Tubular, seamless, extensible nets for fishnet patterned stockings, fruit sacks, and medical support bandages can be knitted on simple, small-diameter circular warp knitting machines. The vertical latch needles are fixed to the needle cylinder, collectively rising and falling with it. They are in a conical arrangement so the hooks form a smaller circle than the stems. The warp yarn is supplied through guide-eyes drilled in a ring. The ring turns to overlap the hooks when the needles are raised and produces underlaps at the back of the needles when they are lowered. For a simple balanced net, two full rings are used.
For more complex designs, up to 4 additional patterning rings may be employed. Tritex (Barwell, Leicester, UK) are supporting the development of a new prototype machine .
The rings can be cam-driven or electronically-controlled. At 80 per cent efficiency, approximately 100 metres of fabric will be knitted per hour. The stitch length is controlled by the positive warp let-off mechanism.
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