Steam-powered frames were developed only in the second half of the 19th cent., accompanied by other inventions such as William Cotton's patents of 1864 which made possible the knitting of fully fashioned garments. The industry still plays a vital role in the economy of the east midlands, producing a great diversity of textiles. The sophistication of modern machines includes the use of computers to design and control production, superseding Jacquard controls. An important innovation of the 1970s was the lock-stitch, invented by Gordon Wray, which enabled new ways of processing and using textiles.
Until the 19th cent. wool fibres dominated knitting but other textile fibres came into use. In the later 20th cent. not only did man-made fibres for garments become common, but industrial uses of knitting processes utilized other materials such as fibre glass.
It was usual practice for the finishing trades of the bleachers and dyers to develop alongside hosiery. Similarly suppliers of frames and needles became established in the same geographical areas.
Ian John Ernest Keil
"hosiery trade." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hosiery-trade
"hosiery trade." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hosiery-trade