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Among the various factors those are to be considered in the manufacture of knitted fabrics, it is

very important for the knitter to calculate the productivity of a machine in order to be able to

schedule production and specify the delivery dates to the customer. Selected examples are given

in this chapter to understand the methods of calculating production and efficiency of machines

used for weft knitting Productively in weft knitting terms refers to the length of the fabric that

comes out of the machine the width of the fabric both single and double width and the weight of

the fabrics produced in unit time. The following are the important parameters which decide the

production calculations of circular weft knitting.

Machine Parameters

ii. Machine diameter (inches)

iii. Machine gauge (Needles/inch)

iv. Number of feeders.

v. Machine efficiency

vi. Number of needles

i. Yarn count

ii. Stitch length

iii. Stitch density

iv. Wales per inch

v. Courses per inch

Gauge or cut is the number of tricks per circumferential inch of the machine. Though the

machine gauge and yarn count are approximately interdependably, knitting a large range of yarn

counts on a specific machine gauge is impossible. Similarly with a given yarn number. Knitting

different stitches is also limited.

The following simple formulae are used to calculate the knitting machine productivity.

s × f × 60

CPI × 36

ii. Fabric production in pounds/hour is

s × f × N × l × 60

36 ×840 × Ne

iii. Fabric weight per liner yard (lbs)is

N × l × CPI × 36

36 × 840 × Ne

iv. Fabric width (in inches) = Number of Needles/WPI

or Number of needles x Wale spacing

v. Fabric weight (lbs) per square yard

Weightperl inearyard ×36

= fabricwidt hininches

Weghtperli nearyard × 36

=

Fabricwidt hininches × 2

where

S=Machine speed in rpm

F=Number of feeders in the machine

N=Number of needles in the machine

L=Stitch length in inches

CPI=Courses per inch

WPI=Wales per inch

Example 1: calculate the production of knitted fabrics in terms of (i) Yards per hour,(ii) pour per

hour (iii) Fabric weight per liner yard (iv) Fabric width and (v) Fabric weight per square yard a

knitting machine running with the following data .

Number of needles 490

Stitches per foot 72

Numbers of feeders 12

Yarn count 25n

CPI 24

WPI 29

The calculation can be made by substituting the respective values in the formulae as give above.

The machine efficiency also can be incorporated in this production calculation. Ins of directly by

giving the stitch length, some-time the stitches per foot length is also given. Parameter is

generally obtained by making two marks of 1 foot space in the yarn be knitting. After the yarn is

knitted into fabric, number of loops between these two mark noted down, which gives the

stitches per foot length . from this the stitch length of calculate as (as per the above example)

12

Stitch length = = 0.17 inches

0.17

s × f × 60

(i) Yards per hour =

CPI ×36

20 ×12 × 60

= = 16 .67

24 × 36

s × f × N × l × 60

(ii) Pounds per hour =

36 × 840 × Ne

=

36 × 840 × 25

=1.59

(iii) Fabric weight (lbs) per linear yard

N × l × CPI × 36

=

36 × 840 × Ne

490 × 0.17 × 24 × 36

=

36 ×840 × 25

= 0.095

=16.9 inches (open width)

=8.45 inches (folded width)

(v) Fabric weight per square yard

Weight per linear yard ×36

= Fabric width in inches

0.095

= = 0.0056 lbs

16 .9

The factor F is to be considered in calculating the linear length of knitted fabrics from the

circular weft knitting machines. This factor is determined by the respective fabric structure. The

factor F is taken into account the fact that a full course of loops is not always knitted at each

feeder. For example, with plain knit fabric a complete course will be knitted at each feeder,

therefore F=1. However for a double jersey structure, such as interlock, each feeder only knits

half a course of loops, therefore two feeders are required to knit a full course, so F = 0.5. For any

structure, F can be calculated as,

1

F = Number of feeders required to knit one full course of loops

Therefore, by incorporating the factor F,

s × f × 60 × F

Fabric length in yard/hour =

CPI × 36

The constant C is important while calculating the production of knitted fabrics in terms of fabric

weight. This constant also varies according to the fabric structure.

The constant C can be incorporated as

Fabric weight (lbs) per square inch

WPI × CPI × l × C

=

36 × 840 × Ne

Since the number of courses and wales per centimeter are measured on only one side of the

fabric and double jersey structures have two sets of loops, the constant C has to be included in

the equation to allow for the second set of loops. For single jersey structures, where there is only

one set of loops, C = 1. For balanced double jersey structures, C = 2. For other structures, C has

to be determined individually.

operating at 25 rpm and 90% efficiency, calculate the length, width and weight of the fabric that

could be produced per hour using a two fold resultant yarn count of 12 Ne, Knitted to the

following structures and specifications.

(i) 1×1 Rib, loop length = 0.2 inch, CPI = 27.0 WPI = 20

(ii) Interlock, loop length = 0.12 inch, CPI = 37, WPI = 30

For 1×1 Rib, (F = 1, C = 2):

40 × 25 × 60 × l

Length (yards) = = 61 .73

27 × 36

14 × 20 × 3.14

Width (inches) = = 43 .96

20

27 × 20 × 0.2 × 2

Weight (lbs / inch 2 ) = = 0.000595

36 × 840 ×12

For interlock (F = 0.5, C = 2):

40 × 25 × 60 × 0.5

Length (yards) = = 22 .52

37 × 36

14 × 20 × 3.14

Width (inches) = = 29 .30

30

37 × 30 × 0.12 × 2

Weight (lbs / inch 2 ) = = 0.000734

36 × 840 ×12

14.2 OPTIMUM KNITTING CONDITIONS

Though the right choice of knitting machine for the knitting of appropriate knitted fabric is

essential, the selection of fibers and yarns are also important. Moreover the emphasis is to be

given on optimum knitting conditions by which the knitting takes place to maintain the product

uniformity. The following parameters are to be given due weightage during knitting.

tex

(i) Tightness factor, K= where l is loop length in cm.

l

Tightness factor ranges from 11 (for slack fabrics) to 19 (for tight fabrics) and an average of

15 is preferable, which is optimum in general.

(ii) Machine Gauge: It is the number of needles per inch arranged on the needle bed. Yarn

number and machine gauge are related as

2

100

(a) Yarn Tex =

G

G2

(b) Worsted count = where G = Needles/inch

10

0.1gms

(iii) Input tension =

tex

tex

(iv) Loop length (l ) = cms, where K is tightness factor

K

(v) Course length, L = Loop length × number of needles per course.

Course length is the length of yarn consumed for full course during knitting.

(vi) Run-in and run-in ratio: Run in is the yarn in take (inches per minute) at each feed for a

given machine speed. It can be calculated by knowing the loop length, number of needles and

machine speed.

Run-in = course length × rpm

Run-in ratio is the simple ratio between sets of feeders, feeding yarn at different run-ins. For

a knitted structure produced with two feeders F1 and F2 which are supplying yarns at

deferent run-ins.

Course length of F1

Run-in ratio = Course length of F 2

In order to calculate the run-in for structures other than plain knits the following assumptions

can be made.

(a) For rib gated structures, consider all the loops as plain loops

Fig. 14.1

(b) For interlock gated structures, loops are produced on both dial and cylinder and they are

considered to be rib loops.

Fig. 14.2

(c) The knitted loops produced on dial needles only or cylinder needles only are considered

to be plain loops.

Fig. 14.3

(d) For both rib and interlock gated structures, the calculation for loop lengths of miss stitch

and tuck stitches are,

1

Miss stitch length = Gauge

Fig. 14.4

Tuck stitch length can be assumed as plain loop length in case of rib gaiting and rib loop

length incase of interlock gating.

Fig. 14.5

Number of needles L

(vii) Fabric width (in cm) = = , where L = Course length

wales / cm kw

kc

Cpcm =

l

ix. Wales per centimeter,

kw

wcpm =

l

x. Stitch density,

S = cpcm x wpcm

xi. Fabric weight (gsm/m2)

ks ×tex

GSM =

100 ×l

Where ks = kc x kw

Where kc, kw and ks are constant for the geometry of the plain knitted fabric in various stable

states, such as dry relaxed, wet relaxed and finishes relaxed sates.

S ×l ×T

Or GSM =

100

Where S= stitch density (loop / cm2)

l = loop length (mm)

T = yarn tex.

Example 3: for a circular plain knitting machine of 24 gauge, 30” diameter, 96 feeders and 35

rpm speed, find out the optimum knitting conditions.

100 2 100 2

(i) Tex = (

G

) =(

24

) = 17.3 tex ≈ 18 tex ≈ 32 Ne

tex

i.e., 15 =

l

18

Loop length = = 0.28 cm

15

0.1gmspertex

(iii)Input tension = = 1.8 gms

tex

= 0.28 x π DG = 633.4 cm

633 .4 x35

= = 221.7 m / min

100

kc kw

(vi) Cpcm = , wpcm =

l l

5.5

cpcm = = 19.5

0.28

4. 2

wpcm = = 14.9

0.28

2262

= = 151 cm

14 .9

Numberoffe eder × rpm × time ×η%

= cpcm

96 × 35 × 60 × 0.9

= = 93 meter/hour

19 .5 ×100

cpcm × wpcm × l × tex × c

= =

10

19 .5 ×14 .9 ×0.28 ×18 ×1

= 147.48 gms

10

23 .10 x18

Therefore GSM =

10 x 0.28

GSM = 148 gms /m2

Example 4 : It is require to knit a plain knit fabric to finished fabric to a finished weight of 150

gm / m2 and a finished width of 160 cm on a 20 gauge machine with 30 inch diameter, 96 feeder

and 30 rpm speed.

Assuming the finished state constant kc = 5.5 and kw = 4.2,

Calculate,

iv. Run-in

v. Length and width shrinkage

100 2 100 2

i. Optimum yarn tex = ( ) =( ) = 25 tex

G 20

Assume optimum tightness factor, K = 15

Tex

i.e, k=

l

25

Therefore l= = 0.33 cm

15

iii. Optimum input tension =

tex

= 0.33 x 3.14 x 30 x 20

= 621.7 cm

621 .7 ×30

= = 186.51 m / min

100

kc 5.5

vii. Cpm = = = 16.67

l 0.33

kw 4.2

viii. Wpcm = = = 12.72

l 0.33

3.14 × 20 ×30

= = 148.11 cm

12 .72

x. Finish relax fabric length = cpcm

96 ×30 × 60 × 0.9 ×1

=

16 .6 ×100

= 93.69 mts / hr.

given, finished width =160 cm

therefore,

160 −148 .11

percentage width shrinkage = x 100 = 8.02%

148 .11

Given finished weight =150 gms

cpcm × wpcm × l × tex .C

i. e 150 =

10

=

cpcm ×πDG / 160 × 0.33 × 25 × l

10

feeders × rpm × time × π %

Finished length = cpcm

96 × 30 × 60 ×8 × 0.9

= = 100.74 mts / hr

15 .44 ×100

% length shrinkage = = 7.52 %

93 .69

1884

wpcm = Needles/finished width = = 11.77

160

12 .72 −11 .77

Width shrinkage = = 8.06 %

11 .77

Length shrinkage = = 7.51 %

15 .44

Example 5: For a double jersey machine of 20 gauge, 48 feeder, 30 inch diameter, knitting

acrylic spun yarn at a speed of 18 rpm, calculate the most suitable count ( worsted, cotton count

and tex ), optimum input tension and optimum run in and run in ratio for the following double

knit structures.

(a) Punto-di-roma

(b) Swiss double pique

G2 20 × 20

Wc= = = 40 s worsted count

10 10

Cc = 2/3 Wc = 40 × 2/3 = 27 Ne

(ii) Optimum input tension :

0.1gms per tex

T = = 0.1 × 22 = 2.2 grams

tex

i

(iii) Run- in and Run- in ratio: The optimum conditions for knit ability occurs at

tightness factor, K = 15.

(a) As the Punto-di-roma structure (Fig. 14.6) is made up from both Rib and Plain knits

only, the difference in Tightness K between these two units is approximately 20%

tex 4.71

lp = = = 0.291 cm

Kp 16 .2

tex 4.71

lr = = = 0.342 cm

Kr 13 .8

Referring the Punto-di-roma structure,

When knitting with dial and cylinder needles (feeder 1 and 2) the course length,

Lr = n. l r

When knitting with dial or cylinder needles (feeder 3, 4) the course length,

L p = n. l p

Where n is the number of needles forming the loops

Where N is the total machine needles of dial and cylinder

3772

n= =1886

2

Now course length, Lr = 0.342 ×1886 cm

L p = 0.291 ×1886 cm

Therefore, Run-in Ir = = 381 feet / min

2.54 ×12

Ip = = 324 feet / min

2.54 ×12

381

Therefore, Run-in ratio = =1.2

324

(b) As Swiss Double Pique is knitted with rib gaiting, all the loops are considered to be

tex

plain loops. i.e., K p = 16.2 and loop length, l p = = 0.291 cm

16 .2

At the feeders (1, 3) where dial and cylinder needles form loops, the total number of needles

forming the loops are,

n + n = 2829

2

Therefore, Course length produced with both dial and cylinder needles,

Ld , c = 2829 × 0.291 cm

Fig 14.7

At the feeders (2, 4) where dial only form the loops, n/2 needles form knit stitches and the same

n/2 needles form the miss stitches.

1 1

For miss stitches, l= inches = × 2.54 = 0.127 cm

G 20

n n

Ld = × 0.291 + × 0.127 = 943 ( 0.291 + 0.127 ) = 943 × 0.418

2 2

Run in, Id , c = = 486 ft / min

2.53 ×12

Id = = 233 ft / min

2.54 ×12

486

Therefore Run-in ratio = = 2 .1

233

To, understand the history of the fabric as well as for its reproducibility, analyzing the fabric

structure is important. Type of machine used and design principles can also be revealed by

analyzing the knitted fabrics. For fabric analysis a piece glass (i.e., a counting glass), a pair of

scissors, ruler and calculator are needed. The following analysis sheet (Table 14.1) can be

completed after having thoroughly analyzed the fabric. The following procedure may assist in

carrying out the analysis. These are only guidelines and it takes time and practice to acquire the

skill in the analysis.

(i) Fabric Name: To find out to which type of the knitted structure the given sample

belongs viz, single jersey, rib purl, interlock etc. For single jersey fabrics, loops are

seen at the face side and yarn lines are visible at the back as shown below:

Fig. 14.8

Double jersey fabrics have similar appearance on both sides. By holding the fabrics

horizontally, in such a manner to observe its cross section, the rib and interlock structures can

be found by their cylinder and dial loop arrangements as given below:

Fig 14.9

(ii) Fabric Appearance: To find out the technical face and technical back of the fabrics.

The top of the fabric is the edge that was knitted last. The face of the fabric is always

the side with the most knit stitches.

(iii) Yarn Type: The last knitted yarn is unraveled from the fabric and is observed for its

types such as single, double, blend, mélange, staple yarn, filament yarn s/z twisted,

2/3 plyed etc.,

(iv) Wales/cm and courses/cm: With piece glass, the Wales per inch can be measured and

converted into per centimeter. It is advisable to analyze always the back of the fabric,

and particularly for unbalanced fabric, the back is obvious.

c = courses/cm and w = Wales/cm

(v) Loop length: Unravel 12 yarns from the sample and measure the total length, LT cm

( i.e., L1+L2+L3…)

LT

Find out the average length LAV =

12

(vi) Grams per square meter: Cut a piece of 10 cm × 10 cm from the fabric sample Find

out the weight of the sample, w Now, GSM = w ×100

(vii) Yarn Tex : Using the total yarn length and weight as found above, Yarn number can

be calculated as,

w y ×10 5

Yarn Tex =

LT

(viii) Tightness Factor : Using the values of tex and loop length as found above, tightness

factor can be calculated as ,

tex

TF , where l = loop length in cm’s

l

(ix) Fabric construction: By carefully analyzing the fabric using a pick needle, the full

design repeat of the structure, number of feeders used, needle gating etc., can be

found. The repeat can be drawn either as point paper design (symbolic nation) or yarn

path diagram (diagrammatic notation).

To prepare the fabric for the analysis, first a wale line is to be marked at the centre of the

fabric sample, which is the starting point. Using a pick needle, highest stitches are to be

pulled out, which is the yarn that was knitted last. Ensure that one yarn is pulled at a time;

continue the de knitting until a yarn is reached that goes completely across the fabric. Now

the sample is completely prepared for analysis. Now start de knitting the yarn that was last

one knitted. Starting from the marking line, observe the type of stitches (knit, tuck, miss), the

yarn is made into at each Wales positions. Record them in a point paper from right to left

(Fig. 14.10) as the yarn is de knitted from right to left. The next yarn is de knitted and

recorded in the same manner. This process is repeated until two repeats are seen on the paper.

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