Partner Profile: SANTONI
Introducing the X Machine
Founded in 1919, Santoni is the premier Italian sock knitting machine manufacturer who over the last 20 years has developed a series of seamless, circular knitting machines, used by the world’s leading luxury, sportswear and high-street brands.
A revolution in textile machinery, seamless machines were initially limited to underwear and hosiery production but have since evolved to create knit-, sports-, beach-, outer- and medical wear. These high-tech knitting machines can incorporate different weaves, densities and elasticities within a single garment, to improve fit and support around the body as well as ease of movement at the joints. Being free of seams eliminates the need to cut and sew pieces of fabric, meaning faster finishing times, reduced labour costs and fewer machines involved.
The latest in the Santoni seamless lineup is the X Machine for footwear. Using a 3D sock knitting process that maps directly onto the foot, the X Machine enables the production of zero-waste, one piece uppers – complete with eyelets – in record time: from 5 to 7 minutes per piece. The lightweight, breathable knitted upper is then ready for immediate application onto the sole. Thanks to the Santoni Intarsia System, the 4-feed knitting machine also offers unlimited pattern and colour combinations.
Together with Lenzing and Procalçado, Santoni developed a more sustainable sneaker, combining on-demand production with biodegradable materials: in this case a Procalçado PURA LATEX® sole and an upper woven from wood-based TENCEL™ fibres. This shoe was recently presented at NEONYT AW19 as part of the Innovation Roadshow showcase The Future of Eco-Conscious Footwear Manufacturing.
From the Vetements sock boot to the Nike FlyKnit and Adidas x Parley sneaker made from recycled ocean plastic, woven footwear is standing firm, and in an increasingly vegan-friendly world, expect to see more brands putting their best foot forward in leather-free, knitted shoes. Accordingly, Santoni strives to make the industry more circular with their groundbreaking machinery and hopes to work with more like-minded companies to explore the full potential of this new era in footwear.