Integral garment knitting lowers make-up costs (including cutting), shortens throughput times, reduces work in progress and provides the opportunity to introduce new styling features. The knitting machines, however, are more complex and expensive and may be more restrictive in their operation and patterning scope. Shima Seiki, the Japanese V-bed machine builders, use the term WholeGarment Knitting to cover their own particular patented technique.
Despite the fact that integral garments are tubular and seamless, few are produced on circular machines except for hosiery and underwear (where making-up operations such as toe closing are still required). The reason is that knitting to shape generally involves wale fashioning achieved by selective loop transfer to and from needles in the same bed - a technique not readily available on circular machines.
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