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Garment length circular knitting machines, also known as garment length machines, circular knitwear machines, or sweater strip machines as they are known in North America, are highly productive circular knitting machines which are capable of making knitwear/ sweater fabrics typically in the gauge range 7-20 (needles per inch).
Second hand garment length knitting machines (used garment length knitting machines) are available from the main garment length knitting machine builders.
Fabrics are made in either open width or tubular formats in garment lengths (top of sweater to rib or border at the bottom). Individual garment lengths are separated by removing a separation or draw thread and then slit vertically into individual garment panels.
Modern garment length machines have many of the technical features of modern flat knitting machines with 3-way technique (knit, tuck, miss) in multiple knitting systems, racking, stitch transfer and electronic control and electronically controlled fabric takedown.
Some garment length machines have a cylinder with a dial bed mounted above for knitting double needle bed (double jersey) fabrics such as ribs, double bed jacquards, cable patterns and other structures. Earlier machines were limited in their pattern scope. Cylinder needles are normally vertically arranged and dial needles are normally horizontally arranged. The tricks (cut grooves) in the cylinder and dial house the needles.
The world market for new garment length machines is dominated by Italian Santoni Group's Mecmor garment length machine. Used garment length machines available from various sellers in the market include Mecmor and Jumberca as well as Bentley and Wildt Mellor Bromley.