Flat knitting: A technology that could revolutionise garment-making process

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on April 25, 2019 Published on April 25, 2019

Voltas ties up with Japanese firm to market machines

Leading engineering brand Voltas Ltd has entered into a distribution agreement with Japanese textile machinery manufacturing major Shima Seiki to market the latter’s products in India.

The cooperation will focus on leveraging Shima’s expertise in ‘computerised flat knitting machines’, ‘Whole Garment Machines’ and ‘Total Fashion Systems’ while building on Voltas’s established sales and marketing network across the country, said C Kamatchisundaram, Vice-President (Textile Machinery Division), Voltas.

He told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Shima Seiki Experience Centre’ at Karuvampalayam in Tirupur that the objective of the centre is “to enable our customers operate, use and experience the versatility of the whole garment and shaping machine.”

Nascent technology

Flat knitting technology is still nascent here, as a majority of garment making units continue to use circular knitting technology, which is not versatile.

“The concept of flat knitting has not caught on because of the misconception that such machines are best suited for winter garments. We are trying to broadbase the market,” Kamatchisundaram said. Asserting that the flat knitting technology would be the growth driver in the coming years, he showed some garment samples made using the whole garment machine.

A close look at the pieces revealed that the process did not involve tailoring and the designs are developed using digital technology. “Unlike in circular knitting, here the user industry will need to buy only the dyed yarn and design the garment using total fashion system. No cutting or stitching process is involved and the fall is perfect. Further, the lead time to make the product is short, wastage is minimal and production cost is less because the process is short,” Kamatchisundaram said.

Growing popularity

Naoto Nishiki of Shima Seiki’s South Asia Unit said the technology was fast catching on across the world. “Such machines will help increase efficiencies in textile manufacturing. China tops in the adoption of flat knitting technology. Competing countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan have also taken to this technology,” he added.

The Voltas spokesperson said training would be imparted to potential engineers in fashion design technology.

Published on April 25, 2019

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