The concept of hand knitting and machine knitting has a wide difference. It is best to know the information about its differences, especially if you are working on a project. Hand knitting is best for hobbyists, while it is machine knitting is best for industries. But, at the end of the day, the debate against hand knitting vs. machine knitting depends on the user’s needs.
There are two main differences to consider between hand knitting and machine knitting. We all know that knitting is all about stitches and its pattern. In hand knitting, the stitches are not equally created than with machine knitting.
Moreover, there is also a difference in handling the gauge. The gauge difference in knitting machines is interchangeable. You have the ability to change the size and position of the needles to meet different gauge. But, with hand knitting changing needle sizes requires less preparation.
What Makes the Knitting Machine Better?
Traditional knitters find the use of knitting machines a disdain. But, there are obvious advantages of using knitting machines than hand knitting. Most especially in speed and consistency.
Speed is important in knitting
With knitting machines, the speed in production rate is one of the obvious advantages. It gives the knitter more time to produce more projects. If you are thinking of starting a clothing industry, the knitting machine is the answer.
Quality and efficiency
When using a knitting machine, it provides an improvement in efficiency and accuracy. There are no crooked cables and dropped stitches with machines. There are some knitting machines that have programmed patterns. With this, there is no room for human error.
The Process of Machine Knitting
The process of machine knitting is almost the same. It only differs on the machine configuration. Some machines have attached electronic computers.
In general, knitting machines use a bed with several latch hooks. It consists of around 150 to 200 needles that handle the yarn loops. For the machine to produce a perfect stitch, a carriage or cam box guides the latch hook needles.
Punchcard machines were old school, that is the machine configuration used before. But, as time passes, machine innovation has guaranteed a much better experience. Its users have the ability to select various methods to control the machine on what to do. Through the control panel on the computer, the machine can perform the needed pattern.
Types of Knitting Machine to Consider
Hand knitting only requires a needle and yarn to create a beautiful handmade fabric. But, in machine knitting, there are several factors to consider. Including the type of machine suitable for the projects.
Portable or midsize knitting machines are popular in the mid-90s, it has been used in the homes. Now, industrial knitting machines are available in the market to help the industry. There is a wide variation in choosing the type of knitting machine. The only difference between these machines is their buttons and levers.
Even though there are available in different brands, they still offer the same services. The biggest concern in choosing a machine is not the brand or manufacturer, but the type. When we talk about types, you have to consider some factors.
Both hand knitting and machine knitting have the same concerns with the yarn sizes. This is because the needles have a direct relationship with the yarn characteristics. Moreover, there is no machine that can knit with any kind of yarn. There are specific machines that can handle a range of different sizes.
You will understand this when you read the technical specification of the machine. The capability of the machine varies from the number of needles and needle pitch it consists of. There are four types of machine gauge you can consider.
- The standard gauge knitting machine is the most common configuration. It holds 200 needles with a 4.5 mm needle pitch. You can use it to knit a large variety of yarns. Although it is not suitable for heavy knits, you can produce beautifully knitted clothes.
- A bulky gauge knitting machine is for heavier yarns. The final product of this knitting machine looks like it has been handmade. This type of knitting machine handles 114 needles with a 9 mm needle pitch. It is best for sweaters and sport weight yarns
- Fine gauge knitting machine holds the finest yarns. It produces the finest fabrics.
- Meanwhile, the mid-gauge knitting machine is the combination of the standard and bulky machine. But, it is not made from high standard features. It has a plastic needle bed, which is only perfect for hobbyists.
You may still be confused about which method to choose. But, at the end of the day, your choice depends on your needs. Machine knitting may prose several advantages. Yet, it would not be enough if hand knitting is best for you. If you decide to have a knitting machine, look for a trusted manufacturer.