Shima Seiki
TechTextil North America

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Flat Knitting

Global sales of flat knitting machines increase by 44%

In 2017, the segment of electronic flat knitting machines soared by 44% to around 202,000 machines, the highest level ever.

5th June 2018

Knitting Industry
 |  Zurich

Knitwear, Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear, Technical Textiles

These are the main results of the 40th annual International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) released by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). The 2017 survey has been compiled in cooperation with more than 200 textile machinery manufacturers representing a comprehensive measure of world production.

Global shipments of large circular knitting machines rose slightly by 0.12% to a level close to 28,000 units in 2017. Asia is also the world’s leading investor in this category. 84% of all new circular knitting machines were shipped to Asia in 2017. With 39% of worldwide deliveries, China was the single largest investor. India and Vietnam rank second and third with 5’100 and 2’000 units, respectively.

Spinning machinery

Shipments of new short-staple spindles increased for the first time since 2013. The level of short-staple spindles improved by about 1.65 million spindles. Most of the new short-staple spindles (95%) were shipped to Asia, whereby shipments rose by almost 24% year-on-year. Thereby China, the world’s largest investor of short-staple spindles, experienced an increase of 34%, whereas deliveries to Bangladesh and Vietnam decreased by 33% and 39%, respectively.

Global shipments of long-staple (wool) spindles rose by 46% from around 114,000 in 2016 to nearly 165,000 in 2017. Deliveries to Iran soared by 445% from just around 11,000 in 2016 to around 59’000 spindles in 2017. The majority of long-staple spindles (68%) were shipped to China. 30% of long-staple spindles were shipped to Europe.

Shipments of open-end rotors rose by 24% to a level over 788,000 rotors in 2017. About 85% of worldwide shipments of open-end rotors were destined for Asia. Thereby, deliveries to Asia increased by about 15% to nearly 674’000 rotors. However, China, the world’s largest investor in open-end rotors, increased its investments by only 6% in 2017 when countries like Iran, Brazil, Uzbekistan, and Japan saw 2 to 4 times more deliveries compared to 2016.

Texturing machinery

Global shipments of single heater draw-texturing spindles decreased by 87% from nearly 8,500 in 2016 to 1,060 in 2017. With a share of 50%, Asia is the region where most of the single heater draw-texturing spindles were shipped to, followed by Eastern and Western Europe with a share of 36% and 8%, respectively.

In the segment of double heater draw-texturing spindles, the downward trend ended, and global shipments increased by 27% on an annual basis to about 340,000 spindles. Asia’s share of worldwide shipments amounted to 90%. Thereby, China remained the largest investor accounting for 66% of global shipments.

Finishing machinery

In the segment of fabrics continuous, shipments of mercerising-lines, singeing-lines, and stenters, increased in 2017 by 54%, 11%, and 2%, respectively. Deliveries in the other sub-segments decreased. In the segment fabrics discontinuous, shipments of air-jet dyeing and overflow dyeing machines increased by 35% and 72%, respectively, whereas those of jigger dyeing/ beam dyeing machines fell by 7%.

Weaving machinery

In 2017, worldwide shipments of shuttle-less looms increased by 12% to 95,400 units. Thereby, shipments of air-jet, water-jet, and rapier/projectile shuttle-less looms increased by 18%, 14%, and 7%, respectively.

The main destination of shipments of all shuttle-less looms in 2017 was Asia with 91% of worldwide deliveries, of which 48% were water-jet looms, 31% rapier/projectile looms, and 28% air-jet looms. The share of rapier/projectile to the total shuttle-less looms shipped to Europe and the Americas reached 65% and 37% while the share of water-jet looms was respectively 2% and 25% in the same regions.

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