Flat Knitting Machines

The flat knitting machine is a two-bed machine (picture 20).

The most important mechanical features of a flat knitting machine are:

  • the supporting frame
  • the yarn feeding system
  • two needle-beds made up of flat grooved plates
  • a carriage provided with cam-locks for needle control
  • a transmission system
  • a fabric take-down motion
  • a central programming unit
  • a needle-bed racking system
Picture 20 - Flat knitting machine

The two flat beds can be:

1. Inclined by 90°-100° with respect to one another, with a staggered arrangement of the grooves accommodating latch needles or compound needles.

The two flat beds are the "front needle-bed" (indicating the needle-bed closer to the operator) and the "rear needle-bed" (indicating the farther).

2. Both are arranged on a horizontal plane (at 180°) with the grooves, which are positioned opposite to each other. Double hook needles slide inside the grooves; these needles are moved by special sliders, which can transfer the stitches to the front bed - or to the rear bed for links-links or purl knitting processes - according to the type of patterns.

The Manual Flat Knitting Machine

The manual flat knitting machine is made up by a frame carrying the base; this structure supports all the needle beds and motions necessary for the knitting process (picture 21).

Manual Sweater Machine
Picture 21- Manual flat knitting machine In the rear side of the machine (picture 22) there is a spool rack for storing the yarn spools.

Picture 22 - Feeding system

  1. Spool rack
  2. Thread tensioner
  3. Thread guide

The yarn unwound from the spool is picked up by the feeding system: a tensioner, which adjusts the feeding tension and a thread guide, driven by the machine carriage, which provides the needle with yarn at the proper time.

The tensioner is made up by a spring-load flexible arm, that lowers when the yarn tension increases, to feed a bigger quantity of yarn, and lifts up when the tension decreases.

The Needle-bed (picture 23)

Manual Flat Knitting Machine
Picture 23 - Needle-bed and carriage of a manual flat knitting machine

Picture 24 shows the needle-bed and the motions of a manual flat knitting machine.

The needles (4) accommodated inside the grooves (1) of the needle-bed can be either in a knitting or in a non-knitting position and are moved by special springs (2). Placed between the grooves in the upper part of the needle-bed, the knock-over jacks (3) act as supports for the yarn fed during the stitch formation.

A spring securing bar (5) and a needle securing bar (6) are also attached to the needle-bed to keep needles and springs in a correct sliding position.

Front view

Picture 24 - The needle-bed

Front view

Side view

Side view

Picture 24 - The needle-bed

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