How do sock knitting machines work?
In today’s world, where technology is advancing rapidly. There are continuous innovations in electronic sock knitting machines where socks are produced. While performing your profession in these machines, you will realize how comfortable and reliable it is to work on electronic socks knitting machines.
Electronic socks knitting machines are classified according to the number of cylinders they contain or the type of knitting they work.
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We are love in with our job and we want to explain the history of sock knitting machines t you. Here we go…
History of Sock Knitting Machines
Even so, in different textures and shapes, the history of socks goes back to ancient times. In the first written sources, the Greek poet Heseidos (8th century BC) mentions a shoe lining (piloi) knitted from animal hair. Romans wore leather or fabric bands on their feet, ankles, and legs. For the first time in the 2nd century AD, a kind of non-flexible socks that were sewn from fabric felt or animal skins was started to be used. Knitted socks produced between the 3rd and 6th century AD were found in ancient Egypt. Hand-knitted socks reached their current shape in the 17th century.
Hand knitting socks were started to be produced on the machine after British William Lee invented the first hand and the foot-operated knitting machine. In the following centuries, this machine was developed by different individuals or organizations and turned into a state-of-the-art “electronic sock knitting” machine.
Electronic socks knitting machines can be classified according to the number of cylinders they contain or the type of knitting they work.
Sock knitting machines can be classified under two main titles as single and double cylinders according to the number of cylinders they contain.
Single Cylinder Sock Knitting Machines
These machines, which consist of a single-cylinder, cannot reverse and flat knit. Only plain weave can work. The flexibility and durability of the socks produced (Quick wear, pulling length, etc.) are lower than the socks produced by double cylinder socks knitting machines. Despite these disadvantages, they are accepted in the market due to their structural flexibility that can respond quickly to fashion trends. Among the machines of this type, old model socks machines have limited knitting features, while new generation machines can also make jacquard position besides flat knitting.
The electronic single cylinder socks machine you see in the picture above is a single-cylinder and single-drop machine in various thicknesses (gg) for producing high quality and multicolored patterned socks. In the same order, it is possible to produce socks with a total of 15 colors + 2 ground colors, the floor + 5 colors. The pattern can be drawn across the stocking. At the same time, socks can be made using 4 colors + ground color, and 3D socks can also be made.
Double Cylinder Sock Knitting Machines
Consisting of two rollers placed on top of each other, the upper roll makes reverse weave and the lower roll makes flat knitting. The fabric structure obtained is very flexible and durable since the needles can work on both the top and bottom rollers. It is also possible to produce socks that can be produced on single-cylinder socks knitting machines with suitable changes to be made on double cylinder socks knitting machines.
The electronic double cylinder socks knitting machine you see in the picture above is a double cylinder and double fall machine in various thicknesses (gg) for producing links socks (embossed) patterned socks. There are two cylinders placed on top of each other.
Classifying Sock Machines According to the Type of Knitting Worked
Electronic socks knitting machines can be examined under three main titles as jacquard position employees, links-Links employees and flat knitting employees according to the type of knitting they work with.
- Electronic Sock Knitting Machines Working with Jacquard Position
They are socks machines in which yarns of different colors are used in a certain order. Jacquard position; The needles are dropped to the lower sleeve and color selection is performed in the lower sleeve with the help of pattern balls. Sock knitting machines operating in a jacquard position can be divided into two different classes according to the state of adding 2 or 3 colors to the socks on a row. Machines with jacquard position making socks using 2 colors in a row are called 2 systems (2 drops) machine. Provided that the number of colors used in a row remains constant. The number of colors used in the socks can be increased to 6 (or more) by decreasing the shuttle.
2 pattern balls are required for double cylinder, jacquard position socks machines that use 2 colors on one row. Sock knitting machines with jacquard position making socks using 3 colors in a row are called 3-system (falling) machines. Provided that the number of colors used in a row remains constant. The number of colors used in the socks can be increased to 9 (or more) by decreasing the shuttle. 3 system socks are less flexible than 2 system socks because the increase in the number of colors decreases the knitting feature of the needles. It is possible to obtain knots like links (embossing) by making some changes in jacquard position machines (one tongue of bilingual needles, using yarn of different thicknesses, etc.).
- Links-Links Electronic Hosiery Knitting Machines
They are the machines that can give the same color to the same color using the patterned ball and auxiliary knitting elements. Sock knitting machines with links-links are double cylinder. Sock machines with both jacquard position and running links-links are called 2-capable machines. There are 3 pattern balls in this type of machine, two of the pattern balls are for the jacquard position and the other is for knitting links-links. Sock machines with Links-Links and 3 system jacquard positions have 4 pattern balls, 3 of them are for the jacquard position and the other is for links-links knitting.
- Flat Knitting Running Electronic Sock Knitting Machines
They are just plain knitting machines. Color can be provided in the socks by changing the shuttle. This weave can be run on all machines. In these machines, multicolor patterning can be done.
Development of Sock Knitting Machines
Hand-knitted socks reached their current shape in the 17th century. Hand knitting socks were started to be produced on the machine after British William Lee invented the first hand and the foot-operated knitting machine. In the following centuries, this machine was developed by different individuals or organizations and turned into a state-of-the-art “electronic sock knitting” machine.
Development of Single Cylinder Sock Knitting Machine
Although the hook needle was found in England, a significant part of the work on the development of single-cylinder circular socks knitting machines using this type of needles has been done in the USA. The first machine that could produce a whole sock except the tire part was launched by Scott & Williams in the 1880s.
The general problem of the first produced single-cylinder machines is that they are semi-automatic. For this reason, while the feet, heel and ankle pants can be knitted automatically, the rubber part with rib and derby knitting cannot be knitted. The loop is knitted in circular rib knitting machines or flat knitting machines. And a loop is hand-stitched to a transferring with the same diameter and number of needles as the machine on which the sock will be knitted; then the transferring was placed on the sock machine. The loops were transferred to the needles by stretching the tire.
One of the first important inventions in single cylinder socks machines is again the folded edge patent Scott & Williams got in 1915. In this system, real rib loops could be knitted by attaching some kind of compound needle to a rib cap. By the late 1930s, all machine manufacturers were producing machines with reverse vanishing and winding thread mechanisms. In the 1940s, machines that could produce towel socks were now being manufactured. After 1945, these machines were developed and took their place among the most preferred machines today as single cylinder electronic socks knitting machines.
Development of Double Cylinder Sock Knitting Machine
In 1899, they patented a two-hook hook pin called Bettany and Hammersly, called two English links-links pins. In 1900, platinum patents used in the control of these needles were patented by Stretton and Johnson. These two patents have formed the basis for the development of double cylinder socks knitting machines used in the production of rib and links-links socks. In England, the Leichester environment has been where these developments started. Spiers and Grieve have developed a double cylinder machine with a rotating cam box. Spiers from these duos, who later left, continued to manufacture machines of this type under the name Simplex. Grieve named his machine XL. In 1912, Spiers patented the rotating double cylinder machine.
Immediately after the First World War, Komet launched a new double-cylinder sock knitting machine. Bentley Eng. Ltd. This machine manufactured by has become a leader in the world market by reaching big sales amounts in a short time. Immediately after Excelsior was removed from production, G.Hilscher launched the more advanced İdeal of this machine. After the Second World War, there have been important changes in double cylinder machines. Recent developments in patterning ability appeared in the 1960s. After that, it was worked on rationalization and speed increase. With the possibility of needle selection by computer control, the limitations of pattern repetition have disappeared and the opportunity to obtain new images has been created. There was also the possibility to simplify the machines.
Sock Knitting Production Steps
|Determine the width of the socks is knitted.||Take care to measure the width of the socks in cm.|
|Determine the knitting type of socks to be knitted.||Examine the sample carefully.|
|Determine the machine fineness to which the socks will be knitted by looking at the samples.||Try to find the machine fineness by determining the number of stitches per cm on the sample.|
|Determine the yarn number and raw material to be used in knitting the socks.||Try to find the yarn count by removing some of the samples.|
|After making all the operations, determine the machine diameter that will give the desired width according to the results.||Please note that the width you want to achieve is directly related to the machine diameter.|
Working Principle of Electronic Sock Knitting Machines
The machines are equipped with a microprocessor-controlled by the keyboard on it and a memory in which 8 different length programs of 8 kinds of socks can be loaded and stored. These programs can include product and production information such as the advance of the control drum, the number of rows in each part of the sock and speed control for each part.
Today, with the reach of fully electronic machines, there is no need for a control drum. With the help of the keyboard, the desired program information can be entered from the microprocessor. The existing information can be called or this information can be changed, and as a result, the machine can knit the entered socks. The commands for knitting the socks to the microprocessor on the machine are loaded separately from the floppy disks. Created with the help of computer-aided pattern preparation systems.
Compared with the mechanical sock knitting method, the most important advantage of electronic selection is its working speed. Works with the air system. A pattern drum can make a new selection after one revolution of the roller.
In this way, individual needle control can be achieved. The size of the pattern report depends on the memory of the microprocessor in the machine. Whichever electronic system is used, the drive that determines whether a needle works or not is given mechanically. This mechanical relationship between the actuator and the needle is evaluated in different ways by different machine manufacturers. These oscillating selectors are made by pushing selectors or oscillating pushrods.
In all cases, the piano ends (arms) in the piano group (actuator) are equal to the number of selectors used.
All pattern information loaded into the machine’s memory must be numeric (in 0 and 1). Also, the microprocessor of the machine must have a starting point to start counting. An electronic sensor located at this point sends a signal to the microprocessor at every revolution of the cylinder. Needles that will knit will be given 1 and needles that will not make 1.
The widest patterning possibilities can be achieved in single-cylinder machines operating according to the vanishing method with a knitting system and three or more patterning systems.
The number of pattern threads depends on the number of knitting systems first when the pattern is created on double cylinder machines or any rib floor. The main color is always knitted in its knitting system. In a two or three-color jacquard system, colors cannot be knitted in the same order, except for a full pattern. This occurs during two and three knittings, respectively.
Today, patterning and plyometric air assembly of the machine are also electronically controlled in fully electronic machines. These include working conditions of moving steels (such as loop steels …), roller (sleeve) movement type (rotation and swing) and speed, and change of shuttle.
Hope to enjoy our article about the revolution of sock machines and socks.
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