KARL MAYER North America organized the inaugural Textiles Innovation Conference to connect the textile manufacturing industry in America

Stronger together

The KARL MAYER GROUP not only supports customers with innovative machinery, digital solutions and professional services, but also with applications expertise and industry networks. In autumn 2023, the American subsidiary, KARL MAYER North America, inaugurated an annual technology conference for the textile community. The purpose of the conference is to (1) connect the textile supply chain; (2) share knowledge and applications experience; and (3) learn from others within the textile community. “We would like to position the KARL MAYER GROUP as a thought leader within the industry, connecting yarn through fabric formation to finished goods through personalized customer products,” says Mariano Amezcua, President of KARL MAYER North America, “Additionally, we would like to highlight the best practices and results that our flagship brands, KARL MAYER, STOLL, KM.ON can offer.”

KARL MAYER North America hosted the inaugural Textiles Innovation Conference on September 12-14 at its TexLab in Greensboro, NC. The conference consisted of technology demonstrations, supplier exhibits, and guest speakers. Around 120 guests participated in the event along with 15 guest speakers presenting various industry topics. An exhibition with 20 suppliers provided information on yarn and fiber manufacturers, automation solutions, and university programs.

A program focused on adding value

Representatives of the KARL MAYER GROUP presented the latest production technologies for warp and flat knitting, including the HKS 3-M as the first tricot machine of the digital generation, the DS OPTO – a warp preparation machine that combines the sectional warping of weaving preparation with the direct warping of warp knitting preparation to create a universal hybrid principle – and STOLL’s highly efficient flat knitting machine in the innovative ADF series. Live demonstrations on how to operate the machinery accompanied the theoretical explanations.

Guest speakers covered topics including sustainability, prototyping, warp preparation, and the future of knitting. A technology comparison evaluating the benefits of warp knitting vs. weaving was also presented.

The keynote speakers were the most anticipated sessions. Michael McDonald, President of Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas, provided insights and data on trends in global and regional trade for the apparel industry. Dr Andre West from North Carolina State University presented a “New FlexFactory” for the study of on-demand textile manufacturing principles. Donna Brin, CEO of bFIVE40 presented on “Automotive 3D Knitting” focusing on the advantages of flat knitting for rapid prototyping, customization, and scalability.

A successful inaugural conference

A wide variety of professionals attended the Textiles Innovation Conference from manufacturing executives, operations managers, and product designers to maintenance specialists and supply chain partners. Founders of textile start-up companies, university professors and government trade agents were also among the guests. Some visitors travelled from afar to attend our conference – Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and Italy.

Visitors were particularly impressed by the many opportunities to connect with industry colleagues. “Bravo KARL MAYER for a fantastic Textiles Innovation Conference. This conference is full of next-level ideas, industry inspiration, and great networking,” said a senior executive who attended the conference. “I had the opportunity to meet many suppliers in one place. Supply chain networking is extremely important,” commented another attendee who is a manufacturing expert.

The host was also very satisfied with its inaugural conference. Throughout the event, KARL MAYER North America received many requests for follow-up meetings and quotes, as well as an order. “Our first Textile Innovation Conference has proven that being a leader in the textile industry can pay big dividends,” concluded Mariano Amezcua. There is significant interest in near-shoring and even possibly establishing textile operation in the US. KARL MAYER North America is ready to connect its customers’ new operations with the supply chain in America. 

The next chapter begins

Work has already begun on preparing the second annual Textiles Innovation Conference. Plans are underway to gradually expand the primary focus. “Next year, we also want to focus on brand leadership and their needs from the textile manufacturing community. We will invite key brands from the apparel, footwear, and furniture industries. Ultimately, we want to integrate automation and on-demand principles to provide unique, higher-margin products to brands and their consumers,” says Mariano Amezcua.

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