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Title: Hosiery Manufacture
Author: Davis, William Stearns
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Hosiery Manufacture" ***

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            _Edited by Roberts Beaumont, M.Sc., M.I.Mech.E._

                          HOSIERY MANUFACTURE


                           WILLIAM DAVIS M.A.
       _Principal of the Buceleuch Technical Institute, Hawick._

                         _WITH 61 ILLUSTRATIONS
              including many original photo-micrographs._

                 LONDON: SIR ISAAC PITMAN & SONS, LTD.
                      BATH, MELBOURNE AND NEW YORK

                      PRINTED BY SIR ISAAC PITMAN
                      & SONS, LTD., LONDON, BATH,
                         MELBOURNE AND NEW YORK


This work is being issued at a period of unparalleled development in the
industry of knitted fabrics, when our British manufacturers are
straining every nerve towards attaining a dominating position in this
vital branch of the production of textile goods. It is highly gratifying
and full of promise to note the spirit of enterprise which animates our
younger generation of manufacturers, and the keenness and alertness
which permeate the industry at the present time. Increased concentration
by our machine builders on the numerous mechanical improvements being
brought out in rapid succession from time to time is certain to have a
great influence on the further expansion of the industry, and has the
effect of considerably extending the horizon to the maker of knitted
goods. With so many new firms springing up in different parts of the
country, there has arisen an increased demand for books dealing with the
knitting industry, and this work is presented in the hope that it will
do something towards satisfying this widespread desire. The study of
looped fabric structure is wide in scope, and none the less difficult
because, on a first view, it appears simple and elementary. The prospect
of the maker of knitted goods of all kinds, is further enhanced by the
enormous production possible on the present-day knitting machinery and
on the fact that the garments are made ready-to-wear. In this work an
effort is made to outline the principles underlying the technology of
the industry, and endeavours have been made to clarify certain problems
of fabric structure which require still greater attention from the
students of technology before they can be regarded as solved. Emphasis
has also been laid on the fundamentals of the knitting process as
performed on various mechanisms, for, if these basic principles are
clearly comprehended, the foundation is securely laid for a further
grasp of the industry and its technology.

Special attention is given to the structure and properties of knitting
yarns, for in this texture it can be said with truth that the yarn is
the fabric, seeing that the bulk of the productions are made from the
single thread looped upon itself. Several problems relating to the
weight of knitted fabric and similar questions are fully demonstrated,
and the formulae explained from fundamental principles. A contribution
is also made to the difficult subject of the setting of looped textures,
generally so imperfectly understood in its theoretical significance.

That this volume may contribute towards a fuller knowledge of the
technology of the knitting industry is the earnest wish of the Author,

                                                          WILLIAM DAVIS.

          HAWICK, 1920.



 PREFACE                                                               v

                                CHAPTER I

 DEVELOPMENT OF THE KNITTED FABRIC                                   1-8

 Peculiarities of Knitted Structure-Knitting Trade
   Definitions-Hand Knitting and Crochet

                               CHAPTER II

 KNITTING AND WEAVING COMPARED                                      9-15

 Hand Knitting-The Knitting Process-The Cut-up Trade-The
   Full-fashioned Trade-The Seamless Branch

                               CHAPTER III

 LATCH NEEDLE KNITTING                                             16-26

 Loop Formation with the Latch Needle-The Flat Knitter-Working
   of Cam Boxes to Give the Various Stitches-Patterns Produced

                               CHAPTER IV

 TYPES OF KNITTING YARNS                                           27-36

 Lamb's Wool, Shetland, Natural, and Fingering Knitting
   Yarns-Worsted Spun Underwear Yarns

                                CHAPTER V

 SYSTEMS OF NUMBERING HOSIERY YARNS                                37-45

 Yarn Testing for Counts-Conversion from one Count into
   Another-Formulae for Calculating the Weight of Knitted
   Fabric, allowing for varying Take-up of Yarn-Calculations for
   Width, Counts, and Courses per inch

                               CHAPTER VI

 CALCULATIONS FOR FOLDED KNITTING YARNS                            46-56

 Explanation of Formulae-Estimations for Plated Goods and Weight
   Percentages for Mixed Garments

                               CHAPTER VII

 BEARDED NEEDLE KNITTING                                           57-66

 Stages of Loop Formation with the Bearded Needle-Hand-frame
   Knitting Process, and the System of Knitting on Cotton's
   Patent Machine

                              CHAPTER VIII

 SETTING OF KNITTED FABRICS                                        67-75

 Texture Variation on individual Frames-Variation of Yarn and
   Effect of Yarn Quality-Variation in the Length of
   Loop-Comparison of Courses and Wales

                               CHAPTER IX

 VARIOUS KNITTING YARNS                                            76-89

 Cotton, Mercerised, and Various Silk Yarns-Silk-and-Wool and
   Cotton-and-Wool Mixture Yarns-Cashmere, Angora Rabbit, Camel
   Hair, and Alpaca-Nettle Fibre Yarn

                                CHAPTER X

 WINDING OF HOSIERY YARNS                                          90-98

 Description of a Modern Winding Machine, Bobbin Building and
   the Differential-Damping and Methods Adopted

                               CHAPTER XI

 CIRCULAR KNITTING                                                99-106

 Stocking Knitting Machine-Making of a Ribbed
   Sock-Full-fashioned Hosiery-English and French Foot

                               CHAPTER XII

 COLOUR IN KNITTED GOODS                                         107-116

 Naturals, Horizontal Stripes, Vertical Stripes, Tuck Work on
   Flat and Circular Frames-Check Designs and Spot Effects

                              CHAPTER XIII

 COLOUR HARMONY AND CONTRAST                                     117-126

 Attributes of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary
   Colours-Application of Colour Principles to the Hosiery Trade

                               CHAPTER XIV

 DEFECTS IN FABRICS                                              127-134

 Sinker and Needle Lines-Slurgalling and Pinholes-Stitches of
   Variable Symmetry


     FIG.                                                           PAGE

       1. RIGHT SIDE KNITTED FABRIC                                    3

       2. WRONG SIDE KNITTED FABRIC                                    3

       3. PHOTO-MICROGRAPH OF THE PLAIN KNITTED LOOP                   4

   4 & 5. KNITTING ON THE HAND PINS                                    7

   6 & 7. WORKING OF CROCHET STITCH                                    7

       8. THE LATCH NEEDLE                                            17

       9. STITCH FORMATION ON THE LATCH NEEDLE                        17

      10. THE DOUBLE-HEADED NEEDLE                                    17

      11. SIDE ELEVATION OF THE LAMB FLAT KNITTER                     20

      12. VIEW OF THE CAM BOX                                         20


      16. TWO-AND-TWO RIB FABRIC                                      20









      29. THE BEARDED NEEDLE                                          58

   30-33. LOOP FORMATION ON THE BEARDED NEEDLE                        58

      34. STITCH FORMING PARTS OF THE OLD HAND-FRAME                  63



            NEEDLE FRAME








            FOLDED YARN



      48. THE MODERN HOSIERY WINDING MACHINE                          93

      49. THREAD CLEARING APPARATUS                                   93

      50. THE GRISWOLD CIRCULAR STOCKING KNITTER                     101

      51. ACTION OF THE CAMS IN STITCH FORMATION                     101

      52. STANDARD RIBBED SOCK                                       101

      53. ONE-AND-ONE TUCK PRESSER FOR FLAT FRAMES                   112

      54. TWO-AND-ONE TUCK PRESSER FOR FLAT FRAMES                   112



      57. ENLARGEMENT OF THE ONE-AND-ONE TUCK FABRIC                 114




      61. ENLARGEMENT OF "PINHOLES" IN KNITTED FABRIC                132

                          HOSIERY MANUFACTURE

                               CHAPTER I

There has been in recent years an extraordinary development in the scope
and application of the knitted fabric which may be traced to a variety
of causes. The chief explanation of this growth is to be found in the
structure of the knitted fabric itself, the qualities of which have made
it pre-eminently suitable for special departments of textiles. In its
most elementary form the knitted texture is composed of a series of
loops hung in rows one upon the other and constructed from the curvings
of a single thread which runs continuously through the fabric. One set
of loops is formed on the preceding row and any particular stitch is
dependent for its support on neighbouring stitches above, below, and on
either side of it; if the thread becomes severed at any point the loops
lose contact all round and a considerable opening is incurred. This is
its chief defect, but also its outstanding advantage as a texture; it is
a defect to have the structure destroyed with the severance of the
single ground thread, but it is the mutual interdependence of loops
which accounts for its valuable stretch and elasticity. By virtue of
this elasticity it becomes eminently suitable for articles of
underclothing which have to be worn in close proximity to the cuticle;
the fabric is enabled to yield to the slightest movement of any part and
thus prevents the wearer becoming uncomfortably conscious of the
garment. An inherent yielding quality of the loops causes the article to
stretch and adapt itself to minor irregularities of size and shape; if a
garment is not exactly to dimensions, it contracts to a smaller or
expands to a larger form. This property of stretch must not be unduly
taken advantage of to cover up indifferent systems of manufacturing, but
within certain limits the property is of great value for certain
discrepancies. The knitted fabric is essentially a weft fabric, the
thread being inserted crosswise into the texture after the manner of
filling so that the entire structure presents a horizontal appearance
which is most evident with ground-coloured stripes when the different
colours show themselves crosswise. This proves a serious limitation to
the scope of the plain knitted texture, for the clothing trades have
small use for horizontal effects as compared with vertical coloured
stripes. The knitted structure is quite different in property to woven
cloth where one has two series of separate threads, one being termed the
warp and running longitudinally in the fabric, whilst the other series
is named the weft and is intersected with the warp in the process of
weaving. The warp threads are pre-arranged to the correct length and in
order of pattern on the warp beam whilst the threads of weft are
inserted consecutively during the operation of weaving in the loom. This
mode of intersecting separate series of yarns at right angles to each
other causes the threads to exert a much firmer grip on each other and
the resulting fabric is remarkable for its strength and rigidity. It is
firm and durable in structure, and possessing comparatively little
stretch, it does not yield to the ordinary strains to which it is
subjected. It is pre-eminently the fabric to be used for garments of
outer wear which have to stand the rough service of every-day life,
where a combination of friction, bending and abrasion subject the fabric
to a severe test of endurance. In the case of a knitted texture there is
a right and a wrong side, or face and back, the face comprising the
straight portions of the loops whilst on the back the curved loop
portions predominate. Fig. 1 gives a view of a plain knitted fabric
showing the right side or the face of the texture where the loops may be
distinguished by a characteristic V-shape, these Vs fitting into each
other in a vertical direction. This side of the fabric is always worn
outermost, as it presents the most even surface whilst it is also the
most perfect as all imperfections such as knots, etc., are drawn on to
the back of the cloth. Fig. 2 shows the same fabric on the wrong side
where it will be noted that the chief feature is a series of
interlocking semi-circles which have a distinctly crosswise
determination given to them. The appearance on the back is decidedly raw
and uninteresting, the straightened V-shaped portions of the loops
presenting a much more attractive aspect. On the other hand, most rotary
frames work their fabrics with the back in full view of the worker, and
in case of analysis it is the wrong side of the fabric which will yield
the most definite results to the analyst, for by examination of the
curved loops one can discern more easily the character of the pattern
and the nature of the ornamentation.


  FIGS. l and 2

_Peculiarities of Knitted Structure._—An examination of the
photo-micrograph of the plain knitted fabric (back view) shown in Fig. 3
will demonstrate that the loops are intimately dependent on each other
and that the slightest dislocation at any part will at once affect the
adjacent area. The knitted fabric is extremely difficult to make
absolutely perfect, because each stitch is worked on its own needle
distinct from its neighbour, and the slightest irregularity of yarn
delivery affects the whole stitch area concerned. If a loop is drawn
tighter than the normal at any point, then it is curtailed in size and
the adjacent loops have to enlarge themselves to fill out the allotted
space. In the woven fabric a missing thread usually influences that
portion of the fabric only, but if the main thread of a knitted
structure be broken, the entire cloth may be disintegrated with the
slightest pull. The interspaces between the loops shown in Fig. 3 are
intimately connected with the elastic property, because if the spaces
are closed up by tight knitting, the elasticity is considerably reduced,
if, on the other hand, the spaces are too large, the fabric loses its
equilibrium and a slight pull will cause it to lose its form. An
exception to this may be found in the light-weight fabrics so much in
demand in recent seasons for wearing in an intermediate position in
winter whilst in summer they are worn outermost for lightness. These are
purposely knitted flimsy in texture so as to economize material and for
summer they are quite elegant and serviceable when manufactured in
attractive colourings. For winter use they are possessed of a
heat-retaining property which would not be expected from their bulk, but
to attain the best results they must be worn under a fabric of stronger
and more durable construction. The theory of these surprising results is
that free interspaces act as so many air chambers which contribute to
non-conductivity of heat by the garment. Face veils are usually very
flimsy structures, but on account of the "still layer" of air retained
in the vicinity of the face the heat is effectively retained just as if
a fabric of much heavier construction were employed.


  FIG. 3

This property should be fully investigated in a scientific manner in the
light of increased cost of raw materials which has now become vital to
the manufacturer and his public. In many circles weight of cloth is
synonymous with warmth, but experience has shown that this is not the
case and that the warmest garments are not always the heaviest. The
latest converts to the light-weight article are the clothing departments
of the services where, as a result of war experience they have altered
many specifications to include fabrics much lighter in weight; formerly
no gauge or sett could be too coarse and thick for their requirements,
but now the products of all gauges in the equipment of the hosiery
manufacturer are utilized. Now the matter is being brought more fully to
the notice of the manufacturer on account of the great rise in the price
of raw materials when it is essential to extract the utmost farthing of
utility from every ounce of material. If we can more fully requisition
the services of the "still layer of air" in this regard it will prove an
inexpensive medium of clothing.

_Knitting Trade Definition._—The meaning of the term hosiery has
undergone a great expansion during the past decade and its present
meaning is an eloquent testimony to the enormous growth which the trade
has recently experienced. Originally the term had reference chiefly to
articles of footwear, it was in this regard that the utility of the
knitted stitch was first recognized. The feet form a delicately
susceptible part of our anatomy and require special care in fabric
selection. In walking the muscles and tendons of the foot are in
constant action and it is of vital importance to the comfort of the
individual that the footwear should be worked in the most suitable
fabric. To have footwear in the woven texture is unthinkable if from no
other reason than the seams which would be necessary, and to have one of
these located at the heel or along the sole of the foot would render the
wearer unable to walk in a very short period. There is further the
matter of perspiration which occurs so profusely at the pedal
extremities, and the knitted texture above all others is adapted to that
intimate sort of interaction between skin and fabric which is required
for the absorption of perspiration. It laps it up and gives it back
again gradually in the form of vapour. In a fabric of less absorbent
qualities the article would soon fill with moisture and giving rise to
wetness cause considerable discomfort to the wearer. The term hosiery
has greatly outgrown its original significance as applied to footwear
only and now embraces underwear, articles used for intermediate garments
and an increasing range of garments suited for outer wear. There are now
very few departments of clothing into which the knitted texture has not
penetrated. For outer garments it is not always advisable to employ the
knitted texture in its entirety because it obviously does not possess
all the properties needed, but great progress has been made in the
direction of giving greater stability by a judicious use of the more
rigid woven texture at given points. For example, in the knitted vest
trade the garment edges are often bound with tapes of woven stuff,
whilst the linings are invariably made from these materials.
Incidentally the colour of these reinforcing materials is so chosen as
to harmonize with the ground so that the whole garment is enhanced in
general appearance. Similarly it is found that the plain knitted loop is
neither heavy nor close enough to give adequate comfort for an outer
garment, which deficiency has been attended to by the hosiery machine
builders who have made such improvements on the machines as will enable
much more yarn to be inserted in a given space. This increases the sett
of the loops and the weight and rigidity of texture, so that fabrics may
now be obtained which are almost equal to the woven fabric in resistant
properties. Such modifications of fabric structure usually result in a
pattern with a prevailing one-sided effect, the wrong side being
deficient in appearance and style. The ordinary plain knitted stitch
_per se_ has little scope for ornamentation unless special machines are
employed and where embellishment is required on a plain garment it often
takes the form of added pieces of crochet.


  FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7

_Crochet Work._—This is particularly useful in the trade for children's
garments where many factories employ crochet workers who ornament the
edges by crochet patterns worked in the same yarn. For the very tiny
articles of this class it is often found uneconomical to employ
machines, and in certain districts large numbers of such garments are
produced by the hand crochet workers where the greatest freedom of loop
selection is possible. The operation of hand crochet is illustrated in
Figs. 6 and 7 where the hook is marked H; in Fig. 6 the hook with loop A
upon it is about to grip a portion of the new yarn B, and in Fig. 7 this
has been drawn through the old loop to add a new one to the chain. In
this way one can have on a garment effects which could only be produced
by changing to several types of machines, and when articles are small
this changing is not economically sound. There are still a considerable
number of these crochet workers in various parts of the United Kingdom
notably in rural districts of Ireland and in various districts of
Scotland and England. Many large firms have a number of such hands
attached as an outside staff and they are useful for scrutinizing
fashion publications and producing stitches with hand pins which may
with good results be adapted to machine-made goods. They have subsidiary
departments where customers are supplied with articles of distinctly
novel character and for which they are prepared to pay enhanced prices.
The freest of all mediums of ornamentation in this class is undoubtedly
the crochet, and articles are often ornamented with distinctly elegant
results by the use of the crochet hook. By this means yarn same as the
ground is employed so as to render it homogeneous and elegance of
pattern is due to the fact that the worker can select any point of the
fabric for a new move of the pattern. We may have one style being worked
at this point and an inch farther up a distinctly different pattern can
be evolved. In many rural districts the workers have attained remarkable
skill in pattern origination due to their life-long devotion to the
handicraft; from the art view-point it is hoped that they will continue
to secure such an outlet for their work as will reward their skill and
devotion. It is admitted that such products may not hold their own in
fierce competition of the open market, but "Man does not live by bread
alone," and it is hoped that public taste for such artistic productions
may be maintained and developed in contrast to the strictly utilitarian;
the aesthetic sense is one which the British as a nation sadly lack.

                               CHAPTER II
                          KNITTING AND WEAVING

Compared with the weaving branch of textiles the knitting industry has
several outstanding advantages which are now being widely recognized. In
weaving it is necessary to have a considerable amount of tackle and
supplementary attachments if the fancy pattern trade is to be conducted.
The knitted texture is essentially a one-sided composition, but when
effects such as lace work, tuck stitches, or coloured styles are
introduced these are notable on account of their effectiveness. For any
of the machines used in the fancy departments of the knitting trade such
as the Jacquard flat knitter, the lace or pearl machines, designs are in
every case extremely effective, for minor alterations of the patterning
devices produce a result which is at once distinctive and fancy elements
show almost their full quota on the face. In the case of woven fabrics
the loom and a complicated set of cards and shafts are needed to produce
a figure of the most moderate dimensions. Colours in the ordinary twills
only show about 50 per cent. of their effectiveness and the surface of
the texture remains for the most part uniform. The producer of woven
goods has an advantage in that he can make most forms of texture on one
loom which he can alter in setting and tackle so as to give any degree
of fineness or variety of design. The maker of knitted goods requires a
series of entirely different machines in order to produce a full range
of patterns and individual machines show but small variation in texture
and weight. For any particular type of machine he requires to instal a
series varying in the sett or gauge of the needles if a representative
range of textures suitable for the changing seasons has to be devised.
The average maker of knitted goods has to produce garments ready for the
wearer, which renders his task more complicated, for he has to produce
garments in full ranges of size and shape, thus combining the functions
of fabric and garment producer. This has the advantage of enabling him
to establish a more direct relationship with the wearer of his garments
and most firms are adopting the policy of going direct to the retail,
one which has had a most stimulating effect on the trade. This personal
contact with the shopkeeper who places the goods in the hands of the
wearer brings the manufacturer into close contact with the trend of
public demand.

_Hand Knitting._—The war period witnessed a remarkable revival of hand
knitting which arose from a desire to send comforts to soldier
relatives, and the enormous quantities of articles produced in this way
greatly helped our men to withstand the rigorous conditions of active
service in winter. The usual articles were scarves, gloves, knitted
helmets, but, above all, thick warm socks. Knitting was performed on all
occasions and it proved a great comfort to many who had relatives in
dangerous situations. Knitting acts as a soothing tonic, and there is
the added satisfaction of producing something of direct usefulness
whilst the skilful hand knitter may impart touches of elegance and
distinction not possible by machine. If hand knitting is to be skilfully
performed it is necessary to give attention to the size of the knitting
pins and that of the yarn in relation. The gauges of knitting pins or
needles are recognized in this country by a series of numbers quoted by
all instruction books dealing with the subject, Walker's bell-shaped
knitting gauge being largely used by those who make hand knitting an
occupation of leisure. This is cut bell-shaped in bright polished metal,
the various numbers corresponding to the size of the openings in the
gauge. The full range of gauges runs from 1 to 24 and the needles are
named after these according as they fit the various apertures. The
coarsest knitting-needle in general use is termed 1 and is of such a
thickness that it will pass through the space marked 1; knitting-needle
number 2 will exactly fit opening number 2 and so on till gauge 5 is
reached. The apertures gradually decrease in size till the smallest
recognized hand knitting-needle is termed 24 gauge. Thickness of needle
must correspond to the size of yarn or, in other words, the yarn must
suit the thickness of needle. It is the needle which determines the
interspaces in the fabric, for a certain proportion must be allowed if
the fabric is to possess the required elasticity and stretch. This
property is essential to good wearing service, for if loops are stiff
and stodgy in construction, due to over-tight knitting or meagre
allowance of space, the fabric will not yield to the movements which
occur in wear and will more rapidly give way under strain. The thicker
the yarn the larger the space required and _vice versâ_, so that the
needle determines the space which is to be allowed for any particular
set of loops and should bear a definite relation to the thickness of

_The Knitting Process._—The elementary operation of knitting by hand may
be followed by referring to Figs. 4 and 5, which illustrate the stages
and show the method in which the loops hang on the hand knitting pins.
In this case flat work is being produced, the needle A being shown with
the row of loops upon it whilst the needle B is being used to form a new
row. The thread N is seen to continue from the loops already made and
the pin B is being pushed through the end loop M so that it may catch a
piece of the thread N and form a new loop similar to M. This is in the
act of completion in Fig. 5 where a new piece of thread N has been drawn
through and the old loop M is about to be discharged from needle A, this
being replaced by a new loop N now hanging on needle B. This operation
is continued stitch by stitch until all the loops spread on needle A are
replaced by new loops transferred to needle B. When this is complete
needle A is stripped of its stitches, and then is used to re-transfer
the stitches from B back again to itself. By this operation it will be
seen that the knitting operation as performed by hand on two pins is an
alternate process; you transfer stitches from a needle working from
right to left as in Fig. 4, and at the next course you work from left to
right transferring the stitches back again. In this we do not obtain
perfectly plain fabric but what is known as the garter pattern or one
and one pearl-stitch. If it is desired to make plain work on two hand
pins, the worker in turning the direction of knitting must push the
needle into the old stitch in the reverse direction so as to effect a
cast-off same as in the previous course. For the making of hose and
half-hose on hand knitting-needles at least three pins are necessary to
enable us to knit in circular form so as to produce the article to fit
the foot. A more convenient method of knitting in a circle is to use
four pins with the idle stitches evenly distributed over three of these
pins and using the fourth to transfer in the manner already described.
In this way each needle in turn is released and is used as the operating
pin to form and transfer the loops in knitting. Even if the pins are
correct in gauge in relation to the size of the yarn it is easy to make
defective material or texture should the loops not be worked at a proper
tension. Slack knitters and tight knitters are known according as they
work with the thread slack or tight; in this it is well to strike the
happy medium, too slack tension makes working to correct size very
difficult, whilst too tight work reduces the speed of knitting and the
wearing qualities of the article. Correct tension is generally in the
region of that which gives reasonable freedom of motion to the knitter.

_Branches of the Knitting Industry._—_The Cut-up Trade._—The
manufacturer of knitted goods has not only to produce the fabric but in
most cases completes the garments ready for wear and has thus to act as
manufacturer and tailor combined. By the cut-up trade is meant that
branch where the garments are made by cutting the component pieces from
a roll or web of cloth similar to the manner of a tailor of outer
garments. This branch is usually associated with the cheaper grades of
the knitted industry because the cutting can be done in standard sizes,
many plies at one and the same time using automatic cutting devices such
as the circular electric machine. Similarly the making-up and trimming
of the garments is performed on the principle of mass production where
output is based on a large number of articles being produced in exactly
the same manner and to a standard type. In recent years the relative
advantages of the cut method of manufacture as compared with other
systems have undergone some modification. In the first place we have the
waste which is a heavy item in the cut branch, for no matter how
skilfully the pieces may be carved from the plies of fabric there is
always a considerable number of waste pieces at corners, etc., which it
is not possible to utilize. The problem of waste has become more serious
since materials have risen so much in value and has tended to augment
the price of such goods on the market. On the other hand, one of the
great objections to the cut method of manufacture lies in the kind of
seam or join used to piece the various sections together because owing
to the frayed edges of severed loops, the seamer has to secure a hold
several stitches from each edge and this gives rise to a bulky portion
at the join which in underwear particularly proved a serious obstacle to
comfort. The activities of machine makers have, however, in recent years
been concentrated on devising methods of seaming which will minimize
these deficiencies, and there are now several machines such as the
flat-lock, which in place of taking the stitches so far from each edge
introduce a number of threads to form a kind of bridge of texture of
their own with the edge loops. This makes a secure join and at the same
time gives a seam of little more than normal bulk.

_The Full-Fashioned Trade._—As the term indicates, this section applies
to articles made to the shape of the body these pieces being complete
units with perfect selvedges which are afterwards united to form a
garment where the edges are joined with comparatively little bulk of
seam. The best examples of the full-fashioned trade are the garments
produced on the Cotton's Patent Rotary frame which is built to work as
many as twelve full width articles at the same time. This capacity of
multi-production proves one of the strong points of the fashioned trade
because the articles being worked identically effects a considerable
reduction on the cost of making. Also the seam or join is made with
selvedge loops which are perfect in formation so that the worker can use
the end two loops as supports for the seaming thread which is of the
same material as the garment and is thus inconspicuous and at the same
time gives the correct elasticity. With the cut-up seam as at present
practised clean-surfaced yarns have to be employed to the number of
eight or more, and these are usually in white cotton which on a coloured
garment at once proclaims its origin. In seaming fashioned goods each
selvedge loop is joined to a corresponding stitch on the other side by
the method termed "point-to-point" seaming, and under present conditions
the slowness of this method and its greater cost has led many
manufacturers of full-fashioned to reconsider seriously their position.
The cup seamer can in many cases give a three-fold production and this
is now being employed with success in such branches as the
fashioned-hose trade. For high-class underwear, however, the
point-to-point system still holds its own as being the best adapted for
the work, and efforts are being made to have this type of machine
accelerated to give increased production.

In the novelty trade such as that of knitted coats the articles are so
varied in style and shape that they have to be fashioned singly on a
hand machine, and it is being recognized that the full-fashioned system
is too expensive if the firm is to do trade on a large scale. To
increase production in such goods, therefore, the articles are often cut
from knitted web separately to the style and shape desired and seamed on
one or other of the mechanisms now being improved to give a suitable
join for such goods. The distinct difference lies in the method of
cutting which is individualistic so that full expression can be given to
shape and modifications of fashion. To work the full-fashioned branch of
the hosiery trade requires an enormous outlay for equipment, as these
multi-garment machines run to a high figure and have to be installed in
a series of gauges so as to present a sufficiently large assortment of
textures to the market. For the cut-up trade, on the other hand, we can
obtain a large quantity of fabric from a few circular frames; what
remains is to cut the material to shape and trim and finish the

_The Seamless Branch._—This embraces another very important class of
knitted fabrics which are produced for the most part without joins or
seams and ready to fit the wearer. As most garments are circular in form
this requires a plant of circular frames, or the flat knitter may be
adapted for the making of circular fabric. The best example of this
section is that of the hose and half-hose, or stockings and socks, which
are required circular in form. Also large quantities of seamless gloves
are placed on the market each season, these being worked with the
fingers in the form of small circular bags to accommodate the fingers.
Seamless fabric for hose and half-hose is of special value because any
irregularities of texture instantly make themselves uncomfortably
evident in footwear. The seamless hose trade is done on machines of
small diameter with the needles arranged in circular form, and where
suitable provision is made for the addition of pockets to accommodate
the heel and toes. From machines of larger diameter are made garments
such as nightdresses where the fabric is produced in the form of a large
circular sack, a length of which is taken to form the body whilst
similar circular pieces are produced on machines of smaller diameter for
the sleeves. The practice of making garments of the sweater or "Jumper"
class on circular frames is on the increase especially since machine
types have been evolved which can make rib, plain, pearl and striped
fabrics on one and the same machine with a suitable arrangement for
narrowing. It stands to reason, however, that this method of making body
garments does not allow of great accuracy of fit and that the greatest
scope lies in garments which by their nature are of a loosely fitting
description. At the same time the advent of the rib stitch in such
machines enables the fabric to be given a latent amount of elasticity
which can be utilized to fit the form of a slender person, whilst it can
be stretched to accommodate an individual of more portly build.

                              CHAPTER III
                         LATCH NEEDLE KNITTING

The latch needle is one of the indispensable instruments of the knitting
industry, as was abundantly proved during the war period when shortage
of needles threw large numbers of useful knitting machines into disuse,
whilst inferior needles accounted for a great drop in efficiency. There
is a great variety in form of the latch needle, but they are similar in
essential features. A sketch of a normal type is given in Fig. 8 where
the various parts are lettered thus: H = hook at the left extremity of
the needle, L = latch, S = stem or shank of the needle, B = needle butt
or heel, as it is often termed. The latch moves on a pivot from the
dotted position when it shuts the hook to the normal position when the
hook is open. The stem or shank varies in proportion of length according
to the class of machine in which it is employed, whilst there is also a
large diversity of forms of the needle heel or butt usually in the
direction of strengthening by adding extra metal to withstand friction
for large scale knitting.


  FIGS. 8, 9 and 10

_Loop Formation with Latch Needles._—The matter of loop formation is of
the greatest interest and importance in any study of knitting and is
shown in detail by means of a series of sketches, 1 to 5 in Fig. 9,
illustrating the operation at the various stages. This will be useful in
studying any knitting frame, for an apparently complex piece of
machinery may be quickly reduced to intelligible dimensions if the
observer has a grasp of the process of loop formation. All machines
using the latch needle, and they are many and varied, form their stitch
on exactly the same principle, and when this is understood considerable
progress has been made towards a thorough comprehension of the whole.
Sections 1 to 5 of Fig. 9 represent the successive stages in stitch
making, the needles being shown at the angle usually found in the flat
knitting machine of the Lamb type. In Diagram 1 of the series the needle
is shown in its normal non-operative position with the latch closed and
the loop M inside it. In all knitting a division must be maintained
between the old loop and the new yarn. In Diagram 2 the needle rises,
and in so doing the old stitch M opens the latch L and passes on to the
stem and the new yarn marked Y is in the act of being seized by the hook
of the needle. In Diagram 3 the needle is noted to have sunk lower in
position so that the old loop M closes the latch with the yarn Y inside,
and the old loop covers the latch as shown. This stage is termed the
"landing of the stitch" and in Diagram 4 the needle is noted to have
dropped still farther, so that the old loop is pushed over the needle
extremity and the new yarn drawn through the old loop M to form a
complete stitch. Precautions have to be taken in the machine mechanism
to have the old loop properly discharged over the needle end and the new
yarn completely drawn through. When this is complete the needle again
rises in its position as in Diagram 5, and in so doing the yarn inside
the hook moves downwards and opens the latch preparatory to a new course
of stitches.

Diagram 10 illustrates another important form of the latch needle known
as the double-headed needle as it has a hook at each extremity. This
instrument forms the basis of utility of a series of different machines
such as the rib hose frame and the pearl knitter. In these cases the
needle moves from one knitting stage into another discharging its loop
from the upper or lower hook according to the pattern of the rib or
pearl fabric.

_The Flat Knitter._—One of the best known machines using the latch
needle for its loop formation is the flat knitter which has an extensive
use in the knitting industry. The scope of work produced on the flat
knitter is truly wonderful and its great versatility of application
accounts for its immense popularity. In addition to plain fabric it can
make a large variety of fancy and reinforced stitches, which provide
great extension to the textural scope of the knitted fabric, allowing it
to be employed for a wider diversity of uses. Various colours can be
introduced in stripe formation, and with attachments of Jacquard
character or by the use of the double-headed needle the range of
patterns is further diversified. In regard to making full-fashioned
goods almost every form of garment can be made on it-pants, shirts, hose
and half-hose, coats, vestings, caps and gloves, are only a few of the
garments procurable. These can be fashioned by the worker to the
required form and an interpretation can be given to symmetry and style
of the human form. It has found an extensive application as a hand
machine to the making of seamless gloves being used by the most
progressive firms in the trade, and with the application of power it can
be adapted with considerable success to the making of goods in the bulk.
Hand machines are moderately priced so that to start a knitting factory
with such a plant is not a really formidable proposition, quite a
respectable equipment being procurable for a few hundred pounds; many a
prosperous firm owes its initial successes to the adoption of the flat
knitter and from this they have been able to launch larger schemes of
development in the knitting business. With new starters in this trade
to-day the flat knitting machine nearly always figures prominently when
there is lack of capital, and on this basis quite a sound foundation may
be laid.

A diagrammatic side view of the Lamb flat knitting machine is shown in
Fig. 11 where the foundation of the machine consists of two needle beds
or stages marked NB which are cut with tricks or grooves into which the
needles are placed as shown, each side being a duplicate of the other.
The needle is marked N and on it will be recognized such essentials as
the latch L, the hook H, the butt or heel B working inside the cam-box
CB. The thread T passes from its bobbin through the eye of the
thread-carrier TC and the needle is pushed into its position in the
cam-box by the spring marked S shown at the extremity of the needle
beds. The fabric is marked F and is noted to pass down through the
centre of the machine whilst at its extremity is attached a set of
weights which act as a means of drawing the fabric from the needle ends
as they are formed and if the needles are not being sufficiently well
cleared the amount of weight is increased. The weights have to be raised
from time to time to a higher position in contact with the fabric as it
is being worked.


  FIGS. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16

_Interior of Cam-box._—In this machine the principal functional part is
the cam-box CB, and from this the knitting action is imparted to the
needles. On this account a full view is given in Fig. 12 of the set of
cams used in the knitting machine made by Messrs. W. and J. Foster of
Preston. This set of cams is placed on each bed right and left and the
constituent parts are indicated as follows. Parts A and B are termed the
knitting cams, whilst the parts C, D and E combine to form what is known
as the knock-up cam. The part E is a fixture, whilst the needle path is
indicated curved, and through this the needle butts N are seen to be
passing. From the previously-given description of the making of loops on
the latch needle it should not be difficult to note that the cams
working on the needle butts in the needle path combine to raise the
needles to secure the yarn from the thread-carrier and, having received
the yarn, the needles are pulled down again to complete the loop by
drawing the new yarn through the old loop. The cams have a side-to-side
motion and pass over the needle bed from right to left and again from
left to right. In so doing they operate as follows: when the cam-box is
passing from right to left the needle heels are made to ascend the left
side of C and D and are drawn down again by the inside of cam B; when
the action is reversed and the cam-box is drawn from left to right, the
needle heels pass up the right side of cam D and are drawn down again by
passing along the inside of cam A, this alternate action being repeated
during the process of making plain work on the flat knitting machine.

_The Rib Stitch._—One of the outstanding advantages of the flat knitter
is the facility with which all kinds of rib stitches can be made, and
this is due to the arrangement of the needle beds, where the needles of
one side make their stitches in a direction contrary to those in the
opposite side. In making rib work both sets of needles in back and front
beds are in action at the same time; when the thread is supplied to the
needles those on the back rise equally with those on the front and
receive their share of yarn to form their own loops. Now it is clear
that the knitting action on the right-hand needle is opposite in effect
to that of a left-hand needle, this being expressed by the form of the
knock-over of the stitch; the right-hand needles discharge their
stitches to the left, whilst the left-hand needles discharge their
stitches towards the right. It is this combination of stitches
discharged in opposite directions which gives rise to the rib stitch
which is such a valued adjunct to all forms of knitted texture. This
difference in the direction of loop discharge causes one set of needles
to form back-fabric stitches whilst the opposite needles knit right-side
fabric stitches. The normal flat knitter has its two needle beds cut
one-and-one, as shown in Fig. 13, each bed has accommodation for the
same number of needles, these being set so as to pass up the centre
between the opposite series. This is termed a one-and-one arrangement
and the resulting fabric is known as the 1-and-1 rib stitch, one row of
loops in a vertical direction appears as wrong-side fabric stitches,
whilst the alternate rows work out as right-side fabric loops. This
explains the great increase of elasticity found in rib texture as
compared with plain because back-fabric stitches are always seeking the
back. In their normal position they virtually pass to the back, only
being visible on the face when stretch is applied in the width. The yarn
in crossing from face to back and _vice versâ_ undergoes a greatly
increased amount of intersection which contracts the whole fabric in the
width. This property is of the greatest practical value in garment
manufacture, because the extremities are usually finished with a few
inches of rib which enables the article to secure a firmer hold on the
limb or part of the body and thus serves to keep it in position. The rib
stitch is also an indispensable foundation of a number of textures which
weigh much heavier than the plain, as it enables a greater weight of
yarn to be inserted and the fabric is thereby increased greatly in bulk.

_Tension and Weight._—The texture of a fabric on any given knitting
machine can be varied according to a number of factors and of these
quite an important one is the length of loop drawn by the needle. An
examination of Fig. 11 will show that the needle beds on the flat
knitting machine are stationary and that the needles during stitch
formation draw the yarn over the top ends of the beds and obviously the
length of the loop will depend on the distance which the needle is drawn
below the edge of the needle bed, this distance being determined by the
adjustment of the knitting cams A and B shown in Fig. 12.

Cam B is shown in a dotted position raised so as to draw a shorter loop
and the length of the loop can be varied according to the height of
either knitting cams A or B within certain limits. If the loop is drawn
too long, that is, if the knitting cam is set too deep, the yarn may not
stand the strain and breakage will result; on the other hand, if the
loop is too short the fabric will appear stodgy in character.

_Patterns Produced._—This type of knitting machine has an extensive
range of patterns and textures which can be obtained and amongst the
first variations possible are those which result from an alteration of
the needle arrangement. The normal setting is to have one needle in the
front stage for one in the back stage, and these being arranged
alternately give the ordinary 1-and-1 rib stitch. This is shown in Fig.
13, where the upper row of small circles represents the needles in the
back bed or stage whilst the lower row gives those in the front stage.
The next, Fig. 14, shows the needles in exactly the same sett except
that the needles have been arranged to give the 2-and-2 rib pattern,
this being shown in diagrammatic enlargement in Fig. 16 at the side. The
third sett of needles given in Fig. 15 represents the arrangement for a
3-and-1 rib pattern where every third needle only is allowed to remain
in the front stage whilst the back stage retains its full complement.
From these examples it will be clear that by altering needles in this
way to any scheme a large variety of rib effects may be produced, nor
need the arrangement be uniform throughout the width, for the borders
may be in one pattern and the ground or interior in another. Novel
effects in imitation of lace work may also be produced by leaving a
needle out of one or other of the beds which makes an opening in the
fabric which can be manipulated to give an effect of a lace-like


  FIGS. 17, 18, 19 and 20

_Manipulation of Knitting Cams._—Figs. 17 to 20 have been prepared to
illustrate the manner in which the cams are altered to give certain
well-known stitches in the flat knitting machine, and the construction
is the same as Diagram 12, with corresponding letters for the various
parts. On the left of the plate are arranged the cams as in the front
bed whilst the right-hand arrangement gives the set of the cams in the
back. In Fig. 17 the two beds are shown arranged for plain rib work
where both back and front needles are in action at the same time. Fig.
18 shows the cam setting in front and back beds for making the
well-known half-cardigan or royal rib which has played such an important
part as the stitch for cardigan jackets supplied to the troops during
the war period. It will be seen that on the front bed cam A is raised
into what is termed a tucking position, that is, the needles are pushed
up by D to receive the thread but are not drawn down far enough to have
their loops discharged over the needle ends. At the same time the cams
in the back bed are set for plain work and the needles there knit as
usual at every course. The real stitch, however, does not appear until
the direction of knitting is reversed, because the needles on the front
bed are again pushed up to receive a second thread and on this occasion
are drawn down the full distance by B to knock off the stitches. This
means that on the front bed stitches are formed in double threads after
every two courses whilst the back discharges its loops at every course,
which enables a much greater weight of yarn to be inserted into the
texture, making it more rigid and stable. The cams in Fig. 19 are
arranged in front and back beds to produce the polka or full cardigan
stitch, where double courses are worked on both front and back. This may
be clear if we consider the cam arrangements as illustrated moving first
to the right when the stitches on the front bed are "tucked" whilst
those on the back bed knit to the position of cam A. In reversing the
knitting to proceed to left, two yarns are drawn through in the front
needles whilst no discharge takes place on the back. In this way the
knitting occurs on the cardigan rib plan on both front and back needle
beds and the resulting fabric is much heavier in weight than
half-cardigan and when taken from the machine shows a strong tendency to
expand in width owing to the yarn seeking to take up a more expanded
position. The full cardigan stitch tends to be loose in character, the
weight of material is greatly increased over plain 1-and-1 rib, but
there is a lack of structural firmness and cohesion. In Fig. 20 the part
C of the cam comes into the picture as being necessary to give circular
work on the flat knitting machine. This can be drawn up out of action in
both front and back beds by a small finger lever, and an examination of
this arrangement will show that in going to the right the needles of the
front bed will knit as usual, but in reversing, as shown on the right of
Fig. 20, the needles pass completely under part D owing to the absence
of part C and knitting is not performed; the cam portion D is raised by
a spring to allow the needles to pass over the dotted position. It will
thus be seen that to make circular work we arrange the cams on the front
bed so that they will knit in going to right but miss in going to left,
whilst in the opposite bed the reverse holds good. Thus a course of
loops is made on the front with the back not knitting, alternated by a
course made on the back with the front not knitting. The fabric's being
worked from one yarn causes the loops to be joined at the edges and so a
continuous length of circular webbing is produced.

                               CHAPTER IV
                        TYPES OF KNITTING YARNS

The qualities necessary for knitted goods have already been outlined as
applied to the fabric, but if ideal results are to be secured, the yarns
require to possess certain specific features of their own, for the most
efficient textures can only be got by combining the qualities of yarn
and fabric. The range of yarns covers a wide variety of material and
systems of manufacture and the type selected depends entirely on the use
to which it has to be applied; price is its primary consideration, and
whether required for outer, intermediate or under garments is also
important. Speaking generally, the knitting yarn should be open in
texture, full in handle, and the material should be soft and comfortable
to the touch. Except for some classes of outer wear the thread should
have a plentiful proportion of surface-projecting fibres which are of
value in covering raw loop formation.

_Woollen Spun Yarns._—Yarns spun in the woollen system are still used to
a considerable extent in the knitting trade, such having large scope in
the more moderate priced qualities. The yarn is produced by the ordinary
methods of woollen yarn spinning, the wool being teased, scribbled,
carded, condensed and spun into threads on the woollen mule. The
combined effect of these operations is to give a yarn which has its
constituent fibres crossing and re-crossing at every angle so as to give
a melange of fibres, confused at first sight only because these are
arranged in a yarn regular in diameter and compact in structure. Carding
and spinning are done in the grease so that goods made from them require
a more liberal scouring and fulling. The best known type in the coarse
variety of woollen-spun yarns is, perhaps, the wheeling, which is
illustrated by means of photo-micrograph, Fig. 21, and given in the form
of two-ply, but large numbers are used in three or more ply for goods of
the coarsest gauge. The name Wheeling is probably derived from the early
days of hand spinning on the wheel when the wool grown on the farm was
dealt with by the farmer's daughter by means of the distaff and spindle.
In this type of yarn the wool fibres were spun as they hung on the
distaff, and the chief care of the spinster was to draw them out so as
to present as even a strand as possible to the torsion of the whorl. The
single yarns were therefore rather irregular, but these deficiencies
were to a large extent overcome subsequently by folding two or three
plies according to the weight desired. In the days of hand spinning it
was deemed most easy to specialize in one uniform thickness of ground
thread and obtain the thicker counts by twisting these threads two or
more ply. The wheeling yarns as made to-day partake very much of the
same character; they are spun from the coarser grades of wool where long
and short fibres are used promiscuously, all of which features may be
noted by an examination of photo-micrograph 21 which gives the thread
original magnified forty-fold. Fig. 22 gives a similar enlargement under
the microscope of a yarn of the same class as used for utility wear at a
moderate price, this yarn is three-fold and is spun on the woollen
system with fibres showing in every variety of angle. The three-ply yarn
shows very dense and gives a garment in a coarse gauge with considerable
weight and of most serviceable character; it is found very adaptable for
thick woollen socks for artisan wear.


  FIG. 21


  FIG. 22

_Lamb's Wool Yarns._—The term lamb's wool as used in the knitting
industry does not confine its connotation to the product of the lamb
during its first six months of growth, although such yarns would
naturally be included in the first scope of the term. Naturally the
growth on the lamb during the first half-year is of the softest
description and greatly esteemed for many classes of knitted goods where
a kindly feel is of the utmost value. The term has to-day a much wider
definition, and includes yarns spun from the shorter staples on the
woollen system, so that such goods are well covered with surface
material and further offer a good basis for brushing on the teasles or
gig, thus increasing the softness considerably. Fig. 23 gives a
photo-micrograph of one of the finer classes of lamb's wool yarns where
the crossing and re-crossing amongst the constituent fibres is very well
displayed along with the loose open form of the thread. The openness of
texture proclaims this variety as being eminently suitable for the
underwear branch of the business and these made into garments of
moderate price give excellent service. In this sample the fibres are
very regular in diameter, the thread is well constructed and will be
sound in respect of absorbent quality.


  FIG. 23

_Shetland Yarns._—This is another example of a designation employed in
the knitting trade which has wandered far from its original meaning. The
name has primary reference to yarns and fabrics produced from the
material taken from the Shetland breed of sheep which give wool of
excellent soft handling properties. These wools occur in natural
colours, brown, grey and black being found in addition to the
predominating white. The fibre is soft, exceedingly agreeable to handle,
and has been largely used for the industry from the pioneer days of the
hand knitting. The word Shetland as now known in the trade has shown a
distinct tendency to deteriorate in connotation and most generally means
yarns of coarse character, carded and spun on the woollen system with a
certain proportion of fibre of nondescript character mixed. These fibres
are usually dark in colour and mixed along with the white wool give a
tint known as "Natural"; the tints are most serviceable for utility
undergarments in regular wear as they obscure soiling and allow of
longer inter-laundry periods. Pure white articles are quickly soiled,
the "Natural" garments can give a longer period of usefulness without
sacrificing real cleanliness. In times of scarcity of material and in
absence of laundry facilities, these natural coloured garments prove
distinct aids to economy. Formerly the natural tint in a garment was at
once a sign of inferiority and low grade, but now wools of expensive
character are mixed with 5 to 10 per cent. of freshly-dyed fibre of
pleasing effect to give better service. There has latterly been a
tendency to increase the proportion of dark-coloured fibres and give a
wider colour expression; in place of the ordinary brown, fawn and grey,
other varieties bolder in aspect are utilized.


  FIG. 24


_Fingering Yarns._—The term fingering is widely known in the trade and
is a clear reference to the era of hand spinning on the wheel when the
fibres were drawn through the fingers preparatory to the addition of
torsion, this "fingering" being a domestic attempt to establish a
certain amount of parallelism amongst the fibres. Wools of longer staple
were employed for these productions which may be regarded as the
prototype of the modern worsted thread. The attempt to render the fibres
parallel by hand cannot be completely successful, but the worker
rejected the shorter material which was not incorporated in the thread,
whilst the longer residual fibres were spun with rather more twist than
was usual with pure woollen yarns. The fingering yarn as now known is
spun from the better classes of medium-stapled wool and is usually found
in three or four-ply for the better class woollen hose trade. It gives a
good quality article which felts less than the woollen spun and has
increased durable qualities, the three-ply giving a considerably
augmented strength to the article. The principle of worsted spinning as
practised in the Bradford district for weaving yarns is not suitable for
the knitting industry. As a rule the twist is too hard, and even with
slack twist the structure is scarcely suitable, not being open enough
and having too little surface fibre. A fingering yarn largely used for
the footwear trade is given in photo-micrograph at Fig. 25, where the
thread is noted to be three-fold; the single strands show a firm twist,
but at the same time there is visible a fair percentage of surface
material which makes the yarn suitable for covering the interstices and
contributing to fabric consistency. The qualities of this particular
yarn have been tested by long experience in use and have proved ideal
when the right kind of wool is used as foundation.


  FIG. 25


  FIG. 26

_Worsted Underwear Yarns._—A view of a typical yarn as used for the
light-weight underwear branch of the knitting business is given in Fig.
26, which represents a two-fold hosiery yarn used for light-weight
shirts and pants, but more particularly for ladies' garments. Extreme
fibre parallelism is the chief feature of this yarn structure, the
fibres being meticulously pulled into line with each other by the teeth
of the comber. The next points important to observe are the spaces shown
between the individual fibres which ensure adequate ventilation and
absorbency, along with the requisite elasticity. The twist in the single
is very slight and the strength is obtained by folding the two single
strands together. At the same time a sufficiency of surface material is
present to insure correct cover for the loops so as to remove rawness of
structure and impart a "skin" to the cloth.

The yarns illustrated in micro-photos 27 and 28 may be regarded as
typical structures employed for the great bulk of the trade in
underwear, these being samples of the widely-known dry-spun yarns on the
French system. As compared with the method of producing worsted yarns in
the weaving trade, this system of dry spinning is so called because no
oil is added to the sliver in preparation; the system of combing adopted
deals with shorter and less valuable wools and moderately priced yarns
are feasible. Openness of character is best secured by imparting twist
on the ordinary woollen mule, where the thread is torsioned
intermittently in long lengths, during which operation a certain
proportion of the fibres are thrown to the surface, as clearly shown in
Fig. 27. The yarn is two-ply with a fair twist in the two-fold, whilst
the singles have quite a small amount of torsion. The extraneous
material prominent in this sample 27 is a valuable feature in the
success of the yarn for the knitting trade. Fig. 28 gives a view of a
thread of the same character but rendered denser in form on account of
its three-fold character. This is an excellent sample of a yarn giving
splendid service in wear and the production of which has caused a most
flourishing spinning industry to be established in continental


  FIG. 27


  FIG. 28

In this prosperity it is hoped the British spinner will participate more
fully in the future, because it is a branch which lends itself to
enormous production on a large scale, the usual way of doing the trade
being for one mill to concentrate on few counts so as to have a minimum
alteration in the setting of machinery. In addition the spinner requires
to instal the right kind of combing plant which, it is satisfactory to
learn, can be made very efficiently in this country; the British machine
builder has risen to the occasion, and it is to be hoped that the
spinner will follow quickly in his wake and prove equal to the enormous
call for this class of yarn. These yarns are often referred to in the
trade variously as botany yarns, or cashmere yarns, although the latter
is in reality a misnomer, having original reference to the product of
the Cashmere goat indigenous to the Himalaya Mountains in Northern

                               CHAPTER V
                             COUNTS OF YARN

Within recent years a great improvement has been effected in the matter
of yarn numbering for the hosiery trade. Formerly a number of systems
were in vogue which were distinctly local in their character and
application, but these now tend to confine themselves to the standards
common to other branches of textiles. Most yarns can be classed under
the worsted, cotton or silk systems; woollen yarns spun on the Borders
of Scotland are based on the Galashiels counts, whilst those from
Yorkshire are counted on the skein system. Artificial silk yarns are
numbered on the denier system which has come into greater prominence
recently in connection with the growth of artificial silk goods on the
market. The more irrational and arbitrary methods of numbering yarns are
rapidly declining in use and the great majority of yarns now supplied
are given in one or other of the systems named.

_Worsted Yarns_, including those coming under the term cashmere, botany
and mohair are numbered on the worsted system which has its basis in the
number of 560-yd. hanks which weigh 1 lb. of 16 oz.

_Cotton Yarns_, including those spun from a mixture of cotton and wool
under the term merino, and spun silk are estimated on the number of
840-yd. hanks which weigh 1 lb. of 16 oz. There is a reservation in the
case of two-fold silk yarns, the counts giving the exact number whether
single, two-fold, or three-fold.

_Woollen Yarns._—Alloa is an important centre of hosiery yarns spinning,
and a system used in this locality is based on the equivalent of the
number of 240-yd. hanks which weigh 1 lb.

Woollen yarns spun on the Scottish Borders are calculated on the
Galashiels method which is equivalent to the number of 200-yd. hanks in
1 lb. The Yorkshire woollen skein system is based on the number of yards
per oz. which, brought into line with others, gives a basis of the
number of 256-yd. hanks which weigh 1 lb. Leicester lamb's wool system
is equivalent to the number of hanks of 176 yd. each in 1 lb.

_Silk Yarns._—In addition to the spun silk yarns mentioned as being
counted on the basis of the cotton hank of 840 yd., what is known as the
Organzine silk system is given by the number of yards per oz.

Tram silk is calculated on the weight in drams of 1,000 yd., and in the
case of artificial silk yarns the counts are gauged by the weight in
deniers of 520 yd. There are 1,600/3 or 533⅓ deniers in 1 oz.

_Yarn Testing for Counts._—This subject has been taken up with greater
interest by hosiery manufacturers, who are now installing suitable
apparatus for conducting the important test as to whether a yarn is up
to standard in regard to counts. Variation in the yarn size at once
reflects itself in the weight per dozen garments, the usual trade basis,
and with increased prices of yarns these tests are likely to become more
prevalent in the future. Compared with the weaving trade the question of
gauging the size of a yarn by the method of inspection and handling is
by no means effective on account of the loose nature of many knitting
yarns; in general they appear to have much less weight than their
diameter would lead the observer to suppose. In weaving yarns the twist
is much more decided in effect, but in hosiery materials accurate
estimation can only be performed by making a calculation based on the
weight of a given length of the sample. A number of simple devices are
on the market whereby the counts of yarn can be accurately determined by
weighing a given number of threads cut to a certain template according
to the yarn system, and these instruments are being largely employed in
cases where the overseer is too busy to give the matter personal
attention. An intelligent yarn foreman, however, prefers the method of
weighing off a given length of the thread and finding the counts by
direct calculation or by the aid of an assimilating table. He can also
devise short ways of making the calculation of counts adapted to the
class of yarns being handled in greatest numbers, and these do not
depend for their accuracy on any accidental mechanical factors.

Let it be supposed that the custom in a factory is to test a yarn by
unravelling a length of 20 yd. and finding the weight of this in grains.
In each calculation the proportion will be repeated of finding the
number of yards in 1 lb. or 7,000 grains. Again, if the prevailing
counts be worsted, then this will involve 560 in each calculation as in
the following example.

_Example 1._—On unreeling a yarn it is found that a length of 20 yd.
weighs 10 grains, find the counts in worsted.

By proportion, if there are 20 yd. in 10 grains, the yards in 1 lb. or
7,000 grains will give the yards per lb. This obtained, we divide by 560
the length of the worsted hank to obtain the counts thus—

               20 × 7,000
               —————————— = 25's worsted counts of yarn.
                10 × 560

_Example 2._—A worsted hosiery yarn is tested and 20 yd. are found to
weigh 35 grains, find the counts.

                    20 × 7,000
                    —————————— = 7⅐ worsted counts.
                     35 × 560

If these two examples be observed it will be noted that for every
calculation of this type such as a yarnman might be expected to make
frequently, the common numbers are (20 × 7,000)/560 = 250. These will
occur in every calculation of this kind and this gives a short method of
getting the result, for in place of using these three factors we take
the resultant 250 as shown and divide the weight of grains into it.

_Example 3._—Find the counts of a cashmere hosiery yarn, 20 yd. of which
weigh 24 grains.

Following the method indicated we can obtain this result at once by
dividing 250 by 24 = 10·4 counts cashmere.

The other counts met with frequently is the cotton or merino system
where the hank number is 840 and the value in all such calculations is
given by the numbers—

                       20 × 7,000   500
                       —————————— = ——— or 166⅔.
                          840        3

_Example 4._—Find the counts of a merino yarn of which 20 yd. weigh 14

Taking the value 500/3 divide it by 14, thus—

                         —————— = 11·9 counts.
                         3 × 14

Similarly, if working with dram weights and a standard length of 20 yd.
we should devise a value for the figures constantly recurring and this
would greatly simplify the calculation of the counts.

_Example 5._—Find the counts in Galashiels or Scotch woollen system of a
yarn, 20 yd. of which weigh 2 drams.

The first step is to find the yards in 1 lb. = 16 × 16 = 256 drams, and
then divide by the hank length of 200 yd.—

                  20 × 256
                  ———————— = 12·8 cut Scotch woollen.
                  2 × 200

In all calculations of this character the numbers (20 × 256)/200 will
occur and these reduced give a value of 25·6 which is taken as the
constant and for all similar calculations the weight in drams is simply
divided into this value to obtain the result.

_Example 6._—Find the counts in Scotch woollen of a yarn, 20 yd. of
which weigh 1·25 grains.

Taking the value as 25·6, this is divided by 1·25 = 20·4 cut woollen.

Sufficient has been given to show that it is comparatively easy to
calculate counts of yarns regularly coming into the yarn store where we
have a few standard hank lengths to consider along with the values
obtained for each type of calculation met with in practice. Tables in
each can be constructed from which the counts of yarn may be seen at a
glance, the only work being to find the weight of the test length.

_Yarn Conversion._—When two or more yarn classes are used in the same
garment it is necessary for purposes of calculation to translate the
counts into one or other of the systems, the most common system for
choice. Thus, in cotton and wool, or silk and wool twist yarns, it may
be necessary to make a calculation for counts and this cannot be
affected unless both yarns are in the same denomination. The rule is to
multiply the given counts by its own hank length and divide by the hank
length of the yarn required.

_Example 7._—Change 2/40's merino counts into worsted and Yorkshire
skeins. 2/40's merino = 20's single, and by the rule—

                        20 × 840
                        ———————— = 30's worsted.

To convert into skeins counts the hank length is 256, and the formula is
given by—

                        20 × 840
                        ———————— = 65·6 skeins.

_Example 8._—Change 24/24 Scotch woollen into Alloa and skein systems.
24/24 = 12 cut single.

                     12 × 200
                     ———————— = 10's counts Alloa.

                     12 × 200
                     ———————— = 9·4 skeins counts.

_Example 9._—Find the equivalent of 40/2 spun silk in worsted and skeins
counts. In silk the number is always the exact counts whether it be
folded two or more ply. Thus, we have it stated as—

                   40 × 840
                   ———————— = 60's counts in worsted.

                   40 × 840
                   ———————— = 131·25 counts skeins.

_Example 10._—Find the yards of yarn in 3 lb. of 2/48's worsted and ¼
oz. of 60/2 spun silk respectively.

In 2/48's worsted 24 × 560 = yards in 1 lb., ∴ 24 × 560 × 3 = 40,320 yd.
in 3 lb. 60/2 spun silk = 60 × 840 = yards in 1 lb. or 16 oz., and to
obtain the length in ¼ oz. divide by 4 × 16—

                          60 × 860
                          ———————— = 787·5 yd.
                           4 × 16

_Weight of Knitted Fabrics._—These calculations lead to examples where
the weight of knitted fabric has to be found. The ordinary plain knitted
loop in which the bulk of textures is worked consists really of a weft
structure, that is, the yarns run predominantly crosswise, and are
intersected with the preceding loops in the manner already described. In
determining the weight of a given length of plain knitted fabric we
require various factors, these being taken as they are on the frame. It
is essential in the first place to know the counts of yarn employed, and
the number of courses inserted per inch into the fabric, and again it is
essential to know the width at which the fabric is being worked on the
machine. Finally, it is necessary to estimate what is known as the
"take-up," for the yarn is pushed into curved formation which "takes up"
yarn about twice the width of the fabric by the intersecting of the yarn
over the needles and this has a very definite influence on the weight.

_Example 11._—Find the weight of 10 yd. of knitted fabric made from
2/20's worsted yarn with 18 courses per inch at a width of 32 in. on the
needles. The take-up is 2, that is, to form one course of loops, a
length of yarn equal to twice the width is required.

If the question of take-up be ignored for the moment, let the yarns be
inserted as weft threads crosswise in the fabric and we shall have in 1
in. of cloth 18 courses or threads each 32 in. wide. This gives (18 ×
32)/36 = yards of yarn in 1 in. of cloth or (18 × 32 × 36)/36 yards of
yarn in 1 yd. of cloth × 10 for 10 yd., but from the yarn counts we know
that the size is such that 2/20's worsted = 10 × 60 = yards in 1 lb., so
that dividing the latter by this number of yards will give the weight of
the fabric in pounds, thus—

    18 × 32 × 36 × 10
    ————————————————— = 1·03 lb. as the weight of 10 yd. of fabric.
      36 × 10 × 560

But this is the weight if the yarns are straight in the fabric, which
they are not, for there is a take-up of 2, that is, the weight has to be

                      1·03 × 2 = 2·06 lb. weight.

From this concrete example may be derived a formula which can be applied
to all cases where the sufficient particulars are given, and following
the above example we obtain—

_Example 12._—

       Courses per in. × width × length × take-up
       —————————————————————————————————————————— = weight in lb.
                     counts × basis

In this statement let the courses per inch or the sett be represented by
_S_, the width by _w_, and the weight by _W_, counts = _C_, basis = _B_,
length = _L_, from which we obtain the following equation—

_Example 13._—

                      _S_ × _w_ × _L_ × _T_
                      ————————————————————— = _W_,
                            _C_ × _B_


                _S_ × _w_ × _L_ × _T_ = _W_ × _C_ × _B_.

From this it follows that given any six of the seven factors we may
obtain the seventh by substitution of values. Some of these
possibilities are of academic interest only and are seldom required in
practice, but a few examples may be given of the use of this formula.

_Example 14._—Find the weight of 200 yd. of knitted webbing worked from
2/40's cashmere yarn with 28 courses per inch to a width of 48 in. with
a take-up of 1·75.

Substituting as in formula 12—

                 28 × 48 × 200 × 1·75
                 ———————————————————— = 42 lb. weight.
                       20 × 560

_Example 15._—Calculate the weight of fleecy fabric worked one thread
2/30's worsted yarn on face with 12 skeins yarn on back; the worsted has
a take-up of 1·75, whilst the back yarn take-up is 2. There are 24
courses per inch of each thread, the length is 150 yd. and the width
equivalent to 60 in.

For this example it is most expeditious to work out each yarn separately
according to formula 12. For the face yarn the items will be stated

                 24 × 60 × 150 × 1·75
                 ———————————————————— = 45 lb. weight,
                       15 × 560

for the woollen—

                 24 × 60 × 150 × 2
                 ————————————————— = 140·6 lb. woollen.
                     12 × 256

These added give 45 + 140·6 = 185·6 for the total weight in pounds.

_Example 16._—Find the weight of a fabric plated as follows—

                 1-40/2 spun silk with take-up of 1·75
                 1-2/32's merino with take-up of 2·25

Length 320 yd., 24 courses per inch, 60 in. wide.

For the silk the counts 40/2 are taken as 40's single—

                     24 × 60 × 320 × 1·75
                     ———————————————————— = 24 lb.
                           40 × 840

For merino—

         24 × 60 × 320 × 2·25
         ———————————————————— = 77·14 lb.     Total 101·14 lb.
               16 × 840

_Example 17._—Find the merino counts of yarn to produce 72 yd. of fabric
56 in. wide, 18 courses per inch, 24 lb. of material with a take-up in
knitting of 2½.

The formula for this type of calculation can be derived from that given
for finding the weight, all items being the same except that the weight
is substituted for the counts.

Following formula 12—

            18 × 56 × 72 × 2½
            ————————————————— = 9's counts single or 2/18's.
                24 × 840

_Example 18._—Calculate the yarn counts in the Alloa system for a fabric
180 yd. long with 14 courses per inch, 66 in. wide, the take-up is 2 and
the weight 24 lb.

                     14 × 66 × 180 × 2
                     ————————————————— = 57¾ Alloa.
                         24 × 240

_Example 19._—Estimate the skein counts for a fabric 200 yd. long, 80
lb. in weight, 60 in. wide, 12 courses per inch, with a take-up of 2·25.

               12 × 60 × 200 × 2·25
               ———————————————————— = 15·8 skeins counts.
                     80 × 256

_Example 20._—Give the worsted counts to reduce the weight to 60 lb. for
example 19.

          12 × 60 × 200 × 2·25
          ———————————————————— = 9·6 worsted or 2/19's approx.
                60 × 560

_Example 21._—Calculate the length of knitted fabric which can be
secured from 30 lb. of 2/42's cashmere, 22 courses per inch, 63 in.
wide, take-up 1½.

This is obtained from formula 13 and may be stated thus—

               weight × counts × basis
              ————————————————————————— = length.
              courses × width × take-up

                    30 × 21 × 560
                    —————————————       = 170 yd. approx.
                    22 × 63 × 1½

_Example 22._—Find the length per 100 lb. obtained in 2/30's merino,
take-up 1·75, 21 courses per inch, 64 in. wide.

                       100 × 15 × 840
                       —————————————— = 535·7 yd.
                       21 × 64 × 1·75

_Example 23._—Find the length of rib fabric with a take-up of 3 obtained
from 100 lb. of 20/20 Scotch woollen counts, 15 courses per inch, 60 in.

                        100 × 10 × 200
                        —————————————— = 74 yd.
                         15 × 60 × 3

_Example 24._—Find the width at which a fabric will require to be worked
to use 80 lb. of 2/16's worsted counts, take-up 2½, length 240 yd., 18
courses per inch.

This formula is identical to that used to find the length, except that
the length is substituted for the width—

                   weight × counts × basis
                  —————————————————————————— = width.
                  courses × length × take-up

                    80 × 8 × 560
                    ————————————— = 33·19 in. wide.
                    18 × 240 × 2½

_Example 25._—Find the width for a cotton fabric weighing 40 lb., 120
yd., 2/32's counts, 21 courses per inch, take-up is 2½.

                     40 × 16 × 840
                     ————————————— = 85·3 in. wide.
                     21 × 120 × 2½

_Example 26._—Find the courses per inch required for a fabric worked in
18 skeins, 60 in. wide, take-up 175, 120 yd., 50 lb. weight. This is
obtained from the same formula as Examples 24 and 25 except that the
width is substituted for courses per inch.

                 50 × 18 × 256
                ——————————————— = 18·3 courses per inch.
                60 × 120 × 1·75

                               CHAPTER VI
                              FOLDED YARNS

An interesting series of calculations useful to the knitting industry
can be built up in connection with the methods of finding the resultant
single counts of two or more yarns folded together. The counts of twist
yarns is in the first instance of special application to the spinner,
but there are many circumstances in which they may be useful in the yarn
store of a hosiery factory. When two yarns of the same counts are
twisted, the resultant equivalent single counts is obtained by dividing
by 2, but when the yarns vary in size the proceeding is rather
different. A common fault is to add the two counts together and divide
by 2, but this gives a result which is entirely wrong. For purposes of
comparison it is useful to have the equivalent single counts when two or
more yarns are folded together, but the special interest to this branch
lies in using two single yarns to take the place of one, in cases where
supplies of the first material have run short. It is then of practical
importance to have the two substitute yarns chosen from those in stock
so that they approach as nearly as possible the size of the original.

_Example 27._—Find the counts of 60's and 40's folded together. This
example can be used to build up the formula from first principles. Take
for convenience 60 hanks of the highest counts and twist this with an
equal length of 60 hanks of the second counts stated thus—

                  60 hanks of 60's counts weigh 1  lb.
                  60 hanks of 40's counts weigh 1½ lb.
                  60 hanks of folded thread   = 2½ lb.

therefore, 60 divided by 2½ gives 24 hanks of folded yarn in 1 lb. which
is the counts 24's.

To find out a shorter rule for estimating the counts of a two-fold
thread, let the first counts be represented by _A_, and the second
counts by _B_, and let _R_ be the resultant counts of yarns _A_ and _B_
folded together. Following the concrete example 27, it may be stated
generally thus—

_Example 28._—

               _A_ hanks of _A_ counts  = 1           lb.
               _A_ hanks of _B_ counts  = _A_/_B_     lb.
               _A_ hanks of folded yarn = 1 + _A_/_B_ lb.

The resultant counts _R_ is obtained thus—

                           1 + _A_/_B_ = _R_,


                              _A_   _A_ + _B_
                          1 + ——— = —————————
                              _B_      _B_

and making the fraction proper we obtain the rule—

                            ————————— = _R_.
                            _A_ + _B_

Stated in words the rule is "To find the resultant counts of two threads
folded together, multiply the two counts together and divide by their

It often happens that a counts of a given size is required from two
single yarns as in the frequent case of yarns running down before the
contract for goods has been delivered. In such instances the resultant
counts required is known and given one of the constituent singles, the
other can be obtained by the rule: "Multiply the two counts together and
divide by the difference." This can be proved in a general way from the
last-found formula—

_Example 29._—

                            _A_ × _B_
                            ————————— = _R_
                            _A_ + _B_

in this equation the following also holds good

                              _AB_ = _R_ (_A_ + _B_)

                              _AB_ = _AR_ + _BR_

                      _A B_ - _BR_ = _AR_

                   _B_ (_A_ - _R_) = _AR_

                               _B_ =    —————————
                                        _A_ - _R_

Similarly, if _A_ is the missing counts of the two-fold yarn, the rule
for _A_ can be proved thus—

                              _AB_ = _R_ (_A_ + _B_)

                              _AB_ = _AR_ + _BR_

                       _AB_ - _AR_ = _BR_

                   _A_ (_B_ - _R_) = _BR_

                               _A_ =    —————————
                                        _B_ - _R_

_Examples in folded yarns._

_Example 30._—Find the counts of 64's, 48's and 32's yarns folded
together, and also give average when they are used separately one thread
of each size in a garment. From the formula proved in Example 28 we have
the following, taking the highest counts as starting-point—

                  64 hanks of 64's counts weigh 1  lb.
                  64 hanks of 48's counts weigh 1⅓ lb.
                  64 hanks of 32's counts weigh 2  lb.
                  64 hanks folded yarn weigh    4⅓ lb.


                         —— = 14-10/13 counts.

In the hosiery trade such yarns are more often used separately than
folded together, when the more useful problem is to find the average
counts of the three threads which is obtained by multiplying this result
by the number of threads in the set, in this case 3.

            Average counts = 14-10/13 × 3 = 44-4/13 average.

_Example 31._—Give the resultant equivalent single counts of a silk and
wool yarn composed of one thread of 2/40's worsted folded with a thread
of 60/2 spun silk, also give the weight of each material in 110 lb. of
garments and state the price ratios of worsted and silk respectively,
taking the silk at 12s. 6d. per lb. and the worsted at 5s.

For the counts calculations both yarns have to be expressed in the same
denomination and let the worsted system be taken. Transferring 60/2
silk, the counts is 60's as it stands and the transfer is made thus—

                            60 × 840
                            ———————— = 90's.

To find the counts formula 28 can be used, that is, multiply the two
counts together and divide by their sum—

                   90 × 20   90 × 20   180
                   ——————— = ——————— = ——— = 16-4/11.
                   90 + 20     110     11

To obtain the weight ratio the calculation had better be worked thus—

                       90 hanks of 90's = 1  lb.
                       90 hanks of 20's = 4½ lb.
                       90 hanks twist   = 5½ lb.

                      90 ÷ 5½ = 16-4/11 as before.

For the weight proportion the total is given as 110 lb., which has to be
divided in the ratio of the weight column, that is, of a total of 5½
lb., 1 lb. is silk and the remainder worsted—

                       —— × 110 = 20 lb. silk.

                       —— × 110 = 90 lb. worsted.

For the price let the weight column be again used—

                       1  lb. silk @ 12/6 = 12/6
                       4½ lb. wor. @  5/- = 22/6
                       5½ lb. twist       = 35/-

                        35/- ÷ 5½ = 6/4¼ per lb.

also 5/14 of cost is due to silk and 9/14 due to worsted.

It is quite evident that this method of procedure yields results of the
utmost interest and value to the maker of knitted goods.

_Example 32._—Find the counts of 48's cashmere folded with 30's merino.
Answer in merino system.

Change 48's cashmere into merino—

                            48 × 560
                            ———————— = 32's.

Using the rule as in (28)—

                     32 × 30   32 × 30
                     ——————— = ——————— = 15-15/31.
                     32 + 30     62

_Example 33._—Find the resultant counts of 2/32's cashmere or worsted
folded with 21's skeins counts. State answer in skeins system.

Transfer worsted to skeins—

                         16 × 560
                         ———————— = 35 skeins.

By one method the counts is given by—

                 35 × 21   35 × 21
                 ——————— = ——————— = 13⅛ counts skeins.
                 35 + 21     56

In this connection it might be useful to have the weight proportion of
each, also the average counts if the two threads are not folded but
placed side by side. Let the price of the 2/32's be 7/6 per lb., and
that of the 21's skeins, 3/-per lb., when the cost per lb. of the
combination is obtained as follows—

                35 hanks of 35's   = 1  lb. @ 7/6 =  7/6
                35 hanks of 21's   = 1⅔ lb. @ 3/- =  5/-
                35 hanks of folded = 2⅔ lb.       = 12/6

For the counts 35/2⅔ = 13⅛ if folded, but if separate, number × 2 will
give the average counts 13⅛ × 2 = 26¼ average counts.

The weight percentage of each constituent in the garment is stated thus—

              1                         1⅔
              —— × 100 = 37½ % worsted. —— = 62½ % skeins.
              2⅔                        2⅔

For the average price 2⅔ lb. = 12/6 = 4/8¼ per lb.

_Example 34._—Find in Scotch system the resultant and average counts of
36/36 Scotch with 2/40's cotton.

Bringing the cotton to Scotch counts—

                           20 × 840
                           ———————— = 84 cut,

by the rule—

         84 × 18
         ——————— = 14·82 counts, or × 2 = 29·6 average counts.
         84 + 18

This rule can be applied twice in succession to find the counts of a
three-fold yarn.

_Example 35._—Find the counts of 80's, 40's and 20's folded together and
give the average counts if they are used separately in a garment, one
thread of each.

Taking 80's and 40's the resultant counts of these two is secured by the
usual method—

                 80 × 40   80 × 40   80
                 ——————— = ——————— = —— or 26⅔ counts.
                 80 + 40     120     3

This is now folded with the remaining counts 20, in a similar operation—

   26⅔ × 20
   ———————— = 11-3/7 resultant counts or × 3 = 34-2/7 average counts.
   26⅔ + 20

This result can be verified by the original method—

                            80 ÷ 80  = 1
                            80 ÷ 40  = 2
                            80 ÷ 20  = 4
                            80 hanks = 7 lb.

                 80 ÷ 7 = 11-3/7 × 3 = 34-2/7 average.

_Example 36._—Give all useful particulars for the following combination
of yarns in a garment—

                     1 - 2/42 wor.   @  5/6 per lb.
                     1 - 12's cotton @  3/6 per lb.
                     1 - 80/2 silk   @ 15/- per lb.

Bring the worsted to cotton counts and the three yarns will then be in a
like denomination—

                        21 × 560
                        ———————— = 14's cotton.

Arranging these for the resultant counts, price and weight

                   80 ÷ 80  =  1   lb. @ 15/- = 15/-
                   80 ÷ 14  =  5·7 lb. @  5/6 = 31/4
                   80 ÷ 12  =  6·6 lb. @  3/6 = 23/1
                   80 hanks = 13·3 lb.        = 69/5

80 ÷ 13·3 = 6·1 counts if twisted, and × 3 = 18·3 counts average.

                   69/5 ÷ 13·3 = 5/2 per lb. folded.

By computation from the table of prices it is found that

                    21·4 % of cost is due to silk
                    45·1 % of cost is due to worsted
                    33·5 % of cost is due to cotton.

For the weight percentage the proportions are taken from the weight

        1                            5·7
       ———— × 100 = 7·52 % silk.    ———— × 100 = 42·8 % worsted.
       13·3                         13·3

The remaining figure 49·68 % cotton is obtained by subtraction.

_Example 37._—Find the useful particulars for a plated fabric composed
of 2/20's worsted @ 8/6 per lb., 10's cotton @ 4/- per lb. The cotton
yarn appears on the back and has 50 per cent. more take-up than the

                        10 × 840
                        ———————— = 15's worsted.

          15 plus 50 % of 15 = 22½ ÷ 15 = 1½ lb. @ 4/- = 6/-
          15 plus  0         = 15  ÷ 10 = 1½ lb. @ 8/6 = 12/9
                                          3  lb.       = 18/9

            15 ÷ 3 = 5's counts.     18/9 ÷ 3 = 6/3 per lb.

From the column of weights it is seen that this is divided equally
between the two yarns; although the cotton is finer in diameter, yet the
weights are made equal by extra take-up in loop formation.

_Example 38._—A garment order is being executed from 2/42's yarn which
runs short, 2/60's is in sufficient stock, and it is required to find
what counts used with this will give the same weight of garment on the
frame. Applying the difference rule—

               2/60's = 30's    30 × 21   30 × 21
                                ——————— = ——————— = 70's.
               2/42's = 21's    30 - 21      9

_Example 39._—Given two counts 48's and 24's in stock, find the third
yarn needed to twist with these to obtain a counts equivalent to 10's
single. The first step is to fold the two yarns together by the addition

                            48 × 24
                            ——————— = 16's.
                            48 + 24

Then by the difference rule—

                       16 × 10   160
                       ——————— = ——— = 26⅔ _Ans._
                       16 - 10    6

_Example 40._—40's and 30's worsted are yarns in stock, find a third
thread to fold with these to make a three-fold counts = 10's.

        40 × 30   40 × 30
        ——————— = ——————— = 17⅐ counts of the two yarns folded.
        40 + 30     70

Using the difference rule—

                         17⅐ × 10
                         ———————— = 24's _Ans._
                         17⅐ - 10

To provide proof use the ordinary method of folding—

                           40 ÷ 40  = 1  lb.
                           40 ÷ 30  = 1⅓ lb.
                           40 ÷ 24  = 1⅔ lb.
                           40 hanks = 4  lb.

                         40 ÷ 4 = 10's counts.

If the third thread were wanted in another quality such as cotton, the
answer would be secured by transfer—

                         24 × 560
                         ———————— = 16's cotton


                         24 × 560
                         ———————— = 52½ skeins.

_Example 41._—Find the particulars for a fabric containing three yarns
used, one of each in succession, where the take-up of each thread varies
in the fabric as shown. This take-up of different yarns in knitting is
frequently neglected in calculations, but obviously should be carefully
taken into account for it has a very direct influence on the weight.

         1 - 40's yarn with take-up of 1·25 for normal fabric.
         1 - 30's yarn with take-up of 1·50 for normal fabric.
         1 - 12's yarn with take-up of 2·25 for normal fabric.

We proceed by stating the length of hank in the ratio of the various
take-ups thus—

                     225 hanks of 12's = 18·75 lb.
                     150 hanks of 30's =  5    lb.
                     125 hanks of 40's =  3·12 lb.
                     125 hanks normal  = 26·87 lb.

Working out percentages in the usual way from the column of weights we
find that—

                     40's yarn = 11·4 % of weight.
                     30's yarn = 18·6 % of weight.
                     12's yarn = 70   % of weight.

_Example 42._—2/24's worsted yarn has been used for an order and runs
out before completion of the weight required; sufficient weight of 16's
is in stock, find the nearest counts which must be used along with this
to give a fabric of the same weight as the original; 2/24's = 12's.

Using the rule of differences—

                            16 × 12
                            ——————— = 48's.
                            16 - 12

The ratio of weights can be found thus, 48's and 16's—

                        48 hanks of 48's = 1 lb.
                        48 hanks of 16's = 3 lb.
                                           4 lb.

That is, out of a total of 4 lb. one-quarter is of the finer counts 48,
whilst the remaining three-quarters is of the second counts 16's. By
making this calculation it will be seen whether there is a sufficient
weight of each yarn to complete the order.

_Example 43._—As a substitute for solid 2/22's yarn in a garment it is
proposed to use one thread of 18's and a second yarn of suitable size to
give the same weight. Find this yarn and state the ratio in which the
two will occur in the garment.

By the rule of differences—

                   18 × 11   18 × 11
                   ——————— = ——————— = 28-2/7 counts.
                   18 - 11      7

For the weight of each, this can be done quite simply by adding the two
counts and taking the relative proportions inversely—

                18   + 28-2/7 = 46-2/7.

              —————— × 100    = 38-8/9 % of 28-2/7 counts.

              —————— × 100    = 61⅑ % of 18's counts.

This last example shows clearly that the weight of the constituents
varies inversely according to the yarn counts, the higher the counts the
lower the weight and _vice versâ_. The matter is more prominent in
problems where a resultant counts is given with two weight ratios, the
counts to produce these being sought by calculation.

_Example 44._—A garment is required equal to 12's counts composed of two
yarns where one-third of weight is on the face and two-thirds on the
back. Find two counts which will fulfil these conditions.

The counts are inverse to the weights; if the proportion had been direct
we should have stated: ⅓ of 12's, but seeing that the ratio is inverse
we state: 3/1 of 12's = 36's for one yarn.

The other thread is ⅔ of 12, which inversely gives 3/2 of 12 = 18. For

                         36 × 18
                         ——————— = 12's counts.

_Example 45._—Find two yarns one having one-fifth of the weight and the
other four-fifths to give a resultant counts = 12's.

               ⅕ of 12, inverse = 5/1 × 12 = 60's counts.
               ⅘ of 12, inverse = 5/4 × 12 = 15's counts.

These counts are 60's and 15's and they together produce a thread =

_Example 46._—A three-fold yarn is equal to a counts of 8's, the first
thread gives one-seventh of the weight, the next three-sevenths and the
next four-sevenths, find each counts in the folded thread.

         7/1 × 8 = 56's.     7/3 × 8 = 18⅔.     7/4 × 8 = 14's.

_Example 47._—A fabric with an average counts of 20's is required in two
materials, one giving two-fifths of weight and the other three-fifths,
find the counts of each.

                  5/2 × 20 = 50's.     5/3 × 20 = 33⅓.

                              CHAPTER VII
                        BEARDED NEEDLE KNITTING

The type of knitting instrument employed is responsible for a convenient
division of the industry according as the machines are fitted with the
latch or the bearded needle. The latch needle has already been described
when it was observed to be independent in action. Each needle is free to
prepare and complete its own loop, this being done in rapid succession
as the cams traverse the heels or butts. In bearded needle knitting the
process is quite different, and a number of separate parts require to
co-operate with the needle for stitch formation. Fig. 29 gives a clear
view of the construction of the bearded needle, also known as the spring
needle, consisting of a piece of steel wire specially tempered with one
end bent over into the form of a spring or beard. The stem of the needle
is marked S, the beard is indicated by B, and the stem has a groove D
into which the beard is pressed during loop formation. It is
satisfactory to learn that this branch of needle manufacture has always
been efficiently carried on by the British maker. The needle is usually
fixed in what is termed a lead into which it is cast in a molten
condition, each such frame having its corresponding mould according to
gauge. The lead is used as the basis of gauge for the frame and each
lead as a rule has two needles cast in it for the great majority of
machines of this character. These leads are fixed together in a bar
which lifts in sections, and to replace any needle the clamp is
unscrewed, the lead lifted out, and a new one inserted in its place.


  FIGS. 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

_Stitch Formation on Bearded Needles._—The process of stitch formation
by means of the bearded needle is indicated in the series of diagrams 30
to 33, which represent the operation as performed on a modern rotary
frame of the Cotton's Patent type. The needle is much less independent
in action than the latch variety, and to complete the making of the loop
several auxiliaries are indispensable. Of these the most important are
the presser P which in this system is stationary, and the sinker S with
its throat A and its nose B. For the knock-over of the loop is required
the aid of the discharging piece DP which is also stationary. In Fig. 30
the needle is seen in the act of descending, having just received the
thread T from the yarn-carrier and which thread has entered under the
open beard B of the needle. At this stage the loops of the fabric F are
seen hanging on the needles down on the stem and under the nose B of the
sinker. Fig. 31 shows the next operation where the needle drops still
farther and moving towards the left has its beard pressed into the
groove D, just after which the needle descends still farther and
receives the old loop from the needle stem on to its closed beard or
spring. The stage shown in Fig. 32 is known as knocking over or
discharging where the needle is noted to have moved to the right away
from the presser, whilst it has also sunk still farther between the
discharging pieces DP. These latter perform their function solely by
reason of their position, and act as supports or rests for the stitches
as they are drawn down between the pieces as indicated. In this it is
very important that the needle should draw the new stitch properly
through the old one as any defect in knocking-over results in faulty
fabric. In Fig. 33 the needle is seen to be rising once more into the
normal position ready to receive another supply of yarn from the thread
carrier. The stitch-forming process is so important that it may be well
to summarize the whole operation under various headings.

_Laying the Yarn._—This operation is performed by the thread-carrier in
the usual manner and it draws its thread across the sinker throats from
one side of the frame to the other, regular delivery of thread being
most important at this stage.

_Sinking the Loops._—This operation is illustrated in Fig. 30 where the
sinker is noted to have pushed the thread already supplied and is
sinking it over the stems, every second needle being dealt with in this

_Dividing the Loops._—The sinking of the loops in the normal frame takes
place on every second needle only, and the yarn thus supplied is
distributed equally over all the needles in the process of dividing. In
this what are termed the dividing sinkers are brought forward in a body
and spread the yarn equally over all the needles. In the operation of
sinking and dividing the part of the sinker most in use is the throat,
marked A, and this is the point where wear most rapidly occurs due to
the friction of the yarn. Wearing is accelerated in the case of stiff
yarns being worked on the machine and sinkers have to be specially
tempered or hardened to give adequate service.

_Pressing and Landing._—These two operations are performed in close
succession and are illustrated in Fig. 31. At this stage the presser
comes largely into the picture, and in itself is simply a piece of steel
fixed in front of the bar in which the sinkers work. The needles tilt
somewhat to the left and push their beards against the presser, so that
the beards enter the grooves marked D in Fig. 29, and at almost the same
instant the old loops pass on to the beards or are landed. Obviously the
timing of the pressing and the landing of the loop is of the closest
description; the spring is pressed into the groove and in an
infinitesimal space of time the needle moves downwards and the old loop
slips on to the pressed beard. Immediately this is completed the needle
leaves the presser and the beard springs back to its former position
once again. In pressing a great strain is thrown on the beards of the
needles, and if the metal is soft or devoid of elasticity defective
knitting at once results.

_Knocking-over or Discharging._—This operation is shown in Fig. 32, and
consists in drawing the new yarn through the old loop and throwing off
the latter to take its place in the fabric. The new yarn is pulled
through the former stitch and the main factor in discharging is the
downward sweep of the sinker in relation to the position of the
knocking-over bit DP. These are arranged in a kind of stationary comb
and act as a rest to the loops whilst the needle is making its descent.
Again, it is seen that correct drawing through of the loop is of the
utmost importance for successful stitch formation, and knitting is
impeded if stitches which should be thrown into the fabric remain on the
needle stems undischarged.

It will be seen that the loop-forming process with the bearded needle as
agent is carried through in a series of operations, all of which must be
perfectly co-ordinated and timed in relation to each other. When it is
essential to secure the highest results in regard to fabric texture, the
bearded needle machine is chosen in preference to the ordinary form of
latch needle machine. The method of using sinkers for loop formation
induces greater uniformity of stitch as the thread is accurately served
out to the needles, and kept under perfect control from start to finish
of the operation. One great difference between this and latch needle
knitting is that the course of loops is made as a whole, and after
sinking they are divided, pressed, and discharged at the same time
across the entire width.

_Knitting on the Hand-frame._—Hand-knitted fabrics may have two meanings
attached to them, they may be worked entirely by hand on the knitting
pins where each stitch in the article is formed by hand. Again, hand
goods may be worked on the hand-frame, the earliest form of knitting
machine, where the actual operations of sinking, knocking-over, etc.,
are performed mechanically by a series of movements performed by the
hands and feet. Fig. 34 gives a view of the functional parts of a
hand-frame directly connected with the elementary operation of knitting.
This is a side elevation showing a complete jack, sinker, etc. The
action of stitch formation is identical whether made on the hand-frame
or power machine, the sequence being sinking, dividing, pressing,
landing, and discharging of the loops. In the Fig. 34 the various parts
are marked as follows: N = needle, NB = needle bar, NL = needle lead, B
= needle beard, P = presser, T = thread, TC = thread-carrier, S =
sinker, FB = falling bar, J = jack, JW = hole for jack wire, SC =
slurcock, V = spring; on the sinker S the following parts may be
distinguished: 1 = small nose or neb, 2 = large nose, 3 = sinker throat,
K = sinker belly.

_Working of the Parts._—To form a course of loops the parts mentioned
combine their action in the knitting operation, and some further
explanation may be given of the manner in which this is executed on the
hand-frame. The thread T proceeds from a bobbin at the side of the frame
and passes through the eye of the thread-carrier TC, as shown by the
dotted line. The thread-carrier has an alternate motion from left to
right and from right to left and at the same time the slurcock has its
side-to-side movement in the wake of the thread-carrier, being timed to
run just a little behind. The action of the slurcock SC is to strike the
tails of the jacks J and tilt them up so that the sinker drops on to the
yarn which has just been placed over the stems of the needles and pushes
the yarn a short distance between them. The part of the sinker acting at
this stage is the small nose 1, whilst the fabric marked F and its
stitches hang in the sinker throats 3. The sinkers are then drawn
forward in a body by handle bars in which the sinker tails are placed,
and this action pushes the sinker loops under the beards B of the
needles N. When this is completed the presser marked P is drawn firmly
down on to the beards of the needles and the sinker with a further
movement to the right pushes the old loops so that they cover the
beards. When the old stitches have been completely and securely landed
in this fashion, the presser releases its hold on the beards or springs;
the sinkers are drawn still further to the right and, with an upward
sweep of their bellies marked K, the old loops are thrown over the
needle ends and the new loops drawn through. The sinkers are then pulled
well down in front of the machine to secure the loops in their throats
3, and with a push are again replaced on the stems of the needles
previous to re-commencing all over again. The jack is fulcrummed at the
point marked JW which is a hole through which a wire is passed, called
the jack wire; the spring V is important in fixing the position of the
jack when in its non-operative position and keeps all sinkers in line
until the sidewise action of the slurcock releases them and causes the
fall of the jacks. The slurcock SC is drawn from side to side by what is
termed the slur wheel, which oscillates, and a separate cord on this
wheel makes the thread-carrier perform a similar motion from side to
side. The falling bar FB is rather important in that it determines the
size of the loop sunk on the frame. Obviously when the jacks are
released they are free to fall a certain distance, and this distance
determines the length of loop sunk between the needles of the machine.
The longer the loops, the lower are the jacks allowed to fall, whilst a
higher adjustment of the falling bar FB produces a shorter loop. The
needle N is shown to be fixed in the needle lead NL, which in turn is
fixed in the needle bar NB. These are arranged along the bar with a
given number clamped under a metal piece, and when a needle breaks this
clamp is removed at that region only which obviates needles being
uncovered for the whole width. Other points in the mechanism arrangement
to note are that the needles are horizontal and fixed, whilst the
sinkers are vertical and jacks horizontal. The presser is moveable and
the fabric proceeds downwards, there being a winding roller to take up
the fabric.


  FIGS. 34 and 35

The hand-frame is rapidly disappearing from our knitting establishments,
although this is rather due to a decline of apprentices willing to learn
the business than lack of work. Some firms of good standing in the trade
still experience an insistent demand for real hand-frame goods, as they
are unrivalled in point of quality and wearing properties. It is not
strictly true that the hand-frame makes fabrics of so much better
quality than the power machine, but owing to the higher cost of working
on the hand-frame as compared with the power machine, it is futile to
make inferior or low-grade materials by hand. Experts declare that no
fabric is equal in textural excellence to that produced on the
hand-frame. The old stocking-maker was a skilled craftsman, who in the
course of years established a close sympathy between himself and the
machine he was working; he could interpret its moods of facile
operation. Certainly he learned how to humour the machine according to
the nature of the material and in the great subtleties of "meeting the
presser" and consequent knocking-over of the loops he acquired the skill
of imparting to the article a "skin," which the connoisseur declares to
be absent from the automatic machine-made product. The hand-frame worker
was a skilled artist in the respect of shaping articles to the fit of
the individual and his pride was that any person, however far removed
from the normal, could be provided with a garment exactly suitable to
his form.

_The Power Frame._—It is outside the scope of this work to give in
detail all the various knitting mechanisms, but it is important for the
reader to have a clear idea of how the knitting process is conducted on
several standard machines, for when these basic principles have been
mastered they can be applied quickly to elucidate the method of
operation of almost any variety of machine in the whole wide range of
the hosiery machine builder. The hand-frame as invented by Lee held its
own in the forefront of the industry for many decades and was
undoubtedly a work of genius, for it was practically perfect from the
start, as succeeding efforts at improvement produced little change in
the hand-frame as such. Even after automatic machine knitting was
introduced, the machine followed closely upon the hand-frame type, all
the leading features such as sinkers, jacks and needles being placed
exactly as in the hand machine, except that the motions were produced by
a series of shafts, cams and belts.

The first big advance in knitting with the bearded needle on an
automatic machine was made possible by the invention of William Cotton
of Loughborough, which in its present-day form is one of the most
efficient means of knitting. It is the system universally adopted for
the full-fashioned trade where the garments are worked correct to size
and shape, twelve full-sized garments being possible on one machine. The
chief functional parts of this machine operated during loop formation
are given in detail in Fig. 35 where, for purposes of comparison, the
corresponding parts have been lettered similar to the parts in the
hand-frame sketch. Briefly stated these are: N = needle, B = needle
beard, NL = needle lead, NB = needle bar, S = sinker, P = presser, SB =
sinker bar, J = jack, SC = slurcock, T = thread, TC = thread-carrier, DP
= discharging piece, CB = catch bar, NP = narrowing points.

It will be noted that this machine presents a great difference in
arrangement as compared with the hand-frame, the needles being vertical,
whilst in the hand-frame they are horizontal. Hand-frame needles are
stationary in every respect whilst the needle bar of the power frame has
a finely graduated series of movements in vertical and horizontal
directions compounded to give a series of delicate sweeps in
stitch-forming. The sinker is horizontal and not attached to the jack,
the presser is rigid, whilst the fashioning points marked NP are placed
above the machine and can be brought down over the needle beards for
loop transference.

_Knitting Operations._—The general principles of loop formation on this
machine have already been described in reference to Figs. 30 to 33. The
central feature of the frame is the main shaft on which is located the
cams for giving the needle bars, catch bars, etc., their various
motions. In stitch-making the thread-carrier and slurcock move across
the frame from left to right and back again alternately, the carrier
proceeding a little distance in front of the slurcock. The slurcock has
the effect of pressing against the ends of the jacks to push forward the
sinkers which in turn press into the yarn just laid over the needles to
form a series of loops over the needle stems. The jack sinkers are
arranged alternately in the machine so that the dividing sinkers are
pushed forward in a body and the loops equally divided over the needle
stems. At this stage the needle bar cam operates and the needles descend
in a body so as to allow of the sinker loops passing under their beards,
the needles then immediately move to the left to push their beards
against the presser P placed in front of the sinker bar SB. Beneath the
sinkers on the right are placed the knocking-over bits or the
discharging pieces DP, and on the comb formed by these blades the fabric
F rests with the loops of the last course down on the needle stems. When
the needles have been pressed and the stitches landed on to the needle
beards, a further downward movement of the needle bar is made to allow
the stitches to be discharged at the needle extremities, with the arms
of the new stitches resting on the edges of the knocking-over bits. When
this is done the needles rise again to their former position as was
described in detail in connection with Figs. 30 to 33. An important
feature of this mechanism is the catch bar marked CB which has the work
of controlling the action of the sinkers and dividers during loop
formation. The catch bar, as is noted by the shape, fits into the groove
at the sinker ends and when it assumes this position it is able to work
the sinkers as desired for loop formation.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                       SETTING OF KNITTED FABRICS

By the setting of a fabric is meant the closeness in which the loops are
knitted in the fabric, and this question also bears reference to the
weight of the fabric and its density. The first item which affects the
setting is the gauge of the frame, that is, the closeness with which the
needles are set in the machine and a firm producing a full range of
knitted goods requires to instal a range of machines from fine to
coarse. In machines of the Cotton's Patent type the gauge is given by
the number of leads which occupy 3 in., there being as a rule two
needles cast in the lead. Twice the gauge number gives the needles on 3
in., and to obtain the needles per inch we divide by 3. In other words,
the needles per inch are equivalent to two-thirds of the gauge number of
the machine. From 8 to 12 gauge is considered coarse, from 14 to 20
gauge is medium, whilst the fine numbers range from 20 to 40 gauge. At
the one end of the scale we have gauges on which the coarsest kinds of
military articles are worked, whilst at the other are numbers suitable
for the finest silk-knitted hosiery. Thus the work produced from a
16-gauge frame is termed 16-gauge fabric, that from the 30-gauge is
termed 30-gauge texture. Between these extremes, however, there is a
certain variation of texture possible on each frame according as the
yarn is heavy, medium or light, and within certain limits fabrics of
different weights may be forthcoming from one and the same machine.

_Texture Variation on Individual Frames._—Fig. 36 gives a series of
diagrams which, if examined, will throw light on the interesting
question of variation of set on any one gauge of machine. The diagram
represents the conditions on a frame of the Cotton's Patent type where
the needles are shown in shaded circles marked N and given in end
section, whilst the sinkers are noted to pass between these and are
marked S. The rope-like structure which envelops these indicates the
thread and is marked by T, the whole diagram representing the action of
sinking the loops on any spring needle machine where the sinkers are
pushing the thread between the needles to provide the material for
loops. In all the diagrams marked A to E the dimensions of the
stitch-forming parts such as the sinkers and needles are constant in
size and the variation occurs entirely in the thickness of the yarn. In
diagram A it will be noted that each needle space, that is, from one
needle to the next, is divided thus: needle, space for yarn; sinker,
space for yarn. Between each needle, therefore, we have needle, yarn,
sinker, yarn in sequence, and this order persists throughout the frame.
It will thus be seen that we have various factors of variation, the
first being in the relative spacing of sinkers and needles, this
proportion being determined by the machine builders. Strange to say all
machines of the same type do not have the spacing arranged in the same
proportion, different makers adopting a somewhat varying practice in
this regard. From the point of view of the machine constructor he has to
decide on relative measurements which give the greatest strength to the
parts, the sinkers have to be of the size which will make them
sufficiently stable in working and make wear and tear the lowest


  FIG. 36

_Yarn Variation._—The real foundation of this problem lies in the way in
which the yarn can be increased in size for any given frame gauge, and
the counts can be varied within certain limits to give widely-differing
results. If the spaces marked 1 and 2 of Diagram A in Fig. 36 be noted,
it will be seen that the whole matter depends on the way in which these
are filled by the yarn. If the spaces are but sparsely occupied, then
the setting of the loops will of necessity be slack, and the texture
will suffer owing to the yarn not being bulky enough to fill up the
interspaces. The interspaces are in the first instance created by the
presence of the parts, and for a normally good texture the yarn closes
up to a considerable extent after the fabric has left the needles. If
the space exceeds a certain ratio, the resulting texture is loose and
open in appearance and of little value for ordinary clothing purposes.
True, such texture may be useful in what are termed gauze varieties,
where the thickness of the yarn is diminished out of all proportion to
the gauge, and the fabric has an appearance which is so loose that the
loops cannot be supported in their usual symmetrical form. Diagram B of
Fig. 36 shows a further stage in the yarn thickness where the
relationship between the yarn size and the gauge is approaching normal
and under certain circumstances would give quite satisfactory results in
summer or light-weight goods. The succeeding three diagrams C, D and E
show a graduated thickening of the yarn where the thickness is increased
from normal condition to that in which the yarn is too thick for the
gauge. Diagrams C, D, and E mark the transition from light-weight to
normal and from normal to heavy-weight textures. In Diagram E the yarn
is already occupying all the available space, and to extend the
thickness further in relation to the gauge would give rise to
unsatisfactory results in the texture. Even in Diagram D the yarn is
approaching the stage where it is uncomfortable to work, for if a
certain amount of free space be not allowed, the loops are stiff and
crowded together in too little space. The weight of the fabric is
undoubtedly increased, but owing to the congested state of the loops
little or no interaction is possible amongst them and the cloth becomes
stodgy in character. It may happen that the thickness of yarn is
increased to make stouter fabrics and more durable, but when the
thickness of yarn has exceeded a certain proportion of space, we have
increased weight with a great reduction in elasticity. The net result is
to lower the wearing value of the texture, for what is gained in dead
weight is lost in elasticity. In the wearing properties of the knitted
fabric elasticity is a most important item, and unless there is a
modicum of this property the fabric is seriously reduced in durability.
In addition to this, grave injury is done to the working parts of the
machine by making "full" fabrics, because the extra strain imposed on
sinkers and needles augments the depreciation of the mechanism.


  FIG. 37

_Effect of Yarn Quality._—In studying the correct size of yarn suitable
for any particular gauge of frame, the nature of the yarn and its
quality and structure have to be taken into consideration. In regard to
material a great point is whether the yarn is made from wool, cotton or
silk. Woollen yarns have a considerable proportion of material of open
character which adheres but loosely to the core, and are eminently
suited for knitted goods, but their character makes it difficult to
determine what the exact diameter is. Silk yarns, on the other hand,
appear at the opposite end of the scale, for these are fine in diameter
and comparatively dense in body and clear in surface, so that they are
best accommodated in very fine gauges. Cotton yarns may be said to have
intermediate properties in this regard, they are dense in structure and
even in diameter with a comparatively small amount of surface material.
Woollen textures are usually set more openly and at increased width in
the frame to allow of a thickening of the fabric in scouring and
milling, but as cotton does not exhibit this tendency to felt in
anything like the same degree, it is set much more tightly on the frame,
for it requires to receive its necessary consistency when it leaves the
machine without depending on augmentation of thickness in the scouring
and milling process. All knitted fabrics worked in the plain stitch
contract at once on leaving the needles, the rib stitch contracts most.
In the case of the tuck varieties there may sometimes be an increase in
width if the yarns are heavily worked on the frame, heavy working upsets
the equilibrium of the knitted stitch, and this pressure it seeks to
relieve by spreading out in the width. In determining the yarns suitable
for any gauge, allowance has to be made for the nature of the material
and the structure of the yarn. For instance, a woollen yarn spun on a
tight principle might appear too thin for a given gauge, whilst another
yarn of similar weight but fuller in handle would appear to fill the
gauge exactly. It will be seen from these points that it is extremely
difficult to lay down rules for setting yarn on any particular gauge of
machine, but with practical experience in any branch of manufacture we
may arrive at a rule which may be applied with confidence for any
particular class of goods. We can also say with fair definiteness what
size of yarn will be too light to give a good structure on any
particular gauge whilst we may also determine the counts which is too
heavy. The frame-worker is a good judge of its suitability by noting the
way it works on the needles.

_Variation in Loop Length._—In describing the structure of various
systems of loop formation it was mentioned that the texture of the
fabric worked on any particular gauge of frame could be regulated
according to the length of loop drawn on the needles of the machine.
This is performed on the flat knitting machine by raising the cams for a
shorter loop, and lowering them so as to draw a larger loop. When the
loop is shortened it means that a larger number of courses can be
inserted per inch and so the weight is increased. When the loop is
lengthened it makes the fabric looser in texture, and although the yarn
drawn by a course of loops is longer than for any individual course of
short loops, the take-up of yarn for the tight fabric is amply
compensated for by the increased number of courses per inch which can be
inserted. It is a mathematical problem of considerable interest as to
what the difference actually is; if we lengthen the loop a greater
weight of yarn is necessary to provide a course of stitches, in making
the work stiffer we reduce the weight of yarn required for any
particular course but increase the number of courses per inch. Variation
of yarn tension for making slack or stiff work can only be done to a
limited extent in any particular gauge, but it is a very useful method
of varying fabric texture. If the tension is not correct, the fabric is
lacking in character and this deficiency is at once reflected in the

The point may be better understood by a reference to the diagram given
in Fig. 37 where the set of the needles and sinkers with their relative
thicknesses is the same as in Fig. 36. In Fig. 36 the yarn varies in
thickness according to the various stages illustrated, in Fig. 37 the
thickness of yarn remains the same throughout but with a difference in
the length of loop drawn. The process is illustrated in five stages
beginning with F, where the tension is stiffest and the loop shortest,
and culminating at J where the tension is slackest and the loop longest.
At first sight these would appear to be reversed in their effect, and
Diagram J would seem to give the heaviest fabric seeing that it has a
greater length of take-up per course drawn. It must, however, be clearly
understood that this shorter take-up enables a greater number of
individual courses to be inserted per inch, so that the apparent loss is
amply compensated for by the increase in the courses.

In Fig. F the loop drawn is the shortest possible and the sinkers S push
the yarn T below the needles N. In Fig. G a slight lengthening of the
loop is observable and this stage may be regarded as intermediate
between stiff and medium setting of the courses. In stage H the loop is
further extended between the needles and may be considered a normal form
of loop sinking. In Fig. I a corresponding lengthening takes place,
marking the intermediate stage between normal and slack texture, whilst
in J the loops are formed for a slack fabric which will give a texture
known in the trade under the name of gauze often used for light-weight

_Courses and Wales._—A woven fabric consists of two series of threads,
one termed the warp runs lengthwise in the cloth, whilst the second
series called the weft runs crosswise. The knitted fabric cannot be so
exactly described because the plain stitch is in reality a weft fabric
having its threads inserted crosswise in the texture and termed courses.
At the same time the horizontal courses have vertical features known
under the name of wales; the stitches are formed on needles, and from
one needle to the next comprises a wale. Wales are measured in the width
generally by the number per inch, whilst the courses are similarly
measured in the length. In woven goods a normal well-balanced structure
known as a square cloth has the number of warp threads per inch equal to
the number of weft threads per inch, but this relationship does not hold
good for the knitted structure. In the hand-frame times statements were
always made out on the assumption that fabrics were worked "to the
gauge," that is, a 12-gauge frame Cotton's type would have 12 courses
per inch, and an 18-gauge would have 18 courses per inch. If this be
analyzed it will be found equivalent to a 50 per cent. increase of the
courses per inch over the wales, because the wales per inch are
equivalent to needles per inch and, as was mentioned previously, the
needles per inch = two-thirds of the gauge. In a fabric worked to the
gauge we have 50 per cent. more courses than wales per inch, that is, a
fabric with 12 wales per inch would have 18 courses per inch and so on.
Present-day practice does not bear out this setting, for the courses per
inch usually fall short of a 50 per cent. increase over the stitches per
inch. Thus for a normal texture in 18-gauge there are 12 needles per
inch, or equivalent to 12 wales per inch. If this were worked to the
gauge we should have 18 courses per inch, but in general present-day
practice about 15 to 16 is more usual. A 24-gauge fabric has 16 needles
or wales per inch, and this worked to the gauge would give 24 courses
per inch, but in general practice 20 to 22 would be nearer the figure.
This is a point which has to be carefully considered in regard to making
out designs for knitted fabrics which have to be ornamented, because if
the effect has to be represented on squared paper the horizontal squares
should exceed the vertical squares by about 50 per cent., so that the
figure may present a true picture of the actual size of design.

_Yarns Suitable for Gauge._—The matter of evolving a general rule for
finding the yarn which will be suitable for a certain gauge of machine
is full of difficulty as will be understood when the elusive elements of
the knitted texture are fully realized. In the woollen underwear trade a
rule followed in practical working is that for the Cotton's Patent
frame, the yarn suitable for any gauge is the worsted yarn number
two-ply the same as the gauge. Thus for a 16-gauge 2/16's yarn would be
considered suitable, for 2/20's yarn we should select a 20-gauge frame
and so on. As has been pointed out, however, each frame has a short
series of yarn sizes which can be worked on it, each giving a result
which will be suitable for specific purposes. This rule whilst a useful
guide for medium gauge machines goes wrong in the extremes, that is, in
the extremely coarse and the extremely fine. For example, on 40-gauge it
is usual to work yarns much finer than 2/40's worsted, whilst on the
12-gauge frame, 3/12's worsted for stiff military fabrics is often

                               CHAPTER IX
                         VARIOUS KNITTING YARNS

A large variety of yarns other than pure woollens are employed for
knitted goods and there is no branch of the textile industry where such
free use is made of materials of different type and character. For the
plain knitted stitch in particular "the yarn is the fabric" and the
qualities of touch and handle as well as colour form the chief features
sought after in the yarn.

_Cotton Yarns._—Yarns spun from cotton are utilized for a large
selection of the trade in knitted articles which perform an
indispensable function in clothing. When examined with the naked eye
cotton yarns can be distinguished by their dense structure, the fibre is
soft when in fibre form, but when spun into yarns takes a firm
structure. Cotton yarns used for knitting are usually spun with as slack
a twist as is consistent with strength, and an effort is made to throw a
considerable portion of fibre to the surface of the thread. When
examined under a low-power microscope much useful information may be
gained by scrutiny of the lie of the fibres and of the way in which they
dispose themselves. A photo-micrograph of a fine counts of cotton yarn
used in knitting is given in Fig. 38 where the fibres are noted to be
densely packed in the yarn with copious material round the surface to
enable the thread to cover up the loop interspaces. From this sample
also may be noted the twisted appearance common to all cotton fibres;
the single fibres have an irregular twist like a twisted ribbon. This
distorted aspect of the fibre is one of the best means of distinguishing
this material, and when the feature is noted, it is a sure sign that
cotton is present. Another evidence which confirms this is the peculiar
manner in which the fibres dispose of themselves, they appear
disjointed, form sharp corners and shoot away at steep angles. Wool
fibres in a yarn appear curved and dispose of themselves in elegant
waves, whilst cotton strands strike out in divergent directions. Fig. 39
gives another view of a type often employed for cotton knitted goods,
this being a single thread of long stapled cotton loosely twisted so as
to give a soft full handle. This character of thread is often employed
for the so-called fleecy underwear where the soft yarn is raised or
brushed on the teasles to give an effect extremely pleasant to the
touch. In this example the fibres are shown freely scattered from the
core of the yarn, and a closer examination of them will show that they
have the sharp angles and the spiral twists just referred to as being
indicative of the cotton fibre.


  FIG. 38



  FIG. 39


_Mercerized Cotton Yarn._—Mercerized cotton is largely employed in
knitted goods of the fancy class where the great lustre of the material
imparts effectiveness to the fabric. The usual type of mercerized thread
used in knitting is two-ply and hard twisted, with the surface fibre
singed off so as to give an uninterrupted reflection of light. The yarn
is mercerized usually in the hank when the hanks of yarn are stretched
tightly over poles and then immersed in a strong solution of caustic
soda. In a short time the cotton swells and becomes lustrous,
approaching silk in general appearance, and this effect is augmented by
the evenness of the surface of the thread. This type of yarn lends
itself to the production of brilliant colours and is admirably adapted
to such articles as knitted coats, scarves and other types of the fancy
trade in knitted goods, being best suited for summer wear on account of
their coolness.

_Artificial Silk._—The application of artificial silk or wood pulp to
the manufacture of knitted goods has been extensively made and gives
results in every way brilliant in character. The structure of this type
is shown in photo-micrograph 40 which is a view of a single thread of
artificial silk, where it will be noted that the fibres are exactly
parallel to one another and there are no straggling members whatever,
each and all of them taking their place in the thread in a perfectly
parallel and orderly fashion. The substance from which these yarns is
produced is at first in a fluid condition and is pressed through tubes
in a container in very fine strands, a certain number of which are run
together to constitute thread. This material is usually supplied
two-fold for knitting purposes and has been in great demand for the
scarf and knitted coat trade, where brilliance of shade and elegance of
appearance are outstanding features. Care must be taken that the goods
are correctly described, as the Silk Association of Great Britain
maintains a continuous campaign to have these goods distinct in
description from those of real silk. One famous case hinged on the term
art silk. If the word art is written art. with a full-stop it is
recognized as a contraction for the word artificial, but without this
period the term art is misleading as indicating a variety of real silk
and as such constitutes a mis-description for which penalties are


  FIG. 40



  FIG. 41


_Spun Silk Yarns._—These yarns are produced in silk manufacture from the
cocoons which have been damaged so as to cause the silk to be broken or
torn. Such have to be prepared and combed like other short materials and
the resultant yarns are in great demand for knitted goods. The perfect
cocoons have their fibres unravelled in continuous lengths, a certain
number of these being run together to form a single thread of commerce.
Artificial silk thread is similar in appearance except that it is not
possible to approach the real organzine in fineness of fibre. The spun
silk thread is elastic and extremely useful in knitted articles,
although its use is restricted to specialities on account of the high
price of the product. Illustration 42 gives a photo-micrograph of a
common form of spun silk yarn which is two-fold in character, with
abundant surface material projecting at all angles. To attain greater
lustre and a cleaner yarn, these varieties are often put through the
process of gassing, that is, the yarns are passed through a gas flame to
have their loose projecting filaments burned off. Fig. 43 gives a view
of this same thread where the surface fibre has been singed off and the
yarn made much more definite in effect. In the two illustrations the
surpassing sheen of the extremely fine filaments is clearly visible;
when examined still more closely they give the appearance of lustrous
glass rods with very little variation in their structure, absolute
plainness being the characteristic.


  FIG. 42


  FIG. 43


_Silk and Wool Knitted Articles._—The free use of pure silk yarns is
rendered prohibitive in many branches of the trade on account of the
enormous price of the yarns, and generally for knitted goods it is not
possible to produce a garment of sufficient weight for normal use. If
silk is employed for the entire fabric, much of it is lost by
intersecting on the back, only a tithe of the material being visible on
the face. There is no real advantage in having silk on the back of the
texture, and fuller effectiveness and greater comfort and weight are
attained by bringing a heavier material on to the back, preferably a
woollen thread with the silk showing on the face only. The back woollen
thread by its bulk gives greater proportional weight and at the same
time pushes the silk yarn prominently on to the surface and enables it
to exhibit its full lustre. This is certainly the most effective way of
obtaining the utmost utility from the silk material in the texture. The
silk and wool hosiery folded yarn is also employed largely for these
goods, one yarn of silk being folded in a loose twist with one thread of
woollen. In some cases the silk yarn is organzine, in others it is
two-fold spun silk, but as a general rule the woollen constituent is
composed of wool in the single yarn only, and this loosely spun to give
an open effect. This type of silk and wool yarn forms the basis of an
important branch of knitted underwear and such garments present an
intermediate position between the plain variety of woollen garment and
the more costly pure silk article. Fig. 44 gives a view of a typical
sample of this class of yarn, being a single thread of organzine silk
folded with a single pure woollen yarn. The dense member of the twist is
clearly seen to be the silk thread of the organzine variety, because the
constituent fibres are continuous and run parallel with each other.
Contrasted with this the woollen yarn is free and open in structure, the
most suitable type of wool being medium to long staple. In this yarn the
lustre and neatness of the silk imparts an elegant appearance to the
fabric, whilst the open structure of the woollen thread removes the
baldness of the yarn and adds the essential fullness to the handle as
well as softness and warmth. In many cases the organzine silk thread is
replaced by the ordinary type of two-fold spun silk yarn and the
thickness of the woollen neighbour greatly increased over what is here
noticeable. In almost every case for such fabrics the silk yarn
constituent is pure white and very attractive results accrue if the
woollen thread is folded dyed in some bright shade, such as blue, red or
green. The lustrous silk yarn with its whiteness tones down the strong
colours in a highly pleasing manner and the entire production is of the
most elegant description and deservedly a favourite with many classes of


  FIG. 44


_Cotton and Wool Mixtures._—Just as we obtain articles of intermediate
qualities by adding silk and wool together, so by combining cotton and
wool results are obtained which blend the peculiarities of each
material. For many wearers pure wool underwear proves rather an irritant
to the skin, the crispness making itself felt on a tender cuticle. On
the other hand, garments worked entirely from cotton do not possess
anything like the power of heat retention as is the case with the pure
wool article, and in the important matter of elasticity and absorbency
cotton as much inferior to the wool. When the two materials are blended,
the resultant is warmer than pure cotton and not so warm as wool, whilst
the blended article stands mid-way in absorbency and does not produce
the same irritation to the skin as some varieties of pure wool. In
regard to whiteness the cotton and wool blend is more satisfactory than
many types of wool which have to be bleached in a rather expensive
method in order to give similar whiteness. The addition of the cotton
improves the colour and obviates bleaching of the garment. Finally, the
blended article from cotton and wool is much more moderate in price than
the pure woollen garment. For winter its chief drawback is a much lower
clothing or heating power, and for the summer its disadvantage is that
it quickly fills with moisture and renders the wearer uncomfortable
until this moisture has been radiated back again.

_Merino._—The great bulk of fabrics of this class are embraced under the
term merino, which denotes cotton and wool articles where the materials
have been blended in the fibre in a given proportion. The normal yarn is
composed of 50 per cent. of each, but the range includes as much as 90
per cent. cotton, with 10 per cent. wool, with 90 per cent. wool and 10
per cent. cotton at the other end of the scale.


  FIG. 45


If Fig. 45 be examined it will be noticed that it is in the form of
two-ply, one thread being composed of pure silk as shown by its density
and fineness, whilst the thicker yarn is merino, that is, cotton and
wool mixed in the fibre. The presence of the cotton and the wool may
both be detected by an examination of the straggling fibres, the wool
curving and bending in its usual characteristic manner, whilst the
cotton fibres show their twisted convolutions and their furtive breaks
into angles. The usual kinds of merino yarns used for underwear are
folded two-ply, with a slack twist which seldom exceeds more than a few
turns per inch. In spinning such yarns it is sought to throw the wool to
the thread surface as far as possible so as to increase the comfort to
the wearer and give improved handle.


  FIG. 46


_Cashmere._—The general use of this term includes open spun worsted
yarns, used in underwear, but the original signification is the product
of the Cashmere goat which inhabits the Himalayas. This material is
natural coloured, the softest kinds are of a sandy fawn shade and are
largely employed in the knitting industry for scarves, gloves and vests.
In respect of soft, delicate handle real cashmere is without an equal
amongst textile materials, and this property alone makes it eminently
suitable for these branches in particular.

_Angora Rabbit Fur._—The fur of the rabbit has recently come into
prominence for the knitting industry and many new uses have been found
for these materials. The product of the Angora rabbit reared in large
numbers in France has been extensively used for knitted articles,
notably gloves and vests, where its surpassing qualities of delicacy of
handle have been greatly appreciated. One disadvantage of this fur is
that it readily contracts when steeped in water, where the least
scouring makes it almost vanish out of view. It is extremely difficult
to spin into yarns which will bear the strains of knitting and of
ordinary wear, the length of the fibres is rather variable and large
portions of the rabbit coat consist of fibre of the most flimsy
description, being perceptibly swayed by the ordinary air currents of a
room. It will thus be seen that in employing this material the kind of
article to which it has to be applied must be kept carefully in mind,
and every effort should be made to utilize it where it will be protected
from contact with excessive moisture. The article selected should not be
one which encounters much friction during its period of wear because one
of the troubles is that the loose floating fibres easily separate
themselves from the parent fabric. This sort of material taken from the
common rabbit is often vended in the shops in balls of thick, loose spun
thread which can rapidly be made into plain stitch gloves, not very
shapely but certainly having qualities of novelty and comfort.

_Camel Hair._—As the name indicates this material is secured from the
camel, large tufts of good quality fibre growing on its chest and of a
predominantly sandy tint, natural in hue. This is used in its life shade
for a large number of varieties of knitted articles, perhaps its
best-known use in knitting is in connection with the scarf trade, whilst
it is also found in the knitted glove and cap industry.

_Alpaca._—This is the product of the goat of the same name which
inhabits the Andes of South America and is very useful because of the
large variety of colours in which it grows on the fleece. These are
sorted out into tones of approximately the same depth and used for
numerous other articles in the knitting industry. The material in itself
often appears rather hard and cold for knitted goods, but the handle can
be improved by steaming which has the effect of permanently softening
the cell walls of the fibre. Very successful effects are produced by
folding a thread of one shade with a single thread of another, and when
these are brushed in finishing they give melanged effects which are most
attractive and pleasing.

_Peculiarities of Goat and Camel Hairs._—Materials such as camel hair,
alpaca and cashmere all have certain properties in common. They have
each two growths of material, one on the surface consisting of long,
strong beard hairs which are rough in the extreme and quite unsuitable
for manufacturing purposes. Under this overgrowth and protected by it is
the variety which as a rule is much softer to touch and shorter in
staple; the long hairs are a great nuisance to the manufacturer, but are
in reality indispensable as they afford much needed protection to the
soft undergrowth during the turbulent life of the goat. If they are not
too coarse they may be employed as the dark colouring element in natural
hosiery yarns, the browns and greys of alpaca being most useful in this
regard. These materials belong to the most dirty class of materials used
in knitting yarns, and it is very necessary that they should be
thoroughly cleaned before use. Owing to the fact, however, that they are
not dyed but generally employed as they stand, they may not be scoured
so thoroughly as ordinary wool. The deadly germs of anthrax are often
present on these materials, this disease being frequently transmitted to
a worker handling the fleeces where clots of blood produced by careless
clipping are a grave source of danger. There is also further evidence of
uncleanness in the specks of dandruff-like matter which are often found
sticking on the fibres of the yarn.

Like other branches of the textile industry, hosiery manufacture has
been the subject of numerous attempts at introducing new and novel
fibres heralded on to the market with much blowing of trumpets and
exaggerated prospectuses. This industry can absorb a greater variety of
yarns, different classes of materials than almost any other branch of
textiles. What has often been suggested as a sound commercial
proposition is that yarn made from the nettle plant should be more
extensively utilized. A thread made from fibre extracted from the stem
of the ordinary stinging variety is given in Fig. 47 which gives a
thread quite suitable for many classes of woven fabrics. The material,
however, is not of suitably agreeable handle for knitted goods and would
only be employed for this purpose in times of dire scarcity.


  FIG. 47


_Requirements of the Fancy Trade._—In the chapter on woollen underwear
yarns the characteristics of material and structure were discussed in
relation to the trade in underwear. In this chapter a number of
materials have been referred to which take their place in the what is
known as the fancy trade for outer and intermediate garments. If it is a
question of the fancy stitches, it is required to bring out the features
of these with yarns clear in surface and neat in structure so that the
eye may follow the intersections of the yarns in the fabric. The silk
and artificial silk productions belong to the most highly valued of the
ornamental branches of the knitting industry, and these may be utilized
to bring out in the clearest effect stitches such as shogged patterns,
rib varieties and lace designs where definiteness of stitch and
brilliance of colour combine to give results of a high value for elegant
garments. In the case of materials of camel hair, Angora fur or pure
cashmere class, the stitch as a rule is subsidiary, being usually of the
plainest description so as to allow of the fullest display of the
natural properties of the material. In the fancy trade it is futile to
employ features which compete with each other for the attention of the
observer. In a fancy-stitch article the mono-colour should prevail;
where the stitch is simple the best ground is afforded for the display
of several colours in the goods.

                               CHAPTER X
                          HOSIERY YARN WINDING

In former chapters it has been pointed out that the knitted stitch is
apparently a simple structure, but on closer examination a number of
elements are discovered which together form a complex whole. In the
knitting operation the chief essential is accuracy of loop formation and
regularity of stitch right along the entire width of loops in the
course. If at any point the thread is drawn slightly tighter than the
normal, this tightening is at once apparent in the formation of the
loops and a grave defect occurs which on account of its minuteness is
impossible to remedy in after operations. In the knitting operation
correct tension of thread is indispensable to good quality fabric, and
this again depends on an absolutely uniform feed of yarn to the needles
of the machine. In this yarn supply one of the first essentials is a
proper package for the yarn and one which will insure that the thread
unwinds with absolutely even tension throughout. It is a very serious
matter indeed to the hosiery manufacturer if even slight obstacles occur
on the bobbin for these at once injure the fabric quality. Another
frequent cause of defects occurs by what is termed the ballooning of the
thread as it comes from the bobbin, that is, the swing which the thread
makes in unwinding itself when it encounters the resistance of the air,
a matter which depends on the bulk of the thread and the amount and
nature of its surface fibre. It also varies according as the bobbin is
full or nearly empty with intermediate stages of differential variation.
So important is this matter of uniform yarn feed recognized to be for
first-class fabric, that the Americans in particular have given the
utmost attention to yarn supply devices, by which the yarn is measured
into the needles by an arrangement which deadens all the minor
variations of tension before the yarn approaches the sinkers and
needles, and the amount fed into the needles is measured absolutely
level for each stitch. There is also a growing disinclination amongst
manufacturers to undertake the winding of yarn owing to the loss
incurred by imperfect work, and this branch is being more and more
relegated to the spinner who delivers the material in a form ready to
work on the frame. Of course in a varied class trade it will be found
impossible to eliminate the winding operation entirely, for we have the
problem of the conservation of small quantities of yarn and their
subsequent working into fabric. One of the chief difficulties of the
winding department is the correct piecing of the ends with a minimum of
waste and this department has been largely left to young workers as
their first job in entering the factory. With the enormous rise in the
prices of yarns manufacturers are now recognizing that the operation has
developed from a subsidiary to a primary one, and better results are
being obtained by having the winding performed by older and more
experienced workers who have a correct idea of the value of the material
and are properly schooled in the avoidance of waste. With inexperienced
workers much weekly loss is caused not only by the waste incurred in
piecing the ends but also because these knots are not properly secured
or are ragged in appearance. Very often they are quite firm, but on
account of their size are unable to pass through the eye of the
thread-carrier or if they do emerge successfully from this ordeal the
chances are that the sinkers will refuse to take them in, and the
needles bend or breakage of the springs result. If the knot does get
safely into the fabric, the trouble is by no means finished, for if it
is untidy in appearance it lowers the quality of the fabric and reduces
the saleability. A frequent point of danger is the eye of the
thread-carrier which is fine in aperture, and unless the knot is of
reasonable size, it stands a strong chance of causing a press-off on the
machine, with loss of time in having the fabric picked on again added to
the loss due to stoppage of the other machine sections. What is probably
worse in effect is the momentary tightening of the loops due to the knot
being caught in the eye of the thread-carrier which usually takes the
form of several inches of stitches attenuated in length compared with
the rest of the fabric and which constitutes an instant blemish on the
fabric texture quality. The chief waste in winding is made when piecing
the two ends together when it requires skill to perform the operation of
knotting with the finger tips so as to employ less material. The
primitive mode is to bring hands, wrists, and even the elbows into play
with a considerable amount of waste incidental to the process. With
yarns at 12/-per lb. a careless worker can soon dissipate a considerable
amount of money in waste and it is advisable to have some form of
checking the waste made by any particular worker so as to form a proper
estimate of their individual efficiency.

_The Winding Operation._—Sufficient has been stated to indicate that the
winding of yarn usually regarded as subsidiary in other branches of
textiles is a first essential in the knitting business. An evenly-wound
package is of great importance, and in regard to the size of bobbin
conditions are quite different to those prevailing in the weaving trade.
In weaving the weight of the package is restricted to the capacity of
the shuttle, this being limited in size so that the weight may be kept
at the minimum required for throwing across the lay of the loom. In
knitting the position is more favourable, for the bobbin or yarn package
is usually stationary and the thread is drawn from it to be fed into the
needles of the frame. For this it is naturally an advantage to have the
package as large as possible so as to reduce to the lowest minimum the
time required for changing from an empty bobbin to a full one. To insure
uniformity of yarn delivery to the needles and sinkers it is essential
to have a perfectly built bobbin, and for the older types of winding
frames, the usual shape was a bobbin with a high centre where the yarn
got frequently caught in the grooves or on the bottom end. This
primitive system of yarn winding was not unsuitable for the coarser
types of knitting yarns in the stout gauges, and for this work the older
form of winder is found in many of our factories even to-day. This
machine has the advantage of being simply constructed and easily
manipulated by an unskilled worker, and it is also rapid in action.


  FIGS. 48 and 49

_The Modern Hosiery Winder._—In the hosiery trade there is practical
unanimity as regards the type of machine most suitable for the general
purposes of a knitting factory, and herewith in Fig. 48 is given a side
view of a section of the chief functional parts of a machine which
enjoys a large popularity with manufacturers as having proved itself
immensely suitable for general purposes. It is somewhat vaguely known as
the Foster winder, made with variations by a number of firms, and
through each the leading principles of construction are the same. The
bobbin is marked B, and is of the type invariably employed in the
underwear trade, this being placed on a spindle where it is kept in
position by a groove which fits the shape of the metal part on which it
rests. Further down in the machine the friction wheel FW is attached,
this being in the form of a circular disc rotated by the driving wheel
marked DW. This wheel has its rim covered with rough leather so that it
can turn the wheel or disc FW and so cause the bobbin B to revolve. In
front of the bobbin is a finger operated by the worker which has the
effect of raising the friction disc FW away from the driving wheel DW,
thus bringing the bobbin to a standstill. The yarn is indicated by T
which is seen to pass upwards from the hank H which is stretched over
the racers U. On the way to the bobbin the thread passes successively
between the plates of the yarn-clearing apparatus YC, over the roller R,
and then through the eye of the guide G direct to the bobbin.

_Bobbin Building._—The outstanding advantage of this machine is the
efficient manner in which the bobbin is built, and in this process
several factors have to be considered. The thread guide G has a regular
up-and-down motion for the traverse, this upward and downward sweep
being brought about by the heart-shaped cam C which, by its revolving
action, causes the whole stage P to rise and fall, thus giving a similar
motion to the thread guide. Partaking in this traverse is the spiral S
with the wheel W, which has a ribbed surface to preserve contact with
the yarn level. The wheel W has a finger V attached, which in turn works
into the spiral of rod S, and whenever the yarn rises to a certain level
on the bobbin, it comes into frictional contact with the ribbed wheel
which receives a turn sufficient to cause the wheel and guide to rise
higher on the spiral and with it the thread guide also assumes a more
elevated position. In this way the wheel W and the thread guide G travel
from the lower end of the spiral S to the other upper end during the
operation of filling a single bobbin. Up to this stage the action may be
detailed thus: the thread guide receives its traverse over a certain
distance of the bobbin by the action of the heart-shaped cam C, this
being denoted by the dotted positions C1 for cam, K1 for stud, P1 for
the stage, G1 for the guide, and this motion proceeds regularly during
the winding operation. There is next the gradual rising of the guide on
the spiral rod caused by the turning of the bobbin B, the high part of
the bobbin B having friction with the ribbed wheel W causing it to rise
gradually on the spiral.

_The Differential._—The final element in successful bobbin building is
the differential and the means of securing this are ingenious in the
highest degree. The driving wheel DW with its rough leather rim works on
the disc FW and causes it to rotate, but the speed of rotation must vary
according as the upper or the lower part of the bobbin is being filled.
When the yarn is passing on to the bare part of the bobbin as it does at
the upper sweep of the traverse, one revolution coils a very much
smaller length of thread than it does at its lowest position when the
bobbin is full. The rate of winding varies differentially according to
the intermediate positions of the thread, in the upward sweep of the
traverse the speed of the bobbin accelerates as the bare part is
approached, whilst on the downward sweep the speed of the bobbin
decreases, reaching its slowest when the full part of the bobbin is
attained. This differential is produced by a side-to-side movement of
the driving wheel DW over the rim of the disc FW, from the outer rim and
slowly towards the inner rim and _vice versâ_. When the wheel is driving
at its extreme position on the outer rim the bobbin is running at its
slowest, because the driving wheel has a longer distance to traverse in
order to effect one bobbin revolution. When the driving wheel is acting
at its furthest position inwards the bobbin is at its highest speed, and
this takes place with graduated differences in the intermediate stages
of the process.

_Yarn Clearing._—On most winding machines for the hosiery trade are
placed in front of each spindle for winding a pair of upright plates
which comprise the yarn clearers YC, which are regulated in their
distance from each other by means of a small screw. The thread clearer
is shown in front section in Fig. 49 where the plates are marked YC,
their distance apart being regulated to a nicety by the small screw
marked X operated by the two fingers. These thread clearers are fixed
there so that by passing the yarn through between them on its way to the
bobbin B, thick places, burrs, slubs, etc., may be removed from the
yarns and extra large knots caught between them. In other words, the
function of the thread clearer may be stated as a qualifying of the
thread for its passage through the thread-carriers into the needles and
sinkers of the knitting frame, and by removing these obstructions in
winding, subsequent trouble in knitting is avoided and loss of time
averted. In many hosiery factories, however, it is noted that these
clearers are by no means in general use, and certainly if the yarn is in
anything like clean condition, it should be permitted to pass on to the
bobbin in an unruffled condition.

_Damping._—Damping is one of the subsidiary operations of hosiery
manufacture which, apparently of little account, may yet have serious
consequences if neglected or improperly performed. Manufacturers are
divided as to the merits of damping or lubricating as it is often
called, and in many progressive factories it is seldom if ever
performed. The object of damping is to soften those classes of woollen,
silk and cotton yarns which are deficient in pliability and do not allow
themselves to be formed into symmetrical loops. In the case of woollen
yarns some varieties are hard and unyielding, and when knitted in loops
they display small irregularities of stitch which are known popularly
under the term of pinholes. These occur irregularly all over the texture
and seriously impair its quality and lubrication or damping is found to
have a beneficial effect by giving greater elasticity and bending power
to the thread. The lubricating or damping agent varies according to the
type of yarn, woollen yarns are damped with an emulsion of oil and soap,
lard is often used for silk materials, whilst cottons are passed through
cakes of paraffin wax. For woollen yarns the lubricating is performed on
the winding machine by passing the yarn through a lubricating trough
marked N, Fig. 48, the trough being half filled with liquor marked L and
in which the roller R is made to revolve. The ideal emulsion for the
damping agent is olive oil and soft soap heated and mixed together to
form an emulsion, but the high cost of these commodities have placed
them out of the reach of practical work and now various substitutes are
employed. The roller R is made to revolve in the damping solution by
means of a band connected with the side drive of the machine, and this
brings a fresh supply of liquor into persistent contact with the thread.
The yarn should be worked on the frame as soon as possible after
winding, for when the bobbin has stood for twelve hours or so the liquor
begins to lose its effect due to evaporation, and if left standing
overnight the effect of the damping may to a considerable extent be lost
on a yarn.

_Evils of Damping._—The beneficial effects of damping dry and hard
woollen yarn is at once evident in the improved nature of the fabric,
but there are serious drawbacks to the indiscriminate adoption of the
process. Woollen yarn has considerable hygroscopic capacity and it laps
up this moisture very greedily, altering its physical properties
considerably in so doing. One effect of damping is to considerably
augment the elasticity and stretch of the yarn and this induces
variation in the dimensions of garments, introducing an unstable element
which is very difficult to gauge accurately. The sizes of garments tend
to vary considerably, and difficulty is experienced in seaming or
joining them together to have each side terminate equally. There are
also differences in the weight of the garments owing to the capacity
which the woollen fibre has of absorbing moisture far in excess of what
is recognized as essential, and the effect is to vitiate size
measurements. This gives rise to pants longer in one leg than another,
and one side of a seam going to a greater length than the neighbouring
one to which it has to be attached. The lubricating materials supplied
as substitutes have not always proved suitable, for in many instances
they fail to emulsify, and if the oil is left to go on to the yarn by
itself it causes stickiness if the brand proves to be inferior or
contains resinous substitutes. In the coarser varieties of hosiery yarn
which are spun in the grease, lubrication is not so essential, as the
yarn is quite pliable, but in the varieties known as dry-spun where
little or no oil is inserted in the sliver during preparation, damping
greatly improves the loop-forming propensities. It would seem that a
certain amount of fat is essential to the fullest possession of the wool
fibre of all its important properties; in wool scouring the natural fat
or yolk of the material is extracted, and if this be not replaced at a
subsequent stage of spinning or knitting, the resilient properties are
seriously diminished. In dry spinning we have greater cleanliness of
yarn, but what is gained in cleanness is lost in resilience and
pliability, and to restore these physical properties the natural oil or
fat present in the cells of the fibre is artificially replaced by a
soap-oil emulsion. In the case of silk it is often found that the
crispness of fibre and the frictional resistance cause the fibres to
resist the curves of looping and a form of electricity is generated
during the contact of the silk material with the needles of the frame.
In such cases when the quality of stitch is seriously impaired the yarns
are passed through cakes of lard on their way to the winding bobbin
which has the effect of greatly improving the knitting qualities of the
yarn, the loops being at once transformed from half-made and rugged
structures into perfectly-arched specimens.

                               CHAPTER XI
                           CIRCULAR KNITTING

Knitting machines are divided into two classes according as they produce
fabric in flat portions or in circular shape. In the methods of stitch
formation already described the courses of loops are constructed in a
flat piece, whilst the circular machine makes its fabric in circular
form. This system of fabric production has many advantages over the
plain width fabric and is indispensable for various branches of the
hosiery trade. In seamless articles such as hose and half-hose it is an
advantage to have them worked circular as this fits the shape of the
body part where they have to be worn. Also large quantities of fabric
are expeditiously worked on the circular frame with big diameter head,
these lengths being often suitable for making into articles such as
nightdresses where the circle of fabric may be used for the body part.
The great bulk of fabrics made on large diameter circulars are intended
for the cut-up trade, and they are so made because of the great
advantages possessed by such frames in point of speed. In flat rotary
frames where the work is made by an alternating motion of the
thread-carrier from side to side a principle of motion is utilized which
has a certain jerkiness as characteristic. With the circular principle
of motion there is an entire absence of jars and jerks in working, the
movement being steady and accurate, whilst the addition of eight or more
feeds to a machine makes an enormous production possible. One of the
most easily understood forms of this type of motion is incorporated in
the well-known Griswold type of circular knitting machine used still in
considerable numbers in one or other of its modifications for the
footwear trade. An illustration of this class of knitting machine is
shown in section in Fig. 50, which is so arranged as to give a side view
of the cylinder which makes the plain work and the dial as used for rib
work. The machine is constructed in a circle which for men's half-hose
is about 4¼ in. in diameter for a normal size, and the upright cylinder
marked C is fitted with grooves cut according to the set of the article
as it is fine or coarse. An average set of machine is 84 needles in the
4¼ in. diameter, but there are as few as 64 in the cylinder for the
coarse varieties, and up to 144 for fine gauges of footwear. A section
of the dial or ribber, as it is often called, is shown crosswise at D
with the cams at CB1. The cylinder needles are indicated by CN whilst
the dial or ribber needles are marked DN. The thread-carrier is shown on
the right by TC, whilst the thread is recognized by the letter T.

_Movement of the Parts._—The upright cylinder receives its rotatory
movement by means of a handle at the side which operates the bevel
gearing to drive the thread-carrier and the set of cams. The action of
the cams is to give the needles their up-and-down motion in loop
formation, they move round to work on the needle butts in succession,
pushing them up so that the hooks receive the thread from the carrier,
and drawing them down again so as to discharge and knock over the loops.
The thread-carrier and the cams are made to revolve together by the
turning of the machine handle, or in the case of power machines this
motion proceeds from the drive of the frame. The machine may be worked
without the dial, using the cylinder needles only for knitting, in which
case plain stitch fabric is produced as would be required for a plain
hose article. When ribbed work is needed the dial or ribber needles are
set in connection with the upright cylinder needles and are made to
rotate with the cylinder so that the dial needles share the thread with
the cylinder needles. The process of feeding the thread to both sets of
needles is clearly illustrated at the right-hand corner of Fig. 50,
where the thread T is seen to be proceeding through the eye of the
thread-carrier TC, when part of the thread is taken by the cross needle
issuing from the dial and part taken by the upright needles working in
the cylinder. The dial needles discharge their stitches towards the
right, whilst the cylinder needles throw their stitches over to the
left, and this alternation in direction of the stitch discharge is
responsible for the ribbed effect in the fabric. The ribber needles
radiate from the centre of the dial outwards, whilst the cylinder
needles all stand parallel to each other in an upright circle. The
fabric F proceeds down the centre of the machine, as shown, and is
maintained at the correct tension by suspension of weights in the hand
machine, whilst for the power frame we have an automatic motion for
winding up the fabric as it is produced.


  FIGS. 50, 51 and 52

_Stitch Formation._—The principle of stitch formation may be understood
from an examination of Fig. 51, which gives a view of the type of cams
found inside the cam box of the hand machine. Except where it is
required to knit the needle rests on what may be termed the normal
ledge, and it is only moved from this position when the cams reach it to
make it knit. The normal ledge is indicated by L and L1, and whilst the
needle is resting on this part of the platform no motion can result. To
form the stitch the first stage is to have the needle knocked above the
general level of the needle hooks to catch its share of the thread as it
is being fed into the needles, and this push-up is given by the small
triangular-shaped cam marked PC which raises the needles just
sufficiently above the normal height to receive their share of the
thread from the carrier. This done, the needle is at once operated upon
by the knitting cam KC, which is of the shape shown so as to draw down
the needle for the discharge of the loop. The butts of the needles N are
depressed by the knitting cam KC, and when they have reached their
lowest extremity N they have discharged their loops completely. The part
M of the cam causes the needles to rise once more into their normal
inoperative position, where they remain until the cams swing round to
them again to resume the knitting operation. On the right of Fig. 51
will be noted a push-up cam in a dotted position PC1, and it should be
explained that this is for the case of reciprocal knitting such as is
required in making the heel or the toe of an article of hose. In this we
operate only one-half of the needles in the cylinder, and in so doing
cause the cams to move from side to side in an oscillatory fashion. When
the cams are rotating in one direction push-up cam PC1 operates the
needles, and when the direction of knitting is reversed PC gives the
needles their upward thrust to receive the yarn. From Fig. 51 it will be
clear that the depth of stitch drawn by the needle depends on the
adjustment of the knitting cam KC, and the lower this is set the longer
will be the loop drawn through. If the loop is required shorter so as to
accommodate a larger number of courses per inch, the knitting cam is
raised in its adjustment so that a shorter stitch is the result. The
dial needles have a corresponding arrangement by which the needles are
drawn farther in to make a longer loop and for a shorter loop are not
pulled inwards to the same degree.

_Making of a Ribbed Sock._—Fig. 52 gives a view of an ordinary type of
sock where the various sections are marked as they are produced on the
machine. A start is made with the rib top marked R which in this case is
1 and 1 rib, that is, one upright needle in the cylinder for every
needle in the dial or ribber, and when all these are in operation at the
same time 1 and 1 rib work is formed on the power stocking-knitter.
Before beginning the rib top proper it is usual to make what is termed a
welt which consists in working a number of courses in the upright
needles only and letting the ribbed stitches draw round so as to give a
finished appearance to the edge. On reaching the end of the rib top it
is necessary to change the needle arrangement for making 3 and 1 rib,
and in the case of the power-rib stocking-knitter every second needle in
the upper ribber cylinder which is in the same plane as the lower one is
made to slide into the lower cylinder, that is, we have three needles in
the lower cylinder for every needle in the upper one. The 3 and 1 rib
continues for the leg portion, as shown by Fig. 52, when arrangements
require to be made for the heel-which has to be in the plain stitch and
continued for the sole of the foot and round the toe. To effect the
plain stitch for the heel, the front half of the dial needles are made
to slide into the lower cylinder and fashioning for the heel is soon
commenced. This is brought about by reducing the needles in work at each
side one at a time until only about twelve needles are left in
operation, when the process is reversed and the needles again brought
into knitting position at each successive course until the full
complement is available. This action gives a nicely-rounded pocket for
the accommodation of the heel, and at the same time it is usual to
introduce some form of reinforcing thread known as splicing, which has
the effect of considerably increasing the period of wear of such
articles. The plain stitch introduced for the heel is continued for the
sole, where the top of the foot A is worked in rib stitch and the under
portion B plain, as indicated in the diagram. When the foot has been
worked in this manner to its full length, the reciprocating motion is
repeated for the making of the toe exactly as for the heel, and several
extra courses are inserted so that one article may be kept separate from
another, and the next sock is worked exactly as the last. On the modern
automatic rib sock machine about seven dozen pairs of men's socks can be
produced by a single machine in a working day of eight hours, and as one
girl can mind a set of half a dozen machines, it will be seen that the
cost of production is infinitesimal when compared with hand-driven
machines or with the hand stocking-knitter. One heavier item in the
upkeep is the outlay required for a skilled mechanic, who is most
essential if the machines are to be maintained in thorough working
order, and this expense is proportionately the greater if the
manufacturer has only a few machines in this department. It is essential
to instal a series of machines of adequate scope of gauge and fineness
to warrant the employment of a skilled mechanic who can repair and keep
them in constant working order.

_Full-fashioned Hosiery._—In addition to the large and important branch
of the footwear trade which is devoted to the making of plain and ribbed
articles devoid of seams and which comprise a large and important
section of the knitting industry, we have other systems such as the
full-fashioned hosiery trade which produce varied types of footwear. For
full hose the length is greater, and as it has to cover the leg of the
wearer right over the knee, it requires to be shaped to the fit of the
individual. In the cheaper classes of hosiery an effort is made to
introduce a diminution in the width of the leg towards the ankle by
means of boarding, that is, the stockings are made uniform in width till
nearly the ankle except for any small contraction which it is possible
to effect by tightening the tensions. The woollen articles are stretched
on boards carved to the shape of the leg and when dried in a heated
chamber the natural plasticity of the wool enables the articles to take
up the shape they have been stretched into, the wide portion of the leg
stretches, whilst at the narrow portion the width contracts. Obviously
this device cannot long stand the exigencies of wear, and after a short
period of service the lower leg portion begins to widen and the result
is most untidy. When one comes to consider the great trouble involved in
making an article true to shape, it will be realized that such
stratagems of quick manufacture mean a considerable saving of time.

As the name implies, full-fashioned hosiery is worked on the knitting
frame in flat pieces which are afterwards seamed or joined together to
form the article as required. For a full-fashioned hose in plain stitch,
a rotary frame of the Cotton's Patent type is employed, and they are
made with two articles in one normal division of the frame, that is, in
a 12-at-once machine, for garment size we should be able to make
twenty-four articles of hose at one and the same time. The leg is made
uniform in width right down to the calf when narrowings are performed
according to the rate of diminution required, but it is when the heel is
reached that greatest labour is expended. It is necessary to work the
heel in two sections at each side, and the foot sole is worked on to
these pieces for the lower portion, the upper part of the foot being a
continuation of the leg and the whole is secured by a seam along each
side of the foot. By this system of manufacture it becomes possible to
make a much more roomy and capacious heel than is general on the
automatic seamless machine, for it can be made square-shaped and of any
convenient size by enlarging or contracting the heel portions.

This method of manufacture is termed the English heel, but there is
another system known as the French heel which is also largely adopted
for certain classes of goods. The real test of these articles is to note
the seam, which in the English foot always occurs along each side of the
foot and down the back of the heel. In the case of the French foot the
seam occurs along the centre of the sole of the foot which is obviously
an awkward arrangement from point of view of comfort. The French style
of foot is often employed for articles which have clocking or
embroidered patterns on them, whilst there is also a saving of time in
the process of making. The upper and lower portions of the foot are made
in one width and afterwards folded over with only one seam along the
middle of the sole of the foot, whilst in the case of the English foot
the seam is double and occurs along each side of the foot. It is
interesting to be able to distinguish between these various methods of
making hosiery; for the article in which no effort is made to fashion
the leg on the frame the marking indicative of narrowings for the leg
will be entirely absent, and in their place will be the temporary local
thickening of the fabric due to the increase in the number of stitches
at that point. In the case of the full-fashioned article, the shape will
be gradual and symmetrical, for the French foot only one seam will be
found along the centre of the foot, whilst in the English variety a seam
will occur at each side.

                              CHAPTER XII
                        COLOUR IN KNITTED GOODS

The part played by colour in knitted goods depends largely on the use to
which they have to be put and the variety of garment in which they are
employed. For undergarments which are seldom noted in wear for general
purposes, the _rôle_ of colour is slight and the prevailing tints are
white, cream or mixture varieties of the natural or tinted class. The
nature of the tint for undergarments is important, and a connoisseur
will be able to distinguish quite a number of qualities in a white
garment. The tint of a white article depends on a number of factors, one
of the chief being the class of wool used in its production. Some wool
classes are in themselves whiter than others according to the place from
which the wool is obtained. Most types of merino wools give materials of
a splendid whiteness, whilst the majority of home wools give a result
which is more or less of a yellowish nature; if sand particles are
adhering in any quantity, the result is to impart a reddy tint which is
difficult to eradicate in bleaching or scouring. The yellow tint, common
to most classes of wool, is not evident at first sight, and it is only
by comparison with bleached goods that the observer may be able to tell
the difference. For many purposes of ordinary wear yellowish tinted
goods are quite serviceable and are sold under the designation of cream.
This tint is the result of a colouring pigment present in the medullary
cells of the material and can be removed by one or other of the various
methods of bleaching, but the yellow tinge may be greatly increased by
scouring in too hot liquor or using cleansing agents which exercise
drastic action on the wool fibre. Similarly when the goods are in the
hands of the wearer, the yellow tint may be considerably increased in
intensity if care be not exercised in washing and if agents of the
proper strength be not employed. To preserve the whiteness of bleached
articles certain precautions have to be observed in scouring and these
may be summarized as follows. The temperature of the scouring liquor or
the washing solution should not be raised beyond what is absolutely
necessary to effect a removal of the dirt, for a high temperature
produces a kind of melting action on the goods which causes the internal
scales of the fibre to fuse to some extent, with the result that a
permanently yellow tinge is imparted. Next to the temperature, which
should be as close to the "lieu warm" as possible, is the question of
the nature and composition of detergents. Launderers know that an
application of a certain amount of soda or alkali accelerates the
scouring action and gives to the liquor a certain softness which is
rather misleading. The softening experienced really constitutes a
dissolving action on the wool fibre which settles on the material when
dry a feeling of pronounced hardness. These two factors combined with a
high temperature of scouring liquor and an excess of alkali or soda will
destroy the quality of the purest white and impart a permanently
discoloured or faded yellow appearance to the finest goods.

_Natural Tinted Goods._—The simplest departure from pure white
undergarments is to be found in the well-known natural coloured members
of the knitting industry, which are usually pants, shirts and
combination garments. This is obtained by an admixture with white of
about 10 per cent. of coloured fibre, and has the effect of increasing
the serviceability of the garments by allowing more extended intervals
between the washes. In their usual forms these blends or tinted shades
do not possess an aspect of attractiveness, the general run being in
dull brown, drab or cold bluish tint, but recently there has been a
tendency to brighten up the blends somewhat and introduce an element of
greater attractiveness to the garments. There is not, however, great
scope for colour effect in such goods; little colour is wanted, as they
seldom come into vision.

_Horizontal Stripes._—Unfortunately the knitted fabric as such does not
give great scope for the production of coloured effects in the plain
stitch because of its peculiar structure as an essentially weft fabric.
The thread is inserted crosswise in the fabric, both vertical and
horizontal elements of the structure being formed from one and the same
yarn, and this limitation must be carefully kept in mind when
considering the capacity of the fabric for showing colour. From the
inherent horizontal character of the fabric it is evident that cross
effects such as horizontal stripes of colour can be much more
expeditiously produced than effects of the vertical variety. There is
something jarring about a predominantly horizontal series of colour
stripes, for when these are made into garments they show crosswise,
whilst the prevailing cast of the human figure is vertical. For the
great bulk of goods, therefore, cross stripes are quite unserviceable
except, perhaps, for the sporting jersey, where the object is to arrest
the attention of the observers and enable them to trace the movement of
individual players in the field. In most types of knitting mechanism the
cross colour effect is much more easily produced than the vertical,
because we have simply to provide a colour for each thread-carrier and
these are brought into operation in succession according to the pattern
required. To overcome the inherent defect of the horizontal direction,
fabrics are often turned round a right-angle so that a horizontal colour
stripe becomes a vertical one, but this has the disadvantage of turning
the stitches on their side. The stretch in length is greatly increased
over the width, and such garments show a tendency to elongate
considerably during their period of wear, whilst the elasticity in the
width is much reduced from the normal. In wearing such a garment the
tendency is for the fabric to go to length by reason of its own weight
combined with the action of the wearer in walking.

In considering patterns for horizontal striped goods, it should be borne
in mind that the average rotary frame has a side-to-side movement of the
thread-carrier, and that the full extent of the motion requires two
courses to complete, once to the right and another to the left. If
single courses are inserted it means that one of the thread-carriers has
to be kept on the off side of the frame and special tackle requires to
be used to work odd courses on these machines. In making out patterns
for horizontal striped goods, the patterns should be built as far as
possible on evenly numbered courses, 2, 4, 6, etc., for in this way the
thread-carrier for any particular colour can be brought back to the
starting-point. The usual way of indicating horizontal striped patterns
is to detail each colour and the number of courses in succession until
the whole pattern is complete. Thus we might have a pattern as follows:
12 black, 6 white, 2 grey, 4 black, 12 white, 6 grey, 6 white. When
colour patterns are written in this fashion it may become a rather
lengthy process in the case of complicated arrangements such as are
often required for fine gauge goods, and for these it is a saving of
time and labour to arrange the colour scheme in the following manner—

                           Black 12 .  4 . .
                           White  6 . 12 . 6
                           Grey   2 .  6 . .

In this case the colours present in the effect are set down one below
the other as shown, and the pattern is indicated by the figures in the
columns beginning at the left-hand side and reading downwards from top
to bottom for each row, when completed a start is made with the next row
and so on till the pattern is finished. The following gives another
example of a horizontal striped arrangement which embodies several fancy

                       Brown  16 8 16 . 12 . . .
                       Green   8 4  . 8  . 8 . .
                       Yellow  . 2  6 .  4 . 4 .
                       Black   . .  . .  . 2 . 2

In this pattern there are 100 courses in one complete repeat of the
pattern, and to produce this a pattern chain would require to be drawn
out which by its projections would cause connecting fingers to swing
into the carrier as indicated by the colours of the pattern. In all such
patterns the colours introduced are part and parcel of the fabric and in
direction run crosswise in the texture. Outer wear fabrics made
predominantly of cross stripe are not popular because of the reasons
already shown, but they are often used for trimming garments, for
borders of coats, cuffs and collars, and for fancy shirts they are often
quite effective. One point must be borne in mind in selecting fancy
colours in fine materials such as silk, etc.; the size of the fancy yarn
chosen has to be approximately equal to that of the ground texture, or
the fancy threads will cause a space more or less open to appear in the
fabric so as to spoil its amenity.

_Vertical Stripes._—For most kinds of knitted articles the vertical
stripe is extremely difficult to produce without extra tackle on the
machine, and most examples of vertical lines are produced by means of
yarn inserted in addition to the ground of the fabric, notably in the
case of clocking introduced in hosiery articles and vertical striped
effects so popular in the men's shirting trade. In both these cases the
effect is introduced as a form of embroidery worked as an addition to
the fabric, where the fancy yarn is made to exhibit itself prominently
on the face of the goods and only comes to the back for purposes of
intersection. The materials employed for such colour effects are usually
of the lustrous variety, silk or mercerized cotton, and they are forced
into prominence on the face by the upward thrust of the ground yarn
which they cover. A feature of the vertical stripe effects produced on
Cotton's Patent frame is the variety of colours which it is feasible to
insert, for every extra thread introduced can be of a different colour
if necessary, as each yarn proceeds independently from its own bobbin.
In regard to the scope of design, this is generally restricted to solid
vertical stripes, and very interesting and effective variations are
produced by a zig-zag motion given to the thread guides in knitting.

_Tuck Work._—The term tuck is employed to indicate a class of fabric
where certain stitches are tucked in the cloth, that is, they are not
permitted to form their stitches in the ordinary way but are retained on
the needles to be worked in along with the following stitch. This
tucking of a yarn into another stitch is performed by means of tuck
pressers on bearded needle machines, these pressers being cut so that
during the knitting operation the needles affected are left unpressed,
that is, they are not permitted to discharge their thread in the normal
manner but are held up on the stem of the needle to be discharged as
part of a second course of loops. Naturally the omission of the pressing
operation cannot be allowed for long, because this would cause a
conglomeration of unworked yarn on the needle stems which would in a few
courses lead to disaster in the fabric; an essential of the pattern
arrangement is to insure that the tucked stitches are cleared from the
needle stems after every two courses or so. On the hand frame and the
patent rotary machine tuck pressers are of the form shown in Figs. 53
and 54, being the ordinary kind of presser cut with spaces so that the
needles which come under the spaces of the presser are not pressed but
have their yarn retained on the needle stems. These stitch portions are
pushed back on the needles, and when the next yarn is fed into them, the
presser is moved along so that needles left unpressed at the last course
are now pressed and two yarns are discharged in place of one. In the
figures the points marked N represent the needles, and in Fig. 53 the
spaces are noted to be over every second needle, 2, 4, 6, etc., whilst
the remaining needles, 1, 3, 5, etc., are pressed by the projecting
pieces. The odd numbered needles are being pressed in Fig. 53 whilst the
even needles are left unpressed. At the next course the presser is moved
one needle sidewise, so that the even needles are pressed to discharge
their double loops whilst the odd numbered needles remain unpressed. The
third course sees further reversal of the presser back to start again
when the operation is repeated as before. In Fig. 54 is given another
design for a tuck presser, this being termed a 2 and 1 pattern, and
every third needle is left unpressed whilst the remaining two-thirds of
the needles are pressed as usual. This presser is also given a sidewise
movement to insure that the needles are cleared of their stitches every
two courses or so. The 2 and 1 presser and the 3 and 3 presser are often
used in conjunction with other patterns such as the 1 and 1 or 2 and 2
to form patterns more fancy in style and character. Very effective
patterns can be produced in colour by working the 3 and 3 tuck presser
in co-operation with the 1 and 1, whilst very effective designs may be
made with 2 and 2 tuck presser and a plain presser alternately.


  FIG. 53


  FIG. 54


  FIGS. 55 & 56

_Tuck Work on Circular Frames._—In frames employing the spring or
bearded needle arranged in circular machines which are largely employed
for the making of fabric in the roll, tuck patterns can be produced by
cutting the pressers in circular form as illustrated in Figs. 55 and 56.
In the French circular frame, the presser consists of a plain circular
disc which, by reason of its adjustment, presses the beards or springs
of the needles as they revolve. Figs. 55 and 56 are the circular tuck
pressers which correspond to Figs. 53 and 54, that is, 1 and 1 and 2 and
1 pressers. In Fig. 55 the circumference of the wheel is cut alternately
in small spaces which come over the beards and press them, and larger
spaces which by the depth of their incisions fit over the beards of the
machine but do not press them. The wheel receives its motion by the
revolving action of the needles in the circle, and the teeth have
therefore to be cut to the gauge required, that is, the setting of the
machine needles and the teeth in the wheel circumference require to
coincide. In Fig. 56 every third space is cut large so as to grip the
needle but not press it, whilst the remaining two spaces are cut with
small indentations so that the needle will be pressed in the ordinary
way. In circular frames there are several feeds, that is, the
stitch-forming apparatus is repeated two or more times round the
circumference of the machine which allows of a more convenient
arrangement being made for the discharge of the unpressed loops. One way
is to have a tuck presser and a plain presser arranged alternately in
the machine so that there is a tucked pattern where the double stitches
are discharged every second course. If, in addition, there is a
different colour in each feed, we have an interesting colour effect
which is different with every type of pattern wheel employed, whilst
wheels can be cut with the greatest freedom right round the edge
according to a predetermined design. What actually happens in the fabric
with the use of tuck pressers may be better understood by a reference to
Fig. 57, which is a diagrammatic enlargement of the pattern produced by
the 1 and 1 tuck presser illustrated in Figs. 53 and 55. For the first
course where needles 1, 3, 5, etc., are pressed to knit the odd numbered
needles are worked, and this state of matters is represented in Fig. 57,
where the needles are numbered 1 to 4 to correspond from left to right.
Stitch 1 and stitch 3 are pressed as usual and form their ordinary
stitches as given by the shape of the presser in Fig. 53, stitches 2 and
4 are left unpressed, and the yarn is noted to have fallen to the lower
position marked _a1_, whilst the knitted loops are retained in their
higher position _a a_. At the second course _b_, _b1_, the position is
reversed, the stitches on needles 1 and 3 being tucked or left unpressed
whilst those on needles 2 and 4 are knitted as usual. This effect may be
traced by following the course of the thread marked _b_, _b1_, _b_,
_b1_. From this diagram it will be evident that the whole structure of
the texture is altered by the tuck presser, and that this will enable us
to insert a greater weight of yarn into the fabric because the threads
are not subjected to such a high degree of intersection, and the result
is to give a cloth of greater weight and consistency suitable for a
large variety of outer garments. Again, it is evident that when two or
more colours are employed, novel and characteristic colour effects will
result because of the way in which it is possible to pass one colour to
the back at certain points and allow the other to show on the face and
_vice versâ_.


  FIG. 57

_Check Designs._—By the structure of ordinary tuck work illustrated in
Fig. 57 it is clear that the threads have a considerable mingling
together, and the result will to a considerable extent be a melange
colour effect. In what is termed check or press-off work in knitting a
clear-cut colour effect of reversible character is often desired, that
is, when a block of one colour is knitting on the face, the second
colour is made to float loosely on the back, and this arrangement can be
made to work with each colour in turn. To make such designs on the
circular frame we have two pressers, one cut the reverse of the other,
and these are used in succeeding feeds of the machine, so that the
needles pressed at one feed have their stitches tucked at the next and
_vice versâ_. The whole matter of tuck check designs belongs to the
higher branches of designing of knitted fabrics. The term check in the
ordinary way consists of a vertical colour scheme combined with a
horizontal scheme of the same character, and whilst these are possible
in the knitted fabric their production is somewhat difficult. Tartan
hosiery can be produced in a number of colours having the vertical
elements working on the embroidery system and with the corresponding
cross colour scheme working in the ordinary horizontal stripe, but these
effects require great skill in manipulation owing to the fact that the
extra embroidery yarn is inserted over and above the ground, and this
tends to show more prominently than the cross effects, and these require
special treatment at the hands of the colorist if the balance of the
colour scheme has to be preserved.

_Spot Effects._—This type of colour effect is best produced on the
Jacquard flat knitting machine which is the ordinary flat knitter with
an attachment for making patterns of a raised character. These raised or
knop effects are produced on the basis of the rib stitch where one
needle bed is made to stop knitting for a few courses during which time
the opposite side is making its loops as usual. The needle bed which
does not knit has its stitches drawn tight and this causes the loops of
the other bed to curve round and form an arched effect which can be made
the basis of a most interesting pattern scheme. These raised or knop
designs have the result of causing an uneven reflection of light, the
ridges give a full reflection, whilst the light which falls into the
hollows is dispersed and broken so as to cause an interesting play of
light and shade. This is used to form novel designs on the flat knitter
with the aid of the Jacquard selective mechanism, and when several
colours are employed by means of the extra thread-carriers, these can be
made to form spot effects with considerable facility. Here again the
effects are very pronounced and produced by quite minor alterations in
the machine mechanism.

                              CHAPTER XIII
                      COLOUR HARMONY AND CONTRAST

It should be stated that there is a great need for a fuller knowledge of
the basic principles of colour harmony and contrast in the knitting
industry if the artistic qualities of the knitted product are to be
enhanced. Colours are too often employed together without due regard
being paid to their suitability, and many knitted productions offend the
aesthetic sense in a very marked degree. This is easy to explain,
because for a long time the knitted industry was chiefly confined to the
manufacture of articles used for underwear and as such did not require
to be specially suitable in regard to colour selection, the tints were
of the most ordinary character such as drabs, greys, naturals and
whites. As the scope of the knitted texture became enlarged and outer
garments produced, colour became more important, and those who had
previously handled the dull shades extended their activities to the more
highly-coloured varieties. The use of these garments has now come to
assume such an important _rôle_ that specialists in colour are required
if the productions are to take their proper place on the market. The
chief defect of these knitted productions has been their incongruous
combinations of bright, strong colours with tints delicate in hue; there
has also been too little appreciation of the relative weight of colour,
strong contrasting colours being used in too great proportion to the
more delicate variety.

_Colour Theory._—Some useful hints regarding the use of colour in
knitted goods may be gleaned by a study of the colour theory if the
operator possesses the instinct to extend the theories to cases which do
not come strictly under the technical definitions. According to the
pigment theory of colour, which is generally recognized as having the
closest application to textiles, three primary colours are given,
namely, red, yellow and blue. These are taken as basic or elementary
colours, which means that by combining these colours with each other in
varying proportions and tinting with white or shading with black, all
other colours can be produced. The general attributes of these colours
may be given as follows—

_Red_ is strong and vivid in its nature and at once arrests attention by
its power and striking effect on the retina of the eye. It is symbolical
of all the attributes of warmth, heat and agitation of the senses, the
red cloth incenses the bull, whilst the red flag has also its
associations of stirring character. It is used as a signal for danger,
and at the same time is found in colour combinations where it is
intended to produce an influence of comfort and warmth, the reds and
their derivatives are found largely in articles intended for winter wear
as the prevailing aspect is that of warmth.

_Yellow._—Yellow as a colour calls up visions of a rather conflicting
nature which are sometimes difficult to reconcile. At its worst it is
regarded as a symbol of the past and indicates a glory that is faded and
gone. When white deteriorates in hue, its place is usually taken by a
dirty tone of yellow, whilst the yellow discoloured tinge of wool is the
bane of many departments of textile manufacture, necessitating expensive
bleaching operations. It is likewise the colour of the fading leaf and
denotes decaying life in the vegetable world. In its sense as a primary
colour, yellow has an entirely different meaning and denotes brightness
and gaiety as prevailing characteristics, it is outstanding in the
property of luminosity, it is bright and attractive, and its use on gala
days greatly contributes to the festive spirit. Yellow by itself cannot
be said to occupy a prominent place in the knitting industry except for
the purposes of brightening up otherwise sombre blends, when it is used
in a limited quantity according to the character of the ground. The
colour in its modified form such as salmon and canary shades prove very
attractive for the summer knitted coat and scarf trade; the most
brilliant derivatives of yellow have an enormous success in certain
years for the height of the summer season, these colours being of a
brilliance and gaiety which could never be permitted in other
departments of the textile industry. When toned down to make tan shades,
it has an extensive use in all branches of the knitting industry.

_Blue._—Blue may be considered the great corrective of the other two
primary colours, and although inherently useful by itself it is in
combination with others that its full value comes to be recognized. It
stands in direct antithesis to the two primary colours red and yellow,
and in its primary form is indicative of coldness and gloom combined
with a certain strength and harshness. On the other hand, when enlivened
by a tinting agent such as white, it becomes extremely bright and stands
out distinct from all other colours. When toned with black its sombre
qualities are intensified, particularly that coldness and aloofness
which makes it the recognized official colour for formality and duty. It
is by no means a sociable member, and care has to be exercised in
bringing it into combination with other colours in a fabric, special
regard having to be given to its strength and intensity which in many
cases give rise to hardness of colour effect and displeasing results in
colour harmony.

_Secondary Colours._—To produce the whole range of colours from these
three primaries in combination requires attention to certain
well-defined principles, and in dealing with the possible combinations
of a given number of colours, the total number of permutations should be
considered seriatim. If they are selected in a haphazard manner, many of
the best colour effects may be overlooked. In regard to the primary
colours, only three permutations are possible, and each of these
combinations of the ordinary colours are two at a time, namely, red with
blue giving purple, red with yellow yielding orange, and blue with
yellow giving green. These combinations hold good in various ways when
adopted for blending colours in yarns and fabrics. In the case of dyes
the primary yellow is blended with the primary blue to give the
secondary green, the result being quite clearly defined. When wool dyed
with primary red is blended fibre with fibre with wool dyed primary
blue, a melange of coloured fibres is obtained which gives a green
mixture effect, but there is a decided difference in the quality of the
green so produced in comparison with dyes mixed in the dye bath. The
general quality of colour resulting is of a less defined character, if
the melange be examined at close range, the individual green and yellow
fibres may be quite well distinguished, but a little way off the
predominant effect is green due to the mixing of the yellow and blue in
the eye. The third manner of blending is less satisfactory in result
although more readily performed, and that is the twining of two coloured
yarns together. A yellow thread folded with a blue will produce a yellow
and blue beaded effect in the yarn, but when worked into the knitted
fabric the general result is green, provided the twist is not too slack
nor the gauge too coarse. The best example of this form of colour
blending is to be found in the basses of intermediate colour found in
the patterns of clan hosiery used by officers and men of Highland
regiments. If, for instance, the ground-coloured basses are yellow and
blue, there would appear solid diamond squares of these colours with
squares of melanged colour intervening. The two ground colours are given
a slight twist on the winding frame by spooling the two yarns together,
the twist going on to the yarn when the threads are issuing from the
bobbin. The two solid colours twisted together in this way make a result
which is predominantly green in aspect, although the marl character is
not entirely concealed. This system of colouring provides an explanation
of the fundamental harmony of such productions, for the yellow element
of the melange answers to the solid yellow diamond and preserves contact
with it, whilst the blue element of the ground preserves liaison with
the solid blue diamond squares of the patterns. Although these patterns
are built with colours of primary or secondary character in strong
contrast, the groundwork of marl produced by twining the two bright
colours together preserves harmony between the strong ground colours.
These Highland patterns are very striking in hue, but the basic harmony
of colour here outlined has much to do with their never-failing
popularity for military as well as civilian wear.

_Qualities of Secondary Colours._—Yellow and red primary colours mixed,
blended or marled together give an orange secondary, and it will be seen
that a secondary unites the qualities of the two primaries of which it
is composed. Orange is a most brilliant colour because it combines the
strong and arresting characteristics of red with the luminosity and
brilliance of yellow. Orange and a number of its near relations in the
colour scale have an important _rôle_ to perform in knitted goods. Owing
to its strength and intensity it has not a large use for the ground of a
garment, but employed as a fancy in minute quantities it is distinctly
effective. Thus it is employed in collars, rosettes for belts, where the
smallest tip of the colour is often sufficient to give brightness and
charm to a composition which might otherwise be dull and feeble. With
suitable ground shades it may be found in certain seasons as a covering
for buttons where the small colour circle in harmonious surroundings
gives a very elegant result.

When red and blue are blended together the result is purple, and this is
a secondary colour which in many respects possesses an individuality
absolutely unique. Recalling the strong and bright qualities of the red
and the coldness and strength of the blue, these qualities are
effectively fused and blended in the resulting purple. Real secondary
purple has a depth, richness, saturation and bloom which cannot be
approached by any other colour, the aggressive qualities of the red are
effectively subdued by the retiring qualities of the blue, whilst in
both is a strength of character which is the basis of the undoubted
handsomeness of the purple. There is an air of quiet dignity about
purple, qualities are held in reserve which do not strike the eye at
first sight, and these undoubtedly form the basis of its use for
ceremonial robes, where it is desired to give the fullest expression to
dignity, pomp and power. Purple can be used with great effect as a
ground colour, but as such is difficult to blend with other colours for
good results, it is socially "stand-offish," and its companions have to
be carefully selected if harmonious and helpful results are to follow.
Purple and its near relations heliotrope, mauve, etc., quickly respond
to the brightening effects of a pure white when combined in a garment,
and white edging greatly enhances the richness and gives it increased
brightness. Used with black it provides an effective mourning
combination as the black tones down the whole colour aspect.

Green is also a secondary of considerable utility in the knitted goods
trade, and has qualities distinctly suitable for use in an extended
capacity. The primal components are yellow with blue, that is, the
brightest primary blends its qualities with those of the darkest primary
colour and the resultant is distinctly different from either of its
components. In examining a purple or an orange secondary, for instance,
the component primaries can always be distinguished, but in green it is
not always possible to detect the primary components at a glance. The
brightness and luminosity of the yellow tone into the strength and
coolness of the blue with the result that the secondary green is cool
and refreshing in aspect and proves what has been termed a sociable
blending colour, it is not difficult to harmonize and is not too
fastidious as to its associates. Green is a colour which has to be used
very carefully because in itself it is not always suitable for a ground,
and is improved in association with other colours. All secondary colours
can be varied in quality according as either of the two primary
constituents is made to predominate in the blend, and this quality is
more marked in the case of green than any other. The quality of the
green can be varied from yellowish green which has only a modicum of
blue in it, to a blue green where the yellow can only be traced with
difficulty. This range of greens is very extensive and undergoes a great
change in quality according as one or other of the primary constituents
is made to rule.

_Colour Harmony._—The question of colour harmony is one which requires a
long experience to be efficient in, and rules of theory can never
replace the skill in blending colours, which comes as the result of
highly-trained natural talent. When one examines the crude combinations
of colour which are so often placed on the market by the makers of
knitted articles, it is obvious that knowledge of the principles of
colour harmony as they are set forth in any book on colour would be
instrumental in avoiding many of the glaring defects which have
characterized certain branches of the knitting industry in the past.
These productions often violate every law of colour harmony and are a
grave menace to the prosperity of the industry. The more progressive
manufacturers are now becoming fully alive to the importance of this
subject, and are taking trouble to engage the services of managers who
have received a long and careful training in the blending of colour and
the art of garment production. In any branch of the textile industry
there is a large and important section of colour effects which depend on
the principle of colour analogy, that is, the colours employed are of
the same nature in regard to quality and hue, but they differ in
strength or intensity, they are lighter or darker in hue. The best-known
examples of colour analogy are, of course, the greys, and colour effects
are produced by dark grey used along with mid grey, or mid grey employed
with light grey and so on. At the upper end of the series the light grey
can be graduated into white, whilst at the lower end the dark greys can
be graduated into black. These colour combinations are always in favour,
and no matter what the prevailing shade may be there is always a certain
proportion of trade done in the neutral tints. In the knitted coat trade
are found grounds of grey and variety introduced by having the garment
bound round the edges with white to brighten or with black to tone down
the ground. Another effective method is to have the binding done in
black and white striped fabric worked two courses white with two courses
black on the ordinary flat knitting machine in a horizontal stripe, and
these impart an appearance of considerable smartness to the garment. A
large number of pleasing and serviceable articles are made by folding
white with black, or light grey with dark grey, and working these
together in the knitting machine. If the yarns lend themselves to
raising on the teasles of the gig, the individuality of the separate
threads is covered up and the final effect is a pleasing grey. In
addition to the folding of greys with each other in a twist yarn,
suitable contrasts may be obtained by using various tints of lavender
for the garments as these harmonize with grey and black and white
combinations. What applies to the grey colour blends of analogous
effects also applies to the shades and tints of other self colours. Very
useful designs are obtained by having various shades of brown in one and
the same garment, the edging often being of fawn to brighten up the
articles, whilst a garment of fawn ground may be effectively toned down
by a dark-brown scheme of colouring for the edges, tops of pockets,
belts and cuffs. Greens are not great favourites for analogous
colourings, because if an article is too decidedly green it tends to
nauseate the wearer in a way which would not happen with brown. A blue
garment may be effectively designed with trimmings of darker or lighter
blue as the case may be; also mauves, purples and heliotropes may be
made the foundation of pleasing colour schemes of analogy.

_Colour Contrast._—Most foremen have a fairly good idea of the methods
of using colours in articles where the scheme is mono-chromatic or
one-coloured, but when it is a matter of blending colours which are
entirely different in character and hue the difficulties begin. The most
usual faults are combining colours which can never harmonize so as to
give results agreeable to the aesthetic sense; colours are combined
which vary greatly in relative depth of hue, that is, light, delicate
shades are employed indiscriminately with colours which are strong and
decided in nature. In regard to colours which should harmonize in a
poly-chromatic or a multicoloured combination, the basic principles of
harmony as enunciated by the colour theory may be of service in many
cases. In this connection it is necessary to define the complimentary
pairs of colours to be found in the range of primaries and secondaries
which have been already discussed. Whenever two colours are placed
together so as to fulfil the condition of complementariness, all three
primaries must be present in the combination. Thus we have purple and
yellow as a complementary pair, the purple being composed of red and
blue with yellow as the remaining primary. When these two colours are
employed together the idea is that the harmonic triad is complete and
the result is pleasing, because the eye perceives all the chief elements
in a perfect colour circle. In the same way red and green are regarded
as complementary because green being composed of yellow with blue, the
remaining primary is red which is found by combining these two
complementary colours together. The remaining complementary pair are
orange and blue.

_Colour Separation._—The colour theory shows that complementary colours
produce an effect pleasing to the eye, and this simple principle may be
found quite a useful guide if the worker exercises discrimination in
employing colours which are as nearly as possible of the same depth of
hue or of the same weight of colour. Heavy, strong colours cannot be
employed successfully with colours which are delicate and light in
effect, or at least the quantity of the strong vivid colours has to be
reduced in proportion to the strength of the light colour. If the
relative weight of colour be carefully considered, colours of varying
intensity and weight may be employed together with quite good results,
but there are members of the colour circle which can never harmonize
when placed in juxtaposition. In such cases a harsh and displeasing
result may be avoided by a judicious use of black or white as separating
agents, and the maker of knitted articles has not sufficiently
appreciated the saving grace of these toning and tinting agents. They
can be introduced quite simply on the knitting machine by about two
courses of black or two courses of white inserted between the offending
colours and these have the influence of considerably modifying the harsh
effect to the eye of the observer. The result of two colours placed in
juxtaposition depends to some extent on the nature of the stitch,
colours which show indifferently when appearing in continuous stripes
may prove quite attractive when employed in a fancy stitch where the
colours intersect in fragments.

_Weight of Colour._—The weight of any colour is based on its position in
the colour scale as has already been mentioned, any colour may be
modified by the addition of white or of black which is carried out
either in the dyeing operation or in blending of coloured wools. For any
colour a scale of weights may be determined according as it is a tint or
a shade of the colour. The tints can be so thin that they almost
approximate to white for delicate effects, whilst the shades may be so
dark that very little of the ground colour may be discernible, the
effect being almost black. When blending colours, whether of the same
quality or of different hue, regard must be had to its position in this
scale of tints or tones, for fabrics where two colours are combined in
equal quantities the best results will be attained by employing them as
nearly as possible of the same weight, if one colour predominates over
the other in strength or brightness, it should be used in relatively
less proportion to prove effective. If colours differ greatly in
intensity the more heavily toned colour should, as a rule, be employed
in relatively less proportion to the lighter shade.

                              CHAPTER XIV
                           DEFECTS IN FABRICS

In a former chapter the intricately delicate structure of the knitted
loops was described, and the causes of some of the minor defects of
stitch were outlined when the utmost importance of a regular feed of
yarn to the needles was emphasized. Another important series of defects
in knitted articles are directly traceable to faults in the
stitch-forming parts of the machine, such as the sinkers and needles,
and many imperfections spring from faulty condition or adjustment of
these parts. The needle is perhaps the most delicate part of the frame
and constant attention has to be given to these if perfect knitting has
to be produced. Large firms find it to their advantage to engage an
operative for this special work alone, he inspects all frames and his
trained eye can soon detect the slightest fault of needle alignment and
he replaces faulty needles by casting new ones. The pliaring of needles,
as it is called, is an important part of the work of a modern knitting
factory, and care to these machine parts is at once reflected in the
quality of the fabric produced on the frames. A constant source of
trouble in knitting is the beard or spring of the needle, and if these
are not properly hardened or tempered their period of service is much
shortened, because the beard soon develops faulty action and refuses to
spring back into its former position after the removal of the presser.
If the beard has lost its spring the new yarn cannot be pushed properly
underneath, a common defect being for the stitch to be halved, one
portion of the thread going under and the other half over the spring of
the needle. These split stitches cause small puckerings in the texture
which seriously affect its market value, and when the yarn is split in
this fashion the stitch at this point has only half its strength, the
thread gets broken and a hole is caused in the fabric. Another defect in
the needle occurs when the beard is working out of its true position in
a vertical direction, the beard in place of going straight into the
groove lands a little to the right or the left when it catches the yarn
as it is drawn forward.


  FIG. 58

_Sinker and Needle Lines._—Sinker and needle lines are formed vertically
in the fabric and are due to needles and sinkers being out of alignment
in relation to their neighbours. If the needle is raised above or
depressed below the normal level of the needle line, or if it is not in
the exact central position in relation to the needle at each side a
defect will be formed, which will show vertically in the fabric. A
diagrammatic view of this kind of fabric blemish is given in Fig. 58
where the line is marked A and is formed by a vertical series of loops
of larger curves than those around. The sinker line and the needle line
are alike in general appearance except that the sinker line affects the
sinker wales and the needle lines the needle rows. The needle at A has
been pushed a little to the left so that more than normal spacing
occurs, and this causes an extra length of yarn to be served to the
stitch at this point. It might be more correct to say that this extra
length is supplied at the expense of the neighbouring loops at B and C
which are seen to be smaller than the normal. The needle in moving to
the left out of the true central position between its neighbours
enlarges the draw at one point, but makes a corresponding contraction of
the stitch at B where the needle has to be content with a shorter piece
of the yarn. This is the basic reason why these lines are so
conspicuous, the regular spacing of the needles is departed from and
there is always a large-size loop side by side with a shorter and more
contracted stitch. The sinker line may also be caused the same way and
has the same general appearance; if the sinker is not working in its
true central position between two needles there is a variation in the
length of loop which shows a line as before. In the case of the sinker,
the lines may be produced from another cause, and that is the wearing of
the sinker at its throat, the part employed for pushing the yarn between
the frame needles. This wearing of the sinker throat will tend to reduce
the size of the loop at that point, because it will not be able to take
a sufficient length of loop when pushed forward. Similar defects are
caused if the sinker is rough, and another blemish is known as
"cutting," where the yarn is totally or partially cut through as the
sinkers push the yarn between the needles. Cutting may be due to the
push of the sinker being too great, or it may be caused by yarn which is
not strong enough to stand the strain of loop sinking.

_Other Defects._—A very common defect which will prove disastrous if not
remedied is given at Fig. 59, known popularly as a "Jacob's Ladder."
This will be noted to be due to a stitch running down in a vertical
direction and caused in the first place by a breaking of the thread.
Once this severance has taken place the stitch loses its supports and
unravels as long as the least strain is imposed upon it. The method of
repairing this is to take the last perfect stitch in the run and link it
up with the slack thread of the course immediately above until the whole
fabric has been restored, the top stitch being secured suitably to
prevent a repetition of the unravelling. This linking of the stitch can
be done very rapidly by an experienced hand with the aid of a turning
hook which is indispensable for repairing all defects in the knitted
texture. If the loops get severed by a cross cut the process of
repairing the break is much more complicated and requires greater skill
to rehabilitate. The cut loops have to be unravelled to give a perfect
row of stitches on which to base the repair, and the missing courses
have to be entirely rebuilt by the needle of the operative. In
reconstructing those missing stitches, they have to be formed as nearly
as possible of the same size as will correspond to the fabric gauge, and
it requires years of experience for a worker to acquire the ability to
reconstruct the fabric in such a way that the rent will be
imperceptible. In some hosiery districts the saleable quality of their
products is much reduced owing to faulty repairing of cross
imperfections, in many cases the practice prevails of simply drawing the
stitches tightly together and securing them. To repair a large hole in a
knitted structure the usual way is to patch by cutting the broken part
out in the form of a square running directly crosswise with the loops
and directly vertical with the wales of the fabric. The patch is made
from a piece of fabric identical in gauge and texture with the ground
fabric, and the stitches are knitted to each other crosswise at the top
and bottom of the square, a perfect union being possible; vertically the
patch is seamed and joined to the ground fabric by a row of ordinary
sewing which is drawn round to the back of the garment and which, if
skilfully performed, gives but little indication of the blemish. A
worker skilled in this branch of repairing knitted fabrics proves of the
greatest value to any knitting mill, and her efforts result in the
salving of large numbers of expensive garments which might otherwise
have to be disposed of at sacrificial prices.


  FIG. 59


  FIG. 60

_Slurgalling._—This term is applied to several defects in knitted
fabrics which are the bane of hosiery manufacturing and belong to the
type of imperfections which it is extremely difficult to repair, whilst
in many cases it is not a practical possibility. A few stitches of this
kind of imperfection are given herewith in Fig. 60, which is a
diagrammatic enlargement of the wrong side of the plain knitted loop
where the defect is shown plainly by means of the black coloured
stitches appearing crosswise in the fabric. It consists of a tightening
of the loops due to a momentary increase of the tension of the thread
during knitting; the stitches become constricted and at once injure the
general amenity of the fabric. Even minor variations in yarn tension
will cause these crosswise defects in the cloth, and they are so minute
in their formation that it is almost impossible to repair them. If any
irregularity creeps into the tensioning of the thread as the carrier is
moving from right to left as compared with its motion from left to
right, then the variation in the size of the loops may be perceptible at
alternate courses and occur right across the fabric. Small obstructions
on the yarn surface such as knots, burrs or slubs, will produce a
momentary catch on the aperture of the thread-carrier and cause this
cross constriction of loops; a rough carrier nose is a fruitful source
of trouble if any grooves are being worn in the instrument. In some
machines a worn slurcock may be the cause of such irregularities.


  FIG. 61

_Stitches of Variable Symmetry._—These defects are illustrated in
various forms in Fig. 61, which gives a diagrammatic view of the chief
variations which are met with in single stitch formation in the knitted
texture. During knitting the yarn usually forms itself into curved
loops, but various conditions have to be met if this curving has to be
perfect. Should the knitting yarn be lacking in yielding property curves
will not eventuate, but will be replaced by various distorted
formations. Very often the mechanical structure of the yarn makes it
impossible for the thread to fall out in nicely-shaped curves, this
taking place when the constituent fibres are tightly arranged in the
yarn or when they are composed of long fibres drawn with meticulous
precision in parallel order side by side. A much more suitable thread is
worked from shorter materials which gives a freer scope of direction.
This renders the thread less rigid and makes it more amenable to loop
formation, whilst the beneficial effects of lubrication or damping of
dry yarn have already been referred to. Several typical examples of
these deficiencies are illustrated in Fig. 61 by means of the stitches
marked 1 to 4. Stitches 1 and 2 show a mal-formation of loop due to a
straightening of the yarn, the fibres are too long and do not yield in
loop formation. With hard yarns which are thick for the gauge of the
frame, these straightened loops may occur six or eight together and have
the effect of tightening the fabric at that point, at other times they
take up a direction leaning to the right or the left which greatly
impoverishes the goods. The more usual type of mal-formation is given in
loops 3 and 4 where the stitch, unable to content itself with the length
of yarn allotted to it, takes up an enlarged area. These are termed
"pinholes," and when scattered all over a fabric seriously undermine its

Manufacturers are often baffled by a plain fabric issuing from the frame
of the rotary type using bearded needles which shows an effect like 2
and 1 rib, that is, there is a minute opening after every second stitch
which, by its general appearance, resembles 2 and 1 rib, the space
giving the impression of the open part formed by the vertical row of
loops which go to the back of the texture. Wherever this is detected
attention should be given to the dividing of the loops in the machine.
In stitch formation for an average bearded needle machine the loops are
first sunk over alternate needles, and thereafter equalized or divided
over all the needles. When the equalization is not accurately performed,
as is the case when the divider sinkers are not pushed sufficiently
between the needle or are pushed too far, then the ribbed effect will be
produced. Another common defect occurs at the selvedge consisting of a
variable tension of the end loops, some being large and others
constricted. This may be due to the yarn having too much play at the
edge, so that the end two sinkers are permitted to draw more than their
quota of yarn for stitch formation, which makes the edge raw and
unsightly and gives trouble in seaming when the quality of the seam is
variable owing to the different size of loop. The remedy for this
imperfection lies in an adjustment of the snappers which exercise a drag
on the thread just when the end sinkers show a tendency to take more
than their share of yarn.


 Angora rabbit fur for knitting, 86

 Artificial silk knitting yarns, 78

 Average counts in knitted web, 50

 Bad selvedge, causes of, 134

 Bearded needle, function of, 57

 —— ——, stitch formation with, 59

 Blue, characteristics of, 119

 Bobbin building, principles of, 94

 Camel hair, uses of, 86

 Cardigan rib stitches, 25

 Cashmere yarns for hosiery, 85

 Check designs in circular frames, 115

 Clan hosiery, colour principles of, 120

 Colour harmony, principles of, 122

 —— contrast, 124

 Constants for yarn calculations, 40

 Correct texture, essentials in, 74

 Cotton knitting yarns, 76

 —— and wool mixtures, 83

 —— yarns, setting of, 74

 Cotton's patent power frame, 65

 —— —— —— ——, gauging of, 67

 Courses and wales, comparison of, 74

 Crochet, hand, 7

 Cut-up trade, 12

 Damping of hosiery yarns, 96

 Defects in knitted colourings, 117

 Differential motion in winding, 95

 English heel on full-fashioned hosiery, 105

 Factory winding, disadvantages of, 91

 Fancy trade, requirements for, 88

 Flat knitter, technicalities of, 19

 Folded yarn calculations, 46

 —— thread, to find missing counts in, 53

 —— yarns, costing of, 49

 Footwear machines, gauges of, 100

 Formulae, explanations of, 47

 Foster winding frame, 94

 French heel on full-fashioned hosiery, 106

 Full-fashioned hosiery, manufacture of, 104

 Full fabrics, description of, 70

 —— -fashioned knitting, 13

 Goat hairs, peculiarities of, 87

 Green, place of, in knitted goods, 121

 Griswold circular knitter, 99

 Hand-frame knitting, 61

 Hand knitting gauges, 10

 Heat-retention, theory of, 5

 Horizontal colour stripes, 109

 Hosiery, definition of, 5

 "Jacob's Ladder" defect, 129

 Knitted coats, colouring of, 123

 —— fabric, structure of, 1

 —— ——, weight calculations, 42

 —— ——, length calculations, 45

 Knitting, knop effects in, 116

 —— and weaving, 9

 —— process, 11

 —— yarns, wheeling, 27

 —— ——, lamb's wool, 29

 —— ——, Shetland, 30

 —— ——, natural, 31

 —— ——, fingering, 33

 —— ——, dry-spun, 34

 —— ——, counts of, 37

 —— ——, mercerized, 78

 —— ——, spun-silk, 79

 Latch needle frames, loop formation on, 16

 Laundering, rules for, 108

 Loop length, variations of, 73

 Merino fabrics, 84

 Natural tints in underwear, 108

 Needle lines in fabric, 127

 Nettle fibre yarn, 88

 Orange, place of, in knitted goods, 120

 Patching knitted webbing, 130

 Patterns from flat knitter, 23

 Pattern styles in knitted goods, 110

 Pigment colour theory, 117

 Pinholed work, 133

 Purple, place of, in knitted goods, 121

 Reconstructing broken stitches, 130

 Red, characteristics of, 118

 Rib stitch, characteristics of, 22

 Ribbed footwear, making of, 103

 Seamless hosiery trade, 14

 Secondary colours, production of, 119

 Separating colours, 125

 Setting of knitted fabrics, 68

 Silk and wool fabrics, 81

 —— ——, uses of, 82

 Sinker lines in fabric, 129

 Slurgalled work, 131

 Split stitches, 127

 Stitch formation on circular frames, 102

 Take-up in knitting calculations, 52

 Tuck pressers, 112

 —— stitch structure, 114

 Vertical striped goods, 111

 Washing, precautions in, 107

 Weight percentages, 55

 Winding of hosiery yarns, 90

 Woollen yarns, setting of, 72

 Yarn testing for counts, 38

 —— conversion calculations, 40

 ——, variation in setting, 68

 —— package, essentials of, 90

 —— clearing system, 96

 Yarns suitable for frame gauge, 75

 Yellow, characteristics of, 118

 —— tint in knitted goods, 107

       _Printed by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., Bath, England_

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
 2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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