By Jim Borneman,Editor In Chief,Textile WorldKnit Technology ShowIKME 2003 presented an array
of machinery, ancillary equipment and concepts to knitters from around the world.
H.Stoll displayed a large selection of knitwear.The first International Knitting Machinery
Exhibition (IKME), held late 2003 in Milan, gathered 110 exhibitors in 7,822 square meters of
exhibition space.The exhibition opened with remarks from Piergiacomo Ferrari, president, Fiera
Milano International S.p.A., organizer of IKME; Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini; and Umberto Protti,
IKME president.“I would like to say that it’s a dream come true, but given I am a businessman, I’ll
say that it is a project that has finally seen the light,” Protti said during his welcome. “The
project was conceived four years ago and has been developed with precision and determination.”
Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini (left) and Umberto Prottiwelcome visitors during the IKME 2003
opening ceremony.IKME, widely promoted by Protti Fashiontronix S.p.A., Italy; H. Stoll GmbH &
Co. KG, Germany; Shima Seiki Manufacturing Ltd., Japan; the Lonati Group, Italy; and Steiger S.A.,
Switzerland, was developed as “a niche but complete exhibition, held in a country that is important
both for the production of machinery and for the presence of customers, in a city that is central
with respect to Europe and the rest of the world, and in an exhibition center featuring an
efficient organization.”The show attracted more than 10,000 visitors from 60 countries to the
fashion capital.“The quantity and quality of the visitors, and above all, the extraordinary
business climate experienced over the five days of the fair have confirmed the effectiveness of
Fiera Milano’s decision to add greater niche events to the calendar of fairs,” Ferrari said.IKME
presented the full range of knitting technology and associated manufacturing necessities. Protti
Fashiontronix, a key exhibitor, displayed its latest offerings in flat knitting technology and
design systems.“We consider the show a success, with many visitors interested in seamless
[technology],” said Paola Sangiacomo, marketing manager, Sangiacomo S.p.A., Italy. “We have met
traditional producers that now are showing interest in the seamless area.”
Paola Sangiacomo was pleased with the opportunity to present seamless solutions.Santoni
S.p.A., Italy, presented seamless equipment to traditional flat knitting clients, and tested the
market with new-gauge and -diameter machines. Santoni demonstrated the flexibility of its new
developments, coupled with increased production speeds — a garment now can be made in five to eight
minutes, compared with 40 minutes to one hour using standard flat knitting technology.
The Shima Seiki exhibit, which was the company’s largest to date, focused on its “All-in-One”
concept, a total system solution in knit technology.
Top and above: Mayor Albertini (left) visited the Shima Seiki booth.“[T]he compactness of the
show has provided convenience to our clients, and there is clear interest in flat knitting,” said
Gerhard Berger, communications manager, H. Stoll. “We have been able to serve our clients with
technical presentations — overall, the exhibition is very well attended, and we look forward to the
Hanspeter Schmid (left) and Thomas Stollon their way to the H. Stoll exhibitThe three halls
of Fiera Milano in which IKME took place were punctuated with major presentations by Protti
Fashiontronix, H. Stoll, Shima Seiki, the Lonati Group and Steiger, as well as a broad range of
innovative exhibitors involved in the knitting sector. Additionally, Per filo & per segno
(Yarns & Stitches), a presentation area promoting yarn spinners, featured knitted samples
encompassing more than 1,000 stitch variations. Spinners included Lanficio Ing. Loro Piana & C.
S.p.A. and Marzotto S.p.A. Computer work stations with color printers were available for visitors
to tap into the stitches database and view samples on-screen, or to print for future reference.
Protti Fashiontronix displayed its largest flat knitting technology and design systems.
Groz-Beckert’s multimedia display attracted visitors and exhibitors alike.
The Memminger-IRO sales team displayed feeders and accessories for flat knitting
machines.Nylstar S.p.A., Italy, presented project A.M.N.I. — Armonia, Moda, Naturalezza,
Innovazione (Harmony, Fashion, Naturalness, Innovation) — a range of fancy yarns based on Meryl®
blended with natural fibers and the man-made fiber Elité®. The yarns reportedly produce lighter,
more breathable and easycare fabrics through the use of Meryl, while the soft elasticity of Elité
assists in garment shape retention.Of the 110 exhibitors, 30 were non-Italian companies,
predominantly from Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.
Monti Antonio offered a range of ironing, finishing and printing equipment for intimate and
outerwear knit fabrics.
Kern-Liebers Knitting Parts sales team
Mauro Romano, area manager, Comez, promotedthe company’s crochet machines and needle looms.