World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Warp knitting

Article Id: WHEBN0005491185
Reproduction Date:

Title: Warp knitting  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Knitted fabric, Knitting, Basic knitted fabrics, Lace knitting, Lace
Collection: Knitting, Lace
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Warp knitting

Warp knitting is a family of knitting methods in which the yarn zigzags along the length of the fabric, i.e., following adjacent columns ("wales") of knitting, rather than a single row ("course"). For comparison, knitting across the width of the fabric is called weft knitting.

Since warp knitting requires that the number of separate strands of yarn ("ends") equals the number of stitches in a row, warp knitting is almost always done by machine, not by hand.

Basic pattern of warp knitting. Parallel yarns zigzag lengthwise along the fabric, each loop securing a loop of an adjacent strand from the previous row.


  • Types 1
    • Tricot 1.1
    • Milanese knit 1.2
    • Raschel knit 1.3
    • Stitch-Bonding 1.4
    • Needle shift 1.5
  • Advantages 2
  • Applications 3
  • Warp knitting and biotextiles 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Warp knitting comprises several types of knitted fabrics. All warp-knit fabrics are resistant to runs and relatively easy to sew. Raschel lace—the most common type of machine made lace—is a warp knit fabric but using many more guide-bars (12+) than the usual machines which mostly have three or four bars.


Tricot is very common in lingerie. The right side of the fabric has fine lengthwise ribs while the reverse has crosswise ribs.[1] The properties of these fabrics include having a soft and 'drapey' texture with some lengthwise stretch and almost no crosswise stretch.[1]

Milanese knit

Milanese is stronger, more stable, smoother and more expensive than tricot and, hence, is used in better lingerie. These knit fabrics are made from two sets of yarn knitted diagonally, which results in the face fabric having a fine vertical rib and the reverse having a diagonal structure, and results in these fabrics being lightweight, smooth, and run-resistant.[1] Milanese is now virtually obsolete.

Raschel knit

Raschel knits do not stretch significantly and are often bulky; consequently, they are often used as an unlined material for coats, jackets, straight skirts and dresses. These fabrics can be made out of conventional or novelty yarns which allows for interesting textures and designs to be created.[1] The qualities of these fabrics range from "dense and compact to open and lofty [and] can be either stable or stretchy, and single-faced or reversible.[1] The largest outlet for the Raschel Warp Knitting Machine is for lace fabric and trimmings. Raschel knitting is also used in outdoors and military fabrics for products such as backpacks. It is used to provide a ventilated mesh next to the user's body (covering padding) or mesh pockets and pouches to facilitate visibility of the contents (MIL-C-8061).

In 1855 Redgate combined the principles of a circular loom with those of warp knit. A German firm used this machine to produce "Raschel" shawls, named after the French actress Élisabeth Félice Rachel. In 1859 Wilhelm Barfuss improved the machine to create the Raschel machines.[2] The Jacquard apparatus was adapted to it in the 1870s. The Raschel machine could work at higher speeds than the Leavers machine and proved the most adaptable to the new synthetic fibres, such as nylon and polyester, in the 1950s. Most contemporary machine-made lace is made on Raschel machines. [3]


  • Stitch-Bonding is a special form of warp knitting [4] and is commonly used for the production of composite materials and technical textiles. As a method of production, stitch-bonding is efficient, and is one of the most modern ways to create reinforced textiles and composite materials [5] for industrial use. The advantages of the stitch-bonding process includes its high productivity rate and the scope it offers for functional design of textiles, such as fiber-reinforced plastics.[5] Stitch-bonding involves layers of threads and fabric being joined together with a knitting thread, which creates a layered structure called a multi-ply.[6] This is created through a warp-knitting thread system, which is fixed on the reverse side of the fabric with a sinker loop, and a weft thread layer.[5] A needle with the warp thread passes through the material, which requires the warp and knitting threads to be moving both parallel and perpendicular to the vertical/warp direction of the stitch-bonding machine.[6] Stitch-bonded fabrics are currently being used in such fields as wind energy generation and aviation.[5] Research is currently being conducted into the usage and benefits of stitch-bonded fabrics as a way to reinforce concrete. Fabrics produced with this process offer the potential of using “sensitive fiber materials such as glass and carbon with only little damage, non-crimp fiber orientation and variable distance between threads”.[5]
  • Extended Stitch-Bonding process (or the extended warp-knitting process): the compound needle that pierces the piles is shifted laterally according to the yarn guides.[4] This then makes it possible for the layers of the stitch-bonded fabric to be arranged freely and be made symmetrical in one working step.[4] This process is advantageous to the characteristics of the composite as the “residual stresses resulting from asymmetric alignment of the layers are avoided, [while] the tensile strength and the impact strength of the composite are improved”.[7]

Needle shift

Needle shift technique is when “Both outer warp layers [are] secured in one procedure by incorporating a shift of the needle bar during the stitching process, creating endless possibilities for the arrangement and patterns in the stitch-bonding process.[4]


Producing textiles through the warp knitting process has the following advantages[8]

  • higher productivity rates than weaving
  • variety of fabric constructions
  • large working widths
  • low stress rate on the yarn that allows for use of fibers such as glass, aramide and carbon
  • the creation of three-dimensional structures that can be knitted on double needle bar raschels


Warp knitted fabrics have several industrial uses, including producing mosquito netting, tulle fabrics, sports wear, shoe fabric, fabrics for printing and advertising, coating substrates and laminating backgrounds.[9]

Research is also being conducted into the use of warp knitted fabrics for industrial applications (for example, to reinforce concrete), and for the production of biotextiles.

Warp knitting and biotextiles

The warp knitting process is also being used to create biotextiles. For example, a warp knitted polyester cardiac support device has been created to attempt to limit the growth of diseased hearts by being installed tightly around the diseased heart. Current research on animals “have confirmed that...the implantation of the device reverses the disease state, which makes this an alternative innovative therapy for patients who have side effects from traditional drug regimes”.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sarah Veblen, "Samplings of Weft and Warp Knit Fabrics", Threads Issue #97, 2012
  2. ^ Silva, Marcos (2008). MALHARIA - BASES DE FUNDAMENTAÇÃO. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte. p. 2. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Farrell (2007). "Identifying Handmade and Machine Lace" (PDF). DATS (Dress and Textile Specialists) in partnership with the V&A. 
  4. ^ a b c d J.Hausding and C.Cherif, "Improvements in the warp-knitting process and new patterning techniques for stitch-bonded textiles", Journal of the Textile Institute, 2012
  5. ^ a b c d e Hausding, Jan, Lorenz, Enrico, Oretlepp, Regine, Lundahl, Anna. Application of stitch-bonded multi-plies made by using the extended warp knitting process: reinforcements with symmetrical layer arrangement for concrete. Journal of the Textile Institute, 2011, p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Gokarneshan, N., Varadarajan, B., Sentil kumar, CB., Balamurugan, K. and Rachel, A. Engineering knits for versatile technical applications: Some insights on recent researches. Journal of the Textile Institute, 2011, p. 68.
  7. ^ Hausding, J. Widulle, C., Paul, C., Cherif, C., "Manufacturing method for symmetric laminates for improves stitch bonded multi-plies"], 13th European Conference on Composite Materials", June 2008
  8. ^ Kiron, M.M.I, "Introduction of Warp Knitting|Principle of Warp Knitting|Properties of Warp Knitted Structures",
  9. ^ 2011
  10. ^ R.D. Sumanasinghe and M.W. King, "New Trends in Biotextiles-The Challenge of Tissue Engineering", The Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 2003

Shaeffer, C. (1994) Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide, updated ed., Chilton Book Co. ISBN 0-8019-7802-5

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.