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Milan Hosts Knit Technology

IKME 2003 presented an array of machinery, ancillary equipment and concepts to knitters from around the world.

James M. Borneman, Editor In Chief

T he first International Knitting Machinery Exhibition (IKME) 2003, held in Milan Oct. 16-20, gathered 110 exhibitors in 7,822 square meters of exhibition space. The exhibition opened with remarks from Piergiacomo Ferrari, president, Fiera Milano International S.p.A., organizer of IKME; Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini; and Umberto Protti, IKME president. I would like to say that its a dream come true, but given I am a businessman, Ill say that it is a project that has finally seen the light, Protti said during his welcome. The project was conceived four years ago and has been developed with precision and determination.

H. Stoll displayed a large selection of knitwear.

Hanspeter Schmid (left) and Thomas Stoll on their way to the H. Stoll exhibit

IKME, widely promoted by Protti Fashiontronix S.p.A., Italy; H. Stoll GmbH & Co. KG, Germany; Shima Seiki Manufacturing Ltd., Japan; the Lonati Group, Italy; and Steiger S.A., Switzerland, was developed as a niche but complete exhibition, held in a country that is important both for the production of machinery and for the presence of customers, in a city that is central with respect to Europe and the rest of the world, and in an exhibition center featuring an efficient organization.

The show attracted more than 10,000 visitors from 60 countries to the fashion capital. The quantity and quality of the visitors, and above all the extraordinary business climate experienced over the five days of the fair have confirmed the effectiveness of Fiera Milano's decision to add greater niche events to the calendar of fairs, Ferrari said.

Protti Fashiontronix, a key exhibitor, displayed its latest offerings in flat knitting technology and design systems.

Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini (left) and Umberto Protti welcome visitors during the IKME 2003 opening ceremony.

"We consider the show a success, with many visitors interested in seamless, said Dott. Paola Sangiacomo, marketing manager, Sangiacomo S.p.A., Italy. We have met traditional producers that now are showing interest in the seamless area."

Mauro Romano, area manager, Comez, promoted the company's crochet machines and needle looms.

Santoni S.p.A., Italy, presented seamless equipment to traditional flat knitting clients, and tested the market with new-gauge and -diameter machines. Santoni demonstrated the flexibility of its new developments, coupled with increased production speeds a garment now can be made in five to eight minutes, compared with 40 minutes to one hour using standard flat knitting technology.

Paola Sangiacomo was pleased with the opportunity to present seamless solutions.

Shima Seiki focused on its All-in-One concept, a total system solution in knit technology, and the largest Shima Seiki exhibit to date.

Albertini (left) visited the Shima Seiki booth (below).

Shima Seiki's IKME presentation was the companys largest exhibit to date.

[T]he compactness of the show has provided convenience to our clients, and there is clear interest in flat knitting, said Gerhard Berger, communications manager, H. Stoll. We have been able to serve our clients with technical presentations overall, the exhibition is very well attended, and we look forward to the results.

Groz-Beckerts multi-media display attracted visitors and exhibitors alike.

The three halls of Fiera Milano in which IKME took place, site of several previous ITMA exhibitions, were punctuated with major presentations by Protti Fashiontronix, H. Stoll, Shima Seiki, the Lonati Group and Steiger, as well as a broad range of innovative exhibitors involved in the knitting sector. Additionally, Per filoandper segno (YarnsandStitches), a presentation area promoting yarn spinners, featured knitted samples encompassing more than 1,000 stitch variations. Spinners included Lanficio Ing. Loro Piana & C. S.p.A. and Marzotto S.p.A. Computer work stations with color printers were available for visitors to tap into the stitches database and view samples on-screen, or to print for future reference.

Steiger exhibited flat knitting machine technology, featuring model programming technology for sampling on Steiger Zamark machines.

Kern-Liebers Knitting Parts sales team

Nylstar S.p.A., Italy, presented project A.M.N.I. Armonia, Moda, Naturalezza, Innovazione (Harmony, Fashion, Naturalness, Innovation) a range of fancy yarns based on Meryl® blended with natural fibers and the man-made fiber Elit from Nylstar research and development. The yarns reportedly produce lighter, more breathable and easy-care fabrics through the use of Meryl, while the soft elasticity of Elitssists in garment shape retention.Of the 110 exhibitors on hand, 30 were non-Italian companies, predominantly from Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.

Technotex and EMM presented flat knitting technology and the PK series of machines.

Ronchetti showed a range of knitting needles and accessories.

Monti Antonio offered a range of ironing, finishing and printing equipment for intimate and outerwear knit fabrics.

The Memminger-IRO sales team displayed feeders and accessories for flat knitting machines.

The Cibitex sales team showcased its compressive shrinkage equipment for processing open width knits and wovens.

BTSR International presented its sensors and control systems for textile applications.

Santoni presented a variety of knitted samples, as well as its full range of knitting machinery.

January 2004