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Understand the Difference Between A Flat Knitting Machine and A Circular Knitting Machine

Understand the Difference Between A Flat Knitting Machine and A Circular Knitting Machine
July 05 , 2023


In the vast world of knitting machines, two prominent players dominate the textile industry: flat knitting machines and circular knitting machines. These versatile machines facilitate the production of knitted fabrics on an industrial scale, making them an essential tool in garment manufacturing. While both machines achieve the same end result, there are key differences in their structure and function. In this blog, we will clarify these differences and provide a comprehensive overview of flat and circular knitting machines.

Flat knitting machine:

Flat knitting machines, as the name suggests, produce knitted fabrics in a flat, horizontal manner. The machine consists of a needle bed with latch needles that can move back and forth in the horizontal direction. The flat knitting machine mainly has a single needle bed or a double needle bed, which can produce fabrics of different widths.

1. Mechanism:

Flat knitting machines produce knitted fabrics using the "knit and transfer" technique. Latch needles operated by a knitting carriage form loops by interweaving with the yarn, while other needles hold the previous loops in place. In a flat knitting machine, the carriage moves horizontally across the needle bed, forming rows of knitted fabric.

2. Design versatility:

One of the significant advantages of flat knitting machines is their design flexibility. Intricate patterns and intricate designs including cable, intarsia and jacquard patterns can be easily achieved with this machine. In addition, flat knitting machines are ideal for creating shaped garments with various stitch densities, such as sweaters, cardigans and dresses.

3. Productivity:

Flat knitting machines are ideal for relatively small batches of high-quality production. They excel at crafting intricate and customizable designs while being able to incorporate different colors, textures, and patterns within a single fabric. Although slower compared to circular knitting machines, flat knitting machines offer superior design precision and versatility.

Circular knitting machine:

Circular knitting machines, on the other hand, operate in a circular, continuous pattern to produce fabrics. The machine has a cylindrical needle bed and the needles are mounted thereon in a circular configuration.

1. Mechanism:

Circular knitting machines use "knit tuck" or "knit knockout" techniques to produce fabrics. The needles move up and down, knitting through loops laid by previously used needles. The continuous circular motion of the needle bed produces fabrics.

2. Speed:

Circular knitting machines excel at producing large volumes of knitted fabric at a faster rate. Due to their continuous operation, they offer high-speed production capabilities, making them ideal for bulk fabric manufacturing. Their efficiency lies in the ability to produce multiple rows simultaneously within a single revolution of the needle bed.

3. Application:

Circular knitting machines are widely used in the manufacture of various types of fabrics such as T-shirts, underwear and sportswear. Its efficient production speed makes it suitable for high-demand industries that require high-quality fabrics with a quick turnaround.

In conclusion:

Flat knitting machines and circular knitting machines are indispensable tools in the textile industry. While both facilitate the mass production of knitted fabrics, they both have unique properties that set them apart. Depending on the complexity of the design, customization needs and desired production speed, manufacturers can make an informed choice when deciding between these two types of knitting machines.

Knowing the difference between flat and circular knitting machines allows us to appreciate the versatility and efficiency of these remarkable technologies. Whether creating intricate patterns or producing large quantities of seamless fabrics, these machines continue to revolutionize the way we manufacture textiles, pushing boundaries and opening up endless possibilities in fashion and beyond.

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