Kelheim Fibres and Italian apparel brand Santoni develop viscose-based menstrual underwear using zero-waste production process; Santoni's SM8-TOP2V, SM4-TL2 circular knitting machines make soft outer layer, XT-Machine knits remaining layers in single tube

Sample article from our Tissue & Hygiene

KELHEIM, Germany , May 9, 2023 (press release) –

Kelheim Fibres GmbH and Santoni Spa have jointly developed an innovative and sustainable menstrual underwear garment based on advanced machine technology and high-quality performance viscose fibres. The product consists of a soft outer layer and an inlay made from special wood-based fibres from Kelheim. The result is a sustainable and high-performance product that combines comfort and functionality.

The soft outer layer is produced on Santoni SM8-TOP2V circular knitting machine or on the SM4-TL2 machine. One of the major advantages of these circular knitting machines is that they significantly reduce the amount of cutting waste or even allow production with zero-waste.

The Santoni XT-Machine, originally developed for the footwear market, is used for the functional inlay of the period panty. The unique XT-Machine allows for different layers to be produced with different yarns and knitting structures. This enables all three functions of the inlay – the absorption and distribution layer ADL, the absorbent core, and the back layer – to be knitted in a single tube. This reduces production time and costs and enables zero-waste production.

In the inlay, wood based Kelheim specialty fibres such as trilobal Galaxy® or the hollow Bramante fibre replace synthetic materials.

Santoni and Kelheim Fibres both stand for tradition as well as sustainability and innovation. Patrick Silva Szatkowski, Marketing Manager at Santoni, is pleased with the collaboration: “Our machines have changed the manufacturing process, making garments almost seam free and offering solutions for 3D knitting. Our goal is to provide efficient machineries to produce sustainable and comfortable garments while reducing the quantity of operations. The collaboration with Kelheim Fibres GmbH has been driven by the same values and we are proud of the excellent result”.

Natalie Wunder, Project Manager New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres, emphasizes: ” With this joint development and the combination of our different areas of expertise we have expanded our range of femcare products. Once again we show how our special viscose fibres play an essential role in performance and sustainability in hygiene products. I look forward to seeing the project commercialized soon – partners are always welcome.”

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