Stoll, a leading manufacturer of flat knitting machines based in Reutlingen, Germany, has completed 40 successful years working in the African market. For more than four decades, Africa has always played a significant role for Stoll. Especially in South Africa and Kenya, Stoll machines, built in the 50s / 60s of the last century, are still running fine.
For many years, Stoll has successfully served markets such as South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, and the North African states (including Libya). In particular, the market around Madagascar will continue to develop. As one of the sub-Saharan countries, Madagascar enjoys advantages in terms of exports to Europe and the US. Where products are currently knitted to a large extent on hand machines, before long these will be replaced by electronic flat knitting machinery. An important re-launch of locally produced knitwear can also be seen in South Africa, a country which was largely dominated by Chinese imports in the past decade. Mauritius, once the largest producer of fine knitwear in the region, is becoming a hub for luxury cashmere products, knitted for niche markets.
Less and less cheap knitwear from South East Asia is cleared at South African customs. Cheap and low quality knitwear should be slowly banned from imports, according to the South African government. Therefore, it is offering an attractive incentive programme, helping local manufacturers to benefit from ‘Proudly made in South Africa’. These days, Stoll machines are playing an important role when it comes to the revival of “school sweater production”. The main centre; of knitting school-sweaters and -cardigans is Newcastle.
But not only school sweaters are produced in South Africa; highly fashionable knitwear, designed by well-known local designers is knitted in Johannesburg and Cape Town on Stoll machines. Most of South African department stores source knitwear on the East coast. Sourcing companies mainly rely on knitters equipped with Stoll as they appreciate the great flexibility regarding of proven Stoll technology, as well as the fast delivery by Stoll customers. (GK)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India