The fleece fabric is similar to jersey and is obtained by inserting one or more additional yarns which do not form the stitch but only a sort of binding on the ground pattern. Single-bed circular knitting machines for fleece fabrics are equipped with a special yarn feed system which must feed the additional yarn into the special fleece feed systems before the formation of the ground stitches. The other feed systems operate as usual and form the ground fabric.
From a technical point of view, there are two different types of fleece fabrics, each one requiring a different feed technique:
STANDARD FLEECE KNITTING MACHINES Require two feed system types for: finer and high-twisted ground yarn coarser and low-twisted fleece yarn
THREE YARN FLEECE KNITTING MACHINES Require three feed system types for: ground yarn fleece yarn tie-in yarn with features similar to the ground yarn
The formation steps of a standard fleece fabric can be outlined as follows: the needles specifically selected to receive the fleece yarn raise to their looping position, i.e. they rise until the previous loop withdraws and opens the latch, without however getting past the latch. The fleece yarn is fed during this step.
The needles start lowering, and bring the fleece yarn which has just been fed into contact with the previous stitches; at the same time the sinkers move forward to hold the previous stitches and the fleece yarn down.
During the following step, all the needles rise to their looping position; when they start lowering, the thread guide feeds the ground yarn. The knitting cycle is completed once the needles have reached their lowest position, and the previous stitches and the fleece yarn have been knocked over.
Standard fleece fabrics are manufactured on standard jersey machines with suitable equipment, while the three yarn fleece fabrics can be manufactured on machines with special diameters up to 40 inches, 3 feed systems per inch and gauge from E 12 to E 24.
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