Machine Knitting

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the purpose of a knitting machine?

What are the different types of knitting machines?

Which type of fabrics can be produced using a knitting machine?

How can pattern stitches be selected on a knitting machine?

What type of knitting method is used in domestic knitting machines?

What is the difference between fabric produced using a knitting machine and hand-knitted fabric?

What type of machines are needed to produce larger and more complex knitted items, such as garments?

What is required to create more complex stitch transfers, such as cable stitches?

What is the range of yarn weight that can be knit on a standard gauge 200-needle machine?


Knitting Machine: A Summary

  • Knitting machines are used to produce knitted fabrics in a semi or fully automated fashion.
  • There are different types of knitting machines, ranging from simple spool or board templates with no moving parts to highly complex mechanisms controlled by electronics.
  • Knitting machines produce various types of knitted fabrics, usually either flat or tubular, and of varying degrees of complexity.
  • Pattern stitches can be selected by hand manipulation of the needles, push-buttons and dials, mechanical punch cards, or electronic pattern reading devices and computers.
  • Early flat bed stocking frames had low carbon steel bearded needles where the tips were reflexed and could be depressed onto a hollow closing the loop.
  • To produce larger and more complex knitted items, such as garments, domestic and industrial machines, with either flat or circular beds, producing rectangular or tubular fabrics, respectively, are needed.
  • Automatic patterning machines can knit two-colour Fair Isle patterns automatically and have machine stitch patterning features such as slipping, tucking, plating, and knitweaving.
  • Domestic knitting machines use the weft knitting method which produces a fabric similar to hand knitting.
  • The fabric produced using a knitting machine is of a more even texture than flat knitting, hand-knitted fabric, which is particularly noticeable on large areas of plain stockinette stitch.
  • More complex stitch transfers, such as cable stitches, require hand-manipulation to cross the groups of stitches over each other.
  • Industrial machines that offer selective, automatic stitch transfer between front and back beds along with racking of the beds can create cable stitch automatically.
  • The standard gauge 200-needle machine can knit the finest yarns up to a good sport-weight (4ply UK), while the heavier yarns knit better on a mid-gauge or bulky knitting machine.
  • Machine knitting saves a considerable amount of time but does require learning to operate the machines correctly.


Test your knowledge on knitting machines with our quiz! Learn about the different types of machines, the fabrics they produce, and the various pattern stitches that can be created. Discover the history behind the development of these machines and how they have evolved over time. Challenge yourself with questions on the intricacies of machine knitting and see if you can master the art of creating beautiful knitted fabrics with these magnificent devices.

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