Double atlas

In this structure, two guide bars atlas lap in opposition with identically balanced lapping movements, often similarly threaded with colours, in order to produce balanced symmetrical designs including checks, plaids, diamonds and circles. Areas of intense colour are obtained where both overlaps on the same needle are of the same colour, and paler areas are produced by overlaps having two threads of different colours. Repeats of 24 or 48 courses can be made but additional selvedge threads may be required to cover empty needles at the fabric edges.

In the past, special circular and rectilinear machines have been built, termed Milanese machines, that cause two sets of threads to make open lap atlas traverses across the needle bed without return traverses. As they reach the selvedge, the threads move into the other set (in rectilinear machines). Either single-needle (cotton lap) or two-needle traverse (silk lap) fabrics can be produced. Despite the balanced rounded loops, attractive appearances, multi-colour possibilities, handle, drapability and elastic recovery properties of Milanese fabrics, their slow rate of production has rendered them uncompetitive.

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