17/04/2019 – Techtextil Gebrüder Otto — auf Deutsch lesen

New, customer-specific solutions from the spinning mill

High-quality natural fibre yarns and threads, which has increasingly established itself in the area of technical yarns and textiles.


Knitwear produced on the spinning and knitting machine is used in the manufacture of protective clothing. It combines increased wearing comfort and improved product properties. © Gebrüder Otto


Cross-technology know-how, an unconditional customer focus and reliable product quality

Otto aims to use the forthcoming Techtextil trade fair to sound out further novel textile applications together with customers, interested parties and trade visitors.

Personal discussions lay foundations for forward-looking solutions

“Personal discussion is the foundation stone for successful collaboration that leads to a highly customised solution in technical yarns and textiles,” says Andreas Merkel, Managing Director of Gebrüder Otto. “That is why it will be our focus at Techtextil. It is the best way to find out whether our competences and the requirements sought tend to match and we may already be thinking along the same lines.”

He sees his company as being well placed for this purpose at the bw-i stand, where special attention is paid to promoting small and medium-sized firms. The bw-i stand also hosts universities and research institutes with which Otto, in common with many engineering companies, collaborates closely on a day-to-day basis. The family firm regularly serves as an experimental spinning mill or sparring partner when new machines or processes are to be tested. Merkel sees that as a benefit because “we increase our knowledge pool every time and, as a result, are increasingly seen by customers and partners alike as a competence and development centre. And as we are aware of ongoing developments at an early stage we can include them in our considerations when developing customer-specific solutions.”

Making everything possible: The kapok capsule as a symbol

Because technical textile solutions are so customer-specific, Otto will only be able to present a few hand-picked examples at Techtextil. Symbolising many innovative solutions, a kapok capsule will be on show. It belongs to the company’s core business – spinning yarn – and stands for the conviction that everything is possible, or can be made possible with tenacity, expertise and a spirit of innovation. On the basis of kapok fibre, long felt to be unspinnable, Gebrüder Otto developed a yarn that it markets under the brand name Piumafil. Kapok yarn also stands for the sustainability to which Otto aspires for all its raw materials, processes and products.

Adopting new approaches: Spin-knit fabric with a protective function

Another Otto success story is the products it knits with its spinning and knitting machine. It combines two previously separate processes – spinning and knitting – in one machine. That saves time, space and resources. The technology on which the machine is based is that of the circular knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie., as is the machine itself. In contrast to conventional knitting machines it processes roving, a slightly twisted roll or strand of textile fibres. The roving that Otto uses consists of meta-aramid fibres; the product is a fabric from which clothing with a protective function is made. Fire services are currently testing it in large-scale field trials. Feedback is positive: “Our test persons and everyone to whom we show the products are surprised that it is a purely aramid fabric,” says Robin Hefter, Gebrüder Otto’s product manager technical textiles.

The yarn from which the fabric is knitted is not twisted, a fact that has a positive effect on the finished product. “Our protective clothing feels so fine, so fluffy and so natural that everyone at first imagines it to be a cotton blend. ‘Air chambers’ also take shape between the straight fibres that for the same amount and weight of material increase the end product’s insulation capacity. With the spinning and knitting machine we thereby achieve increased wearing comfort and improved product properties compared with alternative production processes.”

Mayer & Cie. initially developed its technology for cotton and with the clothing industry in mind, but for Otto the focus has always been on technical applications and thus on other materials. “We continued working on it ourselves, adapting a number of components and carrying out a lot of trials,” Hefter says. “The result is successful processing of aramid roving, but other technical yarns are, of course, equally conceivable.”

In order to produce as ideal a product as possible Otto also always looks further afield than at its own options. It has its aramid jersey fabric, for instance, treated so that it has smell-retardant properties – a factor that definitely contributes toward the clothing’s wearing comfort.

Gebrüder Otto at Techtextil

14.–17. May, Frankfurt am Main

Baden-Württemberg International

Hall 3.1 booth D81