Flat knitting of a light emitting textile with optical fibres

Elisabeth Jacobsen Heimdal

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    Abstract

    Knitted products have a flexibility that offers many attractive possibilities. Combined with technical fibres, this gives interesting and innovative possibilities. Many technical fibres and yarns has however properties such as high stiffness and brittleness which are difficult to process in the practice of weft knitting. This paper is about the experimental product development of a light radiating textile lamp in which optical fibres are used as the only illumination source. The lampshade is produced on an electronic flat knitting machine with special equipment suitable for the feeding of yarn with high stiffness. The work was divided in two parts: exploring the possibilities to knit the desired shape on one hand and experimenting about knitting with optical fibres as a weft insertion on the other hand. The method is an inductive approach; a literature survey, information from suppliers of knitting production equipment and experimental work on a flat knitting machine at The Swedish School of Textiles, Boras, Sweden. Results show that the diamond shaped structure can be knitted in one piece with transparent monofilament yarns. Furthermore it also shows that difficulties occur when knitting with stiff and brittle optical fibres therefore the paper ends with a discussion with suggestions of how to overcome these challenges.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAUTEX Research Journal
    Volume9
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)61-65
    ISSN1470-9589
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • flat knitting technology
    • knittability and handability of brittle fibres
    • Optical fibres
    • light radiating
    • shape knitting

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