comez crochet machine
COMEZ crochet machine


There is a question that I have noticed coming up in crochet circles from time to time. It’s the question of whether or not a machine can make crochet. The answer is that although there is such a thing as a crochet machine, there is not a machine that can replicate handmade crochet as you and I know it.

There is such a thing as a crochet machine. The most well-known example are the crochet machines that are crafted by COMEZ, a manufacturer that also produces other types of needlework machines such as weaving needle looms. These machines are produced on a large scale for the textile industry. I first learned about these machines earlier this year when Textile World announced that the founder of the company had passed away at the age of 86.

The crochet machines created by COMEZ are also known as “warp knitting machines”. They have multiple needles that each correspond to a specific thread and they work together to create a crochet-like fabric that is said to be highly “drape-able”. However, as anyone who crochets knows, there are no needles in crochet work (except for the ones used to weave in ends!) and therefore this really isn’t anything like true handmade crochet.

To date, there are no machines that can replicate the type of crochet that we do by hand. This makes crochet unique. There are knitting machines that can make knit items on a large scale to be sold in stores. The same is not true of crochet. If you see crochet in a store then you should know that the item was made by hand by someone in the world. It wasn’t made by a machine.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Kathryn, you are so informed on the world of crochet; do you have any information on the crocheted items that are mass produced and sold so cheaply? I have known that there is no machine that can make crocheted lace, so someone somewhere is making it. I have heard rumors that it was made by political prisoners who were not physically able to do harder manual work, and also that that it was made by poor women in third world countries who are paid a pitance for hours (or days) of work.
    I would love to know the truth about where these items come from.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Ann – this is a really important topic and it’s really complex … basically there are some folks who do pay a fair wage (fair for the country, offering some level of independence to the workers) to people doing crochet work in third world countries. There are probably also a lot of companies that don’t offer a fair wage and really exploit workers in other places. It’s a topic that I’m really interested in researching more completely but to date I don’t have a lot of information on who the good and bad companies are.

    • I live in Bulgaria, which is not in the Third World, but in Europe… And sill women, who sew or crochet get dimes for their work. The salary, which such a person gets is around 150-160 Euro or about 200 US dollars. Some women are not paid on hourly basis, but depending on the number of hats/scarfs/sweaters/etc. they make for a month. For example, for crocheting a swimming suit of two parts, you could get 8 euro or 10 dollars, which is actually considered almost a fair price.

  2. AberrantCrochet Reply

    Also the terms crochet and knitting are often interchanged in other countries outside the US. And what we use as the “chain stitch” is not universal to crochet alone. There is something new on the market that attempts to replicate a granny square look by a method of weaving and wrapping. From a distance, it really does look like crochet, but up close, you see it’s actually like embroidery without the fabric behind it.

    To Ann’s question, children and the elderly are a large group of producers and these items come from a variety of foreign businesses from around the world. No one country is solely responsible nor one company. In some places, these “companies” are not we think of in the western world too. Some cultures will argue it is their tradition for children to help families earn a living. However, an issue there is the cartilage damage done to children via repetitive motion injuries to developing bodies. Crochet is present on every continent in the world. By law in the US, all clothing items must be labeled with their country of manufacture, so it is definitely possible to follow-up more specifically on an item that way.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @AberrantCrochet – Thanks so much for the additional info that you’ve added to enhance this post!

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  4. Natasja King Reply

    This is very interesting! I’ve always wondered about this. And it’s nice to know that what we do cannot be replicated by machines :-)

    • Nicole Swan Reply

      It is definitely nice to know that what we make cannot be reproduced! Also, I am a leftie, I have been told by many in the crochet world that my stitches are unique because the way I learned and by way of being left handed I make a tighter stitch than most right handed people. I have wondered if this is something anyone else has noticed?I do know that when I joined a granny square group I had to make an effort to create a looser stitch because my size ratio was different than theirs for the same amount of stitches… Has anyone else noticed this? Thanks and awesome site! I’m new and going to peruse. ;)

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  9. BelleMondeHandmade Reply

    One of my favorite posts, and actually the post that brought me to this blog in the first place a few months ago!

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      @BelleMondeHandmade I am so glad to hear this. I’m so fascinated by the fact that there still exists no machine that can do crochet even though patents were being worked on for ideas for them dating back to at least 1930. I love that it’s a handmade art.

  10. Cathyescrochet Reply

    I am so glad to hear this. I’ve recently been diagnosed with neuropathy and it’s in my hands. And, I am still trying to crochet. I just want anyone I know who I give a gift of crochet work to that it took a lot of work and love. And, that it’s not easy for me to do anymore.

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  12. Developed by one Joseph Merrow in the 1860s, the most important invention to come out of the quest for machine-made crochet was, in fact, the overlocker (or serger) sewing machine. The Merrow company remains a well-known manufacturer of industrial sewing machines today.

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  15. Bestar ndovu5 Reply

    I recently started my own crotchet designs n I have been wondering if there’s a machine that could do that work from comments here I see there isn’t so how can one meet up people’s orders if u have to use your hands the whole time?

    • Kathryn Vercillo Reply

      That’s a great question. That’s why handmade crochet garments are usually a little expensive – the time that goes into them – which unfortunately a lot of people don’t want to pay for.

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