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STOLL successful in Madagascar & Kenyan markets

19
Sep '18
Courtesy: SToll
Courtesy: SToll
STOLL, the leading manufacturer of flat knitting machines, has been working with the African market for over 40 years. The company has been successful in the Madagascar and Kenyan markets. Madagascar is dominated by the flat knitting industry. Kenya is the largest exporter of garments in the sub-Saharan area followed by Lesotho, Mauritius, and Ethiopia.

The investment on STOLL machines is increasing each year in Madagascar. STOLL customers mainly go for 2- and 3-system compact machines that give them an optimum on productivity for an attractive price. 2017 even saw the first STOLL ADF (independent direct feeding) machines coming to the market, according to a company press release.

In the city of Ants Irabe, textile producers are installing new factories to make use of an even cheaper labour. But, cheap labour does not automatically provide a desired output. In general, one has to train more people over a longer period of time to finally get what one needs. One huge STOLL customer has already installed and a second one building up his factory to be operational by the end of 2018. A large quantity of STOLL machines has already been proposed for that project. Main countries are France, Germany, the US, and South Africa.

Kenya has a huge weaving industry and mainly produces and exports all kinds of uniforms and traditional Kikoi products (colourful wraps, scarfs). The flat knitting sector is dominated by the production of school sweaters. So far only hand flat machines and basic semi-electronic machines from China and India were/are used for school sweater manufacturing. As living standard is rising, high quality school uniforms are in great demand. It was already the beginning of the 1980s that the first electronic STOLL machines were imported. The STOLL customer from that time is still in the business and can be seen as the pioneer of all flat knitters in Kenya.

Today, STOLL is having a very sound customer base in Kenya, all producing high quality school sweaters on the latest CMS high productivity version. At the first purchase, all STOLL customers get training by Stoll’s technical department. This specialised training makes the local technicians fit and able to reply to all requested demands. This training makes Stoll unique in the market. There is no other supplier of electronic flat knitting machines offering this service, therefore another important reason why customers are opting for STOLL.

As flat knitted fashion items are up to now mainly imported as new or second hand, this field has been quite neglected by local producers. With the assistance of STOLL, by recommending special fashion trade-fairs, yarn suppliers, potential buyers, our (potential) customers are starting to enter this field. Locals are eagerly waiting for fashion items, suitably priced and made in Kenya. Stoll customers, supplying school uniforms and/or traditional Kenyan garments, see this as a new and huge opportunity to open up a new business field. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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