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Different types of Knitting needles

Emdad Sarker
Assistant Professor at Bangladesh University of Textiles Past : Studied Fabric Engineering at Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)- 07
Emdad Sarker

Latest posts by Emdad Sarker (see all)

Different types of Knitting needles 

 Primary knitting elements

Three primary knitting elements:

Needle: Latch needle, Spring bearded needle & Compound needle.

Cam: Knit cam, Tuck Cam, Missed cam

Sinker: Holding down sinker, Knocking over and loop forming sinker

 Knitting needles with their actions

  1. Latch needle
  2. Spring Bearded needle and
  3. Compound Needle

 Latch needle

Main parts and their functionslatch needle

  1. The hook: Grasping a new yarn in the process of knitting i.e. the hook which draws and retain the new loop.
  2. The latch: Freely rotating around the axle and tightly closing the hook owing to the spoon located at the end of the latch.                                                                                         The latch blade: This locates the latch in the needle.             The latch spoon: which is an extension of the blade and bridges the gap between the hook and stem covering the hook when closed as shown in broken lines.
  3. The stem: This carries the loops in the clearing or rest position.
  4. The rivet: Which may be plain or threaded? This has been dispensed with one most plate metal needles by pinching in the slot walls to retain the latch blade.
  5. The slot or Saw: This receives the latch blade.
  6. The Butt: Which serving to displace the needle along the needle bed slot.
  7. The Tail: This is an extension bellow the butt giving additional support to the needle and keeping the needle in its trick.


Coarser and Finer knitting needle

Circular and flat knitting needle

 What do you mean by four track single jersey circular knitting machine?

Four track: there are four cams vertically for each yarn feeding position.

Single jersey: there is only one set of needles

Circular: the needle bed is circular.

 Knitting cycle of Latch needle

Steps are:

1.Rest Position or Run in


3.Yarn feeding

4.Cast off or Knock over

5.Loop formation

 Knitting action of a latch needle and holding-down sinker

Knitting action of latch needle with sinker

Figure (a–e) shows the knitting action of a latch needle and holding-down sinker during the production of a course of plain fabric.

a)Tucking in the hook or rest position:  The sinker is forward, holding down the old loop whilst the needle rises from the rest position.

(b) Clearing: The needle has been raised to its highest position clearing the old loop from its latch.

(c) Yarn feeding: The sinker is partially withdrawn allowing the feeder to present its yarn to the descending needle hook and also freeing the old loop so that it can slide up the needle stem and under the open latch spoon.

(d) Knock-over: The sinker is fully withdrawn whilst the needle descends to knockover its old loop on the sinker belly.

(e) Holding-down: The sinker moves forward to hold down the new loop in its throat whilst the needle rises under the influence of the upthrow cam to the rest position where the head of the open hook just protrudes above the sinker belly.

 Spring Bearded needle

Functions of different partsSpring Bearded needle

  1. Stem: The stem around which the needle loop is formed.
  2. The hook: Where the stem is turned into a hook to draw the new loop through the old loop.
  3. The beard: Which is the curved downwards continuation of the hook that is used to separate the trapped new loop inside from the old loop as it slides off the needle beard.
  4. The eye /groove: Cut in the stem to receive the pointed tip of the beard when it is pressed, thus inclosing the new loop.
  5. The shank or butt : Which may be bent for individual location in the machine or cast with others in a metal ‘lead’. The butt serving to attach the needle in the needle bar.

 Compound NeedleCompound needle

Compound Needle consists of two separately controlled parts; these are- the open hook and the sliding closing element (tongue, latch, piston, and plunger).

The two parts rise and fall as a single unit but at the top of the rise, the hook moves faster to open the hooks and at the start of the fall the hook descends faster to close the hook.

It is easier to drive the hooks and tongues collectively from two separate bars as in warp knitting; than to move each hook and tongue individually as in weft knitting.


Emdad Sarker
Assistant Professor at Bangladesh University of Textiles Past : Studied Fabric Engineering at Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)- 07
Emdad Sarker

Latest posts by Emdad Sarker (see all)



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