Beard Needle || Latch Needle || Compound Needle

 Beard Needle

-The stem, around which the needle loop is formed.

-The head, where the stem is turned into a hook to draw the new loop through the old loop.

-The beard, which is the curved downwards continuation of the hook that is used to separate the trapped new loop inside from the old loop as it slides off the needle beard.

-The eye, or groove, cut in the stem to receive the pointed tip of the beard when it is pressed, thus enclosing the new loop.

-The shank, which may be bent for individual location in the machine or cast with others in a metal ‘lead’.


Latch Needle

-The hook, which draws and retains the new loop.

-The slot or saw cut, which receives the latch-blade (not illustrated).

-The cheeks or slot walls, which are either punched or riveted to fulcrum the latch blade.

-The rivet, which may be plain or threaded. This has been dispensed with on most plate metal needles, by pinching in the slot walls to retain the latch blade.

-The latch-blade, which locates the latch in the needle.

-The latch spoon, which is an extension of the blade, and bridges the gap between the hook and the stem covering the hook when closed, as shown in broken lines.

-The stem, which carries the loop in the clearing or rest position.

-The butt, which enables the needle to be reciprocated when contacted by cam profiles on either side of it, forming a track. Double-ended purl type needles have a hook at each end; whilst one hook knits, the inactive hook is controlled as a butt by a cam-reciprocated element called a slider.

-The tail, which is an extension below the butt, giving additional support to the needle and keeping the needle in its trick.

Compound Needles

-The speed of the bearded needle machine is restricted by two factors.
  • The pressure required to close or open the beard and the length of the beard.
  • The swinging action of the latch may cause damages to fine filament yarn and also latch neeedles are much expensive to manufacture.
-To overcome the above difficulties, compound needles are developed. It consists of a hollow steel tube of finer gauge, is inserted. To the tip of the upper element, a needle hook is arranged. It claims the advantages of both bearded and latch types. There is no yarn strain and the movement required to form a loop is half to that of other needles. Both pieces have straight movement instead of swinging. Hence the high speed and high productivity.

Beard Needle || Latch Needle || Compound Needle




Beard Needle

Latch Needle

Compound Needle


Requires another element to close the hook

Self-acting Needle


It consists of two separately controlled parts 

Less Expensive

More Expensive


Most Expensive

Beard Needles are thin and flexible

Latch Needles are thick and rigid

Slim construction than latch needle and short hook

Usually mounted on finer gauge machine


Usually mounted on coarser gauge machine


It wears and breaks easily


Strong in nature


No strain on yarn

Imposes certain strain on yarn


No strain on yarn

It makes a shorter stroke in the knitting cycle


It makes a longer stroke in the knitting cycle

It makes a shortest stroke in the knitting cycle

Stitches are tight and minimum loop robbing


Stitches are loose


Needles can knit tight

Less fly and fluff generation

Due to rubbing, fly and fluff generations are high


Time required to knit the loop is less

Takes longer time to knit the loop

Takes shortest time to knit the loop

High Machine speed

Low machine speed

Highest machine speed












Beard Needle || Latch Needle || Compound Needle Beard Needle || Latch Needle || Compound Needle Reviewed by Suraj Gupta on October 19, 2020 Rating: 5

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