Knitting & Hosiery
Südwolle Group and Santoni collaborate towards a new footwear concept
Südwolle Group, the renowned manufacturer of worsted yarns in pure wool and wool blends, together with Santoni Group, a world leader in manufacturing circular knitting machines and pioneer in the seamless technology, are presenting an innovative footwear concept with an upper in seamless wool fabric. Starting from November 2018, the respective shoe models will be presented at the upcoming textile trade fairs: Performance Days (28/29th Nov), ISPO (3rd-6th Feb), Pitti Filati (23rd-25th Jan) and Filo (27/28th Feb).
Footwear marries the current trend for knitted uppers with 3D intarsia and profiles, lending itself to numerous variants and personalized interpretations in the ambit of active and fashion wear.
A fit that is perfectly gauged to the foot shape, the breathability of the upper and a sensation of comfort in dynamic contexts are the distinctive characteristics of this footwear. It is the result of Santoni Group’s X MACHINE technology and the performing wool blend yarns by Südwolle Group in combination with fibre expertise coming from EMS Grilon®.
Especially for the footwear market, Santoni created the X MACHINE, which offers the possibility to knit countless intarsia items for designing any kind of seamless uppers. This machine allows the mapping of different areas according to the type of yarn used and the various combinations chosen. This way a finished shoe body is produced that is ready for the application on the sole, the last manufacturing stage of the shoe. With the help of X MACHINE the production process becomes more efficient, reliable and costs can be minimized. Product-wise the shoe uppers can be designed with unlimited patterns and colour combinations including three-dimensional areas and eyelets for the laces.
Südwolle Group, manufacturer of yarns for circular knitting and hosiery, collaborated with Santoni Group in the development of the prototype. In fact, the yarn used for the upper is of fundamental importance: thanks to the properties and structure of the fibres, it is possible to enhance the potential of the footwear and heighten its performance.
The project has been based on Südwolle Group yarns, constructed and twisted specifically for this purpose in order to effectively meet the objective. The company has selected wool-based blends with a high technical content, to offer the natural qualities of wool fibres to footwear destined for sports activities and activewear.
Anti-static, elastic with a soft hand feel, wool ensures excellent heat insulation and absorbs body moisture, while transporting it away from the skin and outside the fabric. The fibre is antibacterial, odour resistant and affords protection against UV rays. It is actually thanks to these properties that the use of wool for footwear is an ancient tradition which Südwolle Group has recovered and applies to an industry that is extremely modern, technological and defined by high levels of performance.
Two different yarns have been used.
Cord-Wool Stretch Nm 12.500 Z 280 is a blend of Merino wool, Cordura® and Lycra® with a perfectly balanced mix of the durability, light weight and resistance to abrasion typical of Cordura® and the high quality of Merino wool.
Buran Sport Nm 7.500 Z 280, a blend of Merino Extrafine anti-shrinkage with cationic polyester with climate effect, offers a level of performance that is ideal for a dynamic lifestyle. The upper in Buran Sport is quick drying with an extremely soft hand feel, low pilling, easy-care and machine washable without risk of shrinkage or loss of its vivid colours. The Trevira® polyester, with its “Dual Channel” fibre profile, blended with wool, enhances the properties of odour resistance, heat insulation and moisture absorption: in other words it enables moisture to evaporate externally, keeping the skin dry and ensuring lasting comfort.
Both yarns have been processed in a thermal fuse blend with Grilon® melting fibre (Grilon® k85 390dtex and 840 dtex), a material which is of fundamental importance in retaining the shape of the knit fabric upper with its 2D and 3D structure.