Except for the few Griswold type hand-turned machines (Fig. 4.4), all hosiery machines are of the revolving cylinder type. This arrangement offers the advantages of high revolution speeds, a simplified drive, and the possibility of selectively striping-in yarn from stationary packages placed at fixed feed positions around the cylinder. The garment sequence control must, however, be linked by means of cables and rods (or electronics), using the shortest possible routes, to the various mechanisms at the knitting positions around the needle cylinder without interfering with accessibility to the machine (Fig. 21.1).
Ladies' fine-gauge seamless hose and tights are knitted in plain base structure on single-cylinder machines with holding-down sinkers.
Men's, ladies' and children's socks and half-hose in broad rib or purl (links-links) base structure are knitted on double-cylinder machines. Men's dress socks are broad
rib socks with a reciprocated heel and reciprocated toe that has been closed by linking. A typical machine specification would be 4-inch diameter, 168 needles.
Sports and casual socks in a plain base structure are now usually knitted on single-cylinder machines with holding-down sinkers.
More formal simple rib socks may be knitted on cylinder and dial rib machines termed 'true-rib machines. These machines have half the number of needles in the dial as are in the cylinder, with every second cylinder needle opposite a dial needle. For that reason only simple ribs such as 1 x 1,2 x 1,3 x 1, etc. can be knitted, not broad ribs such as 6 x 3 rib. True rib machines knit a more balanced 1 x 1 rib than double-cylinder machines, whose needles in the top cylinder do not draw their loops with as strong a yarn tension as those in the bottom cylinder.
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