stricken vs. wirken [textiles]

alisonp

Senior Member
English - UK
I'm hoping that someone here (German native speakers, perhaps?) might be able to explain to me how the difference between Stricken and Wirken is perceived, given that both seem to be used to mean some form of knitting in my text! For example, I have:
Wirkmaschine vs. Strickmaschine

Gestricke vs. Gewirke (both of which come under the heading of Maschenwaren. My dictionaries give "knitted fabrics" for all 3 alternatives!, yet clearly Gestricke and Gewirke are subsets of Maschenwaren. Grrr!!)

Wirken clearly isn't being used to mean embroidery here, incidentally. I've found this "Während beim Wirken die Maschenreihe mit sämtlichen Einzelmaschen auf einmal entsteht, werden beim Stricken die Maschen nacheinander gebildet" on Wikipedia: does this indicate the distinction between machine-knitting and hand-knitting, by any chance?

There is clearly a subtle distinction in the German which may not really be there in the English, but I think I must find some way of reproducing it in English, so TIA for any suggestions!
 
  • Hutschi

    Senior Member


    Gestricke vs. Gewirke (both of which come under the heading of Maschenwaren. My dictionaries give "knitted fabrics" for all 3 alternatives!, yet clearly Gestricke and Gewirke are subsets of Maschenwaren. Grrr!!)

    Wirken clearly isn't being used to mean embroidery here, incidentally. I've found this "Während beim Wirken die Maschenreihe mit sämtlichen Einzelmaschen auf einmal entsteht, werden beim Stricken die Maschen nacheinander gebildet" on Wikipedia: does this indicate the distinction between machine-knitting and hand-knitting, by any chance?
    ...
    I think, it does. At least in a first approximation. (With hand you use mostly one fathom, with industry machine multiple fathoms parallel).

    Additionally there was "Nähwirktechnik" - (used for Malimo) - where the machine knitting was done by a kind of multiple parallel sewing machines. This way knitting was sewing. (it is a sewing knit method)
    "Stricken" is usually done by hand or with simple hand driven "Strickmaschinen".
    If I understand it right, there were also "Strickmaschinen" doing it serially. (much slower than parallel "wirken".)

    In another approximation wirken is the more general word, it inludes stricken and wirken as subset.

    In the shops you get "Strickwaren" - so here "stricken" and "wirken" are subsets of "stricken".

    So there are different kinds of language:

    coll. language.
    and professional language (Fachsprache)

    It is not used consistently in the coll. language.
    ---

    Fachsprache:

    http://www.suedwesttextil.de/nachrichten/neuerscheinung-lexikon-wirkerei-und-strickerei

    Stricken: ein Faden (Einfadentechnik)
    Wirken: viele Fäden (Mehrfadentechnik)
     
    Last edited:

    alisonp

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Well, thank you very much, both of you: it sounds just as complicated as I'd feared. I'll carry on trying to work out which is the best way of distinguishing between the two.
     
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