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The development of an automatic rib transfer system for fully-fashioned knitwear manufacture

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posted on 31.10.2017, 11:59 authored by Adrian M. Woodward
In the manufacture of fully-fashioned knitted outerwear, it is usual for the garment sections to be constructed with a lower rib portion on to which is knitted a fashioned section of plain knitting. The majority of fully fashioned knitting machines are capable of producing only the plain fabric section, the rib portion being knitted separately on V-bed machines. In order to knit the plain section of the garment pieces on to the rib, each loop of the rib must be transferred to a corresponding knitting element on the fully fashioned knitting machine. It is common practice within the knitwear industry to perform this transfer manually, each loop of a slack course in the rib being impaled on to a point of a magazine bar, the excess courses of knitting being unroved as waste. The loops are then transferred from this bar, via a feeding bar on to the knitting elements of the fully-fashioned machine. This manual transfer of the loops is both tedious and expensive in terms of labour. However, there are recently developed machines on the market which will knit the rib and transfer it automatically to a magazine bar but they are both expensive and also render the existing plant obsolete. This thesis describes the concept, design and development of a novel patented automatic rib transfer system which relies on the relatively inexpensive modification of existing V-bed knitting machines. The modifications are aimed at providing a sub-assembly attachment suitable for a variety of V-bed knitting machines. Bars loaded automatically by these modified machines may be fed to any fully-fashioned knitting machine via a specially developed "gauge-changing" device to alter the pitch of the loops from that of the V-bed machine to that of the fully-fashioned machine. These automatically loaded bars may also be used to feed either a modern semi-automatic "linking system", such as the Boehringer Autolinker, or, in certain cases a conventional linking dial. NOTE. The term 'rib transfer' is used in the context of this thesis to describe the operation of transferring a knitted rib from a V-bed knitting machine to a straight bar knitting machine.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Adrian Michael Woodward

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.



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