Italian Textile Technology

Country Profile

By Mauro Badanelli,ACIMIT EconomistItaly’s Textile TechnologyAsia represents 40 percent of
total Italian machinery exports.The age-old tradition in machine construction, the versatility and
flexibility within the Italian system of small- and medium-sized enterprises and close contact with
customers make Italian textile machinery companies market leaders and highly valued partners for
textile operators in global markets. Italy is one of the leading manufacturing centers of textile
machinery with approximately 350 companies in the industry, which employs 23,000 workers. In 2004,
the sector produced approximately 2,900 million euros of textile machinery, with exports worth
2,200 million euros. Exports represent 76 percent of total sales made in foreign markets with
approximately 125 destination countries. This process of internationalization, together with the
considerable focus on innovation in the sector, promoted the consolidation of Italian companies and
further improved the industry’s leading position. Asia is the main market for Italian machinery
manufacturers, representing 40 percent of the total Italian machinery exports. The non-European
Union (EU) member countries represent 26 percent of sales with the EU purchasing 18 percent and
Latin America 6 percent of the total Italian textile machinery exports. The largest contributions
to Italian exports of textile machinery in 2004 came from China, with a turnover of 311 million
euros. Turkey had a turnover of 294 million euros while Germany with 105 million euros, India with
96 million euros, Pakistan with 81 million euros and the United States with 77 million euros are
the other main markets. The Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) brings
together the majority of Italian textile machinery companies — approximately 200 — which account
for 85 percent of Italian turnover in textile technology. ACIMIT’s main objective is to promote the
Italian textile machinery sector and support its activities, mainly abroad, through the most
up-to-date and innovative promotional means, which have been constantly improved during its 60
years in existence. In order to promote knowledge of Italian textile machinery throughout the
world, ACIMIT provides information on Italian manufacturing products and organizes a wide range of
promotional activities (including exhibitions, technical seminars and missions in Italy and abroad)
usually in collaboration with ICE (Italian Institute for Foreign Trade). Italian Textile Machinery
Exports By Category (2004)

Italian Textile Machinery Exports Per Area (2004)

The following section is a TW Asia Special ReportIt is impossible to profile the many quality
companies that make up the Italian textile machinery industry within the space of one article. With
many large exhibitions occurring in the last half of the year, the following is a small sample of
the latest Italian textile equipment on display worldwide. As detailed in the preceding figures
from ACIMIT, the Italian machinery producers are active in each major sector of the industry.
Whether spinning, knitting, weaving, nonwovens, dyeing, printing or finishing, with more than 350
producers in Italy, the variety of technology is very broad. For additional information and a
comprehensive list of producers, visit Italian Textile Machinery Exports Turnover By
Country(million euros, 2004)

The ITEMA GroupIn an era marked by the consolidation of the textile industry, few companies
compare to the Italy-based ITEMA Group when it comes to gathering well-known textile technology
brands under one roof. Itema continues to focus on serving the global textile marketplace and has
reorganized its various divisions with the aim of strengthening its worldwide leadership in the
textile field. The new corporate structure organizes the company into four distinct business areas
according to market fields and specific commercial brands. The brand structure for the company
features: • Itema Spinning — focused on winding and open-end machines, and the Savio brand; • Itema
Weaving — focused on weaving machines featuring the Somet, Sulzer Textil, Vamatex and Itema
Shanghai brands; • Itema Accessories — focused on the Actex, Cincla, Fimtextile and Nuova Omv
accessory brands; and • Itema Electronics — focused on the Eutron and Eutron Infosecurity brands.
For more information on the company, see page 32 for information about the opening of Itema India.
TonelloTonello, established in Sarcedo, Italy, in 1981, is known for its wide range of industrial
washing and dyeing machines, as well as other equipment for brushed, sprayed or laser treated
denim. The company recently introduced a new series of high-temperature dyeing machines, a sampling
machine Mod. G1 10 LSPE and two production machines Mod. G1 160 HSPE and Mod. G1 300 HSPE. This
latter machine can be supplied in a “LS” version with a maximum rotation speed of 300 revolutions
per minute (rpm) or “HS” version with a maximum speed of 600 rpm. According to the company, the
main feature of these machines is their versatility. They allow traditional dyeing of natural or
man-made fibers with maximum atmospheric temperature (98 °C), as well as dyeing polyester fibers
with temperatures of up to 130 °C.

Tonello’s G1 10 LSPE sample dyeing machineMCS S.p.A.First established at Urgnano, in the
province of Bergamo, Italy, MCS S.p.A., was founded by the Chiappini and Cagnazzo families in 1963
— the same families in leadership of the company today — and manufactures continuous and
discontinuous machines for dyeing and finishing. The MCS production range is concentrated mainly in
10 production lines: • high-temperature and atmospheric rope-dyeing machines; • rope-bleaching and
-washing ranges for knits; • preparation and washing ranges used after printing; • atmospheric and
high-temperature dyeing jiggers; • open-width and continuous rope tumbler dryers; • discontinuous
rope tumbler dryers; • mercerizing ranges for tubular knits; • open-width continuous ranges for
mercerizing, bleaching, dyeing and washing woven fabrics; • beam-dyeing machines; and •
discontinuous carpet-dyeing machines. According to the company, MCS is export oriented with exports
representing almost 80 percent of its turnover. MCS houses its sales network on all five continents
with 16 “local service”stations and 95 agents covering 105 countries. The company recently
introduced the MCS Air-Jet, a dyeing machine suitable for processing blended fiber woven fabrics
such as viscose/nylon/spandex, cotton/nylon/spandex, Tencel® and linen and microfiber blends. The
Air-Jet machine works with a liquor ratio varying from 1:2 to 1:4 during dyeing. Different models
are available according to the style of fabric to be processed. Options include one, two, three or
four ropes with nominal capacities from 200 to 225 kilograms (kg) to 800 to 900 kg, or up to 1,600
to 1,800 kg for coupled machines.

The MCS Air-Jet rope dyeing machineCIMI S.p.A.Founded in 1963 by Pizzato brothers Valter and
Paolo, CIMI S.p.A. today has more than 50 employees and occupies a covered space of 5,000 square
meters in Biella, Italy. The company specializes in developing flexible machines for wool and
cotton preparation. CIMI developed the Eco System, an assembly of modules consisting of independent
units, to process open-width fabrics continuously in a watertight steam environment. Three models
are available: • Eco System 100 for temperatures of up to 100°C; • Eco System 104 for temperatures
of up to 104°C; and • Eco System 110 for temperatures of up to 110°C. The heart of this unit is the
“spray up” saturator and the“long dip” steamer. It is here that the chemical or natural fabric
treatment takes place. The long dip steamer works in either water or steam environments. Tension
control is very important in this module and is guaranteed by CIMI’s powered, friction and
compensation rollers. Fabric is squeezed before entering the spray up module, where constant
concentrations of chemicals can be applied to the fabric. On exiting the spray up unit, surface
saturation takes place. The fabric passes through a narrow siphon with a reduced volume. Excess
mixture on the fabric is regulated and made uniform by a double doctor blade system, which
guarantees the treatment is consistent and repeatable. The Eco System is completed with prewashing
and washing modules. Capabilities of the Eco System include: • natural and man-made fiber fabric
washing; • wool and wool-blend fabric crabbing; • high intensity dyeing and printing preparation of
wool fabrics, without using chlorine; • cellulose and synthetic fabrics desizing; • cellulose
fabric bleaching; and • soaping and rinsing of reactive dyestuffs on cellulose fabric after foulard
dyeing or printing. According to CIMI, the Eco System leaves open the door to new possibilities and
opportunities for the company’s future in relation to the new processes that the market will
undoubtedly demand.

CIMI’s Eco System is available in three models.Biancalani S.p.A.Founded in 1957, Prato,
Italy-based Biancalani S.p.A. has developed and manufactured textile finishing machines for nearly
50 years. According to the company, growth and innovation are the elements that form the foundation
for the success of Biancalani machines. Comez Biancalani’s SPYRA is a continuous machine for
drying, natural shrinking and steaming of all types of fabrics in rope form. This machine solves
many problems that every finisher who used to employ batch tumblers knows and has always endeavored
to overcome. SPYRA continuously treats the fabric, avoiding knots and squeezing, and considerably
reduces the use of labor — all in a continuous way with considerable cost cuts. The AIRO softening
machine, also successful for the company, is used to dry and wash woven or knitted fabrics. AIRO
has maintained its unique capabilities over time and has enabled the most careful finishers to meet
the approval of demanding customers, and to invent and continuously reinvent the appearance,
softness and bulk of their fabrics. No less important to the company’s success are machines
developed for the woolen industry, which include fulling/washing machines combined with washers
including the Idra, Milla and the newcomer, Lavando. An open-width batch machine, Lavando was
developed for the gentle washing and chemical treatment of delicate fabrics, made not only from
wool, but a variety of fibers. Biancalani is also known for its service, provided to customers
worldwide. Every startup is carefully supervised by Biancalani technicians, and later,
technologists ensure both the machines and its user can fully take advantage of the machine’s vast

Biancalani’s Spyra 6Comez S.p.A.Comez S.p.A. based in Cilavegna, Italy, is a world leader in
crochet machines and needleloom technology. These machines — which are used to make a wide range of
laces and bands for underwear, ribbons for clothing, technical textiles, passementerie, fancy yarns
and fabrics for outerwear — are offered in numerous versions. Comez offers crochet knitting
machines — both mechanical and electronic; mechanical, electronic and jacquard needlelooms;
electronic double needle bed warp-knitting machines; accessory machinery (warpers, and machines for
cord and covered yarns production); and software programs, both for pattern programming and
production control. The Comez DNB/EL-800-8B is a double needle bed warp-knitting machine with
electronically controlled pattern bars for the production of a wide range of articles for
outerwear, footwear, underwear and corsetry articles and technical and medical end-uses. The
Comeztronic CT/600FA electronic crochet machine is used to produce a wide range of fancy yarns from
classic “flag” and “feather” effects to chenille type yarns. Such fancy yarns are mostly used by
the knitwear sector, but also are employed in the manufacturing of crocheted apparel fabrics, the
production of knitted fabrics on rectilinear machines and for special effects on embroidery
machinery. The Comez CLM/EL is an electronic needle loom specially designed for the production of
narrow fabrics. The machine can make both rigid and elastic laces, ribbons, corsetry articles, and
ribbons for technical applications, among other narrow fabrics. According to the company, the
CLM/EL offers a sturdy, compact and easy-touse structure requiring only simple maintenance. The
machine is also known for smooth operation with extremely low noise levels and high output and

Comez’s DNB/EL-800-8B, a double needle bed warp-knitting machineSMIT S.p.A.Schio, Italy-based
SMIT S.p.A. has accumulated more than 50 years of experience in application-oriented research and
development in the weaving sector, enabling the company to offer a range of optimaltechnologies and
solutions, as well as the expertise to support new developments. Several thousand SMIT weaving
machines currently are installed around the globe. Since its inception, the company has seen many
benchmarks in the weaving industry. In 1960, SMIT designed and built the td shuttleless loom, the
world’s first gripper weaving machine. The technology behind that loom has evolved into modern
textile innovations for the weaving industry. The new terry version of the GS900 rapier weaving
machine was developed on the same base machine of Smit’s 900 Series, taking full advantage of new
developments together with unparalleled cost-efficiency. The GS900 F combines the innovative terry
weaving technology with newly developed mechatronic solutions that ensure unparalleled versatility
and quality for the finest and most sophisticated terry production. The GS900 F is distinguished
by: • Dynamic Pile — the electronic drive of sley motions for a freely programmable pile formation;
• Loose pick distance of up to 24 millimeters; • Free programming of pile height to create relief
patterns and waveforms while the machine is running; • Freely programmable loop formation,
switching between different pick ratios while the machine is running and creating pile relief in
the weft direction; and • Optimized electronic control of pile and ground warp. The new GS900 F is
available in eight working widths — from 220 centimeters (cm) up to 360 cm — with dobby or jacquard
shed control and ensures excellent ergonomics, easy operation and unparalleled cost-efficiency,
according to the company. ConclusionItalian textile technology has made great inroads in the
international market and benefits from a close relationship between machinery builders and fine
local Italian textile manufacturers. This relationship, and a focus on quality, has created an
environment for innovation in each sector of textile technology. Selecting the proper machinery to
create a modern textile company is never easy, but the selection offered by the Italian textile
machinery producers offers quality, flexibility, productivity and innovation — all worth
consideration while investing in new technology.

November/December 2005