HNW - early mechanical knitting

Deborah Pulliam pulliam at
Mon Aug 31 08:38:30 PDT 1998

<< I've been told it goes way back, with commercial use definitely (if only
just) pre-1600, and was used extensively in the 17th century and later. >>

John Lee invented a very crude knitting frame (predecessor of the knitting
machine) in 1589, but it was extremely crude, and not really made into a
feasible piece of equipment until about 1610 or so, in France.

Once it was improved to where it could knit stockings, the frame became
extremely popular, and "machine" knit stockings were fairly common by the
end of the 17 c, until most - not all-  silk stockings of the 18c were knit
on a frame.

Two-color knitting was not possible on the frame until the early 18c.



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