Low cost Indigenous design and fabrication of manually operated sock-knitting machine


Ethiopian government has identified textile as a key industry to the development of industrialization as well as the exploitation of local resources. Most of the textile products particularly garments consumed in Ethiopia are imported. Knitting is the most common method of textile processes producing tights, socks, sweaters, t-shirts etc. Socks are the widely consumed and frequently changed products.

In this project manually operated circular sock knitting machine was designed and produced at Bahir Dar University’s Institute of Technology for Textile, Garment and Fashion Design. Previously, this machine was not available in the country. All the parts of the machine are produced in the country except the needles. Needles for one machine cost no more than two hundred fifty ETB.

The use of the machine has various advantages. Its comparative lower cost of production, use of local yarn to produce socks and simple operation makes it the right investment for low income people especially women and disabled citizens. Development and utilization of the machine, after mass production, could contribute significantly in substituting imports of socks and related machines. For skilled operator, the machine can produce a pair of socks within 15 minutes.

Design and prototyping has been successfully concluded and the machine has been tested to be operative as intended. Now, the university granted further financial support to fine tune the construction so as to improve some parts of the machine and maximize its performance. Thus, as of May 2014, it will be ready for transfer and possible mass production.

The idea of further developing bigger diameter knitting machines for large diameter knitwear, including fully automated ones, has been boosted by the current commitment of the university management to financially support useful ideas under its <em>Made-In-Bahir Dar</em> initiative.

Ayano Koyrita Banale

M.Tech. in Textile engineering

Institute of Technology for

Textile, Garment and Fashion Design,

Bahir Dar University

Cellphone: +251-911-805934

E-mail <a href="mailto:%3Ca%20href="> </a><a href="mailto:ayubanale@gmail.com">ayubanale@gmail.com</a>