Shaping by fully fashioning involves the movement of a small number of loops at the selvedge of the fabric. Such movement reduces or increases the total number of loops being knitted. The terms used in the industry for such movements are narrowing and widening, and collectively fashioning.

When narrowing, the innermost loop of the group being moved combines with the loop adjacent to it. Fig. 5.1 represents two loops being moved by one loop space, thus losing one loop at the edge. It is possible on plain fabric to move the edge loops more than one needle space, losing more than one loop at the edge. In the fully fashioned industry these are known as 'needle narrowings' e.g. two needle narrowings where the outer group are moved in two needles. Such multi-loop narrowings produce small puckers where the loops combine. The number of loops in the group being moved varies from three to seven, with finer fabrics tending to involve more loops than coarser fabrics.

With successive fashioning the wales at the outer edge of the fabric follow the shape of the selvedge, giving the characteristic signature of fully fashioned garments. There is a utilitarian reason for the movement of several loops rather than just one: it allows seaming to follow a wale line throughout the garment, giving neatness of assembly.

In widening, the movement outwards creates a space adjacent to the innermost needle of the group, where a new wale may start (Fig. 5.2). The empty space, followed by the tuck loop formed at the next knitted course, leaves a hole in the fabric. It is usual in commercial practice to fill this hole by moving a previously knitted loop to commence the new wale. Such holes restrict the widenings to single needle only (Fig. 5.3).

Fashioning is not restricted to plain fabric only; rib fabrics are increasingly the subject of fully fashioning. Particularly suitable for shaping in this way are the cardigan fabrics containing tuck loops and broad ribs.

**Shape Generation**

As already explained, fashioning involves the progressive narrowing or widening of a piece of fabric at the edges while maintaining perfect selvedges. The shape generated depends on the number and size of the loop movements, and their frequency in relation to the loop density of the fabric involved.

Loop density of fabric is measured in terms of number of wales/unit length, and number of courses/unit length. In plain fabric a normal ratio for each is 1 : 1.3. However, as particular fabrics vary around that, it is usual to calculate it more accurately.

The best approach to calculating fully fashioning is to regard all shapes, including curves, as right angled triangles with a vertical dimension of the number of courses involved, and a horizontal dimension equal to the number of loops lost or gained by fashionings. The hypotenuse represents the line taken by the selvedge of the fabric.

Fig. 5.4 shows three fashioning situations represented on graph paper, the first involving a narrowing by one loop every two courses (Fig. 5.4 a), the second a narrowing by one loop every course (Fig. 5.4 b). The graph paper is ruled in the ratio 1 : 1.3 so that the angles generated are near to reality. In present day commercial practice narrowing is rarely carried out On'every course. A one loop narrowing every course is translated into a two loop narrowing every two courses (Fig. 5.4 c).

The fashioning frequency of two loops every two courses is considered to be the maximum and therefore represents the lowest angle achievable by the fully fashioned process. Even at this frequency the edge of the fabric, the hypotenuse, is distorted because in reality it is formed out of the same number of courses as the vertical side of the triangle. R.W. Mills (1965) has shown that fashioning angles can be expressed mathematically, and further that the minimum angle that can be achieved is that on plain fabric produced by an effective fashioning (narrowing) of one loop every row. Apart from the practical difficulties of achieving angles below this, it must be borne in mind that the hypotenuse of the triangle formed is a distortion of the 'opposite side'. A piece of fabric narrowed by one loop every course will form at its edge a right angled triangle, the opposite side of which is in line with the wales, and the adjacent side in line with the courses (Fig. 5.5).

As the narrowing is effectively one loop every row, the adjacent side will contain the same number of wale loops as the opposite side contains course loops. As the normal ratio for courses/unit length to wales/unit length in a relaxed plain fabric is in the order of 1:1.3, the adjacent side can be given a dimension of 1.3, and the opposite a dimension of 1.

The fashioning angle can be determined trigonometrically:

1

______ = tan θ

1.3

0.76932 = tan θ

0 = 37°34'

This angle is for all practical purposes the lowest that can be achieved and sets the limitations for shape generation by fully fashioning.

The angles of other fashioning frequencies on plain fabric can be similarly calculated using the general formula:

Fashioning frequency

_____________________ = tan θ

1.3

*Example*

Let fashioning frequency be one loop every four courses, then:

4

— = tan θ = 3.077

1.3

θ = 72°

A common usage of the two loops by two course narrowing is to generate the shoulder slope on the body portions of a classic set-in sleeve garment (Fig. 5.6).

If both front and back shoulders were fashioned the resulting slope would be too great, so only the back is fashioned, the front remaining straight and terminating in a course. This throws the shoulder line seam to the back of the garment and fortuitously produces a very smooth profile.

While it is possible to work out angles from frequencies, and vice versa, most 'statements' (knitting instructions) are in fact worked out from paper patterns prepared to achieve a particular design, the fashioning frequencies being calculated directly from dimensions of the pattern and known fabric 'qualities' (wales/cm, courses/cm).

Calculating a fashioning frequency from given dimensions involves the following simple formula (Fig. 5.7):

A x w.p.cm

F = _____________ 1.

D

C = B x c.p.cm 2.

A = horizontal dimension of loss of loops, in centimetres.

B = vertical dimension of loss of loops, in centimetres.

C = number of courses in B centimetres.

D = number of loops narrowed or widened by, at one fashioning.

(Widening is inevitably by one loo p only.)

F = number of fashionings.

c.p.cm = courses per centimetre.

w.p.cm = wales per centimetre.

The fashioning frequency is determined thus:

Freq. = C/F

3.

or

Freq. = C/ F + 1 4.

Formula 4 allows the shaped section to begin by knitting before a fashioning, and end with knitting after a fashioning. Formula 3 is appropriate when the fashioning sequence is followed by further knitting.

Example (Fig. 5.8)

The fashioned portion of the piece of fabric in Fig. 5.8 can be represented by the triangle in Fig. 5.9;

c.p.cm = 6.

w.p.cm = 5.

Number of courses = 10 x 6

= 60

3 x 5

Number of fashionings = ______

1

= 15

60

Frequency of fashioning = ______ = 4

15

The whole of the piece of fabric can be represented by a 'statement':

Number of loops at start = 15 x 5 = 75

Fashioning on RH side = 15 times at four course intervals, over one

needle space, or 15 x 4 x 1

Number of loops at finish = 12 x 5 = 60

These simple formulae deal with whole numbers only as neither a knitted course nor a wale can be subdivided. Where C is not exactly divisible by F a remainder is created. This remainder of a number of courses can be distributed so that a proportion of the fashioning intervals are increased by one.

*Example*

Number of courses = 33

Number of fashionings = 6

Using formulae 3 frequency = 33/6

= 5 remainder 3 courses

Distributing these remaining courses produces two differing fashioning frequencies:

• 3 fashionings @ S course intervals.

• 3 fashionings @ 6 course intervals.

Usually designers of fully fashioned garments avoid such situations by simplifying shapes to contain whole number frequencies.

**Shapes**

Commercial garments produced by the industry using straight bar knitting machinery tend to be of few types and of relatively simple shapes. This may reflect a continuing market demand for 'classical' knitwear, but there is little doubt that the full scope of shaping is not exploited in Practice. There is also a built in conservatism within the fully fashioned industry which maintains convention fairly rigidly. Most straight bar knitting machinery is built with a limited product in mind, in contrast with V-bed knitting machinery that is built for versatility.

There are three basic upper body styles in general production: raglan sleeve, set in sleeve and saddle shoulder. Both cardigans and jumpers are produced in all three, with variations of the neck lines (Fig. 5.10) into round neck, V-neck, turtle neck, polo neck, shirt neck, and occasionally halter neck and slash neck. Both jumper and cardigan styles are produced in all the variations.

The other variable in the shape of garment produced is the treatment of waistbands and cuffs. Because of the limitation of most straight bar knitting machinery in producing fully fashioned garments in plain fabric, rib waistbands are produced on separate V-bed knitting machines. This poses a production disadvantage but is a very definite design advantage: not only can ribs of varying types of construction — 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 2 x 1 etc. — be attached, but the width of rib attached, and therefore the balance of rib to body, can be varied by a device known as doubling. This, is the Malting of two rib loops on one transfer point at a predetermined frequency, when preparing the ribs for transfer to the straight bar

Fully Fashioned Garments

machine when beginning the knittin

73

g of a panel. This merging two rib wales into one bod s has the effect of

Another method of producin louswe.daiestiblel or cuff I

rib construction at all. 'Turned wgealeffis the term used when the extreom.viteieas of the garment waistband and/or • are turned back on themselves. This is done at the start of knittin thceu panel and involves turning back the first two or three inches of fabgric and running the sinker loops of the first knitted course on to the needles of thee machine so that they arc construction does not pull in the fabric

incorporated into the fabric on the f einxhtanctymwrsacy ra)fndknisitttiisnegci oSnucshhirat styled garments or at the hems of full fashioned skirts.

As already mentioned, most

possible to produce as are very stereotyped in their most garmye:

construction. It is

g rments that are unconventional but they are rarely seen in commercial prlod uction. The fully fashioned industry used to produce garments of similar complexity for underwear, shaping them to fit the contours of the body closely. Included in such garments were techniques that moved the product towards integral knitting, such as running on the wale selvedges so that the knitting changed direction, and internal fashioning.

Fully fashioning has long been used on garments other than the ones described as being the products of the present industry with its straight bar bearded needle machinery. Most other fully fashioned garments are prodticed on hand flat knitting machinery, either V-bed or 'domestic' single bed machines of various sorts. Classifications include:

(1) Ladies suits, jackets and coats knitted in milano rib in fine gauges The materials used are high quality wool yarns and mercerised cotton. Styles are very classical, appealing to the older woman, with great attention to detailing. This section of the industry is in decline.

(2) Fully fashioned men's sweaters It has long been most economical to produce coarse gauge men's sweaters on hand flat machines. Such sweaters range from simple raglan sleeve styles in half cardigan, to complex sweaters involving loop transfer designs or cables. Particular, specialist lines include cricketing sweaters and 'ganzies' (fishermen's sweaters).

(3) Fashion knitwear Since the introduction of low priced domestic knitting machines in the early 1960s, many small industries have established themselves in the production of garments of all types but with the common characteristics of high fashion content, Quick Response and small production runs. Most of the products of this industry fall into the fully fashioned category. Again this is an area where the new technology V-bed knitting machines are able to produce similar articles, and these will increasingly be available.

**Modern V-bed machinery**

The introduction of computer controlled V-bed knitting machinery, its recent times is responsible for a widening of the range of fully-fashioned knitted garments, as well as the transfer of production of certain types of garment from traditional methods to the new technology.

Among new types of fully fashioned garments produced on this type of machinery are a full range of colour patterned and structurally patterned rib garments. Types borrowed from other production methods include Intarsia patterned garments of a complexity previously only achieved on hand flat machinery, and fair isle patterned garments only produceable by hand-knitting or on domestic knitting machines. The transfer of normal production from straight bar machinery is also taking place, particularly where the production is of garments containing expensive fibres such as cashmere. Arguments used for such transfer include quick response, little raw material tied up, short, economical runs, and capital costs not forming a major proportion of the cost of a garment.