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Shima Seiki
Shima Seiki

23rd October 2018, Shanghai

Lonati shoe upper machine debuts in China

Leading Italian hosiery and socks machine builder Lonati launched a new machine for the booming shoe upper sector at ITMA Asia + CITME, the leading textile machinery show, held in Shanghai, China last week.

Lonati launched its GOSHOES machine series ‘under the radar’ earlier this year but this was the first time the machine had gone on show at an exhibition. In Shanghai, the Brescia based manufacturing giant, demonstrated its DC88-XS its new 2 feed machine in 4-inch diameter, 144 needles, knitting shoe uppers.

Lonati launched a new machine for the booming shoe upper sector at ITMA Asia + CITME. © Knitting Industry

The DC88-XS is a double cylinder 2 feed machine for the production of shoe uppers in ribs, plain knit, links and links jacquard – with needle by needle single-magnet selection for different rib, links patterns and links jacquard. Shadow stripe and open-work knitting is optional. The machine has a brushless motor incorporated in the column with variable heel and toe reciprocating motion with 2 selection points instead of pickers and needle droppers.

The DC88X 1530XS machine, to give it its full name, is available in 4-inch diameter in gauges 8, 9, 10 and 11. The machine is fully electronic, including yarn finger control with easier sinkers maintenance thanks to the rotating knitting head. It has stitch cams with independent stepper motors and mechanical takedown.

A full range of shoes with uppers knitted by the DC88-XS was on display on the combined Lonati-Santoni booth in Shanghai.


Speaking to Knitting Industry earlier this year, Lonati Sales Director Mark Frost revealed that Lonati was in fact putting considerable resources into its GOSHOES initiative with a specialist team of designers and research and development engineers. Mr Frost also disclosed that Lonati is currently carrying out R&D into a complete shoe manufacturing line.

The DC88-XS is a double cylinder 2 feed machine for the production of shoe uppers in ribs, plain knit, links and links jacquard. © Knitting Industry

The Lonati Group also offers shoe upper machines through its sister Santoni Group (see Santoni introduces X machine for footwear).

Double cylinder with automatic toe-closing

Other novelties that stood out amongst the vast range of Lonati machines on show at ITMA Asia + CITME, were the 3.5-inch diameter, 200 needle, double cylinder DC88-HJ for jacquard socks and the 3.5-inch, 120 needle, double cylinder DC88-E136HX3 for jacquard baby socks. Both machines were fitted with Lonati’s automatic toe closing technology.

Full capacity

When Knitting Industry spoke to Lonati at the end of May this year, the company was working flat out at full capacity and producing 33 machines per day on average, with lead times running at 5-6 months. The company is currently attempting to increase its capacity and its top socks and hosiery machine markets worldwide are currently Turkey, China, USA, Pakistan, Japan and Russia.

The vast majority of Lonati machines now incorporate the company’s automatic toe-closing technology, with open toe machines accounting for only around 20% of production, which has dropped to around 12% in 2018.

Lonati Sales Director Mark Frost. © Knitting Industry

With the demise of the women’s hosiery market in recent years, Lonati’s best-selling machines is now the GOAL GK616F S-by-S, 3 ¾” diameter, 6 colour, single feed machine for men’s socks.

Low energy initiative

With the cost of compressed air soaring, Lonati is also developing a new generation of machines with reduced air consumption. The ‘green range’ yields energy savings of up to 30%, according to the manufacturer.

The first machines to receive Lonati’s energy savings initiative were the DONNA LB10Y7 and LB12Y7 women’s pantyhose machines with automatic toe closing. According to Mark Frost, the machines are “less pneumatic and more electronic, giving lower energy consumption – but also yielding productivity increases of 5-6%. We will now apply the new energy savings features to other models.”

The first low energy machines have recently been sold into Japan, Italy and North America.


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