When the industry talks about circular knitting in Bishu, the first name mentioned is invariably Miyata WF. Co., Ltd, whose new factory, finished in 2016, brings together knitting equipment previously across seven facilities into one impressively refined space.
Miyata WF is well-known in Japan as a manufacturer of jersey cloth, given it has the largest number of circular knitting machines in the nation. The company was founded in Ichinomiya in 1954, and ten years later a circular knitting facility began manufacturing jersey cloth in-house. In 1966, the current-day Miyata WF Co., Ltd. was incorporated, which continues to focus on the development and production of knitted and jersey wool textiles. The company has produced fabrics for countless underwear, outerwear, and sportswear brands within and without Japan, and has a textile library containing more than 30,000 samples, showcasing the rich variety of creation that takes place at Miyata WF.
A significant strength of this circular knitting specialist is the deep connection the company has with dyeing and finishing firms throughout Bishu. Miyata WF takes an integrated approach to the knitting, finishing, and shipment of textiles created by interweaving wool-blends, wool, cotton, hemp, nylon, and other materials. As soon as a jersey textile contains 10% or more wool, other production regions often see this as too difficult to dye or process; an opportunity that Miyata WF continually sees to hone its craft in Bishu, achieving a one-of-a-kind approach to textiles that brings together great knitting and finishing expertise.
The company’s factories are equipped with low-gauge (8G) machinery through to very fine high-gauge (40G) devices, with a total of 148 circular knitting machines all with different gauge sizes, the results of which have been presented each year at the international trade fair, Premiere Vision, since 2002. In between fairs, Miyata WF sees it as imperative to visit brands in person wherever possible, both domestic and overseas, to gain a direct understanding of the needs of their clients and the value this brings to the company when this information is passed throughout the company.
As a response to this feedback, in 2014, Miyata WF adopted the Nassenger PRO120 inkjet printer, which allows for the printing of patterns on knitted and jersey textiles. This new piece of equipment was purchased in particular to better meet the growing demand for high mix, low volume lots and short lead times. Miyata WF also has rare machinery like a variable needle, 16 gauge togglable circular knitter, of which there are only two in Japan. Given the company is always attuned to trends in the market to maintain a delicate balance between planning and production, Miyata WF’s enthusiasm for developing knit and jersey textiles is driving new possibilities for knitted wool textiles.