With the introduction of knitting factories, knitting began to be done as a commercial business, rather than as a personal hobby. This happened when knitted fabrics became more popular and the demand for items became too much for local knitters to supply. In a knitting factory, knitting is taken to serious levels. With the recent rediscovery of knitting as a hobby, a music club has opened called “The Knitting Factory.”
Some of the knitting factories located in China and other countries are so large that they employ over 1000 people each. Foshan Huilin and Ningbo Tianyu are some of the largest knitting factories in China, and they produce the bulk of knitted materials for the United States. In these factories, the knitting machines knit fabrics not only for the items traditionally seen in knitting pattern styles, such as sweaters and hats, but also many other items that someone would not normally think of as having been knitted.
Some of these items are polo shirts, towels, fleece and many others. Of course, in a sense, nearly every fabric can be considered a knit fabric, because each fabric starts out as thread, such as cotton yarn, cotton wool, merino wool, sock yarn or wool blend and which has to be woven together to make a cloth.
Although a traditional knit fabric is a little different that a woven one. The knitting factories also cover areas such as dying and finishing the materials.
The knitting factory began during the Renaissance, with the introduction of mass produced metals. This made it easier to make knitting needles, and so knitting became more popular. The first knitters had knitting guilds, and there were no females allowed. Only men were allowed to join the knitting guilds.
However, when the knitting machine was invented, it eliminated the need for knitting guilds. This is when knitting became a job for women as well, because someone still had to knit the trickier knitting pattern styles that the machines couldn’t handle and the women learned the fancier art of knitting. By the Victorian era, knitting was almost entirely a female occupation. Nearly every woman knew how to knit in some fashion; however, the richer females considered knitting a rather vulgar pastime.
The Victorian knitting machine was usually run by women and children, as were many factories in that period of time. There are still a great number of knitting factories today, but most are located in other countries, with China having the most of any country.
Knitting is a fascinating and interesting subject. The history of the knitting factory shows that while the practice of knitting has changed over the years, it still is a necessary part of our day to day lives. Imagine where the world would be if there were no knitted fabrics. There would be almost nothing to wear! This makes a knitter one of the most important people to have in a civilized nation.
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