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Knitting Developments

Textile World highlights a few of the recent innovations from the knitting sector.

Rachael S. Davis, Editor

L eading textile manufacturers strive to be innovative and forward-thinking as producers, and new machinery from suppliers helps the producer stay on the cutting edge. The knitting segment is no stranger to this drive for innovation, and with knitwear as popular as ever and increasingly used in all segments of the industry from medical to outerwear applications, Textile World presents new developments from three knitting machine suppliers.

Karl Mayer Malimo
At ITMA Asia CITME 2010, Karl Mayer Malimo, the technical textiles business unit of Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH,  Germany, introduced the RS MSU S warp-knitting machine with parallel weft insertion, the first model to feature Karl Mayer's new Weftronic platform. The company has significantly re-engineered the weft insertion system, using a new weft chain on both sides of the knitting machine. These chains - in addition to the newly-designed main components of the machine including the transfer system, yarn-laying carriage and yarn take-off device for the creel - comprise the Weftronic platform. Going forward, Karl Mayer plans to incorporate Weftronic on all of its weft-insertion knitting machines.

Weftronic offers a working width that is 600 millimeters wider than previous-generation machines. While the knitting speed remains the same, the wider working width of 268 inches results in a faster square-meter output of fabric.

Weftronic's design makes all main components easily accessible, and the machine is made up of compatible component groups. In addition, the company reports assembly costs and the amortization period are reduced because Weftronic is integrated rapidly into the manufacturing process.

Karl Mayer Malimo is in the process of developing a Weftronic model with a working width of 138 inches that should be available before the end of the year.

Santoni S.p.A., Italy, currently is expanding its seamless knitting expertise into the outerwear market. The SM8 TR1 single jersey weft knitting machine for seamless casual sportswear is fitted with knitting needles that feature a patented collared design that allows stitches to be transferred for mesh- or eyelet-type knit stitches in any area of a garment. Santoni reports the resulting fabric is breathable and secure and has an even surface. The machine also offers the ability to use two different yarns in the fabric construction to create a plated or double-faced fabric providing, for example, moisture-management properties via a polypropylene yarn and comfort via a cotton yarn. The machine has eight feeds and is available in gauges 16 to 24.

Knitting tech 1
Santoni's SWD 6/2J warp-knitting machine for seamless apparel features advanced electronics and programmable controls, and needs no gauges or mechanical tools.

Another new machine from Santoni is the SWD 6/2J warp knitting machine for seamless apparel. Santoni emphasizes the following features of the machine: dynamic, precise linear motors to control each knitting bar; a compact jacquard selection system using ceramic piezo transducers; vital control of the oscillating knitting bars; and a new computer-aided design system. The SWD 6/2J also features advanced electronics and controls that allow for operation and fine machine settings to be programmed using a display panel menu. No gauges or mechanical tools are necessary.

H. Stoll GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, stresses the flexibility of its machines featuring the Stoll-multi gauges® technology, which makes it possible for a manufacturer to produce garments in different gauges on the same machine without changing needles or gauges. All knitting styles - including jacquard, structured knits and intarsia -- can be created using the Stoll-multi gauges. Optional intarsia yarn feeders can simply be slid onto the machine, resulting in a quick machine conversion requiring little to no downtime. Stoll CMS machines also feature needle and holding-down technology that allows knitting of structured patterns -- such as arans, cables and pertinet -- as well as net, striped or twill fabric backs.

Stoll reports the CMS 530 HP multi gauge machine is its most flexible flat knitting machine. It has a gauge range of E 2,5.2 to E 8.2, which produces a finished fabric gauge from E3 to E16, depending on the knitting technique used and the yarn selected. The machine features a working width starting at 50 inches and the Stoll-multiflex® take-down system, and comes standard with a clamping and cutting device that has 2x8 individual clamping and cutting points.

knitting tech 2
Stoll's CMS 530 HP multi gauge machine, which can handle a range of yarn types, is the company's most flexible flat knitting machine.

The CMS 530 HP can handle a variety of yarn types and sizes from natural to man-made and special effect yarns. If the basic machine model is modified with additional equipment, it also can knit technical fibers and unusual materials such as metal wires - a useful feature for a knitter involved in manufacturing specialized technical textiles and medical textiles.

In addition to the machine's flexibility, Stoll emphasizes its efficient operation. Three compact knitting/transfer systems found on the CMS 530 optimize knitting/ transfer/knitting changeover. Stoll's rapid carriage return (RCR) system offers a short carriage path and carriage reversal time, which reduces non-productive machine time to a minimum.

September/October 2010