By Knitting Industry
This article was published by Knitting Industry December 13, 2021.
Shima Seiki USA, a subsidiary of the Japanese flat knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd., has announced it is closing its Monroe, New Jersey facility and relocating its US headquarters to Los Angeles. The company issued the following statement today.
“It is with heavy hearts to announce that Shima Seiki U.S.A. Inc. will be closing its NJ offices at 22 Abeel Road in Monroe Township, NJ at the end of this year. (Dec 2021) Please note that we will be relocating our headquarters to our LA office location at 2301 E7th St, Los Angeles, CA. In addition, we will be making necessary changes over the next few months and will update our customers where changes are needed.
We’d like to take this time to reflect back on our 35-year journey at USA. We first opened our NJ Offices in 1986, to service our USA customers where knitwear manufacturing was still heavily prevalent in the Northeast. During the 80’s, many manufacturers hadn’t outsourced their production overseas yet, and there were still many knitting facilities across Philadelphia and New York. Since then, in the late 80’s, we started to see brands shift manufacturing overseas to reduce costs and cut corners, but also noticed the downfall in knitwear due to them losing touch with the true craftsmanship towards knit design.
Since then, we released the world’s first WHOLEGARMENT – fully automatic apparel 3D Knitting machines in 1995, which caught the attention from many brands and companies, and was named “Oriental Magic,” from being able to knit a single sweater from yarn in only 30 minutes. This had a historical impact on the industry with an innovative solution of “eliminating sewing.” This technology allowed knitted goods to be produced with less labor, which was crucial to reshore production back to the US where labor costs are high. This technology which is now over 25 years old, has undergone continuous improvements and innovation to be where its at today, and is known as the most sustainable forms of knitting today.
In the 2000s, we started doing a little bit of sampling and production at our facilities to showcase a business model for US Knitters to understand that reshoring production is achievable with WHOLEGARMENT. Since then, we’ve generated a decent amount of interest and demand, which was quickly adopted by many of our forward-thinking machine customers to offer a more sustainable product for their customers. Now that we have established knitters in the US that offers WHOLEGARMENT production, and so we no longer had the need to showcase a business model factory and winded down our sampling and production services around 2018.
During these amazing 35 years, we’ve held numerous seminars, sample showcases, events, and parties at this location. Although many knitters have disappeared in the Northeast, we’re starting to see a huge revival in domestic manufacturing, not only in fashion applications but also across various industries including home goods, automotive, medical, and more! Please note that we are looking into a new facility in New Jersey and will keep you up to date on our new offices, in order to continue servicing our customers in the East Coast.
We would like to thank you for your support and for your business and it was truly a pleasure working with you all, especially for those who had a chance to visit our NJ Offices. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns or if there is anything at all that we can do to help you through this transition period. Thank you again for your continued business and interest in Shima Seiki, and we look forward to continuing to work with you moving forward.”