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Brescia - Busi Giovanni has been expanding the application possibilities of one of its most advanced machines for the production of complete textile sport shoe-bodies.

The sports shoe-body is knitted on the unique Twin Layer machine equipped, crucially, with the company's Rimaglio toe-closing technology. The finished product can then be integrated in a real sport shoe with the addition of a moulded sole, laces and any other accessories.

"Over the past months, this innovation has aroused considerable interest from some world major sport shoe manufacturers, that are currently making customized tests on our machines," said Michele Castagna, Export and Marketing Manager, Busi. "While any single cylinder sock-knitting machines would be appropriate to knit a shoe-body, by using the Twin-Layer, you can play with two different fabrics, linked wherever you want, therefore having a lot more options at your disposal and also tremendously increasing the thickness and resistance of the shoe-body itself."

Busi's Twin Layer technology, the only single-cylinder sock-knitting machine capable of producing two fabric layers at the same time (with the ability to use different yarns), has made a significant impact on the sportswear market over the last few years.

During production, the internal sock is knitted through the dial needles while the external part of the sock is knitted through the cylinder needles.

The two layers can be joined at any point of the sock, apart from the heel and toe, although it is possible to join the two layers right before and after the heel and toe but not when knitting them. At any point, where the machine is knitting a two layer sock, the layers can be merged while it is also possible to begin and interrupt the second layer during a revolution allowing the production of shaped pockets inside the sock. It is also possible to knit the socks with a double layer in just a part of the sock, for example only in the sole.

An interesting application, which has attracted the attention of sporting bodies and leading sports sock manufacturers, is the creation of these pouches inside the socks, which can then be used to hold sports items such as shin-pads attached inside a soccer sock. This means there is no direct contact between the shin guards and the skin, therefore avoiding excessive perspiration and unpleasant irritations.

Optional elements on the Twin Layer system include a device for the production of 3-dimensional patterning and the installation of the Rimaglio device for classic linking.

The Twin Layer is available in 4 and 4/12 ins diameter with between 72 and 156 needles and in gauges 24G and 36G.

Knitting possibilities include 1x1 true rib welt, double welt, embroidery patterns in five colours plus the ground as well as embroidery patterns on a mock rib base with four colours per course plus the ground.

Further options include a single feed mesh pattern with an additional five colours per course plus the ground, floated yarn mesh patterns in two feeds, two colour jacquard patterns on a flat knit base and true rib fabric in 1x1, 3x1, 5x1 etc.

The latest version of the Rimaglio system is located on the left-hand side of the machine, which means the knitting technician still has full accessibility to the knitting head.

The sequential operation of the new device starts with the yarn finger head being raised when sock knitting has been completed. The cylinder then stops in a pick-up position with the help of a mechanical clutch. The knitting head is then raised and the toe-closing device swings across and aligns itself exactly above the cylinder needles. It is then lowered to a position where pick-up elements position themselves precisely onto these needles. Individual knitted loops are then transferred from the cylinder needles on to the toe-closing device. The sock is then picked up and the arm swings the device back into its position underneath the tubular sock-turning piston on the left-hand side of the machine. The knitting head is closed again and knitting of the next sock commences.

As knitting of the next sock commences, the completed sock is pushed upwards and turned inside out by a sock-turning tube. This means stitching of the toe occurs on the inside of the sock to replicate traditional linking. Next, two half-crowns, on which the last knitted course is located, close like a jaw superimposing the two halves of the sock toe on top of each other. Loops from the two separate courses are placed on the same comb. At this point, the sock toe is ready to be stitched closed, and the linking-device starts up sewing the toe area of the sock fabric with stitch-for-stitch linking. Needles pass through the loop twice to give a secure stitch and improve the elasticity of the seam.


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