All knitting machines share the following elements in process order: yarn supply, stop motions and tension devices, yarn feeding devices, knitting elements, and fabric takedown system.
Control of these parameters is key to knitting quality.
Knitting machines are designed so that the needles are in evenly spaced grooves cut into a metal bed. The needles are activated to form stitches of various types and lengths, to create a fabric. One bed of needles is used to create single-knit fabrics, and two beds of needles are used to create double-knit fabrics.
Knit, Tuck, & Float Stitches
Only three types of stitches are possible in knitting — knit, tuck and float. In the knit stitch, every needle is fed a yarn and goes through the basic knitting cycle, to produce a single jersey. All loops are knitted and look exactly alike. The tuck stitch is composed of at least two machine courses to form a stitch with two loops, a held loop and a tuck loop. Tuck stitches are used for texture and performance attributes. In the float stitch, no new stitch is formed at the needle, and the yarn is allowed to float on the back of the fabric. Float stitches are used for design and performance attributes.