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Advanced knitting technology meets performance viscose

Kelheim Fibres and Santoni develop energy-efficient and zero waste production of menstrual underwear.

9th May 2023

Knitting Industry
 |  Kelheim, Germany & Brescia, Italy

Intimate Apparel

Viscose fibre maker Kelheim Fibres and circular knitting machine manufacturer Santoni Spa have jointly developed an innovative and sustainable menstrual underwear garment based on advanced machine technology and high-quality performance viscose fibres. The product consists of a soft outer layer and an inlay made from special wood-based fibres from Kelheim. The result is a sustainable and high-performance product that combines comfort and functionality.

The soft outer layer is produced on Santoni SM8-TOP2V circular knitting machine or on the SM4-TL2 machine. One of the major advantages of these circular knitting machines is that they significantly reduce the amount of cutting waste or even allow production with zero-waste.

Santoni SM8-TOP2V knitting machine. © Santoni

The Santoni XT-Machine, originally developed for the footwear market, is used for the functional inlay of the period panty. The unique XT-Machine allows for different layers to be produced with different yarns and knitting structures. This enables all three functions of the inlay - the absorption and distribution layer ADL, the absorbent core, and the back layer - to be knitted in a single tube. This reduces production time and costs and enables zero-waste production. In the inlay, wood based Kelheim specialty fibres such as trilobal Galaxy or the hollow Bramante fibre, replace synthetic materials.

Santoni and Kelheim Fibres both stand for tradition as well as sustainability and innovation. Patrick Silva Szatkowski, Marketing Manager at Santoni, is pleased with the collaboration: “Our machines have changed the manufacturing process, making garments almost seam free and offering solutions for 3D knitting. Our goal is to provide efficient machineries to produce sustainable and comfortable garments while reducing the quantity of operations. The collaboration with Kelheim Fibres GmbH has been driven by the same values and we are proud of the excellent result.”

Natalie Wunder, Project Manager New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres, emphasises: " With this joint development and the combination of our different areas of expertise we have expanded our range of femcare products. Once again, we show how our special viscose fibres play an essential role in performance and sustainability in hygiene products. I look forward to seeing the project commercialised soon - partners are always welcome."

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