The new Siruba F007K flat hemming machine available at the end of 2010

The new Siruba F007K flat hemming machine available at the end of 2010

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This roundup highlights some of the more unusual products which caught Niki Tait's eye at the recent SPESA Expo and Techtexil North America exhibitions in Altanta, Georgia.

  • BigC Dino-Lite has developed a series of small hand-held USB digital microscope cameras with different magnifications and lighting, including ultraviolet. These scopes are highly portable and can be used for any work requiring close magnification and photography.
  • For 33 years Taiwanese company Murata has been producing shirring and smocking machines. Its latest development is the W-A118XXL 3/16 which, with 118 needles, is probably the largest and most flexible decorative sewing machine in the world.
  • Siruba has reintroduced its tacking machine, the BT 290. By undoing just two screws the machine can be converted for button attachment. Also new is its BH 790 electronic buttonhole machine which can be programmed for 99 different buttonholes as well as cyclic sewing. In prototype is a new hemming machine F007K for hemming flat knitted pieces, rather than a tube, and should be available at the year end.
  • Durkopp Adler has recently adapted its shirt and jean automatic pocket attaching machine for use on closed tubular knit products. The 806-121100 folds the pocket and attaches it on one machine, sewing 1700 pockets in 480 minutes. No pre-creasing is necessary, there is no pucker in the seam, the tubular knit is held in place by vacuum, the pocket by a clamp. The finished product is automatically stacked.
  • All America has developed a new way of attaching decorative sequins quickly and securely, with full washability, making this an alternative to sequin sewing or using embroidery machines. The AASP-300 sequin motif machine enables special types of sequins to be stuck onto a sticky-backed transfer paper which holds them temporarily in position. The transfer paper is then laid on top of the garment in the heat press, which melts the glue on the sequins, fixing them permanently to the garment.

    The glue is similar to that used on rhinestones but because the sequins are fed from the sequin machine onto the transfer paper without heat, the operation is very quick; all sequins are then stuck on in one operation. Any standard heat press will work. Sequins are apparently six times cheaper than rhinestones and can be applied six times quicker.

    There are three different sequin heads on the machine, so three colours or sizes can be attached. The screen measures 16" x 25," and 80 images can be pre-programmed and 3000 sequins can be programmed per image. Additional colour and imagery can be added by using sublistatic papers and the same heat press.

  • A nice addition to the DTG digital garment printer is the automated costing system which works out how much of each colour ink is being used in any particular design - thus calculating the digitally printed cost of that design. This can attach to the HMI-C, which incorporates a patent-pending White Ink Management System which means the white ink run is ready to print when the colour run is required. Long lasting durable prints are produced with detail up to 2880 dpi, four times faster than previous systems.
  • King Tech produces highly reflective fabrics made using a microscopic glass bead reflectant technology which is laminated to the fabric surface and can become an integral part of a design, in contrast to reflective tapes that are sewn onto a garment. For maximum visibility, a day-glow orange base fabric is used for day light illumination.

    For additional strength King Tech uses its special HYGY fabric which is treated with silicone and offers water and abrasion resistance, as well as being breathable and tolerant to heat (including sizzling oil), cold and chemicals.

  • Taiwan-based Kings Metal Fiber Technologies must be one of the most interesting 'smart textile' component manufacturers. One of its latest developments is technology that puts arrow lights on the back of a cycling shirt which flash brightly when the cyclist is about to turn right or left, and lights up a stop sign when the cyclist slows down to stop. This technology can also be incorporated into the cyclist's gloves to highlight which way the cyclist is going to turn.

    However, the company mainly works on components for integral heating, lighting and body sensors which address the comfort, safety and medical markets.

  • As a replacement to laminated foam, Heathcoat Fabrics offers 'Spacetec', a three-dimensional spacer fabric range that can be made to incorporate many different properties. As a one-piece knitted structure it has advantages over traditional foams and multi-layer fabrics, with benefits said to include comfort (cushioning and shock absorbing), and airflow (3D construction reduces heat build-up and allows air circulation). It can also be heat moulded and shaped. Unlike foams, Spacetec fabrics are suitable for recycling.