Swiss cotton spinner Hermann Bühler AG is celebrating 200 years in business at Expofil in Paris this week. The Zurich canton based company, founded in 1812 was recently granted a licence from Rieter for its ComforJet yarns technology, the yarn from which goes into circular knitting.
The rise of the textile industry in the 19th century was the starting point of the industrial revolution and it also left its mark on Switzerland. The country experienced a boom following the export embargo on England imposed by Napoleon in November 1806.
Imports of cotton yarns and spinning machines from England were no longer allowed, causing a high demand for cotton yarns for domestic weavers. Johann Jakob Bühler used this favourable op-opportunity and established in 1812, together with his sons, a mechanical workshop and a small spinning mill for cotton.
Based on a water concession, he then built a bigger spinning mill and constructed a canal for a water-power station in 1831. After adding further mills in 1855, the company employed 400 workers and became the biggest spinning operation in the canton of Zurich.
In 1858, his son Hansheinrich started building the mill in Sennhof which was equipped with the latest mechanical spindles. In 1897 the next generation continued the business under the name of Hermann Bühler & Co.; the company's name remained unchanged in the 20th and 21st century.
In 1931, the company was incorporated and during the post war period production was concentrated in Sennhof. An important period of expansion followed with the construction of a new ring-spinning hall and a modern opening room in the 1980s.
Finally in 1996 Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. was established in Jefferson (GA). The 32,000 state of the art spindles installed in its US-affiliate company produces high quality yarns from Supima cotton and Micro Modal for its customers in North and South America.
Increased production capacity
In February 2011, after the successful launch of its AirJet spun Swiss cotton yarns, Hermann Bühler AG announced it was to further increase its production capacity in the technology and install another AirJet spinning machine from Rieter. The expansion doubled the number of AirJet spindles and the additional capacity allowed the company to supply further customers, to make new yarn developments and to improve its flexibility.
Bühler said at the time that its previous experience confirmed that airjet-spun yarns have excellent pilling behaviour due to ‘perfect fibre embedding' into the yarn structure. The company said it was able to produce soft comfortable AirJet yarns and that circular knitted fabrics had minimum skew due to the almost non-existent yarn-torsion. Bühler can also offer S-twisted yarns.
Bühler also said that as fibre fly is minimized using ComforJet technology, the frequency of machine cleaning can be reduced and fibre fly knitted into the fabric is largely avoided.
AirJet yarns are also said to contain considerably fewer yarn connections, a positive yarn characteristic which can improve productivity in further processing. The expansion of production capacity allowed Bühler to add airjet-spun cotton yarns into its product range, which was a priority for the company since the first AirJet installation. In Micro Modal Bühler offers yarn counts from Ne 30 up to Ne 60 (Nm 50 - Nm 100). Air-jet is a new spinning technology featured in Rieter's ComforJet machine. Especially for items made from Micro Modal, air-jet yarns are said to reduce pilling considerably and provide economic benefits in further processing.
In the air-jet spinning process, the fibre ends are embedded well into the yarn structure, which results in a very low yarn hairiness. The fact that the fibres are spun very firmly into the yarn is said to be a crucial factor since it results in excellent pilling values and improved abrasion resistance.
"We are convinced that the Rieter air-jet yarns are particularly suitable for knitted fabrics. The fabric keeps its excellent appearance also after multiple washings. Due to the yarn structure, the pilling typical for Micro Modal can be reduced significantly. Expensive fabric finishes required for pilling control can be avoided. The hard touch, which has been known for air-jet yarns, has been extremely improved by Rieter. Therefore, air-jet yarns are a top quality and cost effective option," Bühler said.
Author: Billy Hunter