HOW A KNITTING MACHINE WORKS

by Study NY


I'm spending three weeks this month studying programming on Shima Seiki knitting machines at the company's headquarters and training center in Wakayama, Japan.  The BF+DA will be acquiring two of these incredible machines at their space in the Pfizer building in Brooklyn and my new role as Production Coordinator for the BF+DA means I'll be helping out with programming every now and then.  

Plus it's just really cool!

I'll be here for another two weeks staring at numbers and colour blocks all day long, so expect a few more posts on the blog, or follow my trip on instagram.

If you've ever wanted to know how a knitting machine works, or didn't realize you wanted to know... now you can! Thanks to the Shima Seiki Knit Museum in Wakayama, Japan, who have built a large scale model of the inner workings of the needles and carrier making an all-needle stitch pattern.

Above: a Shima Seiki seamless glove knitting machine operated by stationary bikes; wooden punch cards on a machine dating from 1968; and two knit structures created on the shaped garment, and whole garment machines. 

A stocking frame machine built around 1860 still functions (somewhat) at the Shima Seiki Museum in Wakayama, Japan.

A stocking frame machine built around 1860 still functions (somewhat) at the Shima Seiki Museum in Wakayama, Japan.

A little history for you...

The world's first knitting machine was invented by British curate  Willam Lee in 1589 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  It is said that Lee invented the stocking frame out of love.  The woman he was courting was too busy hand-knitting to pay him attention, so through his invention he sought to free up more of her time for himself (awwww).  Lee's machine could knit 600 stitches per minute while craftsmen of the time could knit no more than 100 stitches by hand.  It was an invention that revolutionized the knitting industry.