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Flat Knitting

Next generation WHOLEGARMENT technology on show in Shanghai

Through its exhibit theme—Step Beyond—Shima Seiki will present its vision of the future, while addressing a variety of solutions for the new normal.

2nd June 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Wakayama, Japan


Leading flat knitting solutions provider Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd. of Wakayama, Japan, together with its Hong Kong subsidiary Shima Seiki (Hong Kong) LTD., will participate in the ITMA Asia + CITME 2020 exhibition, which is being held at the national Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China, later this month.

Through its exhibit theme—Step Beyond—Shima will present its vision of the future, while addressing a variety of solutions for the new normal, including proposals in Factory Automation, Digital Transformation (DX), and various online solutions.

Factory automation has become a buzz word in the textiles industry, the interest for which has accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “At ITMA Asia we will be making proposals for factory automation centred around the special manufacturing capabilities of our WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines,” commented Shima’s Masaki Karasuno.

WHOLEGARMENT knitwear can be knitted in one entire piece without the need for linking or sewing and allows for on-demand knitting. As pioneer of complete garment technology with over 2700 patents and over 25 years of experience in the field, Shima Seiki will present its WHOLEGARMENT knitting technology in the form of two of the latest machines.

This next generation in WHOLEGARMENT technology ensures that Shima Seiki remains many a ‘Step Beyond’ the competition in the technology it originally pioneered

The flagship MACH2XS is the most advanced flat knitting machine in the world, featuring proprietary four-needle bed and Slideneedle technology combined with spring-type moveable sinkers and i-DSCS+DTC Digital Stitch Control System with Intelligence and Dynamic Tension Control, and capable of all-needle knitting of WHOLEGARMENT items. MACH2XS is presented in ultrafine 18L gauge, shown for the first time in China.

Shima Seiki MACH2XS WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine. © Shima Seiki

MACH2VS, also shown for the first time in China, is a flexible V-bed machine capable of knitting WHOLEGARMENT knitwear using every other needle, or conventional shaped knitting using all needles. It also features spring-type moveable sinkers and i-DSCS+DTC Digital Stitch Control System with Intelligence and Dynamic Tension Control. MACH2VS is presented in ultrafine 18 gauge with auto yarn carriers as a prototype option.

Shima Seiki MACH2VS 183 WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine. © Shima Seiki

“The large number of patents for WHOLEGARMENT technology is not limited to mechanical hardware, but span the range of software and programming, as well as stitch structures and knitting techniques. A variety of WHOLEGARMENT knitwear samples featuring these patents are presented at the Shima Seiki booth as well,” Mr Karasuno explains.

Next generation 4-bed WHOLEGARMENT knitting technology

ITMA Asia will also be the occasion for a sneak preview of next-Generation 4-bed WHOLEGARMENT knitting technology. Considering the recent increase in interest for WHOLEGARMENT as a manufacturing method suited to the new normal, competing companies are slowly making their debut in complete garment knitting. This next generation in WHOLEGARMENT technology ensures that Shima Seiki remains many a ‘Step Beyond’ the competition in the technology it originally pioneered.

“Next-generation WHOLEGARMENT technology also prepares Shima Seiki for when the industry eventually takes a Step Beyond conventional knitting to adopt zero-waste sustainable WHOLEGARMENT knitting as the next standard for knit fashion,” adds Masaki Karasuno.

“The new machine is named SWG-XR, adopting the SWG moniker from the first-generation WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine introduced back in 1995. The ‘X’ represents 4 needle beds arranged in an X- shaped formation as per the original SWG-X machine, while ‘R’ stands for Reborn and Revolution, referring to a renewal of Shima Seiki's WHOLEGARMENT knitting that raises the technology to unprecedented levels,” Mr Karasuno adds.

“By increasing the number of systems from 3 to 4 and featuring auto yarn carriers, SWG-XR allows even higher productivity and vastly improved range of knitting for producing brand new WHOLEGARMENT items not possible before.”

Supporting efforts in DX in the fashion industry

In order to further, Shima Seiki has released three new online services over the past year which will also be showcased at ITMA Asia: APEXFiz subscription-based design software; yarnbank digital yarn sourcing web service; and SHIMANAVI e-learning service.


APEXFiz is the latest addition to Shima's proven SDS ONE APEX series design system line-up, but with a big departure from the past. Whereas previous APEX-series design systems were offered as an all-in-one hardware/soft-ware package, for the first time in its nearly 40 years of design system development, Shima Seiki has released its new APEXFiz as subscription-based design software that can be installed on customers' individual computers.

© Shima Seiki

Maintaining proven functions that have made the APEX series so popular with fashion designers, with APEXFiz those strengths are now enhanced with the added versatility to adapt to different work styles and business environments including teleworking and telecommuting. APEXFiz software supports the creative side of fashion from planning and design to colourway evaluation, realistic fabric simulation and 3D virtual sampling.

Virtual samples are a digitized version of sample making that are accurate enough to be used effectively as prototypes, replacing physical sampling and consequently reducing time, cost and material that otherwise go to waste. APEXFiz thereby helps to realize sustainability and digitally transform the fashion supply chain. APEXFiz is furthermore available in 5 different product variations that can be selected according to the customer's needs, from APEXFiz Design Jr. to APEXFiz Design Pro.


APEXFiz is supported by two other web services to enhance its user experience. yarnbank is the world's first online web service for searching and viewing the latest yarns, developed in cooperation with yarn companies from around the world. Registered users can download yarn data for free, for use in fabric simulation and virtual sampling on APEXFiz, avoiding the need to scan yarn on their own. By using yarn that is used in actual production, designers and apparel companies can rest easy knowing that the simulations created using yarn from yarnbank are accurate representations of what will actually be produced. With yarnbank, the entire supply chain from yarn companies and apparel companies to knit manufacturers can be connected digitally.

© Shima Seiki


Lastly, SHIMANAVI e-learning service allows APEXFiz users to experience online training when and where it is convenient, and at their own pace, supporting new work styles. SHIMANAVI features several courses available in different languages to suit the needs of individual customers.

Shima Seiki will exhibit in Hall 4, Booth D05.

“Held in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus worldwide pandemic, ITMA Asia is sure to be scaled down in terms of number of exhibitors, exhibition area as well as number of visitors and the number of countries from which they will be visiting,” concludes Masaki Karasuno.

“In fact, due to travel restrictions it is assumed that most international clientele will be unable to attend the show. Therefore, we have prepared an online booth where visitors can check our exhibits via the Internet.”

Visit Shima Seiki’s online ITMA Asia booth

Further information

ITMA Asia + CITME 2020

Saturday, 12th - Wednesday, 16th June 2021

9:00AM - 5:00PM (Final day: - 4:00PM)

National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), No. 168 East Yinggang Road, Shanghai, China

Tel: +86-21-67008631

ITMA Services Pte. Ltd.

Tel: +65-68499368


Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd.

Tel: +81 73 474 8210


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