What is Loop Transfer | Types and Uses of Loop Transfer Stitches

What is Loop Transfer?
A loop that is displaced after being formed so that it combines with an adjacent loop, or so that it appears in a different wale, is said to have been transferred. When loop transfer occurs it is possible to transfer a wale of loops from one needle to another. The object of loop transfer is to achieve shaping, produce a design, or change the stitch structure. Transferring is used to generate holes in the fabric to form lace-like effects. Transferring can be used to produce structural effects by inclining wales of both plain and rib fabrics. This is also used to produce cables by exchanging two or more groups of wales with one another.

In addition, loop transfer is used in ladies’ stockings, when producing the double-thickness, plain fabric, in-turned welt, in running-on and doubling rib loop fabric onto the needles of a straight bar frame to form the rib border of a garment part, and when running the loops of two separate fabrics onto the points of a linking machine for linking these fabrics together.

The flat knitting machines have the ability to transfer loops from one needle to other needle with appreciable effect on the knit structure. The transfer loop is not another new type of loop. Loops can be transferred only from a needle in the front bed to a needle in the back bed or vice-versa. The transfer can be done either manually by means of an additional hook or automatically with the help of transfer spring. The mechanism of loop transfer with the help of transfer spring is described as follows.

loop transfer
Fig: Loop transfer

In order to transfer a loop from needle to needle in the same bed, two transfer operations are to be carried over. The loop of a needle is first transferred to an empty needle in the opposite bed. One of the two needle beds is then racked sideways by one needle space and the same loop is transferred back to a needle adjacent to the original delivering needle.

Loop transfer can cause any of the following effects:

  • Appearance of hole in the fabric surface.
  • Deformation of vertical look of the wale and formation of cable effect.
  • Change in width of the fabric.

Uses of Loop Transfer Stitches:
Loop transfer is widely used in flat knitting for various reasons, some of which are described below:

1. Changing from rib to plain: Often, garments are produced with a rib welt, which provides elastic properties, and then continues as a plain construction to reduce thickness and weight. In these cases, all the loops participating in the production of the rib welt are transferred to one needle bed. The plain knit structure continues to knit on this single bed.

2. Knitting purl knits: To knit purl knit structures containing face and back loops within the same wales, loops should be transferred between front and rear needles.

3. Patterning: Transferred loops are widely used in fabric patterning. Wale distortion is one example, in which certain wales are moved from needle to needle which then continue to knit through them.

Changing from rib to plain
Figure: Changing from rib to plain

4. Shaping: Sophisticated knitting machines are able to shape the garment rather than to produce only rectangular panels. Panel shaping requires needle selection and transferring ability, in which loops are transferred inward at the edges, to facilitate narrowing. Since the loops are transferred from one needle bed to the other, which is then racked to allow the return procedure, the efficiency and productivity of the machine is reduced. The profitability of the process should be considered by weighing together the raw material costs and the reduction in cutting operations, against the knitting efficiency and productivity.

Types of Loop Transfer Stitches:
There are four types of transfer stitches:

  1. Plain needle loop transfer stitches: It is produced by transference of a loop from one needle to another in the same bed.
  2. Fancy lacing stitches: It is produced by modification of the plain loop stitch.
  3. Rib loop transfer stitches: It is produced by transferring a loop from one needle bed to the other.
  4. Sinker loop transfer stitches.

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