New zero-twist towel from KARL MAYER pushes the range for the premium segment.
In June 2021, KARL MAYER launched its TM 4-TS EL terry knitting machine with the new working width of 210″ and in a gauge of E 28 in China, and shortly afterwards the textile experts at the Chinese subsidiary developed a first new product on the newcomer. The work involved processing Solucell, a twisted cotton yarn with low twist and environmental benefits over conventional counterparts, into a snug zero-twist towel article. The innovative product is softer and more compact than previous terry fabrics, perfectly meeting the current market demand for high-quality offerings.
Quality comes before price
For a long time, quality of life in China was associated with the purchase of high-priced, latest models of cell phones, cameras, computers and the like, but now people are rediscovering their love of details, such as cozy home textiles. Towels in particular are in daily use and closely associated with a pleasant everyday life. On the domestic market, absorbent bathroom products were traded for years as low-price items. In the recent past, however, purchasing behavior changed. Consumers purchase new towels more often and pay more attention to their quality. In addition, the demands placed on the product are increasing. It’s no longer just the basic functions – cleaning and drying – that are in demand, but a soft, full handle, a variety of colors and different styles. The trend shift away from price orientation towards quality and brand competition is being given new impetus by the new development from KARL MAYER.
Soft, voluminous and durable – premium quality terry towels
The new article is based on the proven double face design for terry fabrics. The basic design here consists of a pillar stitch-weft lapping combination implemented by the GB 2 and GB 3 ground guide bars, which provides stability in the longitudinal and transverse directions. GB 1 and GB 4 are responsible for the terry loops on both sides. In combination with the yarn selection, the loops form a uniformly voluminous, soft surface. GB 2 processes polyester. GB 1, GB 3 and GB 4 were threaded with a combination of cotton and Solucell. The cotton content of the finished product is just under 94%. The use of Solucell results in terry loops of pure cotton, with low twist and linear density. The yarn material is fluffier than the previously used highly twisted cotton yarns and enables an extremely soft, even surface as a quality predicate.
The machine gauge used has further positive effects on the quality. Due to a configuration in E 28, the TM 4-TS EL produces fabrics with a high loop density, which ensures a full, compact handle. The terry loops are also firmly interlaced into the fabric ground. This allows the towels to be used for a long time without any loss of quality. A sample of the new zero-twist towel can be found in the Pattern section of this issue of „Kettenwirk-Praxis“.
Processing without restrictions
There are many types of home textiles, and depending on the end use of the products, different processes have to be combined in their manufacture. When it comes to the production of terry fabrics, the TM 4-TS EL is an efficient and universal machine. The all-rounder processes spun yarn in gauges ranging from Ne 60 to Ne 12, and is suitable for the production of towels, bathrobes and other bathroom articles. Equipped with four guide bars and electronic guide bar control, the TM 4-TS EL meets the most diverse market requirements. The machine also impresses with its ease of operation, reliability and excellent price/performance ratio. During production of the new zero-twist towel, the intended maximum speed of 800 min-1 was achieved without any problems.
To extend operating time without changing beams, the warp beam support can be modified to accommodate beams with larger flange diameters. For GB 1 to GB 3, 40″ warp beams are possible. GB 4 can be equipped with the yarn material of warp beams with 50″ flange diameter.
Flexible warp preparation
For the production of warp beams, KARL MAYER has the right direct warping machine on offer in the form of the ISO COTTON. The model is available in ISO COTTON 21/40 and ISO COTTON 84/40 versions. The larger machine produces warp beams with dimensions that are also common in weaving.
In addition, warp beams from warp preparation systems for weaving can also be used on the TM 4-TS EL. KARL MAYER offers the appropriate warp beam support and suitable technology for this purpose: a modification kit for existing WARPDIRECT and BENDIRECT models. The modification option should be of particular interest to manufacturers of woven terry fabrics. Unlike weaving, no sizing and desizing is required for warp knitting. This saves chemicals, water and energy. Moreover, warp knitting machines are more productive than their technological counterparts, air-jet looms.
Further work already planned
KARL MAYER’s textile product developers have gained extensive experience in the field of terry knitted fabrics, particularly with regard to the perfect match between the gauge and the yarns used, and in terms of the design of the knitted structure. In their work, they focus on the appearance as well as on the performance and practicability of the towel. In a next step, the textile experts want to process functional antibacterial yarns on the terry knitting machine, thus, promoting the hygiene aspect.