coarse to delicate, and typically have little elasticity. Both flat and tubular knit materials are created. Warp knits are often flat, while filling knits are most frequently tubular. By adding stitches to some rows to increase width and knitting two or more stitches together to decrease width, a technique known as fashioning can be used to create flat filler knits. Stitches are tightened or stretched to create circular (tubular) knits.
Knitwear Garment Manufacturing Process:
Knitwear manufacturing technology has evolved significantly, driven by innovations in both manual and automated processes. Traditional hand-knitting techniques persist, but computerized knitting machines, like circular and flatbed machines, have revolutionized production efficiency and precision. Process of knitwear manufacturing is point out below.
- Obtaining a sample of the requested fabric is crucial during the knitwear manufacturing process. The manufacturer will benefit from having a deeper understanding of the preferences and needs of their customers.
- An additional challenging stage is choosing the design and pattern. The precise design of various components, which is often created on stiff paper and cut out in the desired forms, is known as patterning. The pattern can also be manually drawn by the designer using a pencil, scale, and paper. Additionally, the entire production will be carried out based on this design. Therefore, creating designs and analyzing patterns is the most crucial phase.
- Because there are several patterns and sizes, including XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL, pattern creation and grading are crucial components of this procedure. It requires different sorts of patterns for various sizes. There are additional grading guidelines to create a pattern of various sizes.
- Spreading the fabric comes next after marker making. The fabric is laid out on the table and cut according to its length and width throughout this operation. The stack might be as tall as five to six inches.
- Next is cutting step, this is a crucial stage in the procedure. To prevent fabric displacement, the spread fabrics are now precisely fixed with table and marker paper. The cutting machine uses various blades to create distinct cuts in various garment components. By employing the computerized technique rather than the manual procedure, cutting the fabrics can be done extremely quickly and simply.
- It’s crucial to put everything together when making the garment, because the sewing phase will follow the assembling phase. And if anything goes wrong during the assembly phase, the entire procedure will have made a serious error. There are several types of sewing machines for varied sizes and parts in the sewing division.
- When all of this is finished, the production will undergo one last wash. The quality assurance team will check the quality after some quality tests have been completed. They will examine the stitching mistakes, measuring errors, fabric mistakes, print flaws, sizing problems, etc.
- In the last step, the garments are ironed in accordance with the merchandiser’s specifications. The quality assurance team will next conduct one more inspection before moving on to packaging and delivery.
- The clothes move on to the packaging section after the ironing and final inspection. The clothing will be packaged in a few poly bags in this stage, followed by the large cartoon with the labels and price tags. The entire production is then prepared for distribution to its customers.
Benefits of Knitwear Garments:
Knitwear offers a blend of comfort, insulation, and versatility that makes it a favored choice in fashion. Here are some of the key benefits of knitwear garemnts:
a) They Have Excellent Comfort:
The first thing that comes to mind when you are preparing for a trip is probably comfort. And scarcely any other sort of clothing can compare to the level of comfort that knitwear provides. The majority of materials that resemble knitwear closely are either too loose or too tight to allow for freedom of movement. Travelling when bundled up in constricting clothing can only cause excruciating body aches.
b) They Have a Great Style:
Knitwear will force you to reconsider your belief that comfortable clothing cannot be fashionable. The Canadian handcrafted wool cardigan is so adaptable that you may use it with everything. Enjoy a stylish, laid-back look by pairing them with your jeans. Alternately, you can put it over your dress and be party-ready in no time.
c) They’re Simple To Pack:
It is crucial to take into account how much room your garments will take up when travelling. Nothing is more uncomfortable than lugging around heavy bags. Additionally, you will be required to pay an excess fee at the airports. Fortunately, knit clothing can be twisted into any shape and fits into the smallest spaces.
d) They Have No Wrinkles:
Can you think travelling with an iron in tow? That’d be insane. But it’s also uncool to dress with wrinkles. Knitwear may provide a remedy. Simply put, you do not need to iron them because they are completely free of wrinkles no matter how you pack or wash them.
Knitwear has proven over the decades that it can quickly adjust to changes in demand and the numerous fashion trends. This trend will continue without going out of style thanks to designers discovering and developing new knit designs and the ongoing improvement of knitting equipment. Fashion would do well to acknowledge the great contribution of creative technicians and designers who have been the facilitators of knitwear’s repositioning in history from useful to fashionable clothes. Knitwear manufacturing technology is offering a valuable instrument for design.
- A Complete Knitted Garment Manufacturing Process by Marc Berman October 21, 2020, 12:19 pm, https://programminginsider.com/a-complete-knitted-garment-manufacturing-process/
- knitting Textile, Written and fact-checked by The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/technology/knitting
- History of Knitting – A Resource Demystifying the Origins of Knitting, https://www.makersmercantile.com/history-of-knitting-a-resource-guide.htm
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.