Digitalisation meets traditional knitwear


Aidenbach, Germany

Bavarian knitwear manufacturer Astrifa GmbH relies on Stoll’s Create Plus for the production of its traditional sweaters.

Knitted jackets, pullovers, hats and scarves in traditional costume style are a tribute to craftsmanship, but these are often produced in ultra-modern production facilities, as the example of Astrifa GmbH, a Stoll flat knitting technology customer shows.

The traditional company, based in Aidenbach in the Passau district of Bavaria, has around 70 employees and produces around 700 items for men, women and children every week. The finest merino wool from England is processed and the equipment consists exclusively of Stoll flat knitting machines, including the latest representatives of the ADF and CMS series.

Astrifa also relies on pioneering solutions when it comes to programming the machines, and Karl Mayer Stoll’s Create Plus is used alongside other patterning systems.

Long-standing successful partnership

Astrifa was founded in 1948 in Lower Bavaria, moved to its current location in 1953, and began specialising in traditional costume clothing in 1978. The successful knitting company has worked with Stoll almost from the very beginning.

Even during an extensive expansion and renovation project in the 1980s, the latest generation of machines were supplied by the renowned industry player. Today, a total of 17 Stoll flat knitting machines are in operation at Astrifa. The reason for the long-standing partnership is reliable all-round support.

“What I appreciate about Stoll is the always comprehensive support in all matters, whether problems with machines, software or pattern technology,” says Werner Wohlfahrt. The knitting line manager at Astrifa works with Create Plus in the area of patterning systems.

The Create Plus software combines a full-featured, advanced programming system with an easy-to-learn user interface, revolutionising the programming of Stoll flat knitting machines. The software also stimulated great interest at ITMA 2023. New versions are released every four months; in addition to many detailed improvements, the current release contains a greatly expanded system for multi-part knitting compared to the previous software and an extensive option for creating reports and statistics.

In an interview with Wolfram Geuppert, Head of Development Knitwear Design Systems at the Karl Mayer Stoll Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Werner Wohlfahrt explained that he has not yet switched over completely due to his machinery, but that he uses Create Plus to its full extent on his newer machines. Pattern creation as a project in conjunction with the design level and the line cuts are particularly relevant for him.

Overall, Werner Wohlfahrt considers Create Plus to be a good success, even if he is still waiting for individual functions. For the further development of Create Plus, he would like to see a constant dialog between the manufacturer and users, which Wolfram Geuppert is happy to agree to.

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