Another method, claiming greater production of hose, is the Combined Legger and French Footer (sometimes called the “Heel-less” machine) Fig. 16. The leg and foot are, in this case, made right through on one machine, without, however, stopping for the knitting of the heel-tabs. These are added as a subsequent operation by a separate Heeler. The advantages of this system are, briefly, that the leg and foot are made continuous on a machine which is no more complicated than a French Footer. The knitting of the heel-tabs is executed on a small, high-speed machine using female labour. The advantages of the “Complet” machine are obtained without its complicated mechanism, and with an added production of 15%.
Heeling machines so far developed are the Multi-Head Heeler, the Single-Head Heeler and the “Auto-Heeler”. The first two machines knit the tabs to the hose, but two subsequent operations are required to join the side of the heel to the sole of the foot. (This also obtains on the “Complet” machine.) The machines have to stand idle while—in the case of the Multi-Head Heeler—a set of legs are transferred to them, or—for single-head machines—while the hose is run-on direct into the needles.
The Auto-Heeler (Fig. 17) which has been adopted in many American and Canadian Mills and is now being manufactured in Great Britain, introduces an entirely new method of heeling. The operative “tops” (or runs-on) the hose legs onto a special topping stand (Fig. 18) and then transfers them to an empty transfer bar of which six are carried on a revolving turntable attached to the front of each machine. In turn, each loaded transfer bar is raised automatically from the turntable by two arms and placed on the needles of the Heeler. The loops are transferred from the bars to the needles by a further automatic movement, after which the empty bar is returned by the arms to the turntable. Knitting takes place on the needles holding the high spliced loops, and after every other course, a motion of the machine transfers one sole loop onto the heel selvedge, thus making a perfect ingrain join (Fig. 19). As soon as a pair of heels are completed, the machine automatically casts them off and the hose slides down a chute into a receptacle which is placed on the ground to receive it. Another hose is immediately transferred from the next bar which is waiting on