Thursday, May 29, 2014

Merrow ActiveSeam enters the Indian and Bangladeshi markets for athletic and technical apparel

Courtesy of StitchWorld India...

What does a 176 year old sewing machine manufacturer based in the US do when faced with competition from a Chinese sewing machine industry that is getting bigger by the day? For some the answer may be to cut prices or shut shop, but not for the Merrow Sewing Machine Company. Realising that there is only one survival mantra – innovate or exit – Merrow took the challenge and is today the proud patent owner of perhaps one of the most revolutionary inventions in the stitching domain in the last decade, ActiveSeam®. Charlie Merrow, CEO of the company who spearheaded the innovation, shares with StitchWorld the story behind the company’s latest innovation, which is set to redefine Merrow’s standing as a pioneer in the sewing and apparel industries.

Merrow taking product development back to the sewing machines with ActiveSeam®

“The ActiveSeam® program delivers branded Merrow technology and sewing quality to retail products. Significantly, for the first time the ActiveSeam® program shows customers that seams can be monetized.” Charlie Merrow, CEO, MERROW

Before the advent of ActiveSeam® in 2012,176year-old Merrow had already earned a name for itself worldwide with its range of sewing machines for knitwear, woven, home textiles,non-woven, military clothing, babywear and lingerie. The company has a presence in more than 60 countries through its global network of agents and dealers.

When Charlie and Owen Merrow took over the company 10 years ago, he was faced with some hard facts,as both manufacturing and sewing machine production was now centred in Asia. “The real turning point came when a customer asked us to design a stitch for a shoulder seam, where if you have a backpack on it, it doesn’t leave a mark. An idea was sown of having a seam which is flat on both sides…

The Merrow machine model number - MB-4DFO, a flat overlock serging machine that sews three versions of the Merrow ActiveSeam® only possible on the machines manufactured by the company

…and thin at the same time.” The rest as they say is history. 

Sewn by the MB-4DFO flat overlock serging machine from Merrow, ActiveSeam® has been inspired from a butted seam but imbued with the strength and aesthetic advantages of interlock, flatlock and overlock seams. TheMB-4DFO is a two or three thread premier industrial serger that sews three versions of the Merrow ActiveSeam®. 

The two thread version of the seam is called ActiveSeam® Comfort and the three thread version of the seam is called ActiveSeam® Infused. The seam has been patented by Merrow and hence only possible on the machines manufactured by the company.

The ‘Comfort’ version of ActiveSeam® is 5/32 inch wide and suitable for medium weight performance fleece fabric, running jerseys andwool-based innerwear. A 3/32 inch wide version of ActiveSeam® Comfort is called ActiveSeam® Slim which is suitable for hiking pants made with merino wool and apparel made with technical textiles having utilitarian applications. Although the two thread ActiveSeam® Comfort is suitable for all kinds of knitwear applications, the three thread version has much more aesthetic appeal due to the introduction of a third thread. The top thread conceals the second thread beneath it when the seam is relaxed and reveals it when the seam is stretched. 

The third thread is on the inside of the seam and bounds the other two top threads together. Fabric is butted, not lapped nor bunched together, giving a flat, non- bulky and comfortable seam. “The possibilities are endless with such a seam structure as not only can you use different colour threads for enhancing the look of the seam, but also use threads of different properties, makes, structure and thickness for varied applications,” asserts Charlie.

The seams have been certified by third-party testing agencies as having 30% more strength across their width and 100% more stretch across their length, when compared to a regular flatlock (4 needles, 6 threads, ISO 607) sewn with like thread and fabric.

Even though the machine is revolutionary, Charlie soon realised that without the consent of the buyers no one would buy their machines. “When marketing my machines to the brands, I ran into a problem, people said it’s just a stitch, so a story was required to create need for the machines. That is when we branded the seam and the MB-4DFO, protected the Intellectual Property Rights of the innovation and went to the brands with samples of sewn products,” recalls Charlie, who has received an overwhelmingly positive response from active sportswear brands like Jockey, Adidas, Reebok
and Nike. “For the first time ever a machine supplier would be nominated by buyers and brands… We have reinvented the whole wheel,” adds an upbeat Charlie. At the upcoming Texprocess show in Atlanta, USA, Merrow will display its range of ActiveSeam® machines for heavy duty applications, completing its range for all knit applications. The machine is not applicable for woven products.

The company has setup a development centre in the USA called the Stitch Lab®, to which people can send their product and fabric samples for unravelling the possibilities with ActiveSeam®. The same service will be offered by the company for interested customers in Bangladesh and India through its trade partner Anil Anand, MD, HCA. “The manufacturers need to understand that we are not selling them automated machines which guarantee enhanced productivity and lower the requirement in manpower. What we offer is based on the core fundamentals of product development and both manufacturers and brands are able to modify, update, and create new patterns and products,” adds Charlie, emphasising that product development is the essence of any bleeding edge apparel manufacturer.

With such a revolutionary product at hand, all Merrow had to do was to choose the right partners as a representative for its products. “HCA has a 100 year history in the business of sewing machines, which makes them ideal partners for us. They would not just be involved in selling and servicing our machines, but rather developing products with customers in the Indiansub-continent, without any additional or hidden costs,” concludes Charlie

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Taking Back Product Development - Merrow ActiveSeam in Apparel Online

As Merrow continues to increase its presence throughout the world, I thought I'd share a nice article featuring Merrow CEO Charlie Merrow and ActiveSeam. The article appeared in the April edition of Apparel Online Bangladesh and also calls out Merrow agent Hari Chand Anand & Co. who is helping spearhead ActiveSeam's proliferation in the Bangladeshi market. Enjoy.

Apparel Online, April 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

First Look - The Merrow Booth (3915) at Texprocess Americas

Merrow is going to be at Texprocess America in Atlanta in May, and we thought we'd share some 3-D models of our trade show booth. Come by for a visit and have a look at our new machines, new stitches, and new solutions!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Great Sewing Video of the Merrow MG-3U via EMB Centre...

We hope you speak Russian...

This video outlines the process used to "merrow" an embroidered emblem. It starts with embroidering the design and then cutting the shape for finishing on the MG-3U. In the video cutting is done by hand and sewing has been slowed down for illustrative purposes; in actual production, emblems patterns are die cut en masse and merrowed in a fraction of a second (circular emblems like the one depicted are edged at a rate of ~45 per minute!)


Обработка края шеврона с применением оверлока Merrow from EMBcentre on Vimeo.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Merrow will be in Poland - Come Visit Us April 9-10!

Merrow will be at the Techconfex Trade Fair in Lodz, Poland from April 9-10. Come see the MB-4DFO ActiveSeam® machine, MG-3U, and more at the Kanstec stand (Merrow's Polish agent). For those of you that read/speak Polish, here's an advert for ActiveSeam via Kanstec.

Friday, March 28, 2014

NEW Merrow Solution - Mobile End-to-End Seamer!


Merrow Mobile E2E Seamer
See it LIVE and IN ACTION at Texprocess!

Merrow's mobile E2E seaming solution is a battery operated butt-seaming machine that is designed to sew all manner of wovens, knits, and non-wovens. It is especially useful for geotextiles that are sewn on-site where mobility and portability are paramount.

Make an appointment and visit Merrow in Atanta for Texprocess and get FREE registration. Everyone that attends an appointment qualifies to win a FREE iPAD! (more details coming soon...)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Merrow Factory Service - ONLY $299!!!



Have your Merrow Serviced by the Best!  

Nobody knows Merrows better than Merrow technicians. But since they are all busy building and repairing machines in Fall River, MA, we devised the Factory Service Program to bring their expertise to you. For only $299 INCLUDING SHIPPING*, you can send your Merrow to the factory for an overhaul that includes a complete evaluation of the machine, NEW loopers, NEW cutters, and NEW needle(s) - we'll also let you know the cost of getting it running if it is no longer in working condition.

Contact for more information.

*Charges may apply for international shipments.
1. After you contact Merrow, a box arrives with a PREPAID SHIPPING LABEL in which you package and ship your machine to the Merrow Factory.
2. Once at the Factory, Merrow technicians disassemble, evaluate, and tune your machine to bring it to like-new running condition. Loopers, Cutters, and needle are replaced.
3. We ship your machine back to you (AGAIN, ALL SHIPPING IS FREE) sewn off and ready for work!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

To Recirculate Oil or Not to Recirculate Oil - That is the Question

Industrial sewing machines require oil, and Merrow machines are hard-working industrial pieces of finely tuned equipment. But not all sewing/seaming environments are created equal, which is why Merrow has multiple platforms to accommodate air and sewing particulates that can gunk up and damage machines - even those as tough as Merrows.

A Merrow 70-Class Machine on an automated railway - notice the
shavings that collect around the needle and in the dust chute
Take the Merrow 70-Class for example, a platform of end-to-end seaming machines suitable for dusty, dirty environments common wtih textile finishing facilities. The 70-Class does not recirculate oil so that the internal workings of the machines are washed clean with lubricant that is free from dust thrown off during the cutting and seaming process. As a result, 70-Class machines are used the world over because of their durability and longevity -  just imagine how long your car would last if you changed its oil on a daily basis.

On the other hand the Merrow MG platform (like the MB platform), does recirculate oil. The MG's are frequently installed in more "refined" environments where replacing oil would be messy and could soil finished goods. Cut and sew factories that use this platform are typically clearer of air-based particulates making it OK for lubricant to be recycled throughout the machine without frequent wholesle replacement. MG machines are associated with speed and efficiency but aren't necessarily recognized for their bullet-proof operation like 70's are. In the video below you can see how clean the sewing environment is and how fast the machine operates.

So. What if you want the speed of an MG but want to install it in an environment in which it will be subjected to air quality that borders on offensive? The answer is the Merrow 71-Class.  The 71-1D-2 and 71-1D-7 (for thicker material) run faster than standard 70-Class machines but like their butt-seaming cousins, they do not recirculate oil. This means output is increased without compromising the operational health of the machine. Just as with most 70-Class machines, both the 71-1D-2 and 71-1D-7 are available as nickel plated versions for further protection agains corrosion.

The 71-1D-2

The 71-Class Stitch, a 3/8" wide single thread butted seam.

There you have it. For sewing/seaming in an environment in which air quality is akin to that of an Egyptian sandstorm, you want a machine that does not recirculate its oil -  think Merrow 70 and 71 Class. If you're sewing fine chiffon between sips of imported herbal tea and don't want to soil the tablecloth, you want the recirculating features of Merrow MG or MB machines.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The 2014 Merrow Product Catalogue - IT'S INTERACTIVE!!! Get Your Hard Copy Today!

Get the 2014 Merrow Catalogue!

View and Share Merrow's Products in Multiple Formats

Hard Copy, Flipbook, PDF

The 2014 Merrow Catalogue is here! Available as the traditional (and great looking) hard copy version as well as a new INTERACTIVE FLIPBOOK featuring links to product pages, applications pages, downloads, and video! The flipbook allows you to easily view and share Merrow products and can be downloaded as a PDF (with rich content embedded) or printed! TRY IT NOW or EMAIL US for your hard copies!

Try the Merrow Flipbook!
Try the Merrow Flipbook!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Merrow 70-Class Bundles - IN STOCK!!!

Merrow End-to-End Seaming Bundles are IN-STOCK!

70-Class Machine, Raven Table & Motor, and Parts Package!

Contact your Merrow agent about the 2014 Merrow 70-Class Bundle featuring a Merrow 70-Class machine, the Merrow Raven table with motor, and a package of the most commonly used parts! The 70-Class bundle is IN STOCK and ready to ship!
Merrow 70-Class Machine
Merrow Raven Table & Motor
Maintenance Parts Package