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Südwolle and Santoni present new footwear concept

The shoe models will be presented at the upcoming textile trade fairs, including Performance Days which takes place this week.

27th November 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nuremberg

Sports/​Outdoor, Clothing/​Footwear

Südwolle Group, the renowned manufacturer of worsted yarns in pure wool and wool blends, together with Santoni Group, a leader in manufacturing circular knitting machines and pioneer in the seamless technology, are presenting an innovative footwear concept with an upper in seamless wool fabric.

“Footwear marries the current trend for knitted uppers with 3D intarsia and profiles, lending itself to numerous variants and personalised interpretations in the ambit of active and fashion wear,” the companies explain. “A fit that is perfectly gauged to the foot shape, the breathability of the upper and a sensation of comfort in dynamic contexts are the distinctive characteristics of this footwear. It is the result of Santoni Group’s X Machine technology and the performing wool blend yarns by Südwolle Group in combination with fibre expertise coming from EMS Grilon.”

The shoe models will be presented at the upcoming textile trade fairs, including Performance Days which takes place this week, Pitti Filati in January, as well as at ISPO and Filo in February.

X Machine

Especially for the footwear market, Santoni created the X Machine, which offers the possibility to knit countless intarsia items for designing any kind of seamless uppers. This machine allows the mapping of different areas according to the type of yarn used and the various combinations chosen. This way a finished shoe body is produced that is ready for the application on the sole, the last manufacturing stage of the shoe.

With the help of X Machine, the production process becomes more efficient, reliable and costs can be minimised. Product-wise the shoe uppers can be designed with unlimited patterns and colour combinations including three-dimensional areas and eyelets for the laces.

Wool properties

Südwolle Group collaborated with Santoni Group in the development of the prototype. The yarn used for the upper is of fundamental importance, according to the manufacturer: “thanks to the properties and structure of the fibres, it is possible to enhance the potential of the footwear and heighten its performance”.

The project has been based on Südwolle Group yarns, constructed and twisted specifically for this purpose in order to effectively meet the objective. The company has selected wool-based blends with a high technical content, to offer the natural qualities of wool fibres to footwear destined for sports activities and activewear.

Anti-static, elastic with a soft hand feel, wool ensures excellent heat insulation and absorbs body moisture, while transporting it away from the skin and outside the fabric. The fibre is antibacterial, odour resistant and affords protection against UV rays.


Cord-Wool Stretch Nm 12.500 Z 280 is a blend of Merino wool, Cordura and Lycra with a balanced mix of the durability, light weight and resistance to abrasion typical of Cordura and the high quality of Merino wool.

Buran Sport Nm 7.500 Z 280, a blend of Merino Extrafine anti-shrinkage with cationic polyester with climate effect, offers a level of performance that is ideal for a dynamic lifestyle, according to Südwolle Group. The upper in Buran Sport is quick drying with an extremely soft hand feel, low pilling, easy-care and machine washable without risk of shrinkage or loss of its vivid colours. The Trevira polyester, with its Dual Channel fibre profile, blended with wool, enhances the properties of odour resistance, heat insulation and moisture absorption.

Both yarns have been processed in a thermal fuse blend with Grilon melting fibre (Grilon k85 390dtex and 840 dtex), a material which helps retain the shape of the knit fabric upper with its 2D and 3D structure.

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