The first double-cylinder machine was the model XL, patented by Stretton and Johnson of Leicester in 1900, which employed double-headed latch needles patented by Townsend in 1849 and internally-controlled sinkers patented by Spiers and Grieves in 1895. Using dividing cams for disengaging the sliders from the needles, it eliminated the need to knit the rib tops on a separate machine and then to transfer the fabric on a quill ring to the needles of another machine in order to knit the leg.
In 1912, the machine was converted to a revolving cylinder type, and in 1920 the first of over 100000 Komet machines was produced. From that year onwards, a wide range of double-cylinder machines has been developed, from high-speed plain models to highly complex machines with extensive patterning capabilities [3,4]. Amongst the range of patterning effects available are three-feed jacquard, linkslinks, embroidery plating, and terry.
The robust reliability of mechanically-controlled double-cylinder machines has ensured their continued use despite competition from new computer-controlled machines.
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