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Stylish garments, thanks to Karl Mayer's technology

Jun 01, 2017
Stylish garments, thanks to Karl Mayer

The trend for using lace to create stylish garments continues unabated, and is especially making the fabrics produced on Karl Mayer’s multibar raschel machines real bestsellers.

Jeans are the perennial evergreens of the clothing sector. Their characteristics and looks change all the time, so that they are always on trend. The different appearances are created by different production techniques – particularly by the dyeing processes involved. Whereas fabrics for fashion denim are normally dyed by the slasher-dyeing process, fabrics that are used for producing classic American blue jeans are dyed using the rope dyeing process.

Karl Mayer can supply the most suitable dyeing technology for both processes in the shape of its PRODYE system, which has already become very well established on the market. As far as slasher-dyeing technology is concerned, this well-known company leads the market in the fashion denim sector. In the last three years, Karl Mayer has delivered eight machines only to Turkey. For some time now, the company has been working hard on developing new rope dyeing applications, especially in traditional denim-producing country.

The PRODYE technology combines the technical achievements of three years of development work at Karl Mayer, and delivers maximum performance during indigo dyeing. Compared to similar systems available on the market, this innovative technology reduces water consumption by roughly 30 per cent in practice, decreases yarn wastage, and produces deeper indigo shades during the slasher-dyeing process. What is more, the productivity is almost twice as high when processing lightweight denim. With this type of product, customers can achieve an output of up to 70 m/min.

This unique performance is the result of a number of technical features, including the Double Vario dyeing unit. This application system is the key element of the PRODYE system. Its optimised flow patterns result in flexible and process-specific immersion lengths and times during pretreatment and dyeing.

Technical features of the Double Vario include a well-thought-out cross-flow system for perfect dyebath circulation and an integrated system for raising the immersion rollers. The latter simplifies handing, minimises cleaning times and guarantees stable liquor baths during machine downtimes. An integrated, indirect heating system also enables a range of dyeing techniques, such as reactive, sulphur and indanthrene dyeing, to be carried out reliability and flexibly. Finally, squeeze roller pairs operating at 100 kN, which are harmonised with each other, at the end of the processing sequence in the dyeing machine guarantee uniform fabric transport and avoid variations in the circumferential speed at the textile material. The design of the Double Vario has been optimised to enable it to be integrated into the PRODYE-R rope dyeing system.

As well as the actual dyeing technology, Karl Mayer can also supply all the other machines and equipment needed for rope dyeing. The full one-stop package consists of various creels, the Ball Warper, the Long Chain Beamer and the PROSIZE® sizing machine.

The Ball Warper forms the ropes for producing beams having a maximum diameter of 1,500 mm and operates in a controlled, tension-regulated, gentle and precise way. The technical features that are responsible for improving performance include, for example, pneumatically-controlled disc brake technology for synchronous braking, and an integrated suction system for removing fly and other contaminants. Removing these impurities reduces contamination during wet treatment.

The Long Chain Beamer produces beams having a maximum diameter of 1,000 mm. A pneumatically operated, self-centring, toothed, sharply tapered beam mounting and an infinitely adjustable presser roller device, including an automatic kick-back facility, guarantee reliable processing and easy handling. The latter guarantees perfectly cylindrical beam winding. An integrated, reverse-driven compensator also enables the operating status during rope feeding to be changed at constant rope tension levels. The PROSIZE® sizing machine operates with the new VSB Size Box, and the sizing result guarantees first-rate efficiency during weaving. Its advantages include compact yarn feed, short yarn paths, accurate process control, and high level of reproducibility. The PROSIZE® is also easy to operate.

Multibar lace – classic yet always new

The trend for using lace to create stylish garments continues unabated, and is especially making the fabrics produced on Karl Mayer’s multibar raschel machines real bestsellers. This lace, with its typical relief-like patterns, can be produced in a wide variety of designs – ranging from classic styles to modern and extravagant looks, which bring an impressive quality and a touch of “va va voom” to the garments.

As a leading producer of warp knitting machines, Karl Mayer is also ensuring that the market for multibar lace is always interesting – by constantly introducing new developments. Two of the most recent innovations include processing of extremely thick bourdon cords and the use of block yarn guides. The developers at Karl Mayer always look closely at the market and talk to their customers before developing new products.

Bourdon cords are classic materials used for designing apparel lace, and produce striking patterns. Thick yarns especially enable multifaceted and striking contours to be produced, but they are not that easy to handle during the production process. The guide bars in the front shog lines on the tried-and-tested ML 46 were fitted with special guides for processing chunky bourdon cords. Non-stretch types can now be used in counts of up to 2,500 dtex, and stretch types of up to 3,300 dtex can even be processed. Maximum possible yarn counts for multibar raschel machines equipped with standard knitting elements are just over half of these values respectively.

The decorative impact of this relief lace, with its ‘moving’, 3-D surface, can be specifically enhanced by integrating multi-coloured effects. Multi-coloured designs can be produced by using bourdon cords with a sheath of viscose, followed by package dyeing. Alternatively they can be produced from fancy yarns, which may be produced by plying together yarns of different colour, for example. Liners made from textured polyamide, in a count of 3,000 dtex, for example, can even be processed without any problems on the ML 46.

The main requirement of lace is that it should offer a wide variety of different styles and types. Different effects can be produced by the lapping arrangement of the pattern yarns, as well as by the design of the ground. Multibar lace machines, equipped with block yarn guides, can show just what types of grounds can be produced. During the development work recently carried out at Karl Mayer, the MLF 60/32 was equipped with one-inch-block yarn guides in the six string bars of the last shog line.

As well as working traditional pillar stitch/weft combinations, this additional yarn system opens up extra design possibilities, especially when working jacquard-like structures, such as Binche designs, open rib patterns and distorted honeycomb nets.

TM 4 TS EL: Fastest way to fluffy fabrics

Karl Mayer was showing the TM 4 TS EL terry tricot machine at the last ShanghaiTex trade fair in June 2015, and thus ended a period when no terry tricot machines for processing cotton had been introduced. This new machine is extremely efficient and is proving itself well on the market. The high speed of the TM 4 TS EL is particularly evident when producing bath towels and robes with loop-free stripes and long repeats.

The modern EL system enables this terry tricot machine to produce large fabric webs with flat sections and hems in the lengthwise and crosswise directions at a production rate that is 30 per cent higher than its predecessor – the KS 4 FBZ. Increasing the working width from 136-inch to 186-inch has increased output even more. When producing bordered hand towels, the EL pattern drive enables loop-free stripes in the horizontal direction to be produced. On the other hand, the vertical stripes are formed by the threading-in arrangement and the lapping, and are produced on the principle of impeded loop formation. Ground guide bars—GB 1 and GB 4—are threaded with the loop-forming yarn system according to the conventional arrangement for terry warp knitting machines of one in one out.

GB 2 and GB 3 work the ground with a pillar stitch/weft combination. The threading arrangement of one in one out in the fleecy sections means that the yarns from GB 1 and GB 4 are only tied in by the pillar stitch construction in every second course, and are otherwise pressed off as loops on both sides of the fabric. If, for example, no loops are formed at the side edge of the towel, tying-in has to take place in every course – by the full threading-in arrangement of GB 2. Therefore, to produce terry goods with flat sections, the machine has to be set up with a threading arrangement to suit the pattern.

The TM 4 TS EL can suit every company strategy for producing terry goods on the basis of tried-and-tested principles. In this case, there are two general approaches. On the one hand, there is the production of heavy fabrics for the high-end segment, where high demands are placed on durability. This innovative four-bar terry tricot machine can produce fabrics having weights of up to 600 g/m². On the other hand, some manufacturers specialise in producing textiles having low weights and less dense constructions. When producing lightweight terry goods, the high loop stability of warp-knitted fabrics compared to woven fabrics is a particular advantage. Generally speaking, the loop stability of warp-knitted terry fabrics is quite unique, thanks to the stitch tying-in arrangement.

Making more room for pioneering work

Progress needs new ideas, know-how, equipment and plenty of room to develop, which is why Karl Mayer opened a new development centre recently in Japan. Setting up the modern building was part of a restructuring programme implemented at Karl Mayer’s site in Fukui, Japan.

The restructuring and modernisation programme involved the setting up of a Centre of Excellence at this subsidiary between 2014 and 2016 for developing double-bar raschel machines and for researching into new innovations for the textile sector. NIPPON MAYER was able to demonstrate what it has to offer at an in-house show, which was held from March 1-3, 2017. This customer event is one of a series of celebrations, which will be held to mark the 80th anniversary of the Karl Mayer Group, and the occasion was used to officially open the recently completed development centre. This get-together, together with the inauguration ceremony, tour of the company, machine show and workshops, was extremely well attended.

“We were able to welcome more than 400 visitors. We did not expect such a high level of interest,” concluded Armin Alber. The President of NIPPON MAYER was not only delighted with the number of guests, but also with the wide spectrum of their business backgrounds. The group was made up of many customers from Japan and included a large delegation from Korea and even Europe. They were representatives of brand-name manufacturers from the sportswear and lace sectors, institutes and universities, as well as textile retailers, managing directors and owners of textile companies, who have not yet got into the business of warp knitting.

Following the programme of events, they were all impressed by the modern set-up and innovative strengths of Karl Mayer’s Japanese subsidiary. “The building and equipment in our development centre and assembly hall impressed our guests and reinforced their confidence in our Japanese location,” said Senior Director, Hirokazu Takayama. By holding this event, NIPPON MAYER has shown that it does not only supply high-end machines but that it is also a partner that can put new ideas into practice – for generating new business.

A selection of double-bar raschel machines formed the focal point of the well attended technical presentation. The specialist machines for producing seamless articles are ideal for manufacturing sportswear and clothing, and can produce a wide range of different patterns. The presentation of this innovative technology led to some intense discussions, especially among sportswear manufacturers. HKS 4-M EL also generated a great deal of interest as it was operating. In full view of the impressed visitors, this high-speed tricot machine was producing a multi-coloured garment piece featuring various designs with non-stop changeover facility. It was reaching a speed of 2,100 min-one and, despite its high speed, was also extremely accurate.

The DS OPTO, which was also being demonstrated next to the tricot machine, also attracted the attention of observers. This direct warping machine produces patterned sectional warp beams (SWBs), which enables the HKS 4-M EL to achieve its full performance potential. DS OPTO operates in sectional warping mode when producing coloured SWBs at a high level of efficiency, as well as when processing short warps for developing new products. This hybrid machine can also be used just as easily for direct warping at high speed.