Cable Knit Manufacture

Cable knit can either be produced by hand or machine knitting. It is done by crossing one group of stitches over the other and produces a rope like pattern vertically down the fabric. The cables can either be simple or can be made to create much more complex patterns. Cable knitting requires a special type of needle called a Cable needle. The stitches are transferred to this needle, whilst the other stitches are moved around.

Cable knitting has many different variations. For example, the cables running vertically down the piece of fabric can be made from other cables, the cables can have two, three or four braids plaited together to create simple or complex patterns. A five cable braid is often referred to as the Celtic Princess Braid and this is very visually interesting. The six cable braid is called the Saxon braid. It is very wide and solid, and is usually used as a decorative centrepiece in a design, rather than as part of the pattern as cables usually are. Any more than 6 Cables are rarely used as they are very wide and complex.

Cable knitting generally looks like two vertical strips of knitting that are intertwined. Cable is usually created using a stocking stitch on a background of Purl stitch to create and interesting contrast.  It was first used in around 1950 by hand knitters.

Properties of Cable Knit

  • Less Flexible than traditional knitting
  • More Dense
  • Interesting Surface pattern
  • Versatile
  • Can be made of different colours/Different yarns
  • Good Elasticity
  • Many different properties can be achieved depending on the thickness of the yarn and the gauge of the stitches

End uses of Cable Knit

  • Used as a decorative stitch on knitwear
  • Braids
  • Lattices
  • Aran sweaters are made up of panels of different cable patterns
  • Ribbing

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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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