Picanol celebrates historic milestone with production of 400,000th weaving machine in Ieper


Picanol has achieved a new milestone with the production of its 400,000th weaving machine in Ieper, Belgium. This is a new high point of the company’s rich history of production, which started in Ieper. The very first Picanol weaving machine was produced in 1936, based on a design by Spanish engineer Jaimé Picañol, after whom the company was named. The 400,000th weaving machine, an OmniPlus-i Connect airjet weaving machine, leaves the home base in Ieper this week on its way to a customer in India.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement, which once again highlights our position as the global leader in weaving machines. Over the past decades, we have continually pushed our boundaries, always working in close partnership with our customers. At the same time, we have always remained true to our core mission — to design and manufacture innovative, high-tech weaving machines. The experience gained in the production, to date, of 400,000 weaving machines is also the best guarantee to our customers, worldwide, that Picanol produces the very best weaving machines on the market. This is, therefore, also the moment to thank all of our employees who have contributed to this milestone achievement over the past decades. It is purely due to their commitment and dedication that Picanol has grown into the world leader it is today,” explains Johan Verstraete, Vice President Weaving Machines.

A pioneer in weaving machine technology

A constant focus on innovation, combined with continuous improvement of products and processes continues to ensure Picanol’s capacity to surprise the market, time after time, with high-quality, innovative weaving machines. Indeed, since producing its first weaving machine in 1936, Picanol has introduced more than 20 new generations of weaving machines to the market, and recently also its new digital platform PicConnect. Sustainability Inside, Driven by Data, Smart Performance, and Intuitive Control are the basic principles applied in the development of every new weaving machine. In June, Picanol successfully participated in ITMA 2023 in Milan. This is the world’s most important, quadrennial, textile machinery fair at which, among other innovations, the new Ultimax rapier weaving machine was presented.

Today, Picanol is the technological leader in both airjet and rapier weaving machines, with production taking place in Ieper and Suzhou (China). Driven by an ongoing commitment to R&D, weaving machine speeds have evolved dramatically. The first (shuttle) weaving machine achieved a speed of approximately 140 wefts per minute. Today, the latest rapier weaving machine, the Ultimax, is able to reach industrial speeds of more than 800 wefts per minute. The OmniPlus-i Connect airjet weaving machine excels at speeds of up to 1,350 wefts per minute in weaving mills, which makes this machine the fastest airjet weaving machine in the world.

Picanol’s weaving machines are used daily in some 2,600 weaving mills, spread across more than 100 countries. Various fabrics are woven on these high-tech machines: clothing (e.g. denim, shirt fabric, sportswear, etc.), interior textiles (e.g. sheets, curtains, terry cloth, etc.) and technical fabrics (e.g. airbags, parachute fabric, canvas, car tire cord fabrics, etc.).