Why Can’t Crochet Be Done By A Machine? Here’s The Simple Answer

We can date crochet back to 1829 when the first ever crochet pattern was written out by the one and only Mademoiselle Riego de la Branchardiere.

Since then, crochet has waxed and waned in popularity all over the world. Now, crochet is back in fashion, with people of all ages taking up the hobby and learning this fantastic and fun skill.

How Come You Cannot Crochet With A Machine

However, with the invention of various machines that we can use to do things for us – such as sewing and knitting machines, you have to wonder… are there crochet machines?

Could you use a machine to get your latest crochet project done in record time, or is it only possible to do this by hand? 

This is what we will be exploring in this article today! So, if you have ever wondered about crochet machines, just keep reading. 

Why Can’t Crochet Be Done By A Machine? Everything You Need To Know

Unfortunately, crochet is not something that can actually be done using a machine. This is mostly because crochet is typically far more three-dimensional than your regular knitting.

Since machines usually only function on single layers, you will never be able to replicate the look and feel of crochet, no matter how much you want to.  

When we create new layers in crochet, we will insert the crochet hook through a particular layer (or layers) that we have previously done. This will create different stitching, and create stunning 3D-level intricacy.

Do Crochet Machines Exist?

Unlike sewing machines and even knitting machines, there is no such thing as crochet machines. This might come as a shock, because why wouldn’t such a thing exist?

We as humans have made our lives easier by creating machines for everything – did we just forget about crochet? 

While people have probably tried to come up with a machine that will do the job, it has never made the cut.

As we mentioned before, crochet is unique in the way that it is usually made of up various layers to create a three-dimensional look. Layers are used to create stitches and varying appearances.

This is not something that a machine is capable of doing because of how precise it is. It is a unique skill and hobby that just cannot be replicated without the human touch. 

Can You Use A Knitting Machine Or Crochet?

You might think that, because crochet and knitting are so similar, you try using a knitting machine to crochet.

Technically, you could use this machine to make some crochet patterns, but it will never be the classic crochet look. Not only that, but the detail will never be the same, and the textures will look different. 

If you tried to use a knitting machine for crochet, you will only make mistake after mistake. Without the dexterity and skill of human hands, your project will likely turn out to be a mess and unusable. 

You Will Never Get The Classic “Crochet” Look With A Knitting Machine

Crochet gives us a very unique finished result. Since crochet relies on the “free-flowing nature of the crochet technique and the dexterity needed” to make items (according to Dr. Gail Kenning), no machine has ever been able to replicate it. 

The closest you could get to crochet by using a machine would be to use a warp knitting machine. However, this is still a knitting machine.

These machines have a number of needles, which can, to an extent, create a crochet look. The results from these machines are very crude and are absolutely not worth the time or money spent on such a thing.

It will still be clear that the finished piece will lack artistry, and the classic layers will not be evident as they should be. 

How Does A Knitting Machine Work?

A Quick Overview Of The Differences Between Crochet And Knitting

Knitting is always done with two needles (knitting needles), while crochet is done using a single hook.

In knitting, garments, and other projects are made by moving one set of loops from one needle to the other, and every stitch you complete is held on the needle. 

In crochet, one hook is used to hook the loops you make together, directly into their place. Because of this, crochet is actually much easier than knitting – which is one of the reasons why it is so popular. 

There are also differences in the fabrics you create with knitting and crochet. Knitting results in fabrics that are typically stretchier and smoother than those created via crochet.

Crochet fabrics are more sturdy and create a denser fabric.

In terms of uses for these skills, knitting can be used to make a wide variety of clothing and decorations. You can knit beanies, coasters, shawls, cozies, clothes, jumpers, and much more.

Popular uses of crochet include making things like blankets, pillows, and amigurumi. However, it can also be versatile enough to be used to make various types of clothing, including skirts, tops, jumpers, shawls, and more.  

How Is Knitting Using A Machine Possible?

Using a knitting machine is possible because of the way that knitting is set up. With this hobby, the entire item will have a live edge at all times until it is finished.

In crochet, you are working on individual loops – so there is just one live loop at any one time. 

Because of this, your knitting loops will always be connected with each other. As such, wherever your loop gets pulled through another loop, a machine is able to shuttle it easily.

This process can be automated very easily, but will never work when working with a single live stitch or loop when crocheting. 

If You’re A Knitter, Why Use A Knitting Machine?

If you are someone who knits, it is also worth quickly mentioning why a knitting machine could be a great option for you. While knitting by hand is relaxing and fun, we would be lying if we said it didn’t take a long time. 

As such, there are important pros and cons of using a knitting machine.

Remember – you can get crude crochet-like results from a warp knitting machine, so if this is something that interests you, consider the advantages and disadvantages of knitting machines:

Pros of knitting machines include the following:

  • You will save a lot of time – of course, using a knitting machine will save you so much time if your goal is to produce items quickly. Users will be surprised by how much you can get done in a short amount of time with a machine.
  • You don’t need as much skill – all you need to do is learn how to use the machine itself, rather than the skill of every stitch with your hands. Learning it is quick and easy.
  • Products can be made faster – you can get products created in no time at all. This is great if you are creating knitted products to sell, and don’t have time to create everything by hand.
  • Relatively low-cost investment – depending on the type of knitting machine, costs can vary from $100–$2,500. This is money you can make back if you are using it to create items to sell.
  • No worrying about uneven stitch tension – all stitching with a machine will be even, and the tension won’t vary like it would for a handmade product.

Cons of knitting machines:

  • Products made with knitting machines are less durable – items made with a knitting machine typically do not last as long as handmade items.
  • Uniform stitches aren’t always ideal – sometimes, you don’t want uniform stitches! Uniform stitches can take away from a design, such as jumpers. As such, the uniform stitches can be both positive and negative.
  • Some shapes are hard to create – since you don’t have the same freedom of movement with a machine, some shapes, and patterns will be very difficult to create, especially in larger pieces.
  • Much more difficult to catch mistakes – because of the fast pace of a machine, any mistakes you make will probably only be spotted later on, when you can’t do anything about it. 
  • Products don’t look handmade – machine-made products look inherently different from handmade ones, and people can tell. It won’t look as rustic.
  • It might be less fun and relaxing – using a machine might make the process feel more like a job when it should be relaxing and enjoyable. This will be different for everyone, though!
Different Types Of Knitting Machines

Are There Any Other Alternative Machines You Can Use For Crochet?

The answer is a resounding no. No kind of machine that has been invented has the capability to recreate crochet in all its glory.

You can get crude results by using a warp knitting machine thanks to the number of needles, but still, it falls spectacularly short of the real thing. 

It Is Best To Do It By Hand

In the end, if you want to create classic crochet that actually looks (and is crochet), then you are going to need to do it by hand.

There is no alternative for this particular skill. Unfortunately, the dexterity and skill needed thanks to the use of layers and precision is only something that a human hand can do. 

Maybe a crochet machine will be created one day, but that day is nowhere near us – as far as we know.

So, if you love the look of crochet, and have been considering trying it out for yourself, be prepared to keep your hands busy. 

Anyone who claims to be producing true crochet with a machine is pulling your leg — it simply is not possible.

The results you get from using a warp knitting machine are not crochet, and no one should be trying to pass it off as such. 

Doing It By Hand Is Part Of The Fun!

With the above being said, is it so bad that crochet can’t be done with a machine? If you think about it, this means that every crochet design you have ever seen – no matter how old – was done by hand.

It can be easy to overlook how much time and effort goes into handmade items because sometimes you can’t even tell if they are actually handmade or not! 

When it comes to crochet, you can rest easy knowing that every item you have seen has been made with love, care, and attention.

We don’t know about you, but that makes our hearts feel all warm inside. Someone took the time to make it – no machines involved!

No crochet has ever been mass-produced, and it looks like it will be that way for a while yet. 

Final Thoughts

Crochet is a fun and useful skill that many people enjoy all around the world.

However, because of the dexterity that this skill requires, and the unique use of layers to create three-dimensional products, it is impossible to use a machine to recreate it. 

Sewing and knitting machines cannot do it, and no other machine has been developed as of it. So, every crochet item you have seen has been handmade!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Crochet Be Done Using A Machine? 

No, it is not possible for crochet to be done using a machine. This is due to the dexterity needed during the process, and the fact the crochet is made up of several layers.

Machines like knitting machines are not able to work with such complex designs. 

However, the closest to crochet you can get with a machine comes from a warp knitting machine. This may be able to create a very crude “crochet-like” appearance, but make no mistake – it is still knitting and not crochet.

Can You Use A Knitting Machine To Crochet?

Not technically, as a knitting machine will only ever be able to knit. If you want to get something that looks similar to crochet, you can use a warp knitting machine.

However, the results will only be a crude replication of the classic crochet, and will not have the same wonderful features you would expect.

Which Is Easier – Crochet Or Knitting? 

Crochet is easier than knitting because it only involves one crochet hook, while knitting requires two knitting needles.

For crochet, you only have one live stitch at a time, whereas in kitting, you have a whole live side as you work on the design.

Do Crochet Machines Exist In 2023?

No, there are no crochet machines, even in 2023. Because of the nature of crochet (layers are used and products are more three-dimensional), nothing has been created that can replicate crochet.

Warp knitting machines can give crochet-like knitting, but the quality and appearance are never quite the same.

What Can You Use Crochet For?

Crochet can be used for a variety of things! You can make the following items with crochet:

• Blankets
• Pillows
• Amigurumi
• Skirts
• Shawls
• Jumpers
• Cardigans
• Tops
• Scarves
• Beanies
• Dresses
• Much more

Is Crochet Popular?

Yes! Crochet is a very popular hobby right now and is popular in many parts of the world. Because of how versatile the skill can be, it has many uses – whether it is simply for hobbies or for commercial purposes.

Can Crochet Be Mass-Produced?

No, it is impossible for crochet to be mass-produced, because there are no machines that can replicate the skill. This means that every crocheted item you have ever seen has been handmade – isn’t that amazing?

Nancy Adriane