Knitwear Is For Keeping Warmth Biology Essay

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Knitwear is for keeping warmth in the winter, this is the perspect1ive of people. Nowadays, creative knitwear becomes fashion and there is no division of seasons. Novelty knit stitch is the most important element in maintaining the trend. Cabled knit is one of the dimensional stitches appears in every winter season. It gives unique texture comparing to other stitches and the adding dimensional effect to knitwear. Reviewing the past few seasons, the photos from runway show the existing and future trend. Figure 1.1 shows cable on centre front from Twinkle by Wenlan and Figure 1.2 shows the extraordinary cables from Pringle of Scotland in Fall/Winter 2009/10.

Figure 1.1 Twinkle by Wenlan Fall/Winter 2009/10 (

Figure 1.2 Pringle of Scotland Fall/Winter 2009/10 (

In Fall/Winter 2010/11, Figure 1.3 shows Maison Martin Margiela developed large-scale of cable in and Figure 1.4 shows a classic cable knit stitch from Vionnet.

Figure 1.3 Maison Martin Margiela Fall/Winter 2010/11 (

Figure 1.4. Vionnet Fall/Winter 2010/11 (

For the forthcoming Fall/Winter 2011/12, Figure 1.5 shows complicated cables from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Figure 1.6 shows cabled knit dress from Bora Aksu.

Figure 1.5 Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2011/12 (

Figure 1.6 Bora Aksu Fall/Winter 2011/12 (

Other than that, basic stitches such as miss stitch, it gives the laddering effect is popular in the knitwear fashion, the floating between vertical rows or ribs. Loop transferred creating different textures and effects of the knitted fabric. In order to create mesh effect, loosely formed knitting structure by drop stitch to give the open stripes in the fabric.

The various combinations of basic knit stitches provide different fabric appearance. Combining the basic stitches to create dimensional knit stitches and produced by different flat knitting machines with different result provides uniqueness of the garment.

New and unique knitting structure pouring can preserve the knitwear industry. The new elements of the knit stitches are not published, and the book existed mostly talking about the basic knitting techniques and mechanism.

In this study, the exploration of dimensional knit stitch in knitwear on runway, the creation of personal inspired, the further development of the basic knitting techniques will be included in this research to enrich the final collection.


The objective of the study is to develop new dimensional stitch which is inspired from the runway and modified by own creation. To review the basic knit stitches and dimensional knit stitches have done by knitwear designers in Fall/Winter 2011/12. Explore and do experiment of own created dimensional knit stitch to get the desired patterns. Repeatedly experiment of the same stitch by modifying and combining the basic knitting techniques. Analyze the development and process of forming the new stitches.

Scope of Study

The research is based on the basic knit structure and application from the flat knitting machine, the development of the basic knitting stitch types and loop types will be investigated. To research about the dimensional knit stitches have done by knitwear designers in Fall/Winter 2011/12. Experiment of the new stitch development by own creation will be carried out. Seeking advices from technician and supervisors to prevent failure knitting and ensure the knitted swatches are the succeeded and expected with the new stitch.

The experiment will be carried out in the knitting laboratory in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University by SHIMA SEIKI SDS-ONE system and SHIMA SEIKI 122S 12GG Flat Bed Knitting Machine and 7GG Flat Bed Hand Knitting Machine. Designs of the new stitches will be proofed by technician and supervisor.


Literature review will be carried out for reviewing the basic knit structure and the mechanism of the flat knitting machine. Explore and analyze the dimensional knit stitches have done by knitwear designers in Fall/Winter 2011/12. Carry out experiment for creating the new stitch and compare the result with different techniques to get the desired patterns. Knitted swatches will be presented with diagrams indicating the knitting techniques. The result of experiment will be recorded by chart and analyze the data by rating.

Significance of Study

Since there are no published books telling about the forming techniques of dimensional stitches and the book existed mostly talking about the basic knitting techniques and mechanism, there is no doubt to maintain the knitwear industry in the future by creating and developing innovative elements on the knitwear. Regarding to the current knitwear trend, cabled knit stitches gives dimensional effect and texture to the knitwear and it has high potential of stitches development in the industry.

For the mass market, knitwear designers are driven to get inspiration from the runway, but there is not many ways more than just copied. For neglecting the straight adoption from the runway garment to the mass production, further development is needed for the new generation of knitwear designers. Creations based on the basic techniques from the released books and combine the various techniques of forming the new stitch.

Structure of Project Work

The project work consists of six chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the background of work, objectives, scope of study, methodologies and significance of study.

Chapter 2 is a comprehensive review of existing literatures which involves of

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6



Study of Basic Knit Structures & Loop Types


As all the knitted samples are produced by weft knitting machine, there are some classifications of the knitted structures, and they are classified into three basic groups according to the arrangement of loops in their courses and wales, and five loop types. Figures show the knit structure and the symbols show the knitting notation, these graphics give the identity to each structure.

Basic Knit Structure

Plain Knit

Plain knit is a structure that formed by only one needle bed and either front needle bed or rear needle bed. The second bed is inactive throughout the whole knitting process and the needles remain idle.

The needle forms a face loop by pulling the newly fed yarn towards it through the previous loop. When the fabric is produced on the front needle bed, it shows only face loop to the observer standing in front of the knitting machine (Figure 2.1); if the fabric is produced on the rear needle bed, it shows the reverse side of the loops (Figure 2.2) (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.1-2 Technical face and technical back side of plain knit

Figure 2.3-4 Notations of technical face and technical back side of plain knit

Rib Structure

When comparing to Plain Knit, rib is a structure that formed by both needle beds which alternately ascend and descend to form loops.

For an example, when all the needles participate in the knitting procedure, a "1x1 Rib" is formed (Figure 2.5). When the fabric is viewed from one side, one wale is made of face loops; one wale is made of reverse loop and so on. The wales made of reverse loops are in fact the wales exhibiting face loops when the fabric is viewed from the other side (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.5 Structure of 1x1 rib

Figure 2.6 Notation of 1x1 rib

Purl Structure

Purl is a structure that the front and reverse loops appear in the same wales. It requires both needle beds participation for the formation of loops.

The production of purl knit structure on the "V" bed flat knitting machine and it needs loop transfer to produce the structure. For an example, the 1x1 purl structure in Figure 2.7.

And, the mixture of knit/transfer for individual needles gives different purl structure, i.e. 1x1, 2x2 (Figure 2.8) (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.7 Structure of 1x1 purl

Figure 2.8 Notation of 1x1 purl

Figure 2.9 Structure of 2x2 purl

Figure 2.10 Notation of 2x2 purl

Basic Loop Types


In the previous chapter, the basic knit structure is constructed by one type of knitted loop. The introduction of the basic loop types gives a brief idea of the formation and characteristics of the knitted loop, in addition to enhance the complexity of patterns.

The Standard Loop

Based on the positioning of needles and the production of the fabric, the formation of the basic loop has two different faces. The face loop is formed by the front needle bed; the rear loop is formed by the rear needle bed. And, when observing the fabric from the other side, the face loop appears as a reverse loop (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.11 Face side of a standard loop

Figure 2.12 Back side of a standard loop

Figure 2.13 Notation of a face loop

Figure 2.14 Notation of a rear loop

Miss Stitch

It is an effect created by the missing of knitted loop in the loop formation sequence. The main elements of the stitch are included an enlarged knitted loop and a straight element of yarn. At the back side, there is a long float behind the standard loop which is the result of a needle has not participated in one sequence of loop formation (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.15 Face side of miss Stitch

Figure 2.16 Back side of miss stitch

Figure 2.17 Notation of miss stitch

Tuck Stitch

This is a stitch which is similar to Miss Stitch, the reveals construction. The yarn is tucked into the structure by the needle, instead of being formed into a loop. It is an effect created by stretched loop with a segment of yarn tucked behind it. And, there is an important element of the tuck stitch, what gives a big difference to the Miss Stitch, is the tucked yarn is placed behind the stretched face loop (Figure 2.18) (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.18 Face side of tuck stitch

Figure 2.19 Back side of tuck stitch

Figure 2.20 Notation of tuck stitch

Transferred Stitch

A transferred stitch is not an additional loop type and it is a result of mechanically taking a loop from the rear needle bed and placing it on a needle at the front. That is the delivery process of a loop from the delivering needle to the receiving needle while the both needles are in resting position. There is no additional notation symbol and the transferred procedure is clearly described by the needle notation system (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.21 Transfer stitch

Figure 2.22 Needle notation of transferred stitch

The Dropped Stitch

Dropped stitch is not a specific and normal loop types, which is created from knitting failures. However, it gives uniqueness to the knitting pattern of a fabric under a controlled tension and steps. No yarn is fed to the needle when the needle ascends to knitting position then descends. This is a controlled type to drop its stitch to create a "Ladder" effect. There is no special notation symbol of a dropped stitch and it is shown by yarn simulation in the needle notation system with a broken line, indicating there is no yarn fed to the specific loop (Raz, 1993).

Figure 2.23 Dropped stitch

Figure 2.24 Notation of dropped stitch

Weft Knitting Machine


For industry and manufacturing, there are many types of weft knitting machines, such as single bed knitting machine foe domestic used and straight bar machine for fully-fashion. However, in this project work, two types of machines will be operated for the experiments. They are manually operated flat knitting machine and computer controlled knitting machine, will be introduced in the following.

Manually Operated Flat Knitting Machine

It is a simple, manually operated, knitting machine. In the past time, it was the backbone of the garment manufacturing industry. The increasing of labour costs and the development of garment knitting patterns have forced this type of machine out of the production lines. It was replaced by the advanced mechanically machine and later with computer controlled system (Raz, 1993).

A flat bed machine with two-bed set in an inverted V formation, called "v-bed knitting machine". Some simple knitting effect such as, plain knit, rib structure; or even ottoman stitch, cables can be produced.

Figure 2.25 V-bed hand flat knitting machine (MN-B Stoll Machine (Jiangsu))

Computer Controlled Knitting Machine

For industrial production, the sophisticated electronically controlled knitting machine is hired for greater production rate. This kind of machine has various choices of machine gauge for different garment production. It provides finer gauges of knitted garment and more special structure can be produced. When comparing to v-bed knitting machine, the computer controlled knitting machine requires electronically operation system and specific programme for operation. It gives more variety of the knitting patterns and effects than the v-bed knitting machine.

Figure 2.26 Computer Controlled Knitting Machine (SIG123SC - Shima Seiki)

Textile Fibres


Talking about knitwear, the first thing that pops up into the mind is fibre and yarn. Fibre is one the most important element to form the knitted garment. Its properties give different performance to the knitwear that could be modified by different types, knit structure and finishing. The fibres are classified as natural fibres, man-made fibres and mineral fibres.

Figure 2.27 Fibre classification based on origin (Textile Information)

Natural Fibres

The natural fibres are classified in two categories, animal fibres and vegetable fibres.

Animal Fibres

Animal fibres are mostly protein fibres, one of the most used in the industry is silk. Silk is a fibre excreted by the silkworm. Silk fibre has high lustre in appearance and excellent hand feel. It appears in most of the luxurious fashion brand knitwear products. Wool is also the highly used fibre, it is the fibre from fleece of sheep or lamb. There are various lengths of wool fibres. Short wool fibres which may be two inches or less, are made into soft and fuzzy yarns; long wool fibres which may be two to eight inches, they are smoother and firmer. Wool is warm and comfortable, for most of the knitwear items in the Fall/Winter, wool has the higher percentage of usage in the garment production.

Figure 2.28 Photomicrographs of wool and silk fibres

Vegetable Fibres

Vegetable fibres are cellulosic fibres, such as cotton. Cotton fibres grow in the boll or seed pod of cotton plants. Different species of cotton plants produce different length of fibres. Long cotton fibres are used in better quality fabrics, they are smooth and fine, has higher lustre than short cotton fibres. Cotton is comfortable because of high absorbency and the ability to transmit perspiration moisture away from body. In the Spring/Summer collection, Cotton is highly used for apparel.

Figure 2.29 Photomicrographs of cotton fibre

Mineral Fibres

Mineral fibres such as asbestos (Figure 2.30) are used for sheeting, stage curtain and fine blankets in textile usage. There are various applications of asbestos and wide ranges of usage in different countries. For the health risks of asbestos fibre production, some products have been discontinued in some countries (Shride, 1973). Glass fibres (Figure 2.31) mostly used for as a reinforcement fibre, textile function such as flame-retardant and fire-proof. Metal fibres such as metal foil and metal wire have various usages. Lurex (Figure 2.32) is a metallic yarn produced from metal fibre, highly used for high fashion garment and evening wear embellishment.

Figure 2.30 Crocidolite asbestos

Figure 2.31 Glass fibres for reinforcement

Figure 2.32 Lurex yarn

Man-Made Fibres

The American Society for Testing and Materials defines the term man-made fibres as "a class name of various genera of fibres (including filament) produced from fibre-forming substances which may be polymers synthesized by man from simple chemical compounds, modified or transformed natural polymers and glasses."

Most man-made fibres are thermoplastic, and that means they are softened by heat. They are produced by two types of materials, from vegetable sources (cellulosic) or synthetic materials.

Cellulosic Man-Made Fibres

Cellulosic man-made fibres such as cellulosic acetate, which is made from wood pulp as a starting material. It has a low strength when wet and low absorbency. Acetate is versatile and inexpensive, mostly used in making satins and brocades. The well-known trade name such as Acele. Visocse rayon, which is a regenerated fibre obtained from soft woods or from the short fibres. Art silk is the name of viscose rayon in the textile industry. It usually has a high luster of appearance.

Figure 2.33 Photomicrographs of viscose rayon

Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are created by forcing through extrusion and fibre forming materials through spinnerets into the air, forming a thread. In the textile industry, synthetic fibre such as nylon, polyester and acrylic are mostly used. Nylon is by long chains of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides. In the nylon group, nylon 6 fibres are tough, have high tensile strength, and high elasticity and lustre. Nylon 6 used in manufacturing of large variety of threads, using for knitted garment and hosiery. The trade name of nylon 6 are Celon and Perlon.

Figure 2.34 Photomicrographs of nylon 6

Yarn Type


In knitwear design, yarn plays an important part of the appearance of the garment. The selection types of yarns affecting the totally look and mood of a style.

Yarn is formed by interlocking of fibres, and suitable for various textile productions. Yarns may be made from staple fibre or filament fibre. Yarn types are classified into three groups, classified by from of raw material, by spinning operations and fibre content.

Material Classification

The raw material of producing the yarn classified the type of yarn. Yarns that made from staple fibres are using three different spinning systems. They were cotton system, woollen system, worsted system and filament.

For cotton system, there are two types of cotton yarns; carded cotton yarns and combed cotton yarn. Comparing two types of cotton yarns, combed cotton yarn has higher parallel alignment of fibre and lustre than carded cotton yarn.

For wool fibres, woollen yarns are made from short wool fibres which carded and have lower parallel when comparing to worsted yarns which is formed by longer wool fibres. Worsted yarn has higher lustre in appearance and smooth in hand feel.

Silk formed filament yarn among those vegetable fibre, it is smooth and fine. In the same way as silk filament, man-made fibre manufactured into filaments and then into yarns.

Spinning Operation Classification

There are various types of yarns in spinning operation classification, for example, single and ply yarns, novelty yarns and textured yarns are the most common yarn in the knitwear industry.

Single yarn that made from a single filament or from a group of staple fibres twisted together. And ply yarn is made by twisting together two or more single yarns. Play yarns are stronger than a single yarn that in the same diameter.

Figure 2.35 Twisting of two-ply yarns

Novelty yarns are made with some built-in irregularity to give the unique appearance or texture. Generally, the smaller the novelty effect in core-and-effect yarns, the more durable the formed garment. Bouclé yarn is one of the most used novelty yarn.

Figure 2.36 Samples of novelty yarns

Figure 2.37 Bouclé yarn

Textured yarns are made from the man-made filament fibres by processing techniques which give the filaments a coil, crimp, curl or loop. The texture gives greater bulk, stretch to the yarns, and these yarn are named with its techniques.

Figure 2.37 Illustrated textured yarns

Fibre Content Classification

In the industry, fibre blends and combination contains the mixture of fibre that complements each other to give the required characteristics. Blended yarns are made of two or more fibres mixed before the yarn spinning process.