Knitting Elements in a Latch Needle Raschel Machine | Cross-section of a Latch Needle Raschel Machine

Raschel machines (Figures A and B) originally had a gauge expressed in needles per 2 inches (5 cm), so that, for example, a 36-gauge raschel would have eighteen needles per inch. Now, the standard E gauge (needles per inch) is generally used. 

Their chain links are usually numbered in even numbers, 0, 2, 4, 6 etc., generally with two links per course. Raschel sinkers perform only the function of holding down the loops whilst the needles rise.They are not joined together by a lead across their ends nearest to the needle bar so they can move away clear of the needles, towards the back of the machine, for the rest of the knitting cycle.The needle trick plate verge acts as a fabric support ledge and knock-over surface.

The fabric is drawn downwards from the needles, almost parallel to the needle bar, at an angle of 120–160 degrees, by a series of take-down rollers. This creates a high take-up tension, particularly suitable for open fabric structures such as laces and nets. 

Fig. A. Knitting elements in a latch needle raschel machine

Fig. B. Cross-section of a latch needle raschel machine
The warp beams are arranged above the needle bar, centered over the rocker shaft, so that warp sheets pass down to the guide bars on either side of it.The beams are placed above the machine so that it is accessible at the front for fabric inspection and at the back for mechanical attention to the knitting elements. The guide bars are threaded, commencing with the middle bars and working outwards from either side of the rocker-shaft. They are numbered from the front of the machine.

With the raschel arrangement, there is accommodation for at least four 32-inch diameter beams or large numbers of small diameter pattern bars. The accessibility of the raschel machine, its simple knitting action, and its strong and efficient take-down tension make it particularly suitable for the production of coarse gauge open-work structures employing pillar stitch, inlay lapping variations and partlythreaded guide bars. These are difficult to knit and hold down with the tricot arrangement of sinkers. Additional warp threads may be supplied at the selvedges to ensure that these needles knit fabric overlaps, otherwise a progressive press-off of loops may occur.
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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