What you will do in Your Knitting Career
In their career design, they’re dealing with various designs of the knit product, such as sleeves, body, and collar which are made separately, dyed, trimmed, and then sewn together. The first step is to adjust the knitting machine to produce the type and pattern of knit that the product requires. Automatic knitting looms are controlled in a number of ways, usually by metal plates, cards, tapes, or chains that control the operation of the needles. On a jacquard or jacquard loom machine, the knit pattern is controlled by holes punched in metal plates. The jacquard-plate make will snap small covers over particular holes in a pattern plate, then link plates together to form a continuous chain. The jacquard-plate maker and the knitter mechanic then work together to install the plates in the knitting machine and start a trial run to determine that the specified knit pattern is being produced. While the needles are controlled in this manner, the guide bars are controlled by pattern chains assembled by pattern assembler. Patterns can also be dictated by pattern wheels that control the operation of the needles in circular knitting machines. Needle jacks are inserted in notches in the pattern wheel by the pattern wheel maker, who sometimes marks the top of the pattern wheel to indicate where the pattern begins.
As the main task of their designer employment, the knitting-machine worker tends the machine as it turns yarn into the basic parts for garments. Often an operator will tend more than one machine. Spools of yarn are placed on the creel of the machine, and the yarn is threaded through the needles, yarn guides, tension springs, and carriers using a hook. The operator then ties the new yarn to the ends of the old yarn still in place, and activates the machine to knit a small piece of cloth, or a false start, to thread the new yarn into the machine. The operator laps this false start around a take-up roller, adjusts the counters on the machine to produce a certain number of pieces, and activates the machine. While the machine is working, the operator checks to be sure there are no flaws in the knitting and that the yarn threads don’t break or run out. Knitted sections are collected on the take-up roller or are folded and stacked into bundles as they come out of the machine. After a certain number, the operator will take a roll or bundle and attach a tag that specifies the lot number, size, color, and number of pieces. The bundles are then weighed, bundled, or packed into sacks, and sent to the laundry or dye house. The operator then resets the knitting machine and inspects it for routine maintenance before starting a new lot. Routine maintenance can include replacing broken needles, emptying waste oil, refilling oil cups, and greasing machine parts. In larger plants, regular maintenance of the machines is the job of the knitting-machine fixer, who can also set up a machine to produce a certain fabric pattern like the knitter mechanic.
Most of the production design jobs in the knit industry are learned on the job, although the basic skills involved can be learned in high school or technical school. Although most employers prefer to hire high-school graduates, it is not absolutely required. Technology is increasing in the knitting industry and other textile industries, and this will create a demand for employees with solid educational backgrounds. The machines may be computer controlled that perform stitch-making and assembly. Color patterns for garments can also be computer controlled with the aid of the computer software graphic design jobs.
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