Circular Knitting

Circular Knitting Manufacture

Circular Knitting is the form of Knitting that creates tubes of fabric. These tubes are created by either using specialised knitting needles of by using either a double bed machine or a special circular knitting machine.

Originally Circular knitting was done using four or five double-ended pointed needles. Later on, Circular needles were invented to help create the smaller tubes needed for things like sock and mittens. These circular needles can be made of Bamboo, Metal, Plastic and Resin, much like regular needles can be. A lot of circular knitting is done using a regular stockinette stitch. This is because the knitter is constantly knitting on the right side of the garment, unlike in regular knitting and therefore they don’t have to knit one row and purl on row like usual.

A Circular Knitting machine is very similar in the way that it works to a flat knitting machine. It is however, Circular. The needles and the Yarn feeds all make up circles and the rotation of the needle cylinder drives the needle vertically through the fabric.

The Circular knitting machine was invented in the early 19th Century and made the manufacture of Hosiery possible. Circular knitting was invented quite a long time after regular flat knitting but was very popular, in some civilisations it became the norm as it is possible to knit flat garments on circular needles, and sometimes easier to, especially if it is a large product such as a blanket.

Properties of Circular Knitting

  • Minimal Seaming
  • No purling so a tidier surface texture
  • Does not have to be finished off afterwards
  • Quicker to knit
  • More difficult to add surface pattern. These have to be adapted from flat knitting
  • Less likely to drop stitches
  • Makes small garments

End Uses of Circular Knitting

  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • Seamless Jumpers
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Sleeves
  • Hosiery
  • Underwear

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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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