How to Select Yarn Count in Knitting | Selection of Count in Knitted Fabric

Last Updated on 13/10/2021

Yarn Count Selection for Knit Fabric

Saidul Karim Riaz
B.Sc. in Textile Technology
Senior Merchandiser
Ha-meem Group


Yarn Count Selection in Knitting:
Knitted fabric is made with the help of yarn loops. Yarn of different counts is used to produce fabric of different grammage. There is also a need to calculate optimum production of knitting machines. It is the job of knitting manager to do certain calculation for proper use of machines and production of fabric according to the demands of the customer. In this article I will discuss for selection of yarn count in knitting.

yarn count selection in knitting

Most Suitable Count for Knitting Machines:
As we know needle hook has to take yarn to convert it into a loop and finally latch has to close the needle hook so that loop is properly held by the needle hook and ultimately this helps in passing new loop through the previously held loop. It is clear from this explanation that there should be a proper balance between needle hook size and the thickness of the yarn or filament. If the yarn is thicker than needle hook then there will a chance that needle hook will not able to hold this loop and consequently there will be a small hole in the fabric. If the situation is reverse, means yarn is thinner than the size of the needle hook then the fabric produced will look like a net. Both situations are not wanted. This situation demands a balance between needle hook size and count of yarn. It is worth to note that needle hook size depends upon the machine guage. Furthermore for different garments, fabric of different grammage is required. Every time knitter has to decide about the yarn count. There are many ways for the selection of proper count. In the following lines we will discuss most common methods to select count for different machines of different guage. It is also important to note that selection of yarn counts also depends upon the machine manufactures and type of machines, like, single and double knit machine. However a general guideline will be given hereunder.

As a thumb rule knitting experts prefer to use such knitting machine whose gauges is near to count of yarn (English count) i.e. for 20-gauge machines most suitable yarn count is 20s. This rule is has certain limitations, like, for 28-gauge yarn of 26s to 30s is most suitable. But for very fine counts this rule is not applicable and also machines have maximum gauge 32. Normally fine counts are not used as such rather they are make double, like count 60s double, which means that net count is near to 30s. And this 60 double count is suitable for 30-gauge machine.

To solve this problem some authors have suggested following formulas:

For single knitting machine,
Suitable count = G*G/18

For Double knitting machine,
Suitable count= G*G/8.4

Where G is gauge of knitting machine

Some knitting machine manufacturers suggest a range of yarn count for their machine. There is another way to solve this problem and that is to take help from old record. Every firm is producing many types of fabrics and on the basis of experience they develop a database for ready reference. In the following line we give a table for guidance (table is under construction). One can get a ready reference from the table to produce fabric of certain grammage. We are also giving expected width of fabric after wet processing. This table can provide just a reference. Knitters have to decide by themselves after doing a trial production, since there are many more factors, which can affect yarn and gauge selection process.

Knitting Machine Parameters:
Every knitting machine is made to fulfill certain demands of the customer. There are number of characteristics of machine which are intimated by the machine manufacturers while delivering the machine to customers/users. It is helpful for the user to be well aware about these parameters. Furthermore machine specifications are given in different unit. We will explain these parameters and will also give the conversion factors to convert parameters from one system to other.

Machine Gauge:
As per Oxford Dictionary the word “gauge” is a noun and as well as verb. It is used to measure level of anything or for an instrument to measure width, length or height of anything. In knitting it is used to express the number of needle in a unit length of the needle bed. This needle bed may flat or circular. In double knit circular machine it is used for cylinder and as well as dial. Generally gauge is defined as number of needles per inch. According to German standard DIN 60917 (Iyer et al1995) alphabet “E” is used to denote knitting machine gauge.

Machine gauge selection in knitting
Fig: Machine gauge selection in knitting

Machine Pitch:
As per German DIN 62125 (Iyer et al1995) the notation “gauge” is to be avoided in the future. Rather they prefer to use notation “pitch” for comparison purpose. Machine Pitch means the distance between the centers of two neighboring needles. It is denoted with small “t”. It is given in mm.

Count Calculation on GSM:

F/Type Equation
Single Jersey Count = (-0.141) GSM + 50.22
Pique Count = (-0.146) GSM + 57.16
Double Lacost Count = (-0.167) GSM + 64.36
1×1 Rib Count = (-0.123) GSM + 54.57
Lycra 1×1 Rib Count = (-0.119) GSM + 59.12
Lycra 2×2 Rib Count = (-0.108) GSM + 56.62
Interlock Count = (-0.206) GSM + 80.56

Some Example: Yarn Count Selection on Finished GSM

F/Type F/GSM Count S/L G/GSM GSM% Feeder Number
S/J 130-150 30s 2.65-2.9 110-120 80% to 85% 1 cm = 18/20 Feeder for Single Jersey

1 cm = 28/32 Feeder for Single Lacost, S/Pique

1 cm = 30/34 Feeder for Double Lacost, D/pique

160-180 26s 2.7-2.9 125-135 78% to 80% 1 cm = 16/18 Feeder for Single Jersey

1 cm = 26/30 Feeder for Single Lacost, S/Pique

1 cm = 28/32 Feeder for Double Lacost, D/pique

175-190 24s 2.75-2.95 135-145 76% to 77% 1 cm = 16/18 Feeder for Single Jersey

1 cm = 24/28 Feeder for Single Lacost, S/Pique

1 cm = 26/30 Feeder for Double Lacost, D/pique

190-210 20s 2.9-3.2 150-165 76% to 79% 1 cm = 4/18 Feeder for Single Jersey

1 cm = 22/26 Feeder for Single Lacost, S/Pique

1 cm = 24/28 Feeder for Double Lacost, D/pique

180-210 40s 1.55-1.75 130-150 72% 1 cm = 32/36 Feeder
210-230 34s 1.65-1.85 150-170 72% 1 cm = 30/34 Feeder
230-250 30s 1.65-1.85 170-190 74% 1 cm = 28/32 Feeder
26s 72%
24s 72%
170-190 30s 2.65-2.85 125-130 1 cm = 17/18 Feeder
195-225 26s 2.7-2.95 140-155 1 cm = 16/17 Feeder
230-250 24s 2.7-2.95 160-175 1 cm = 16/17 Feeder

You may also like:

  1. Understanding Yarn Count | Yarn Counting System
  2. Yarn Count Numbering System and Conversions
  3. Determination of the Yarn Count by Wrap Reel and Analytical Balance
  4. How to Determine Thread Count of Fabric by Beesley Balance
  5. Yarn Count Measurement System
  6. Count Conversion System for Textile Yarns
  7. How to Calculate GSM of Woven and Knitted Fabric

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