Power, Jess (2008) Measuring up. Knitting International, 114 (1360). pp. 40-41. ISSN 0266-8394

Until the mid 80s each weft knitting technology (flatbed, straight bar frame and circular) dominated a distinct area of knitwear. Circular knitting had the benefit of speed, producing continuous lengths of cut and sew jersey (amongst other structures) in a variety of weights and colours, enabling costs to be driven down and fashion led knitwear brands to flourish. The straight bar frames superior knitting quality combined with the ability to produce 2-D shaped panels was largely associated with traditional fully fashioned classic knitwear, setting the optimum standard in luxury knitted goods. Flatbed or V-bed knitting was considered the most flexible in terms of needle selection, thus, providing more scope for colour and patterning for the fashion markets, but could not compete with the other technologies knitting speeds. Despite the fact that the flatbed machine was capable of shaping it was considered too costly in production terms and was often limited to producing rectangular panels for high fashion applications that were constructed using the cut and sew technique. For a period in history shaped knitwear was limited to classic merchandised produced on traditional machinery using high quality natural fibres, and the fashion market relied on the less expensive cut and sew knitwear (often manufactured from synthetic materials) for inspiration which had the added benefit of complex combinations of texture, patterning and colour.

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