Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
the principal part of the loop-forming mechanism of knitting machines. The knitting needle, made of wire or flat steel, is 25–100 mm long and 0.3–1 mm thick. The size of the loop depends on the thickness of the needle: the thinner the needle, the smaller the loop it can make and the more loops that can be formed per unit of fabric width. The most common types of knitting machine needles are classified as latch, spring, and compound needles.
The hook of a latch needle is opened and closed by a latch, which is activated by a loop as the loop slides along the needle. The needle is provided with a butt or butts so that it may be inserted into the groove of the needle cylinder; the number of butts depends on the design of the knitting machine. In addition to single-hook needles there are also double-hook needles with two latches. Latch needles are used in virtually all types of machines that have raschel knitting action.
The hook of a spring needle has an elongated shape. During loop formation, a special device called a presser forces the hook down into a groove on the needle, preventing the loop from catching on the hook. Spring needles are usually rigidly fixed in the needle cylinder by means of a butt. They are used in warp machines of the Vertelka type (raschel machines), as well as loop-wheel machines, multisection spring-wheel frames, and other machines that have warp knitting action.
Compound needles consist of a hollow rod with a hook and a sliding member (latch) that moves inside a groove in the rod to close the hook. The needles are rigidly secured in the needle cylinder and are used in warp machines of the Vertelka type, which have raschel knitting action.
I. I. SHALOV