Industry News

Milliken names new CEO

December 9, 2016

Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., has announced that J. Harold Chandler has been elected its chairman, president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Chandler’s appointment follows the resignation of Joseph M. Salley as president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. Chandler has served on Milliken’s board of directors for 14 …

Industry News

Sliva joins Herculite

December 8, 2016

Herculite Products Inc., an Emigsville, Pa.-based manufacturer of high-performance and custom fabrics, has hired Buddy Sliva as western regional sales manager–Awning and Marine. He will support Herculite’s distributors and manage awning and marine fabric sales including Strataglass™. Sliva comes to Herculite with many years of successful sales and business development experience both nationally and regionally. …

Industry News

New Future Fibres Hub in Australia

December 7, 2016

The Australian government’s research council has supported the creation of a $13.2 million university–industry collaborative center to develop value-added future fibers. Based at Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria, the Future Fibres Hub will lead the development of fiber-based materials ranging from short polymer fibers for the medical, textile and industrial sectors and carbon fiber composites …

Industry News

From the Charlotte Show Floor

December 6, 2016

Whether you’re looking to enhance your post-Expo experience or are seeing these companies for the first time, use the information below from IFAI Expo exhibitors to learn more about the products and services they provide. American Keder, Inc. Clean Canvas Industries BondCote   Custom Metal Crafters, Inc. Fil-Tec JUKI   Lancer Textiles Renson Ribbon Webbing …

Industry News

Gerber’s Digital Solutions to educate future FashionTech innovators

December 5, 2016

Gerber Technology, the world leader in integrated software and automated solutions for the apparel and industrial markets, announced they are partnering with Oklahoma State University to educate future fashion tech leaders as they prepare for careers in the industry. The Conn.-based company will provide products that will be available for design, housing and merchandising students …

Industry News

SBA proposes changes to SBIC Early Stage Program

December 2, 2016

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has proposed changes to its SBIC Early Stage Program, a feature of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. SBA has proposed a number of regulatory changes that seek to broaden access to the Early Stage Program and strengthen the impact of SBIC’s on early stage small businesses. SBA has introduced regulatory …

Industry News

Small Business: 10 Big Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

December 1, 2016

Small business owners put themselves in financial risk by not being prepared for the inevitable crisis. Failing to properly insure a company from revenue losses that follow operational downtime is a huge mistake, and could force a business to shut down permanently. Learn how to protect your assets and develop a resilient organization on Tuesday, …

Business

Good people, bad choices

December 1, 2016

Even the most well-intentioned employees are vulnerable to slipping into unethical choices when their lives lack balance. Ask an average person, “Would you voluntarily do something that is unethical or illegal?” Generally, he or she will reply something like, “Heavens, no!” People naturally prefer to do the right thing. However, when faced with enough pressure, …

Markets

Eyes in the sky

December 1, 2016

Drone photography is the latest tool for tent professionals to show off their stuff. I flew a drone for the first time at IFAI Tent Expo 2015 and was instantly obsessed. The experience of controlling a copter 400 feet away was amazing! The things I could see and the photos and video I could take …

Projects

Setting the stage

December 1, 2016

Each summer, Hermosa Beach in Southern California is home to the popular Sunset Beach Concert Series. This year, the organizers, music venue Saint Rocke and the City of Hermosa Beach, expanded the Sunday series with a free movie night every Saturday in August. The concerts and movies took place on a stage constructed on the …

Business

Good people, bad choices

December 1, 2016

Even the most well-intentioned employees are vulnerable to slipping into unethical choices when their lives lack balance. Ask an average person, “Would you voluntarily do something that is unethical or illegal?” Generally, he or she will reply something like, “Heavens, no!” People naturally prefer to do the right thing. However, when faced with enough pressure, …

Business

Soft sensors

December 1, 2016

Flexible data collectors that can be worn on (and eventually, in) the body have great promise for patient-focused health care, but there are privacy concerns. The market for smart sensors is expected to grow from $18.58 billion in 2015 to more than $57 billion by 2022, according to a report published this summer by MarketsandMarkets …

Business

Northern niche

November 1, 2016

Kate Mitchell is the owner of NOMAR, a Homer, Alaska-based company that develops unique items to serve the local industries. NOMAR first opened its doors in 1978 as Mitchell’s Marine Canvas & Upholstery. Today, it employs 15 skilled employees and offers American made clothing, ‘Laska Luggage,’ fisheries gear, parachute bags, upholstery and canvas boat tops. …

Business

The Halo effect

November 1, 2016

Threading carefully to minimize damages from patent infringement. The smart textile industry continues to respond to customer interest in interactive fabrics that meet a variety of needs, including the monitoring of athletic performance and the improvement of tissue reconstruction. This growth drives new approaches to solve problems, pushing the textile industry to draw on advancements …

Business

Price and value in the agricultural markets

October 11, 2016

Profit margins are tight for a lot of industries, but this is especially true in the agricultural arena, where profits can be wiped out—in some cases virtually overnight—by events beyond the control of growers and producers. Consequently, pricing has become a huge concern for all involved, say manufacturers of fabric agricultural products designed to mitigate …

Business

New technology and management strategies can prevent targeted cyberattacks

October 1, 2016

Modern, targeted cyberattacks can take any organization by surprise. And these targeted cyberattacks are increasingly widespread. CBS “Money Watch” reported in June 2015 that more than 80 percent of U.S. companies have been successfully hacked, according to a Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey. According to the CBS report, “Successful attacks by hackers involved …

Business

Shading for land or sea

October 1, 2016

Sandy Sturner is the managing director of Marine Tech LLC, a St. Thomas, Virgin Islands-based sail and canvas shop that thrives on challenging and unusual projects. Established in 1999, Marine Tech focuses during the winter “high” season on marine canvas with an emphasis on mega-yachts, and during the balance of the year concentrates on awning …

Business

Coating tests that evaluate five types of durability

September 1, 2016

The right coating chemistry can make the difference between a fabric that has long-lasting durability and one that fades, degrades and fails before its expected lifecycle. This is especially true of fabrics used in awnings, tents, flexible decking, outdoor furniture, marine upholstery and automotive seating, where exposure to harsh environments can hasten the product lifecycle. …

Business

Blair Belluomo brings a strong and appreciative management style to the family business

September 1, 2016

I went to school with many kids whose parents had businesses, and they thought that just because their parents ran a successful business, they could just step in and be successful as well,” says Blair Belluomo, owner and president of Belle Isle Awning in Roseville, Mich. “So many of them failed because they hadn’t had other …

Business

Test of time

September 1, 2016

Bea Heinz, owner of Jefferson Tent & Awning Co., St. Louis, Mo., has a bit of experience in the custom canvas industry—51 years to be exact. Established in 1911, the majority of Jefferson Tent & Awning’s business consists of the custom manufacture of commercial and residential canvas awnings as well as all types of canvas …

Business

Canada is putting a new emphasis on developing smart textiles and wearable innovations

September 1, 2016

Textile is rapidly becoming the most effective wearable technology form factor,” says Tony Chahine, CEO of Myant & Co., a member of the Canadian-based Smart Textile and Wearables Innovation Alliance (STWIA). “Smart textiles and wearables have the ability to provide a holistic picture of the body, enhance everyday life and even transform the future of …

Business

Bold predictions: What’s realistic for smart textiles

August 1, 2016

The words smart textiles have generated much discussion in the industry and the media recently. India-based market research firm Markets and Markets has estimated that the value of this high-tech textile sector will grow to $4.7 billion by 2020. Given that the smart textile industry was estimated to be less than $1 billion in 2014, …

Business

Providing “shady deals” since 1972

August 1, 2016

Debbie Lacy, general manager of The House of Canvas Inc., Glendale, Ariz., takes pride in her family owned and operated custom awning business. From residential and commercial window awnings to shade screens and roll curtains, everything from start to finish is done in-house. Here, Lacy shares her thoughts about the business, her predictions for the …

Business

Reinforcement of seismic proportions

July 29, 2016

A Japanese fabric manufacturer reinforces its showroom against future earthquakes, making a provocative visual statement. With the four main islands of Japan perched atop a convergence of three major tectonic plate boundaries, the country has a history of earthquakes and seismic activity. The ongoing seismic impact on buildings, infrastructure and population is significant, requiring some …

Business

Who’ll mind the store?

July 29, 2016

Internship programs are an untapped resource for finding the next generation of leaders for specialty fabrics businesses. After decades of building businesses within the textile industry, entrepreneurial baby boomers are entering a new phase of life. As CEOs, business owners and managers consider transitioning out of their leadership positions, they’re dealing with a lot of …

Business

Equipment purchasing: price and value

July 18, 2016

ROI is still an important factor in buying decisions, but qualities like reliability, durability and customer service are moving to the forefront. The return on investment (ROI) and how long it might take to achieve it is always a key consideration in most purchasing decisions, particularly during the Great Recession when pricing and ROI moved …

Business

Tips for building a strong management team

July 14, 2016

Training staff to be empowered, involved and empathetic means success in the present and in the future. Although it was years away—10 to be exact—from when Jerry Grimaud, president of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc., St. Louis, Mo., became the company’s sole owner in 2005, he didn’t waste any time considering an exit plan. …

Business

Projects and prototypes

June 29, 2016

Industry breakthroughs are proving the viability of photovoltaic fabrics. The University of Wisconsin–Madison may not be the first research institution you would think of for solar textiles research, but a relatively new research team is changing that low profile substantially. Marianne Fairbanks, assistant professor in the School of Human Ecology, and Trisha Andrew, assistant professor …

Business

Foundations built to last

June 29, 2016

Mal Maher is the CEO of NC Carpet Binding & Equipment Corp., a Newark, N.J.-based company that manufactures machinery and offers supplies for the flooring trade. Founded in 1947 by his uncle and grandfather, Maher got his start in the family owned and operated business in 2000. Here, Maher shares his thoughts about production challenges, …

Business

Working smarter, from fabric to product

June 29, 2016

Amsterdam-based studio works with manufacturers to bring a design sensibility to smart fabrics. The theme for this year’s Met Gala, the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art style spectacular that brings out top celebrities and fashion industry icons, was about fashion in the age of technology. Some designers took the opportunity to integrate smart textiles into …

Business

A succession solution

June 29, 2016

How to determine if an employee stock ownership plan is right for your company. An exit plan is generally not at the forefront of a company owner’s mind, especially at the height of career success, but it’s no less important than any other business strategy. When the time comes to step down, a comprehensive exit …

Business

Smart fabrics, smart move

June 29, 2016

From research to manufacturing reality through the AFFOA Institute. The AFFOA initiative provides an exciting opportunity to enhance the functionality of the fabrics that all of us interact with every day,” says Dr. Julianna Abel, University of Minnesota mechanical engineering assistant professor. These functional fabrics, or “smart fabrics,” can include “multi-material fabrics for medical and …

Business

Tents, trends and technology

June 1, 2016

From RFID to GPS, Mike Holland uses all the newest tools to keep Chattanooga Tent Co. at the leading edge. “We embrace technology here,” says Mike Holland, president of Chattanooga Tent Co., Chattanooga, Tenn. “Especially when it comes to material handling, we’re always looking for anything that can help us work smarter and be more …

Business

The digital marketing leap

June 1, 2016

Asking the right questions before choosing a digital marketing partner can save you time and money. There was a time when digital marketing could casually be left to employees who were interested in dabbling in online options. Now, however, digital marketing has grown up. Every business needs a plan that genuinely integrates traditional marketing efforts …

Business

Stretching tent technology

June 1, 2016

Anton van Druten’s knowledge of the stretch tent industry spans the globe, literally. As owner of Swift Tents, a Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada-based business that specializes in the installation of stretch tents and in the training of riggers and event crews, van Druten became familiar with the tent industry while living in South Africa. Here, …

Business

Leading the third generation

May 1, 2016

Ryan Chism, estimator and project manager at The Chism Company Inc., San Antonio, Texas, is the third generation working in a family-owned and managed company. Founded in 1951, the company has grown from a small home improvement business to a recognized industry leader in fabric and metal shade and protective solutions. Here, Chism shares his …

Business

Going social

May 1, 2016

Gain an edge over competitors by learning to navigate the sea of social media marketing. The ways in which social media is utilized for business are nearly limitless, but it is especially valuable for building brand equity, highlighting company culture, enhancing public relations efforts, complementing customer service, augmenting business development, developing customer relationships and strengthening …

Business

Brand new

April 1, 2016

A strong brand identity can drive sales, while a weak one holds a business back. Your business may be keeping up with economic and market changes and be on the leading edge of industry trends, but is your brand keeping pace? There’s no denying that today’s business culture is fast-moving and constantly changing. A leading …

Business

Ideas in harness

April 1, 2016

Michael Lester doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He builds a team of fellow innovators and comes up with tensioned fabric solutions. “We’re always innovating,” says Michael Lester, managing director of MakMax Australia Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane, Australia, a world-renowned company building custom membrane structures and manufacturing a range of shade products. “We’ve always got …

Business

Against the elements

April 1, 2016

Donald Franks is the owner of Shade One Awnings, a Toms River, N.J.-based awning company that specializes in residential and commercial awning sales, service and installation. Franks started the company in 2002 and has since set himself apart from competitors by focusing on motorized retractable awnings. Here, Franks talks about how he got his start, …

Business

Collecting sun and rain

March 1, 2016

A pair of dynamic fabric structures bookend the Taiwan landscape. From the northern most tip of Taiwan, where capital city Taipei is located, to the southwest coast, where Kaohsiung City, the country’s industrial center, greets the setting sun, two new installations showcase the capabilities of tensioned fabric. The north-south oriented island nation of Taiwan (population …

Business

Sailing the ocean blue

March 1, 2016

Leo Pohlmann, owner and designer of Uncharted Marine Canvas, Gulf Breeze, Fla., has been serving the Gulf Coast’s boat canvas and marine upholstery needs for more than 25 years. Recognized by the Marine Fabricators Association for his achievement in design, Pohlmann’s business objective of providing customers with cutting-edge material and design products has been a …

Business

Recent tax changes

March 1, 2016

Tax savings from another late law. Once again, lawmakers waited until late in the year to pass another “extenders” bill. The new “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015” retroactively extends quite a few tax-saving provisions, many of them quite narrow in scope such as those for film and theater producers, NASCAR® racetrack …

Awnings & Shades

Envision, build, repeat

March 1, 2016

Michael Catalano treats his clients as strategic partners—and that keeps them coming back. “We have a saying here: It’s not about the first job. It’s about the next job,” says Michael Catalano, CEO of Capitol Awning Co., Jamaica, N.Y. “And probably 90 percent or more of our work ends up being repeat business.” Michael Catalano …

Business

Connecting with students

March 1, 2016

Opportunities for the next generation. As businesses and industries transition and evolve, more professionals recognize the importance of continually connecting with the college and university students who may be interested in learning more about the specialty fabrics industry. Just ask Stephanie Cizinsky, marketing manager at Glen Raven Inc., Glen Raven, N.C. She explains that a wealth …

Business

CRM programs run the gamut

February 1, 2016

There are dozens and dozens—maybe hundreds—of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs on the market. And it seems that most are difficult to use. In terms of navigating the programs, many CRM packages seem to be rated along an arc of complexity, from user-unfriendly to totally impossible to use. One well-known program, Salesforce, is often …

Business

Out of this world

February 1, 2016

Brent Anderson is a partner and engineering manager at Aerospace Fabrication & Materials, a Farmington, Minn., company that specializes in the design, fabrication and installation of Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) Blankets for use on spacecraft, launch vehicles and cryogenic applications. The company’s MLI blankets have been used on AMOS II and SCISAT I spacecraft as well …

Business

When employees leave: fact finding

February 1, 2016

Mine the hidden resources of departing employees with a thoughtful exit interview. When it’s time to hire that new employee, you pull out all the stops: a complete review of duties and responsibilities, a tightly crafted list of desired skills and careful interviews. You make the hire—and hope that you’ve made the right choice. Now …

Business

Person to person

February 1, 2016

Meeting face-to-face with overseas customers brings a wealth of benefits. I’ve been traveling to Asia, including China, since 1981, promoting U.S. products for more than 100 firms. One vitally important lesson I’ve learned is the value of talking with overseas customers in person. Face-to-face conversations with prospects and customers bring tremendous and unexpected orders—and they …

Business

Keep moving

January 1, 2016

For most businesses, change is an essential part of long-term success. Ongoing innovation, in products, processes, service and value, is the best way to beat the competition. Innovation. It’s the essential ingredient in any company’s ability to thrive and stay viable for the long haul. Innovative companies are restless explorers, constantly searching for and testing …

Business

Streamlining with software

January 1, 2016

Today’s software and apps help fabricators keep pace and stay competitive, efficient and productive. Few words captivate the software and app sector more than the word change. Software and applications are drastically changing the way we do business, and many specialty fabric end product manufacturers (EPMs) and suppliers have integrated software and apps into their …

Business

Payroll perils

January 1, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service may be relentless about collecting income taxes, but mistakes in withholding and paying payroll taxes to the IRS can mean real trouble for a business. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be tough on collecting income taxes, but mistakes in withholding and paying over-withheld payroll taxes can be even more painful, …

Business

Back to shore

January 1, 2016

Jeff Schmitt balances the reality of off-shore manufacturing with how to bring production back to the U.S. “At the end of the day we’ve got to figure out ways to be competitive,” says Jeff Schmitt, senior vice president of operations for The Coleman Company Inc., Golden, Colo. “As the person responsible for both the U.S. …

Business

Tapping into innovation

December 14, 2015

Innovation doesn’t always come easily, but creating a culture that fosters creativity can improve the process (and results) of continuous improvement. Every company knows that innovation is vital, but knowing how to innovate is a different matter. Why are some companies able to launch one new idea or product after the next while others stagnate? …

Business

A six-letter word

December 1, 2015

Fabricators take a dim view of extending credit to customers … sort of. On the surface, it seems like a slam-dunk decision for a shop not to extend credit. “Let’s see, when you write off thousands and thousands of dollars—maybe even $100,000 over the 30-year life of the company—you start to think about giving anybody …

Business

Charting a course

December 1, 2015

Incoming IFAI board chair Katie Bradford takes the helm, using business expertise and networking know-how to lead the association. “I believe good leadership encourages participation and embraces differences,” says Katie Bradford, MFC, IFM, incoming chair of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and owner and president of Custom Marine Canvas, Noank, Conn. “IFAI membership is …

Business

Hazardous duty

December 1, 2015

How fabric technology is protecting rescuers against ever-more-dangerous situations. On the hot summer day in 2013 when 19 experienced firefighters lost their lives, the Yarnell Hill fire, northwest of Phoenix, Ariz., spanned 8,400 acres. The trees were dry, the humidity was low and the wind suddenly turned, cutting off escape and creating an inferno. The …

Business

The age of automation

December 1, 2015

Sewn or sealed, automation is trending as U.S. companies strive to increase efficiency and decrease costs. The art of sewing textiles is lacking in U.S. manufacturing as lower-cost labor in Asia has helped meet consumer demands for competitive retail prices. But automation technology is slowly advancing, helping companies bring production costs down while keeping quality …

Business

Inventing the game

December 1, 2015

The Last Word Inventing the game Sy Hyman, company founder and retired CEO of Herculite®, is a long-time member of IFAI and became an Honored Life Member in 2014. He shared with us some insights about the challenges of marketing laminated synthetics with a start-up company when no market existed: about learning from customers, production …

Business

The future of communication?

November 1, 2015

Social media success requires a strategic approach and an emergency response plan. Social media was once considered the future of communication. Facebook and Twitter™ had unlimited and unknown power. That was 2007; 2016 is approaching fast. Countless connections from person to person to company to person have been made as the applications of social media …

Feature

IFAI Expo 2016: advanced textiles

December 1, 2016

Today’s textile testing is challenged with evaluating varied performance qualities for multiple environments. The Advanced Textiles Testing Track at IFAI Expo examined textile testing in light of a new wave of textile developments. Dr. Emiel Den Hartog, North Carolina State University (NCSU) Center for Research on Textile Protection & Comfort (TPACC), focused on a “multi-level” …

Feature

IFAI Expo 2016: shade and weather protection

December 1, 2016

The special shade section on the show flow featured end products ranging from retractable awning systems, shade structures and canopies to motorized shade and weather solutions of all types. Programming and events included “Super Tuesday” seminars, tours of local shops and a keynote lunch, plus Wednesday evening’s opening reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. …

Feature

IFAI Expo 2016: specialty fabrics programming

December 1, 2016

A variety of educational choices drove the Specialty Fabrics Program schedule Oct. 18-21 at the IFAI 2016 Expo. Attendees enjoyed dozens of presentations and “campfire” sessions featuring experts on topics as diverse as training the next generation of skilled workers, understanding functional fabric design and beating offshore manufacturers. The exhibit hall showcased the latest in fabrics, …

Feature

IFAI Expo 2016: high points and highlights

December 1, 2016

Thousands of industry professionals joined the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in the heart of the U.S. textile industry Oct. 18–21 to acquire a working education in the areas of specialty fabrics, shade and weather protection products and advanced textiles: seminars, exhibits, workshops, market roundtables and four days of concentrated networking. From business basics to …

Feature

Lights, camera, fabric

December 1, 2016

Fabrics set the stage for manufacturers who want a market share of the entertainment industry. Fabrics don’t get enough credit. Quietly, and usually without fanfare, they provide welcome and shelter as tents and awnings; they enhance decor and create distinct spaces as backdrops and banners; they manage movement of light and sound; and the list …

Feature

IFAI Expo 2016: industry leadership, IFAI style

December 1, 2016

At IFAI’s annual meeting, Kevin Yonce, MFC, IFM, CPP, past chairman of the IFAI Board of Directors and chairman of the 2016 Leadership Development Committee, announced this year’s election results.    • Dennis Bueker, Keyston Bros., has been elected to his second three-year term as director.  • Brian Rowinski, Rainier Industries LLC, has been elected …

Feature

Built for comfort, durability, and saftey

December 1, 2016

Fabric manufacturers and upholsterers balance traveler and commuter requirements. Whether for business or for pleasure, people are always on the go. More than 121 million U.S. workers are employed full time, according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. To reach their work destinations, 85 percent of these workers commute in automobiles, and …

Feature

Analyze this

December 1, 2016

Ed Skrzynski automates production, encourages teamwork and documents processes to deliver quality marine and shade products. There is a common thread with custom manufacturing—it’s very labor-intensive, very expensive and typically done by artisans and skilled trades people,” says Ed Skrzynski, owner of Marco Canvas, Marco Island, Fla. “When I took over the company from my …

Feature

Marketing in the digital age

November 1, 2016

Technology has changed things,  but customer relationships are still paramount. Not long ago, business managers realized that the Internet would change everything,  especially marketing. With the click of a mouse, millions of potential customers could be reached. Although that revolution has come to pass and online platforms have matured, the takeaway for business owners is this: …

Feature

Inside and out

November 1, 2016

Collecting rainwater, bird-proofing facades, even deflecting airborne volcanic fragments—buildings today are integrated with fabric in nontraditional ways. Architectural fabric can be integrated into buildings in more than the common uses such as roofs, shading devices and exterior cladding. Architects are now finding ways for fabric to improve building performance with special applications and unique materials. …

Feature

Room to grow

November 1, 2016

As Mother Nature persists in her fickle and sometimes destructive ways, manufacturers of agricultural fabrics and fabric products report strong and growing demand in many areas. The agricultural arena isn’t for the faint of heart; just ask anyone who earns a living by keeping us supplied with food. Too many things can go wrong—too much …

Feature

Scheduled Evolution

October 31, 2016

Eric Heischmidt approaches project management with flexibility and an architect’s eye for precision. “Project management means planning ahead,” says Eric Heischmidt, senior project manager, Arizon Structures, St. Louis, Mo. “But more than anything it means being prepared to be flexible, because every project is an evolution. Things change, and you need to react to those …

Feature

What’s happening to the military textile market

October 1, 2016

Decreased budgets are a reality, but markets exist for new and innovative products. While it’s fair to say that portions of the military textile market are shrinking—the U.S. now has far fewer troops overseas—it is also true that some segments are changing, which is an open door for innovation. Despite a decline in the U.S. Department …

Feature

Pete Weingartner builds a team to deliver turn-key projects and target continued growth

October 1, 2016

Even if projects are going well I try to improve them. I want to find a way to do things better; to do things faster,” says , president of Queen City Awning, Cincinnati, Ohio. “One of the ways I do that is by attending IFAI Expo and reading Specialty Fabrics Review magazine to keep up …

Feature

Nonwovens reach beyond their beginnings as disposables

October 1, 2016

While he was managing nonwovens research and development at 3M, David Nelson observed an irony surrounding the technology with which he had been involved for 35 of his 40 years at the Minnesota-based powerhouse. “When I gave updates, I would say, ‘Of our 48 technologies, nonwoven is the only one described by what it isn’t …

Feature

The future workforce

October 1, 2016

A Makers completed curriculum and a nationally registered apprenticeship program are in the final approval stages. The next generation of skilled sewers is in the works. Textile manufacturers need sewers. People entering the workforce need jobs that can lead to fulfilling careers. So why has it been so challenging to bring the two together? What …

Feature

There are right and wrong ways to fix a shade structure in place

September 1, 2016

As anyone with knowledge of the history of tension structures will tell you, there is a logical and long-standing connection between marine hardware and tension structure hardware. One came from the other. Or more accurately, one (tension structure hardware) is an adaptation of the other (marine hardware). And just as the extreme environmental conditions of …

Business

Blair Belluomo brings a strong and appreciative management style to the family business

September 1, 2016

I went to school with many kids whose parents had businesses, and they thought that just because their parents ran a successful business, they could just step in and be successful as well,” says Blair Belluomo, owner and president of Belle Isle Awning in Roseville, Mich. “So many of them failed because they hadn’t had other …

Feature

Textile manufacturers respond to the need for flexible medical and biomedical products

September 1, 2016

In the world of bad news/good news scenarios, one can hardly find a more salient example than that presented in the medical arena. Technological advances are gaining traction amid the growing threats of superbugs, global spread of disease and demand for regenerative treatments to address the needs of aging populations. A Grand View Research Inc. …

Fabric Structures

Getting the word out about fabric graphics

August 1, 2016

Fabric graphics have become a marketing and branding essential. As they go outside to play, the medium is definitely part of the message. Fabric graphics are a perfect vehicle for our branding-obsessed culture, providing the ability to transmit messages in fun, colorful, impactful and attention-getting ways. Fabrics and fabric graphics are at home everywhere indoors, …

Feature

The Third Dimension

August 1, 2016

John Bland revolutionizes marine fabrication by applying 3-D CAD principles to the design process. Look at the motor industry—you wouldn’t be happy driving a car that was spec’d 20 years ago,” says John Bland, managing director of Tecsew Ltd., Gosport, Hampshire, U.K. “It’s the same in the textile industry. Whether it’s in the finish, materials …

Feature

Safety gear protects workers

July 29, 2016

Innovative materials help meet multiple safety requirements on the job to protect workers. Protective apparel and safety gear for industrial workers are evolving rapidly as advances in fiber, fabrics and comfort move beyond the traditional focus on fire and flame retardant (FR) materials. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers, firefighters and military personnel now includes …

Business

Equipment purchasing: price and value

July 18, 2016

ROI is still an important factor in buying decisions, but qualities like reliability, durability and customer service are moving to the forefront. The return on investment (ROI) and how long it might take to achieve it is always a key consideration in most purchasing decisions, particularly during the Great Recession when pricing and ROI moved …

Feature

Revealing the romance of sailcloth tents

July 13, 2016

Trendspotting online shows tent renters and manufacturers what brides are looking for. If you want to know what’s trending in fashionable apparel, look to Paris, France. If you want to know what’s trending in automotive design, look to Torino, Italy. If you want to know what’s trending in cuisine, look on either coast of the …

Feature

Partners in success

June 29, 2016

Specialty fabricators don’t have to go it alone. Equipment and automation manufacturers are working hard, developing technologies that sharpen the competitive edge. Founded in 1908, Minnesota Knitting Mills (MKM) started out supplying nearby colleges with letter award sweaters, says Patrick Hickey, president of the Mendota Heights, Minn.-based manufacturer. The company transitioned into providing knit apparel …

Feature

Fabric engineering

June 29, 2016

Ben Fox expands design capabilities for fabric structures, focusing on innovation and education to solve customer problems. “Our company’s roots are unique in that we started out as a construction service and kind of worked our way backward into manufacturing,” says Ben Fox, owner, president and CEO of Legacy Building Solutions, South Haven, Minn. “That’s …

Feature

Streamlining standards

June 29, 2016

Compromise and collaboration are key to revising standards that improve textile product safety. The road to revised standards can be bumpy, fraught with lively discussions and detailed (some might say “picky”) decisions. The standards, some enforceable and some voluntary, guide material and product manufacturers through the complex world of creating safe and functional products. Hundreds, …

Feature

Going up?

June 29, 2016

Creating a function—and personable—space for increasingly demanding customers is taking the tent-rental industry in some new directions. Poodle skirts and love beads, glam rock and disco, mood rings and pet rocks. There’s no denying that some trends end up being fads that fade. Occasionally, a trend—typically something with a reason to its rhyme—grabs a solid …

Feature

Digital printing: New fabrics, inks and printers are expanding graphic applications, indoors and out

June 16, 2016

Advances in technology are making custom graphics easier, more affordable and much more impressive. Fabric printing has come a long way from the days when vinyl banners were the norm in signage and screen-printed T-shirts were the gold standard in custom apparel. “Advancements in digital printing technology have made it easy to print photorealistic images …

Feature

Digital printing pushes boundaries in interior décor

June 1, 2016

If you follow interior design news, you probably know that major paint companies Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams herald Simply White and Alabaster as their respective 2016 “colors of the year.” Fortunately for those who eschew plain vanilla environments, there’s another growing trend: walls and even windows brought to life with digitally printed graphics. In a …

Feature

Wide-format digital printing transforms space and public perceptions

June 1, 2016

The magic of wide-format digital printing transforms space and public perceptions, turning fabric into gold. As we’ve seen in “If walls could talk,” décor is one of the most popular applications for digitally printed fabric graphics today, and will likely be one of the fastest-growing markets in the future. But what is it, specifically, about …

Business

Tents, trends and technology

June 1, 2016

From RFID to GPS, Mike Holland uses all the newest tools to keep Chattanooga Tent Co. at the leading edge. “We embrace technology here,” says Mike Holland, president of Chattanooga Tent Co., Chattanooga, Tenn. “Especially when it comes to material handling, we’re always looking for anything that can help us work smarter and be more …

Feature

Digital fabric printing responding to technical and creative demands

June 1, 2016

As applications respond, the digital fabric printing industry is responding to the technical and creative demands of customers. Digital printing on fabrics has revolutionized a number of markets: trade show exhibits, event marketing, home décor, activewear, retail branding, architectural signage, outdoor advertising and others. “Demand for printed fabrics and textiles continues to grow, and the …

Advanced Textiles

Futuristic fabrics

May 1, 2016

Today’s smart fabric products, with embedded or woven technological components, are resonating with consumers, and the market is responding. Woven, nonwoven and knitted textiles are the foundation of the fabrics that make up our daily existence, from the clothes we wear to the upholstered chairs we sit on. They’re also the building blocks of the …

Feature

To the rescue

May 1, 2016

More consumers are seeking protection from the sun, heat, bugs and high energy bills, and shading system manufacturers are surrounding the market, indoors and out. The U.S. market is looking rather attractive these days to manufacturers of shade systems. For a variety of reasons—energy conservation, protection from the elements and insects, heat and glare reduction—screens, …

Feature

At the intersection of textiles & technology

May 1, 2016

Qaizar Hassonjee mines market opportunities and forms partnerships to bring smart fabrics to market. “The intersection of textiles and technology is a huge untapped opportunity for the textile industry,” says Qaizar Hassonjee, senior director, business development and partnerships, for adidas Digital Sports. “Market segments such as hospitality, health care and military are really prime for …

Feature

2016 Specialty Fabrics Showcase

April 1, 2016

IT’S ALL ABOUT FABRIC, and it’s all about performance—the qualities that customers demand. We asked fabric suppliers tosend us news about their high-performing products, fabrics that fight weather, disease, use and abuse for years, and look good doing it. We combined their responses into performance categories. >> View all products in the Specialty Fabrics Showcase

Feature

Innovation on the water

April 1, 2016

Adding comfort, performance, style and durability to boats, inside and out, through the advantages of the latest marine textiles. Sun and water are the iconic companions of leisure and recreation. (Think lounging on a boat, salty sea spray misting your face, sun warming your skin … ) But if you’re a marine fabricator, those same …

Business

Ideas in harness

April 1, 2016

Michael Lester doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He builds a team of fellow innovators and comes up with tensioned fabric solutions. “We’re always innovating,” says Michael Lester, managing director of MakMax Australia Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane, Australia, a world-renowned company building custom membrane structures and manufacturing a range of shade products. “We’ve always got …

Advanced Textiles

The testing issue

April 1, 2016

As the textile industry continues to wrestle with questions that impact testing, certification and standardization of the processes, the testing market grows. The market for textile testing, inspection and certification is expected to reach more than $7 billion by 2020, according to a report published by MarketsandMarkets. There has been much debate on the need …

Feature

C8 phase-out prompts improvements in water-based coatings

March 22, 2016

APV Engineered Coatings, Akron, Ohio, is a custom coatings manufacturer, with growing sales in products for industrial fabrics. Founded in 1878, the company began promoting and engineering finishes for textiles the past 12-15 years-with a specific purpose. “There were performance issues that needed to be addressed with a coatings,” says Erin Brown-Neff, director of marketing …

Feature

Textile coating knowhow

March 10, 2016

Based in Belgium, Pennel & Flipo, through its ORCA® range, designs, produces and distributes high-tech, protective, engineered fabrics for the marine, safety and industry sectors. The company was created in 1924 due to the (then) technical innovation of applying a layer of rubber onto a textile backing. “Innovation is rooted in the heart of our …

Awnings & Shades

Framework for success

March 1, 2016

Companies with in-house metal shops enjoy advantages in quality control and customer service, plus increased opportunities for expanding operations. Like the stars of box-office hits, fabric usually gets all the glory as the most noticeable player (especially when emblazoned with colors and custom graphics) in structural protective coverings. But just like those high-grossing stars of …

Feature

Finishing fabric

March 1, 2016

Coating and laminating treatments enhance fabric performance in important —and multiple— ways. The fabric itself can be just the beginning. For the end product manufacturer to get the performance qualities necessary to meet today’s stringent regulations and to satisfy the end customer’s high expectations, it is likely that the fabric will be coated. In some …

Feature

Part 2: State of the Industry 2016

March 1, 2016

As consumer confidence slowly increases, buoyed by improvements in the U.S. economy and employment figures, respondents in 10 of the 11 markets surveyed by IFAI predict single-digit increases in sales in 2016. Innovation in products and processes will help manufacturers anticipate customer needs and stay competitive in a global economy. Part I of IFAI’s 2016 …

Awnings & Shades

Envision, build, repeat

March 1, 2016

Michael Catalano treats his clients as strategic partners—and that keeps them coming back. “We have a saying here: It’s not about the first job. It’s about the next job,” says Michael Catalano, CEO of Capitol Awning Co., Jamaica, N.Y. “And probably 90 percent or more of our work ends up being repeat business.” Michael Catalano …

Feature

Fabric on the frontier

February 1, 2016

Eric Walton and Devlin Mckee bring fabric solutions to Alaska’s wild and wondrous terrain. “The remote area where we work can be a challenge so we have to be flexible and willing to do lots of different things,” say Eric Walton, MFC, and Devlin McKee, CC, owners of Custom Canvas Alaska (CCA) in Fairbanks, Alaska. …

Feature

Part 1: State of the Industry 2016

February 1, 2016

With the U.S. economy continuing a slow but steady recovery, more job growth, more consumer confidence and increasing sales are anticipated for 2016. The world economy in review Six years after the world economy emerged from the Great Recession of 2009, a return to a strong global expansion remains elusive. The downside risks to the …

Advanced Textiles

Textiles in space

February 1, 2016

The textile industry has made significant contributions to human space exploration in the past. There are also important opportunities to meet NASA’s needs today. Since the start of human spaceflight, the U.S. space program has faced many challenges in clothing astronauts. Survival inside a spacecraft needed to be addressed first. Historically, human space exploration started …

Feature

Nouveau cargo

February 1, 2016

Carving out new niches in a stable industry What could possibly be new in the cargo control and packaging industry? Aren’t containers, pallets and trucks the same as they’ve always been? Isn’t the goal always to secure items to transport them from point A to point B? The basics may be the same, but the …

Markets

Eyes in the sky

December 1, 2016

Drone photography is the latest tool for tent professionals to show off their stuff. I flew a drone for the first time at IFAI Tent Expo 2015 and was instantly obsessed. The experience of controlling a copter 400 feet away was amazing! The things I could see and the photos and video I could take …

Markets

Carrying on traditions

December 1, 2016

William Miller is the owner, manager and fabricator of Colonville Canvas, a Clare, Mich.-based company that specializes in marine covers, enclosures, bimini tops and upholstery. Miller grew up learning about the industry in his father’s shop. He opened his own shop in 2014 and has carried on the family tradition of making quality products. Here, …

Advanced Textiles

Biomimetics and biotextiles

December 1, 2016

Imitating nature offers sustainable choices in new textiles. Nature provides the inspiration for many innovations in business, including in the field of textiles. Some efforts, however, are quite specific in imitating nature. In fact, an entire field of science has blossomed under the name “biomimetics,” a term first coined in 1969 by Dr. Otto Schmitt, …

Fabric Structures

Beyond branding

November 29, 2016

Inflatables manufacturers find diverse markets in addition to promotional products. To attract the attention of drivers, car dealerships float spheres or other shapes with automakers’ logos. People dressed in inflatable costumes that identify them as brand mascots line festival walkways to interact with attendees. Giant replicas of consumer goods—whether it’s a can of beer or …

Fabric Structures

Fear of flying?

November 29, 2016

Companies that make air- and helium-filled products weigh the risks. When Pink Floyd’s trademark helium pig got too high at a Coachella concert in 2008 and drifted away, no one got hurt—even though the pink inflatable was, as the Associated Press reported, “as tall as a two-story house and as wide as two school buses.” …

Fabric Structures

Crossing over, down under

November 1, 2016

A fabric-clad pedestrian bridge is poised to become a landmark entry point to Western Australia’s in-the-works sports stadium. Australian football fans ready to cheer on the 2018 Australian Football League season will travel from all across the country to attend the highly anticipated opening of the new Perth Stadium and Sports Precinct located on Western …

Advanced Textiles

Military complexities

November 1, 2016

Smart materials mean lighter and more comfortable gear—and more flexible procurement policies. The nature of military warfare has undergone a seismic change over the past twenty years. Theaters of engagement are now more diverse and complex, demanding more of military personnel than ever before. The traditional procurement policy of buying in bulk to ensure standardization …

Marine

Five climates, five approaches

November 1, 2016

Weather and water conditions dictate how regional shops make enclosures for exacting customers. Local geography can define a business. In the case of marine fabrication shops, locality factors into everything from work schedules to choice of materials. Whether the shops are based in the subtropical heat of Florida or the often-chilly climate of the Great …

Advanced Textiles

The growing ground for durable nonwovens

October 11, 2016

David Nelson was devoted to nonwoven technology at 3M when the Minnesota-based corporate powerhouse became a charter member of The Nonwovens Institute, which launched in 2007 at North Carolina State University. Nelson served on the institute’s industrial advisory board for six years, three years as chairman. He also served for six years on the board …

Advanced Textiles

New materials take portable structures to another level

October 1, 2016

For Harry Osborne, creative lead at “brand experience agency” SET Live, headquartered in London, the graphic applications and collection of temporary structures throughout the “Google on the Beach 2015” (GoB) event were an exercise in balance. “A balance between getting the most from Anthony Burril’s incredible artwork,” says Osborne, “but also satisfying the local council’s …

Advanced Textiles

Advanced textiles in Russia

October 1, 2016

Government invests $300 million to expand applications in the defense, aerospace and geosynthetic industries. The Russian government plans to invest up to $300 million USD in 2016 and 2017 toward developing the technical textiles industry, according to recent statements by Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade. Manturov is responsible for the development of …

Geosynthetics

Bob Koerner has devoted more than 40 years to geosynthetics industry

October 1, 2016

When Dr. Robert M. Koerner talks about geosynthetics, the cadence of his speech quickens and the passion behind his words suggests that geotextiles, geosynthetic clay liners, geomembranes and geogrids (to name a few) could quite possibly be the most exciting materials civil engineers have at their disposal. As a leader in the field of geosynthetics, …

Advanced Textiles

Applications for durable nonwovens

September 19, 2016

Nonwovens may be best known for their role in disposable products; but, with advances in technology, these engineered fabrics are reaching further into markets where traditional textiles have been used. Ulrich Hornfeck, board member and chief commercial officer at Sandler AG, offers examples from the German-based company’s portfolio: Transportation: interior and exterior absorbers, carrier materials …

Fabric Structures

Enhancing the “legitimacy” of portable structures

September 16, 2016

The concept of a portable structure seems contrary to normal expectations. A building, after all, should be grounded with a solid footing and not move! Nevertheless, Aaron Betsky, architecture critic, curator and the dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Scottsdale, Ariz., argued in a recent online opinion piece that temporary structures should …

Fabric Structures

Faith in the details

September 6, 2016

When it comes to specifying hardware for shade structures, fabricators and clients can rely on the wisdom of “sweating the details.” “Ideally, the fabricator and architect should be working together from the schematic phase,” says Erik Jarvie, PE, sales engineer with Tension Structures, a division of Eide Industries Inc., Cerritos, Calif.  “The knowledge of a …

Fabric Structures

A steel-framed fabric building shelters, protects and stores

September 1, 2016

With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, agriculture must overcome myriad demands required to feed so many people. A mineral known as potash provides a critical piece in solving this puzzle. Created during the evaporation of ancient seabeds, potash is most widely used as potassium fertilizer. “Potassium is one of the …

Advanced Textiles

Innovators find a variety of markets for color-changing materials

September 1, 2016

New research and applications are proving that color-changing smart textiles continue to offer viable technology and products in the smart fabrics marketplace. Most recently, researchers from the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new color-changing “smart thread,” Ebb, that turns fabric into a computerized display. According to information provided by the …

Fabric Structures

Sheltering safety standards

August 1, 2016

Rain or shine, fabric roofing structure allows a crash test facility to continue research year-round. Earlier this year, the National Safety Council estimated motor vehicle deaths to be 8 percent higher in 2015 than they were in 2014—the largest year-over-year percentage increase in 50 years. While a multitude of factors contribute to vehicle crashes, safety …

Fabric Structures

Getting the word out about fabric graphics

August 1, 2016

Fabric graphics have become a marketing and branding essential. As they go outside to play, the medium is definitely part of the message. Fabric graphics are a perfect vehicle for our branding-obsessed culture, providing the ability to transmit messages in fun, colorful, impactful and attention-getting ways. Fabrics and fabric graphics are at home everywhere indoors, …

Fabric Structures

Adding lighting to outdoor attractions

July 21, 2016

To make outdoor fabric structures and displays stand out, integrated lighting systems are setting new standards. No matter what the fabric structure or whether it’s installed outdoors or inside, illumination adds the finishing touch, transforming the extraordinary into something even more unforgettable and making an ordinary tent or display much more memorable. Lighting invites people …

Business

Equipment purchasing: price and value

July 18, 2016

ROI is still an important factor in buying decisions, but qualities like reliability, durability and customer service are moving to the forefront. The return on investment (ROI) and how long it might take to achieve it is always a key consideration in most purchasing decisions, particularly during the Great Recession when pricing and ROI moved …

Feature

Revealing the romance of sailcloth tents

July 13, 2016

Trendspotting online shows tent renters and manufacturers what brides are looking for. If you want to know what’s trending in fashionable apparel, look to Paris, France. If you want to know what’s trending in automotive design, look to Torino, Italy. If you want to know what’s trending in cuisine, look on either coast of the …

Feature

Digital printing: New fabrics, inks and printers are expanding graphic applications, indoors and out

June 16, 2016

Advances in technology are making custom graphics easier, more affordable and much more impressive. Fabric printing has come a long way from the days when vinyl banners were the norm in signage and screen-printed T-shirts were the gold standard in custom apparel. “Advancements in digital printing technology have made it easy to print photorealistic images …

Graphics

Special effects for digitally printed interior décor

June 14, 2016

Combine textured fabrics, dazzling metallic effects, LED lighting and acoustics for interiors that impress. In and of themselves, digitally printed wall and window coverings, as well as upholstery-type products for interior décor, add pizzazz to residential and commercial settings. Additional effects can boost the impact significantly. The first product from DreamScape™, a division of Roysons …

Awnings & Shades

Canopy protects New Zealand kindergarten from UV rays

June 1, 2016

Mid-century kindergarten in New Zealand gains a contemporary facelift and enhanced enrollment—and a healthy dose of shade. Of all the roles that shade structures fulfill—from aesthetic appeal to space expansion— their most critical function is weather protection. Few places require as much protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays as New Zealand, which, according to the country’s …

Advanced Textiles

Market realities

June 1, 2016

Smart fabrics technologies present unique opportunities—and challenges—to commercial product development. The growth of smart fabrics technologies and applications is no longer a curiosity; it’s the new reality of high-tech fabrics, and it’s gaining ground at an impressive pace. The size of the smart fabrics market, as presented at the Smart Fabrics Summit on April 11 …

Graphics

How does SEG framing work?

June 1, 2016

Most SEG framing is meant to be assembled at the site where it will be used, says Casey Ford, president and CEO with 40 Visuals in Spring Lake, Mich. “Current SEG framing is extruded aluminum and is designed to be able to assemble easily,” Ford says, “but if the SEG framing system is to provide …

Graphics

A sharper image

June 1, 2016

Versatility, flexibility and easy handling are making Silicone Edge Graphics increasingly popular in a variety of markets. Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) systems have become extremely popular in the retail, exhibition and decor market segments for both frontlit and backlit applications. “Today I consider it the go-to and mainstay of showcasing brand and product marketing, due …

Advanced Textiles

Let there be (flexible) light

May 1, 2016

As efficiencies continue to improve, more applications are found for flexible photovoltaics. For a long time, it was common knowledge that thin film and flexible photovoltaics (PV) were not practical because of their lower efficiencies compared with more traditional glass-encased PV. That is no longer the case. Efficiencies are now comparable (approaching or exceeding 20 …

Advanced Textiles

Futuristic fabrics

May 1, 2016

Today’s smart fabric products, with embedded or woven technological components, are resonating with consumers, and the market is responding. Woven, nonwoven and knitted textiles are the foundation of the fabrics that make up our daily existence, from the clothes we wear to the upholstered chairs we sit on. They’re also the building blocks of the …

Advanced Textiles

Getting physical: The other smart textiles

May 1, 2016

Nonelectronic fabrics can cool, warm and clean themselves—and enhance the health and performance of the wearer. Much attention has been given to textiles that are integrated with electronic sensors and circuitry (e-textiles). But some smart textiles do not rely on electronics. According to Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, professor and founder of the Pratt Institute Intelligent Materials Applied …

Fabric Structures

Soaking up the sun

May 1, 2016

Solar-powered Techstyle Haus demonstrates the aesthetic and functional benefits of state-of-the-art fabric architecture. When the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe issued a call for attractive, energy-efficient homes powered by the sun, one team of design students tapped the potential of fabric architecture. The competition submission, known as Techstyle Haus, brought together 50 students from Rhode Island …

Feature

To the rescue

May 1, 2016

More consumers are seeking protection from the sun, heat, bugs and high energy bills, and shading system manufacturers are surrounding the market, indoors and out. The U.S. market is looking rather attractive these days to manufacturers of shade systems. For a variety of reasons—energy conservation, protection from the elements and insects, heat and glare reduction—screens, …

Advanced Textiles

Smart Fabrics Summit draws key industry participants

May 1, 2016

Government and industry players gathered in Washington, D.C., April 11 to discuss the “nascent smart fabrics market,” as described by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who moderated the final session at the one-day event. “This room is buzzing with energy,” said David Lauren, executive vice president of global marketing and communications for Ralph Lauren Corp., …

Fabric Structures

Finding shelter in fabric

May 1, 2016

Alaska Structures® Inc. recently completed a contract for 365 new and improved U.S. Air Force Medium Shelter Systems. The United States Air Force (USAF) is no slouch when it comes to providing quality equipment, supplies and shelter for its ranks. The military branch recently invested more than $15 million in a Medium Weight Shelter Systems …

Feature

Innovation on the water

April 1, 2016

Adding comfort, performance, style and durability to boats, inside and out, through the advantages of the latest marine textiles. Sun and water are the iconic companions of leisure and recreation. (Think lounging on a boat, salty sea spray misting your face, sun warming your skin … ) But if you’re a marine fabricator, those same …

Business

Ideas in harness

April 1, 2016

Michael Lester doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He builds a team of fellow innovators and comes up with tensioned fabric solutions. “We’re always innovating,” says Michael Lester, managing director of MakMax Australia Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane, Australia, a world-renowned company building custom membrane structures and manufacturing a range of shade products. “We’ve always got …

Advanced Textiles

The testing issue

April 1, 2016

As the textile industry continues to wrestle with questions that impact testing, certification and standardization of the processes, the testing market grows. The market for textile testing, inspection and certification is expected to reach more than $7 billion by 2020, according to a report published by MarketsandMarkets. There has been much debate on the need …

Advanced Textiles

Smarter every day

April 1, 2016

The wearables market builds customer relationships with new products and high-tech expertise. The speedy acceptance of wearable technology by health and fitness enthusiasts has supported impressive growth in this market. This growth reflects today’s larger culture, in which people expect ready access to information. Consumers can even monitor and evaluate their health and fitness goals …

Marine

Full coverage

April 1, 2016

Tips and trends in travel and mooring covers. Every boat owner wants to be on the water as much as possible. Even on shore, however, protection from the elements is crucial. Good mooring and travel covers protect the finish, upholstery and interior/exterior environments of boats. A custom cover ensures a good fit, proper ventilation and …

Fabric Structures

Tropical canopies

April 1, 2016

Climate and sustainability goals dictate the choice of ETFE membrane structures for the U.S. Embassy in Laos. In the capital city of Vientiane, Laos, the U.S. Embassy complex recently underwent major rebuilding and a thorough sustainability assessment. The outcome of this multi-year process produced some of the most energy-efficient, sustainable facilities to date for the …

Awnings & Shades

Framework for success

March 1, 2016

Companies with in-house metal shops enjoy advantages in quality control and customer service, plus increased opportunities for expanding operations. Like the stars of box-office hits, fabric usually gets all the glory as the most noticeable player (especially when emblazoned with colors and custom graphics) in structural protective coverings. But just like those high-grossing stars of …

Business

Sailing the ocean blue

March 1, 2016

Leo Pohlmann, owner and designer of Uncharted Marine Canvas, Gulf Breeze, Fla., has been serving the Gulf Coast’s boat canvas and marine upholstery needs for more than 25 years. Recognized by the Marine Fabricators Association for his achievement in design, Pohlmann’s business objective of providing customers with cutting-edge material and design products has been a …

Advanced Textiles

Clothing makes the competitor

March 1, 2016

Athletes are always looking for new ways to push the limits of endurance and test their physical and psychological mettle. It’s no secret that the right clothing can affect performance, protect against the elements and help prevent injury. But what if athletic wear could go a step further and enhance a competitor’s cognitive and physical …

Awnings & Shades

Envision, build, repeat

March 1, 2016

Michael Catalano treats his clients as strategic partners—and that keeps them coming back. “We have a saying here: It’s not about the first job. It’s about the next job,” says Michael Catalano, CEO of Capitol Awning Co., Jamaica, N.Y. “And probably 90 percent or more of our work ends up being repeat business.” Michael Catalano …

Advanced Textiles

Safety first

March 1, 2016

A closer look at environmentally preferred DWR finishes. With the growing emphasis on multiple functionality and comfort in safety apparel, breathable and durable water repellency (DWR) has become an important attribute of most safety clothing and workwear. Uniforms and workwear coated with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or its greener alternative, polyurethane, successfully repel water, oil, dirt, …

Fabric Structures

Start to finish

February 15, 2016

Fabric structure companies with metal shops make material decisions based on multiple factors. Site conditions, local building codes, aspects of design and customer preferences dictate the type of metal used with fabric structures, says Gerald Thompson, CEO of Awnings of Hollywood. His company works with high-strength steel pipe and tubing, aluminum pipe and tubing, and …

Advanced Textiles

Connecting the threads

February 1, 2016

Tips for obtaining strong patent protection in textiles. Imagine that a research scientist developed a new woven fabric that could potentially have a significant impact as an implantable medical device to replace damaged tissue. Excited about the potential of this breakthrough technology, this scientist now grows concerned about the next steps. How does she protect …

Awnings & Shades

Angles of shade

February 1, 2016

Tech giant Google™ relied on old-school textiles to help shed some shade on its new campus expansion. Google™ is known for its inventiveness, creativity and efficiency. It’s no surprise that the unique Internet company continued that trend when it chose an industrial fabric solution for the outdoor area of its new campus expansion. The shaded …

Advanced Textiles

Textiles in space

February 1, 2016

The textile industry has made significant contributions to human space exploration in the past. There are also important opportunities to meet NASA’s needs today. Since the start of human spaceflight, the U.S. space program has faced many challenges in clothing astronauts. Survival inside a spacecraft needed to be addressed first. Historically, human space exploration started …

Industry News

Milliken names new CEO

December 9, 2016

Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., has announced that J. Harold Chandler has been elected its chairman, president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Chandler’s appointment follows the resignation of Joseph M. Salley as president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. Chandler has served on Milliken’s board of directors for 14 …

Industry News

Sliva joins Herculite

December 8, 2016

Herculite Products Inc., an Emigsville, Pa.-based manufacturer of high-performance and custom fabrics, has hired Buddy Sliva as western regional sales manager–Awning and Marine. He will support Herculite’s distributors and manage awning and marine fabric sales including Strataglass™. Sliva comes to Herculite with many years of successful sales and business development experience both nationally and regionally. …

Industry News

Small Business: 10 Big Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

December 1, 2016

Small business owners put themselves in financial risk by not being prepared for the inevitable crisis. Failing to properly insure a company from revenue losses that follow operational downtime is a huge mistake, and could force a business to shut down permanently. Learn how to protect your assets and develop a resilient organization on Tuesday, …

Editor's Blog

Shared value

December 1, 2016

Last month, I was writing an editorial before IFAI Expo to be read after the show—a form of journalistic time travel. Today I am writing after doing my civic duty, but before the United States chooses a new president. I made some predictions about Expo, but I won’t venture into political prognostication. (Much.) After more …

Industry News

Applied DNA Sciences expands DNA technology

November 29, 2016

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., Stony Brook, NY, today announced it is expanding the use of its proprietary, SigNature® T DNA technology to cotton gins in Arkansas, California and Texas, with the launch of its fully automated DNA Transfer Systems. The new systems are equipped with real-time monitoring, and security and data capture, ensuring efficient and …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2017 information available

November 16, 2016

Information about IFAI Expo 2017 is now available on the show’s website. IFAI Expo 2017 will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La., Sept. 26–29. It will highlight three show floor areas: specialty fabrics, advanced textiles and shade & weather protection. The show will feature a broad marketplace connecting thousands …

Industry News

WeatherMax 80 fabric warranty extended to 10 years

November 14, 2016

Greensboro, NC-based Safety Components has extended the limited warranty of its innovative technical fabric WeatherMax 80 to 10 years. UV-resistant WeatherMax 80 is woven from 100 percent pigment solution-dyed fibers. It has a breathable finish that resists water, dirt and mildew. The high-performance outdoor fabric out-performs acrylic and polyester for strength, color-fastness and abrasion-resistance. Safety …

Industry News

Former IFAI board chair Murray Driskell passes away

November 9, 2016

Former Industrial Fabrics Association board chair Murray Loman Driskell Sr. passed away at the age of 94 on Nov. 7. The World War II veteran was the owner of Canvas Products and was a former president of the National Canvas Products Association. He served on the IFAI board from 1959-1979 and as board chair from …

Industry News

Losberger US welcomes new southern region sales representative

November 7, 2016

Losberger US, the Frederick, Md.-based tent and hall manufacturer, welcomed Mike Morse as its new southern region sales representative. Morse will be responsible for developing new accounts, making sales and providing customer service. The states he will cover are Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Prior to joining Losberger US, Morse was the …

Industry News

 Registration is open for the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference

November 4, 2016

Registration is now open for the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference, Jan. 19–21 at the Jacksonville Marriott Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. Join fellow marine fabricators for three days of education, networking, fun and and business building. You won’t want to miss out on the conference’s nine educational seminars. These seminars are devoted to helping your business grow …

Industry News

RetractableAwnings.com announces new Awning Advisor Tool

November 3, 2016

Retractableawnings.com has developed Awning Advisor, a new tool that asks a series of simple questions to help narrow down awning choices. Awning Advisor gives you a chance to really think through the criteria that are most important to you or your client so you can make the best choice. The Awning Advisor session will start by asking what kind of …

Industry News

Eastman launches Avra Peformance Fibers

November 2, 2016

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Eastman, a global specialty chemical company, announced the launch of Avra™ Performance Fibers. Avra™ is a family of performance fibers enabled by a proprietary spinning technology. The first product enables a revolutionary ribbon-shaped synthetic fiber with a combination of shape and size never before seen. The performance benefits include exceptional moisture …

Industry News

The Hohenstein Group welcomes John Frazier

November 1, 2016

The Hohenstein Group announced John Frazier has signed on with Hohenstein Institute America as senior technical director. He will support footwear and apparel across North America in the implementation of green chemistry, textile and materials research, and innovation. Prior to joining Hohenstein, Frazier served as senior director of chemistry for Nike. At Hohenstein, in addition …

Editor's Blog

Develop and diversify

November 1, 2016

By the time you read this magazine, IFAI Expo 2016 will have passed; but as I write this, it’s still 10 days out. The magazine will go to the printer before I have a chance to say anything about what I learned, or learned to question, in Charlotte. At this time of year, I’m always …

Industry News

Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

October 31, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week its call for nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product that protects public health and the environment. The deadline is December 31, 2016. “Green chemistry innovations couple scientific brilliance with the entrepreneurial …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2016 closes successful show with near-record attendance

October 31, 2016

IFAI Expo 2016, the textile industry’s show of record, attracted 5,023 participants to the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., from Oct. 18-21. IFAI Expo is the largest display of specialty fabrics and technical textiles in the Americas. Attendees were treated to four days of product demonstrations, education, networking, exhibits and awards recognizing industry achievement. “We …

Industry News

FRX Polymers’ Nofia Flame Retardants obtain accreditation from Oeko-Tex Association

October 28, 2016

Several Nofia flame–retardant grades from Chelmsford, Mass.-based FRX Polymers Inc., a producer of polymeric, halogen-free flame retardant solutions, have earned accreditation by the Oeko-Tex Association. The Oeko-Tex association is an international association of independent research and testing institutes focused on enhancing both product safety and sustainable production in the textile industry. FRX Polymers’ Nofia OL1001, …

Industry News

Marlen Textiles adds distributor

October 26, 2016

Marlen Textiles, a New Haven, Mo.-based manufacturer of outdoor textiles, announced that Action Upholstery Supply will be a full line distributor of their products. Action Upholstery Supply, Sarasota, Fla., was established in 1987 and has grown into a nationwide distributor serving marine fabricators with top quality products. Stock, in a variety of colors of the …

Industry News

HTS Clearspan Structure Systems sales team grows

October 25, 2016

HTS Clearspan Structure Systems expanded its sales team. Now located in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., two new sales managers have been added. Victor Manzano will be the sales manager for the US Mid-states and Canada. He brings more than 20 years of event industry experience to his new role. Dan DeLeo will be the sales manger for …

Industry News

Marc Shellshear joins Value Vinyls

October 24, 2016

Grand Prairie, Texas-based Value Vinyls, a provider of  industrial and structure fabrics, welcomed Marc Shellshear as its new director of sales—structure fabrics. Shellshear brings more than 20 years of expertise in the specialty textiles, architectural, engineering and construction industries to his new role. Previously, he was vice president of commercial sales at Gale Pacific Inc. …

Industry News

State of the Makers, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

October 21, 2016

Mary Hennessy, president of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), and Tatjana Hutnyak, board chair of The Makers Coalition (TMC), led a session on the show floor at IFAI Expo 2016 to talk with show participants about IFAI’s Makers Division, which is working in partnership with TMC to address an acute industry problem—the shortage of …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2016: Show Stopper winners

October 21, 2016

Thursday morning at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year—including the 2016 winners of the Show Stopper program, recognizing the most innovative new products in the exhibit hall. Thomson Research Associates was recognized for Ultra-Fresh DM-25 in the category of chemicals, coatings and compounds. Fenetex won for its Adjustable Tracks for …

Industry News

Details count when submitting government bids

October 21, 2016

Teresa Bouchonnet knows a lot about doing business with the U.S. government. Bouchonnet is a retired U.S. Air Force major and former warranted contracting officer with the military. She is now a consultant for commercial manufacturers, and she shared her expertise Oct. 20 at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. For businesses interested in …

Industry News

Protect your competitive advantage using intellectual property

October 21, 2016

According to Art MacCord, a patent lawyer with MacCord Mason, marketplace winners are those whose products are unique and desirable. MacCord shared information about protecting your company’s competitive advantage and product differentiation using intellectual property during a campfire session on Oct. 20 at IFAI Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Intellectual property law cannot bestow desirability, but …

Industry News

The Future of Interior Textile Architecture: Optimistic Sustainability

October 21, 2016

At a Campfire Session on Thursday, Oct. 20, on the show floor at IFAI Expo 2016, Cynthia Thompson, MFA, shared her thoughts on where the “built environment” is headed. Thompson is the founder of Transformit, a company based in Gorham, Maine, that designs and creates artistic and functional tensioned fabric structures and components. “In the …

Industry News

A. Hoffman Awning donates to The Children’s Home

October 20, 2016

A. Hoffman Awning Co., a Baltimore, Md., awning manufacturer, volunteered to design, manufacture and install a patio awning for The Children’s Home, a residential care facility for youth. The work was part of the Built Upon A Dream project, an effort sponsored by WMAR TV in Baltimore. Modeled in the spirit of the ABC Network’s …

Industry News

Delivering world-class customer service

October 20, 2016

“Lessons from the Mouse” Dennis Snow, the author of the business book “Lessons from the Mouse,” spent roughly 20 years at Disney, working his way up from playing Captain Nemo (driving the submarine) and staffing the “It’s a Small World” ride to management. Now, as the head of Snow & Associates Inc. and a well-known …

Industry News

Beating the pink stain problem in marine fabrics

October 20, 2016

What’s known as pink stain is a common problem on light colored vinyl. Marine fabricators know exactly what pink stain looks like on cushions and other applications, but the problem also occurs in flooring, bedding and other vinyl surfaces. Thomas Robitaille, global technical marketing lead at Lonza Inc., presented an overview of pink staining Oct. …

Industry News

Industrial Fabrics Foundation Innovation Award Recipient announced

October 20, 2016

The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) recently announced Gelvenor Textile of South Africa as the 2016 IFF Innovation Award winner, presented at IFAI Expo in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 20. The company won for its project, the VulAmanz Rural Water Filter (VA-RWF). Gelvenor Textiles was awarded a prize of $5,000. The innovation is a unique woven …

Industry News

Functional apparel designer says ‘Technology is your friend’

October 20, 2016

Maureen MacGillivray, Ph.D., tells her students to think of their fashion designs as “product development” and to get used to wearing lots of hats. MacGillivray presented an overview of what a functional apparel designer does Oct. 20 at the 2016 IFAI Expo in Charlotte, N.C. MacGillivray’s work at the Center for Merchandising and Design Technology, …

Industry News

Winning the manufacturing war requires strategy

October 20, 2016

Michael McKeldon Woody, CEO at Trans-Tex LLC, says that manufacturing tide is beginning to turn favorably to the U.S., but companies have to be ready to embrace customers who expect to “have it their way.” Woody presented the principles found in his book, American Dragon, Oct 19, at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. …

Industry News

IFAI announces International Achievement Award winners

October 20, 2016

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded seven 2016 Best in Category International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications at the 2016 IFAI Expo. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in the Americas, held this year at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. For more than …

Industry News

IFAI Honored Life Members announced at IFAI Expo 2016

October 20, 2016

First Vice Chairman Steve Ellington announced this year’s newly appointed Honored Life Members at the annual meetingWednesday morning. Honored Life Membership is bestowed by special request only at the discretion of the IFAI Board of Directors to candidates who meet one or both of the following criteria: For meritorious or outstanding work accomplished for the …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2016 Sewing Machine Tour

October 19, 2016

Harry Berzack’s unique collection of antique sewing machines wowed visitors on three tours at The Fox Company in Charlotte, Tuesday, Oct. 18. The tours were sponsored by the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) as a fundraising opportunity for the organization’s educational programs for students. Berzack, president of The Fox Co., treated guests to a personally guided …

Industry News

AIP acquires Gerber Technology

October 19, 2016

American Industrial Partners, (AIP), New York, N.Y., has acquired all outstanding shares of Gerber Technology, a Tolland, Conn.-based leader in integrated software, automation and vision systems for the apparel, graphics, packaging and other industrial markets. Gerber’s full line of digital solutions includes many of the most recognized products in the industry. They enable leading brands, …

Industry News

Grit: Guts, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity

October 19, 2016

Wednesday morning’s keynote speaker at IFAI Expo 2016, Linda Kaplan Thaler, spoke with verve and vivacity about the importance of “keeping at it.” Thaler is president of Kaplan Thaler Productions, a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, and the award—winning author of the best-selling business book “Grit to Great.” When she started her agency, …

Industry News

Work Groups vs Teams

October 19, 2016

How both approaches impact business profitability In the U.S., approximately 30 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs—which means that more than 2/3 of employees are not. According to Lynn Dessert, MBA, DCC, an executive career advisor who spoke Tuesday morning at IFAI EXPO 2016 in Charlotte, forming committed and valued teams and work …

Industry News

Marine shop features efficiency and organization

October 19, 2016

Rick’s Custom Marine Canvas and Sail Repair, Cornelius, N.C., was the second stop on the IFAI Specialty Fabrics tour Oct. 19. The tour was as part of the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Rick Berkey, owner of Rick’s Custom Marine, welcomed tour participant to look around his new shop that is behind his home. …

Industry News

Springs Creative marries old with new via digital printing technology

October 19, 2016

“What’s Next. Now,” is how Springs Creative in Rock Hill, S.C., brands itself. And a tour to the Springs Creative site on Oct. 18 left all participants wanting to know a lot more about what’s next for this innovative company that offers digitally-printed textiles, product design, brand development, and merchandizing. The Specialty Fabrics tour was …

Industry News

2016 Advanced Textiles Student Design Challenge Winners Announced

October 19, 2016

Advanced Textile Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, announced the winners of the 2016 Advanced Textile Student Design Challenge on Oct. 18, 2016, during the Advanced Textile Reception following the Advanced Textiles Conference at IFAI Expo. This year’s student design challenge was to use textiles as a major …

Industry News

Taking the heat: Thermal control of the automotive interior with phase change material

October 18, 2016

In order to reduce and stabilize the interior temperature while driving a car, many models are equipped with air-conditioning systems; however providing a sufficient cooling capacity requires a lot of energy. Energy can be saved and the thermal comfort inside a passenger compartment can be enhanced substantially by the use of new textile composite materials …

Industry News

American Textile Company expands

October 18, 2016

Pittsburgh-based American Textile Company, a leading provider of innovative sleep solutions, has announced an expansion of operations with the addition of new facilities in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. The new facilities add capacity and distribution capabilities to support increasing demand for American Textile Company products sold under bedding brands including AllerEase® and …

Editor's Blog

Water Repellency highly possible without fluorine

October 18, 2016

Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ, says repellency is all about outdoor textiles staying clean and dry. Centonze was a presenter Oct. 18 at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Because consumers are beginning to perceive fluorine-based garments as negatively affecting the environment, the textile industry continues to explore fluorine-free options. He adds, “Nature can …

Industry News

EPA regulations complex and not always in sync with each other

October 18, 2016

Paul Matthai, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says his agency’s regulations are complicated and often don’t “harmonize” with each other. Despite these complexities, Matthai, who presented an overview of EPA regulations Oct. 18 at IFAI’s 2016 Expo in in Charlotte, N.C., says the U.S. Congress generally strives to write environmental laws that do …

Industry News

Vibrant Coaching

October 18, 2016

A session by Nicole Greer, a leadership and business coach, focused on the “four elements of success” in learning how to effectively approach and communicate with clients: Earth, Water, Wind and Fire. Your products and manufacturing processes are already excellent, she says, but you need to focus on the last ‘P’; people. Earth: solid, steady, …

Industry News

Dye derived from cotton plants

October 17, 2016

Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C., the research and promotion company for cotton, and Archroma, a Switzerland-based leader in color and specialty chemicals, have collaborated to present what they believe is the first-ever dye derived from cotton plant-residues. Cotton Incorporated approached Archroma to develop a dye option that may represent the first opportunity in modern textile history …

Industry News

H&M funds research

October 14, 2016

The non-profit H&M Foundation and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) have entered into a four-year partnership to develop technologies to recycle blend textiles into new fabrics and yarns. The technology will be licensed widely to ensure broad market access and maximum impact. Apparel and textile products made from blended materials …

Industry News

Sustainable denim jeans

October 13, 2016

Jimtex Yarns, a division of Martex Fiber Southern Corp., has announced the development of R3 Denim™, a sustainable denim collection, in cooperation with Denim North America (DNA). The launch of the line further advances Martex’s “No Fiber Left Behind—Zero Landfill ™” campaign. The line utilizes certified Martex Fiber Southern Corp. ECO2cotton®, a sustainable fiber solution …

Industry News

An education in nonwovens at IFAI Expo 2016

October 12, 2016

Adding to the information in the October issue, there are a number of educational opportunities about the latest news in nonwovens: On Tuesday, as part of the Advanced Textiles Conference, Automotive track. Three free presentations will take place on the Advanced Textiles show floor: On Wednesday: 4:30 pm, Nonwovens in Apparel and Footwear, Dr. Behnam …

Industry News

Techmer ES opens new facility

October 12, 2016

Techmer ES, Clinton, Tenn., has opened a new compounding facility in New Castle, Del., that further advances the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The plant features closed-loop utilities, cooling and vacuum systems, all of which rely on recycled water. A water filtration system, odor control system and various recycling initiatives reduce waste to landfill. …

Products

2016 Show Stopper winners: The best of the best

December 1, 2016

IFAI announced the six winners of the fifth annual Show Stopper Program at IFAI Expo 2016 in Charlotte, N.C. The competition showcased the best of the best in the industry, from advanced equipment and tools to innovative fabrics with the latest technological advances. Entries were submitted by IFAI Expo 2016 exhibitors and displayed on the …

New Products

Double the production

November 1, 2016

ITI’s super-wide “Dual Production mode” sublimation printer—the ITI3200-TXR—has the capability to print directly on textile fabrics and handle dye-sub transfer paper applications. An internal vacuum mechanism securely holds down the transfer paper to prevent cockling, and it comes with an ink collection gutter assembly to handle polyester or mesh-type textiles used in direct printing methods. …

New Products

Nature’s coated textile

November 1, 2016

SIMPL® by Sommers Plastics is an eco-textile comprised of only two layers of sustainable materials—a backing featuring hemp and hemp blended fabrics and a silicone surface for enhanced performance and pleasing aesthetics. The coated textile can be woven and colored in a wide range of weights, and is recommended for indoor or outdoor use. Extremely …

New Products

Fusing style with durability

November 1, 2016

The Sunbrella® Fusion Collection is a decorative mix of design and performance with 99 new textures, patterns and colors for indoor and outdoor upholstery. The collection offers a wide variety of colors and patterns including classic basics and jacquards for style and design possibilities. New additions include Tailored (fabric inspired by menswear tweed using chenille …

New Products

Expanding design

November 1, 2016

Synchronicity is an extension of the Eduraprint program, a roto-gravure, three-color print offering that can be customized with a 200-yard minimum. In addition to the Enduratex topcoat, Produratect Plus, it is equipped with an abrasion resistance rating of 100,000 cycles and is mildew resistant and backed with the Eduratex knit backing. Pattern names and corresponding …

New Products

Economical safety

November 1, 2016

Melt Out fabric is a fire safety ceiling fabric used to diffuse light over trade show booths, displays and exhibits. It has meltable seams, which appear every 12 inches along its length. In the event of fire, the seams open and allow smoke to escape and water from sprinklers to come through. Melt Out is …

New Products

Extra-soft touch

November 1, 2016

Fastenano™ is a soft polyester hook-and-loop fastener that uses Nanofront® polyester nanofiber-pile fabric for its loop surface, as well as polyester raised fabric for its hook surface. It achieves high adhesiveness when pulled in a horizontal direction and separates easily when pulled in a vertical direction. Fastenano features nano-sized bumps that increase surface area for …

New Products

Clean colors, elegant patterns

October 1, 2016

The Knoll Luxe collections by Dorothy Cosona include textiles woven with natural yarns such as cotton, linen and wool. The newest additions to the line include five upholstery fabrics (two patterns and three textures): Jasmine (multi-color stripe with four embroidery techniques), Petite Floral (small-scale floral), Amore (opulent with strong saturated tones), Demure (combination of wool …

New Products

Noise-reduction panels

October 1, 2016

SoundCheck™ acoustic panels are wrapped in acoustically transparent fabric that can be custom printed with artwork or design. Noise is trapped inside the panels by insulation that absorbs 95 percent of sound waves. The panel frames, hand-crafted in Britten’s woodworking facility, are recommended for use in office spaces, reception areas, conference rooms, restaurants and shopping …

New Products

Punch power

October 1, 2016

DOT Common Sense/Lift-the-DOT® Fastener Tool comes with two interchangeable dies—machined out of 4140 hardened steel—to prepare fabric for use with both Common Sense and Lift-the-DOT fasteners. Created by a marine fabricator, the tool was designed to save time and money by allowing fabricators to properly place fasteners and make small repairs without having to remove …

New Products

Speedy printing

October 1, 2016

The ValueJet 1638UH hybrid printer features a staggered dual print head design for print speeds up to 220 square feet per hour, and dual UV lamps for decreased cure time and higher production capacity. It can print on roll material or rigid substrates up to a half-inch thick and can be managed remotely with Mutoh’s …

New Products

Flame-resistant fabrics

October 1, 2016

New additions to the Resilience® line of flame-resistant fabrics feature cotton blended with high-tenacity nylon or Kevlar® for increased durability. Arapaho R is a 7.5-oz. cotton, nylon and Kevlar blend recommended for industries requiring flame-resistant garments that can stand up to intense wear and tear. Hopi N2X and Navajo N2X fabrics are cotton blends with 25 …

New Products

Lush and vibrant

September 1, 2016

Inspired by the lifestyle of Miami, Fla., South Beach is Silver State’s latest Sunbrella® collection distributed through Alaxi. The hand is soft to the touch, colors are vivid but cool, and patterns are bold and forward. The Avenues pattern is geometric in design and multi-directional, Fontainebleu features railroaded stripe with a modern take on traditional …

New Products

Rough and tough

September 1, 2016

Vaquero is a supple, faux leather with a soft suede-like feel. With ranch-inspired names like Apple Jack, Night Rider, Mesquite and Lariat, the color line evokes a western aesthetic and is available in 13 warm-toned SKUs. It can sustain extreme temperature and exceeds 100,000 cycles on the Wyzenbeek durability test. Enduratex™ Mira Loma, Calif., USA …

New Products

Visible protection

September 1, 2016

Teijin’s high-visibility aramid fiber fabric is suited for use in high-visibility protective apparel. Along with its extra-vivid coloring and resistance to fading, it is fully compliant with ISO 20471:2013, the international standard for high-visibility clothing that enables others to see the wearer in a variety of lighting conditions. Teijin developed the fabric in collaboration with …

New Products

Flexible testing

September 1, 2016

The air permeability tester is compact, easy to transport and can be operated without external power supply. It allows for non-destructive testing on the finished product and caters for various air permeability tests across a wide measuring range. Operators can choose between more than 100 units of measure and, in addition to textiles, the TX15 …

New Products

Sustainable fabrics

September 1, 2016

INSQIN® waterborne polyurethane (PU) technology enables material sustainability for PU-coated fabrics. PU brings functionality to a range of coated, finished or printed textile materials used in fashion, sports and outdoorwear. Examples of PU fabrics are the synthetic materials used by the fashion industry (shoes, garments), the sportswear industry (footwear) and the outdoor industry (waterproof and …

New Products

Striking backlit film

September 1, 2016

Illumi-Pro UV BL Film™ is 100 percent PVC-free, PET Film designed for high-speed UV printing. The 7.4 mil backlit film has an enhanced white point for a pure backlit image; the material is recommended for banners, light box applications and backlit display systems. It is printable with UV inks and available in widths from 40 …

Products

FITScrubs® set to launch

August 1, 2016

Developing fibers and fabrics to help keep health care workers safe. During his 12 years as an emergency department paramedic, Arthur Lucero had to purchase his own scrubs. He thought he could make a better product, and tried bamboo fabric for its organic nature, antimicrobial properties and comfort. But the drape was too heavy, it …

New Products

Futuristic fabrics

August 1, 2016

Emana® technology is now enhancing two collections by Myshapes, an Italian company. Emana smart yarn was developed by Fibras of the Solvay Group and manufactured and distributed in Europe exclusively by Fulgar, an Italian company that produces nylon and covered yarns worldwide. The two collections are Active for women and S-Man Fire for men. The …

New Products

High-grade leather substitute

August 1, 2016

Teijin Cordley Limited, the Teijin Group’s manmade leather business, has developed Maestley™, a new high-grade leather substitute. Maestley has a texture and richness equivalent to natural leather. The company plans to expand the Maestley lineup by leveraging its production technologies for high-end shoes and bags with improved comfort, durability, breathability and moisture permeability. It will …

New Products

International flair

August 1, 2016

Home décor authority Joe Ruggiero’s latest collection of Sunbrella® fabrics is titled “Exotic Lands.” Persian influences can be seen in Delhi and Delhi II, which feature large-scale, floating “buta,” or “paisleys” as the Persian droplet-shaped motif is called in English. Persian flair can be seen in the bold colors of Berry, Indigo, Pesto, Wren and …

New Products

For leather and webbing

August 1, 2016

The 70TT is a butane-powered handle that burns for approximately 30 minutes on mid-setting and is refillable; it comes with a hole-burning tip that works on synthetic materials and is useful for trimming close threads. Eight additional attachments are available. Slightly smaller, Model 25TT burns about 20 minutes on its mid-setting, and comes with a …

New Products

Smooth stretching

August 1, 2016

The Rosebud Stretcher Frame System is designed to fix the extreme hour-glassing and puckering often encountered with scrims, bobbinettes, vinyl, projection screens and muslin backdrops. Hour-glassing naturally occurs when fabrics stretch vertically, causing the sides to pull in, and in some cases, puckering occurs. Key features of the frame include fast and easy attachment to …

New Products

Ultimate PremiumPlus Gloss Effects colors

August 1, 2016

Eight new Ultimate PremiumPlus Gloss Effects colors have been introduced: Daytona Blue, Thundercloud Metallic, Hornet Metallic, Gunmetal Metallic, Bronze Metallic, White Metallic, Black Metallic and Metal Gear Blue. Line features superior gloss retention upon stretch, improved repositionability during installation and guaranteed conformability into deep channels. Arlon’s Low Profile X-Scape Technology allows for easier repositionability and …

Products

American Hospital Association endorsement for medical textiles

July 29, 2016

AHA endorsement begins with the identification of hospitals’ most significant market challenges. Insurance, data-driven services and management software comprise the bulk of the 32 “solutions” endorsed by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Among the field, only one company, Vestagen Protective Technologies Inc. of Orlando, Fla., manufactures textile products. In 2015, the AHA issued an endorsement …

Products

ISO updates for medical applications

July 28, 2016

Certification and regulatory compliance verification can be key for medical field customers. Organizations involved in the production of textiles used in medical applications may wish to become certified to ISO 13485 in order to ensure the effectiveness of their processes and demonstrate to customers their commitment to safe products, as well as compliance with regulatory …

New Products

Color connections

June 29, 2016

Colorlink is A&E’s first mobile app with a focus on thread color. It connects teams across design and production channels, offers an array of digital color choices and provides more control of thread color selection from design inception to the manufacturing floor. Colorlink also supports a companion device called COLORCATCH NANO, a hand-held tool that …

New Products

Bright simplicity

June 29, 2016

The Sunbrella® 2016 Upholstery Collection emphasizes design simplicity with bright colors and natural-inspired neutrals. The collection includes: Stripes (classic stripe patterns in bold colors), Wisteria (delicate shifts in color and texture), Regatta (seaside feel), Mist (textural neutrals), Emerald (modern and classy), Meridian (subtly textured solid) and Cast (heathered yarns in eight muted colors). The 2016 …

New Products

Comfortable turnout gear

June 29, 2016

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material—Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim is a segmented, stitch-free trim designed to offer greater flexibility and mobility for firefighters. The new trim laminates onto fabric, creating a flatter surface with minimal catch-points. Because the reflective material is segmented, it is more flexible and better able to conform to the gear’s fabric …

New Products

Protective finish

June 29, 2016

LUX Shield zips have teeth and sliders that are resistant to corrosion caused by tanning chemicals and exposure to atmospheric elements. The protective finish and precisely formed teeth enhance the zip’s durability and appearance; zip model sizes range between 4, 6 and 8 mm. Main uses include leather garments, leather accessories, footwear, stone-washed garments and …

New Products

Automatic foam analysis

June 29, 2016

The Ross Miles Foam Analyzer (RMFA) is an instrument that measures foam height electronically. An LED bar and sensor bar are fitted along the intake vessel, and foam height is detected based on the difference in brightness at the foam-air boundary. The electronic height detection provides repeatability of the measurement and, with a resolution of …

New Products

Tape for latex or dye-sub media

June 29, 2016

Designed to make hems on woven and knitted textile banner media without sewing, Banner Ups TexTape™ bonds permanently to most textiles and is durable for both outdoor and indoor use. It is made of premium grade modified double-sided acrylic adhesive and available in ⅜-inch and ¾-inch width. TexTape is applied like ordinary double-sided banner hem …

New Products

Integrated, modular cutting systems

June 1, 2016

Maximum productivity and reliability, along with simple integration in automated production workflows, offer a competitive advantage in working with composites; with the G3 M-1600 cutting system combined with a collaborative UR robot, Zünd offers an automated solution for cutting and off-loading prepreg materials. Cut parts are automatically stacked and can be removed at any time …

New Products

Fight stains and mildew

June 1, 2016

Apply Iosso’s Mold & Mildew Stain Remover to soiled areas to remove stains quickly from tents, awnings, signs, tipis, yurts, boat covers, outdoor upholstery, carpeting and other fabric surfaces. Nonchlorine, biodegradable formula is safe on fabrics and colors, including solution-dyed acrylics such as Sunbrella®, and vinyl and vinyl-coated fabrics. Solution cleans mold, mildew, leaf stain, …

New Products

Fluorocarbon-free, water-repellent finish

June 1, 2016

Sciessent, a provider of antimicrobial and odor-adsorption solutions for the textile and apparel industries, now offers CURB™, a fluorocarbon-free durable water-repellent (DWR) fabric finish. Able to provide enhanced, breathable protection from rain and moisture, CURB delivers the same water-repellent performance as existing technologies, without the use of harmful fluorocarbons. Functional finish adds liquid-shedding properties to …

New Products

Eco-solvent printer/cutters

June 1, 2016

TrueVIS VG Series 54-inch and 64-inch printer/cutters combine innovative imaging technology with top production capability to create an advanced tool for producing vehicle graphics, banners, posters and displays, labels and decals, packaging prototypes and apparel heat transfers, among other products. Equipped with four newly developed FlexFire™ print heads, which offer a higher firing frequency, precision …

New Products

Versatile multi-layer fiber

June 1, 2016

Teijin Frontier Co. Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fiber-product converting company, has developed Octa™ Neo, a multi-layer fiber that combines the company’s proprietary Octa hollow, eight-fin polyester fiber with various chemical and natural staple fibers for performance in a variety of applications, including sportswear, uniforms, bedding and industrial use. Octa Neo combines low weight, high bulkiness, …

New Products

Sunbrella Open Air

June 1, 2016

Robert Allen has introduced a whimsical collection of Sunbrella® textiles featuring chic motifs inspired by exotic destinations, with on-trend patterns and vibrant colors to enliven outdoor spaces as well as interiors. With designs ranging from classical to funky in a range of scales, the fabrics are made of 100 percent Sunbrella yarns, with the durability …

Exhibitor Product Preview

2016 Exhibitor Product Preview: Call for entries

May 23, 2016

IFAI Expo Exhibitors: Tell us about the products and services you’ll be exhibiting at IFAI Expo 2016. Product descriptions are featured in the August issue of Specialty Fabrics Review. The August issue of Specialty Fabrics Review will include an advance look at new products and services to be exhibited at IFAI Expo 2016 in Charlotte, …

New Products

Home shade solutions

April 1, 2016

The Solair® power screen is a motorized exterior vertical shade that extends from ceiling to floor, enclosing any outdoor area to provide protection from insects, UV rays and glare. Available in two models—Side Retention System (SRS) and cable guided system—the screens block 50 to 99 percent of UV rays. In addition, Solair awnings are now …

New Products

Textile testing

April 1, 2016

The next-generation Martindale Abrasion and Pilling Tester is versatile and delivers exact abrasion or pilling movements required by all international and retailer standards. Four configurations—9-head, 8-head, 6-head and 4-head—feature an improved touch screen controller with common functions accessible in one or two touches. The design incorporates a storage rack for the motion plate, stronger base …

New Products

Increased efficiency

April 1, 2016

Rolandprintstudio™ (RPS) software, specially designed for the Mac OS X operating system, makes it possible to control a Roland printer, printer/cutter or stand-alone cutter with a Mac. RPS software enhances the capabilities of Roland’s inkjets and cutters, allowing for quick, simple and effective management of the entire print production process. It was developed in response …

Feature

2016 Specialty Fabrics Showcase

April 1, 2016

IT’S ALL ABOUT FABRIC, and it’s all about performance—the qualities that customers demand. We asked fabric suppliers tosend us news about their high-performing products, fabrics that fight weather, disease, use and abuse for years, and look good doing it. We combined their responses into performance categories. >> View all products in the Specialty Fabrics Showcase

New Products

Fluorescents that pop

April 1, 2016

Mimaki™ USA now offers Sb410 fluorescent pink and yellow, and light black dye sublimation ink. Fluorescent inks produce bright colors beyond the range reproducible by process color printing, while light black ink creates smooth gradations. Popular for athletic and fashion apparel and soft signage, the original Mimaki inks are for use in the TS300P production …

New Products

Coatings for fabrics and leather

April 1, 2016

A new line of coatings and finishes is now available for specialty fabric and leather hide applications. The VYNGUARD® line includes seven base chemistries custom-formulated for each customer. VYNGUARD Polycarbonate features improved abrasion resistance and improved surface tension for a softer and smoother finish. VYNGUARD chemistries provide a clear protective layer that can mitigate 100 …

New Products

Air curtains for comfort

April 1, 2016

Curtron Products’ 2-Go Pro is a new air curtain designed for drive-through and pick-up windows. The compact unit accommodates openings 24 inches wide by up to 42 inches high. It blocks insects, temperatures and car exhaust from entering a facility with a solid stream of air that keeps a drive-through attendant comfortable even when the …

New Products

Digital textile production

March 1, 2016

The Alpha series is a new generation of super multi-pass inkjet printers for the digital production of home textiles and fashion. It offers print widths of 190-330 cm and can be configured with up to eight colors and 64 Alpha-S print heads that achieve a native resolution of 600 dpi and a print speed of …

New Products

Inks for high traffic areas

March 1, 2016

ES3 eco-solvent inks are now available for Mimaki’s JV300, JV150, CJV300 and CJV150 Series printers. Compatible with a wide range of media types from indoor posters to outdoor signs, the fast-drying inks offer superior media adhesion and color reproduction. The scratch resistance also makes the inks useful for high traffic applications such as transit advertising, …

New Products

Mix and match fabrics

March 1, 2016

Phifer has expanded its current stock line of indoor and outdoor furniture fabrics to include an additional 30 cushion and sling fabrics. This new collection features styles in bold, rich and fresh tones and soothing neutrals that mix and match for a host of color-coordinated options. GeoBella® cushion and pillow fabrics are made of 100 …

Projects

Setting the stage

December 1, 2016

Each summer, Hermosa Beach in Southern California is home to the popular Sunset Beach Concert Series. This year, the organizers, music venue Saint Rocke and the City of Hermosa Beach, expanded the Sunday series with a free movie night every Saturday in August. The concerts and movies took place on a stage constructed on the …

Projects

“Second Skin” to serve soldiers

December 1, 2016

In modern combat situations, soldiers in the field need protection from biological and chemical agents. At the same time, their protective clothing is a hindrance if it is too hot to wear or unnecessarily burdensome. Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif., have developed a material that shows promise for futuristic smart uniforms. …

Projects

Urban canoeists, into the fold

December 1, 2016

If you like to paddle your own canoe but don’t live on a lake, river or stream, the mechanics of urban canoeing can be daunting. First, strap the clumsy aluminum or fiberglass vessel to the car, park near a launch area, carry the canoe to the water’s edge and enjoy a serene glide. Then, do …

Projects

Tough as steel, but made for the road

December 1, 2016

How do you build a composite hangar that is as sturdy as a concrete or steel building, but is still fully transportable? That was the challenge for Dasyc SA, a Greek manufacturer of bulk molding compound, thermoplastics and composites production, in the design of their composite hangar for civilian and military applications. The answer was …

Projects

Special powers: sunshine and movement

December 1, 2016

As more people want easy-to-use, take-along power sources for phones and other electronic equipment, smart fabrics that generate electricity are gaining interest. Typically, they produce energy from motion. But a team of researchers led by Zhong Lin Wang, a regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering in Atlanta, Ga., has …

Projects

Specialty wraps, food and ambiance

December 1, 2016

Korean-inspired restaurant B. Bim Asian Eatery, Chicago, Ill., offers marinated meats and “ban chan” sides, sprouts, sesame spinach, kimchi and other goodies in a taco or lettuce wrap. The wraps, along with custom-made bowls of similar tasty ingredients, are B. Bim’s specialty. So when restaurant management sought a new modern “dive bar” look to attract …

Projects

Rain? Wind? Fire? There’s a jacket for that

December 1, 2016

Oil and gas industrial workers need to withstand foul weather conditions on the job on top of dangers from fire exposure. The right outdoor gear is critical to safety and productivity. A new generation of flame-resistant foul-weather outerwear can help. Created by Newark, Del.-based W. L. Gore & Associates Inc., Gore® FR apparel is designed …

Projects

On the cold front

November 1, 2016

Cold kills more people than all other weather-related causes combined, according to the National Center for Environmental Health. People in areas with milder winters can be at a greater danger than those in frigid climates because they aren’t always as prepared for severe situations. XeroGear, a Wilmington, Del., manufacturer of portable personal protection equipment, has …

Projects

Suited against Zika

November 1, 2016

With the dangers of the Zika virus, West Nile, Lyme disease and other mosquito- and tick-born illnesses, protection for people who work outdoors is more critical than ever. Green Mountain Products, Norwalk, Conn., is now making available its time-tested superpolymer suit to provide head-to-toe protection against mosquitoes, ticks, bees and other insects. Virtually impregnable, it …

Projects

Crisis connectivity ‘in vest’ment

November 1, 2016

Soldiers on the battlefield, firefighters in the midst of raging wildfires and first responders to natural disasters often succeed or fail in their life-saving missions by having the right information in the right place at the right time. In situations where power and the ability to communicate are the first casualties, connectivity can be a …

Projects

High-tech camping, in the bag

November 1, 2016

Nothing kills a great outdoor camping experience quicker than tedious equipment assembly. Enter Cinch!, the brainchild of Lancashire, U.K.-based Jack Jackson, a life-long camper who wanted an affordable tent that sets up quickly and incorporates today’s best technology. Described as the ultimate pop-up, Cinch! incorporates high-quality superflex fiberglass poles that go up in seconds and …

Projects

Stars and stripes forever

November 1, 2016

While serving two combat tours in Afghanistan, Sam Russo flew every mission with one special flag. It was particularly meaningful to him and his family because this flag was given to his grandfather when he returned home from World War II. Russo wanted to provide the same emotional connection to the Red, White and Blue …

Projects

One winner, 310 tents

November 1, 2016

The U.S. Open Golf Tournament serves as a premier stage for the best golfers in the world—156 athletes in 2016 vying for $10 million in prize money. Dustin Johnson walked away with the $1.8 million winner’s purse, but Arena Americas, Oak Creek, Wis., was another big winner as the provider of 310 tents and structures …

Projects

Art and architecture, comfortably

November 1, 2016

The Brickell City Centre, a new $1.05 billion, 5.4-million-square-foot, mixed-use development in downtown Miami, Fla., has it all. There are luxury residences, a hotel, office space and a five-story pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants and cafés. Connecting this vast space into one architectural statement is a 100,000-square-foot canopy called the Climate Ribbon™. Made of faceted …

Projects

Inflating space for public discourse

October 1, 2016

One minute, the neighborhood park is quiet; the next, it’s filled with protesters, party animals or players of Pokémon GO. The Seattle Design Nerds is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to design in the public realm. The Nerds decided that when temporary or flash gatherings happen, they deserve a structure that can be delivered by …

Projects

Robotics, biomimicry and museums

October 1, 2016

Inspiration for design can easily be found in nature. Take the wing of a beetle: It has an outer shell called an elytra that is both protective and lightweight. Those construction principles are the basis of a striking new exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, celebrating the institution’s annual Engineering Season. The …

Projects

The Plaza Hotel—or is it?

October 1, 2016

When the Plaza Hotel in New York City was undergoing architectural renovation a few years ago, managers wanted to present its “best face” to the public. So they contracted Britten Studios, a Traverse City, Mich., manufacturer of banners and signs, to create a building wrap to hide the hotel’s edifice during construction. Britten recreated the …

Projects

‘Ghostbusters’ reboot recreates New York

October 1, 2016

Who you gonna call? If you’re Martin Charles, the graphic designer hired to design and create realistic sets for the remake of the 1984 supernatural hit “Ghostbusters,” you call on Roland DGA Corp., Irvine, Calif., experts in wide-format inkjet printers. Charles, founder of Santa Monica-based SagaBoy Productions, worked with designer Jefferson Sage to bring to …

Projects

True performance: wearable intuition

October 1, 2016

Simone Schramm, a German product interface designer interested in the intersection between analogue products and digital interfaces, devoted her master’s thesis to the idea that when people continuously check their Fitbit or other electronic performance tracker to ascertain their health status, they are missing something important—their intuition. “Numbers are objective,” writes Schramm in her mission …

Projects

Light and color, inflated

October 1, 2016

Fabric Prism no. 2 is an inflatable and immersive color installation built around the fundamental properties of light and color. Made from an architectural double membrane, it was designed and built by , a Providence, R.I.-based design collective comprised of architects, designers and artists working within the fields of spatial design, temporary structures and contemporary …

Projects

Smarter thread

October 1, 2016

Tufts University engineers say that revolutionary health diagnostics may be hanging on a thread—one of many threads they have created that integrate nano-scale sensors, electronics and microfluidics into threads ranging from simple cotton to sophisticated synthetics. “We think thread-based devices could potentially be used as smart sutures for surgical implants, smart bandages to monitor wound …

Projects

Get a grip

October 1, 2016

Traditional athletic gloves didn’t cut it for former North Carolina State University (NCSU) football players Jamelle Eugene and DaJuan Morgan. They wanted something that would provide the right grip, but they also wanted to feel the ball to better control it. Instead of gloves, Eugene started taping his fingers to get the friction he needed …

Projects

Iconic canopy greets travelers

September 1, 2016

The San Diego International Airport (SDIA) wanted to make life easier for travelers needing rental cars by providing a one-stop centralized hub that would be quick and easy to access. They developed the SDIA Rental Car Center, a two million square-foot complex that houses all car rental companies and vehicles and enables them to provide …

Projects

It’s cool to be square

September 1, 2016

Companies looking for a stand-out way to promote their product or message have attractive new options with the sleek new AXION Cube. The inflatable structure is symmetrical and streamlined, offering a tasteful backdrop to highlight an organization’s brand. With its hidden water drain, the roof can stay optically flat. Designed and manufactured by Stretch Marquees …

Projects

Vehicles for change

September 1, 2016

The signature form of transportation in Mumbai, India, is the iconic black and yellow taxi. Many drivers like to make their taxi stand out by decorating it with personalized touches. But designer Sanket Avlani noticed that the seat covers were fairly standardized and dull. He also recognized that in India, design has limited scope and …

Projects

Follow the yellow fabric road

September 1, 2016

Renowned fabric artist Christo has worked his magic again—this time on picturesque Lake Iseo in Northern Italy. The Floating Piers transformed the landscape of the lake and the surrounding area for 16 days between June and July 2016. First conceived in 1970 by Christo and his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, The …

Projects

Furniture meshes with footwear

September 1, 2016

Could athletic footwear inspire furniture design? It did for Benjamin Hubert of the London, England-based experience design agency, Layer. Hubert likes to look at existing materials and technology and consider how they can be re-imagined and used in unique, new ways. For his three-piece Cradle collection, which includes high-back and low-back chairs and a room …

Projects

Flotation in style

September 1, 2016

People who spend time on the water, whether for work or play, need to take the right flotation protection with them in the event of an emergency. Damel, a Portuguese textile company that specializes in technical clothing, has introduced outdoor apparel that integrates automatic inflation, eliminating the need to carry extra equipment. The SeaB2 jackets, …

Projects

Antique sewing machine museum attracts Expo attendees

August 1, 2016

  One of the special attractions being offered to attendees at this year’s IFAI Expo in Charlotte, as a fundraiser for the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF), is an opportunity to see a unique private collection of antique sewing machines: almost 600 machines, originating from the early 1850s to the early 1940s, not only from the …

Projects

Space-themed fashion explores possibilities

August 1, 2016

To mark the 2014–2016 European Space Agency (ESA) mission to the International Space Station, European fashion schools from the astronauts’ home countries explored the future of fashion and all its technical possibilities. “Couture in Orbit” was a project of ESA and the Science Museum of London. It brought together students from the Fashion Akademiet in …

Projects

Protective footwear for sports makes a splash

August 1, 2016

People who enjoy board sports like body boarding and surfing, or other outdoor activities like rock climbing, trail running or volleyball, will tell you they prefer to be barefoot for better balance. But there’s a problem with that: cuts, abrasions and other injuries are always a possibility. Swiss Barefoot Company, Landschlacht, Switzerland, has solved the …

Projects

Glass curtainwall gives great transparency

August 1, 2016

The UCLA School of Medicine’s South Tower building is undergoing a major renovation to convert nine of the former hospital’s 12 floors into a research lab. Known as the South Tower Seismic Renovation project, the four-phase initiative includes reinforcing the building’s structure, making interior improvements and exterior upgrades to comply with new energy requirements, all …

Projects

Motorcycle racers confront danger in D-air®

August 1, 2016

Motorcycle racing isn’t for the faint of heart, and the 2016 Supersport World Championship is a top-tier competition for international riders on production-based motorcycles of 600 to 750 cm³ displacement. Czech rider Ondrej Ježek finished in 14th place at the Motorland Aragon race in Spain, but made history nonetheless by being the first to wear …

Projects

Photographs tell a Texas-size tale

August 1, 2016

Haltom City, Texas, is a community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a long history. It was the county seat of the early Birdville Settlement, which was established four years before Texas became a state. It remained the Tarrant county seat until 1856 when Fort Worth won the designation in an election. The Haltom City …

Projects

Space under pressure

August 1, 2016

The first inflatable structure designed for human use in orbit was attached to the Tranquility module of the International Space Station (ISS) in April. A collaboration between Bigelow Aerospace, Las Vegas, Nev., and NASA, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was delivered to the ISS in the trunk of an unmanned Dragon cargo ship. Using …

Projects

Satellites and silk conjure earthly delights

August 1, 2016

It’s called the “overview effect”—a term coined by space philosopher and writer Frank White in a book of the same name. It’s the mental shift that happens to astronauts in space when they see Earth as a tiny, fragile ball of life. National boundaries vanish and the reality that we are all passengers on the …

Projects

‘Batman v Superman’ premier tent is blockbuster

June 29, 2016

Everything Entertainment, an event-production company based in Staten Island, N.Y., routinely provides services for red-carpet events, trade shows and outdoor festivals in New York City. When tapped to provide a heated tent covering the exterior of Radio City Music Hall spanning Rockefeller Center to Avenue of the Americas for the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of …

Projects

Fast forward for footwear

June 29, 2016

In the quest among athletes for longer, faster or better performance, shoe selection can provide the competitive edge. The adidas Group, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, launched its Futurecraft series to open up new avenues for the design and manufacture of performance footwear. The company’s most recent collaboration with Alexander Taylor Studio, a London, England, industrial …

Projects

MIRA supercomputer puts on a bold front

June 29, 2016

In the world of high-speed calculations, supercomputers rule. MIRA, a supercomputer constructed for the Argonne National Laboratory’s Argonne Leadership Computing Facility in Lemont, Ill., is capable of 10 quadrillion calculations per second. An average personal computer would take 20 years to accomplish the same feat. To showcase MIRA’s abilities in climatology, seismology, chemistry and math, …

Projects

Flying tent works up top or down low

June 29, 2016

Explorers who go everywhere in nature have to travel light and react quickly. A start-up company, Startraveller Equipment GmbH, Carinthia, Austria, developed the perfect companion for wanderers in the wild—the flying tent, an all-in-one tent that works as a ground tent, a floating tent hung on tree trunks, a hammock or a rain poncho. The …

Projects

Upcycling oceans of debris

June 29, 2016

Javier Goyeneche, president of Ecoalf Recycled Fabrics S.L., headquartered in Madrid, Spain, established his recycled clothing company in 2010. Ecoalf jackets and backpacks made from recycled wastes appear in upscale shops, such as Harrods in London and Bloomingdale’s in New York. Now Goyeneche and partners in both the fabric and fishing worlds have set out …

Projects

Mirrors of reflection

June 29, 2016

Milan Design week allows designers and innovators in materials to wow the cognoscenti with creativity, and 3M™, the inventors of films, adhesives, tapes and thousands of other products for homes and businesses, went to Italy with a reflective idea. In partnership with Stefano Boeri Architetti, 3M Design installed Urban Tree Lounge to allow visitors prowling …

Projects

Safety net for avid fans

June 29, 2016

Baseball is the all-American pastime, but it is not without its hazardous moments, for players and fans alike. Major League Baseball announced in 2015 its recommendation for extended screens to protect fans from batted or thrown balls and other hazards associated with flying debris. Fans gave the idea a raspberry, assuming screens would destroy the …

Projects

Knitting math, nature and beauty

June 1, 2016

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “yarn” in two ways: spun thread used for knitting, sewing or weaving; and a long and rambling story, particularly one that is implausible. Jenny Sabin Studio LLC, Ithaca, N.Y., is an experimental architecture and design group that has yarn expertise in both respects. The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design …

Projects

All-season canopy for L.A. Rams stadium

June 1, 2016

Before Dallas, Texas-based HKS Architects developed a design proposal for a new 3.1 million-square-foot multipurpose venue and stadium in Los Angeles, the company did a California reconnoiter. “Homes and restaurants in the region have areas that flow from indoors to outdoors, with glass doors that open to patio spaces for outdoor living,” says Mark A. …

Projects

Wall art stands up to disinfectants

June 1, 2016

Hospital and health care facilities have discovered that home-like surroundings, soothing sounds and enlivening art play roles in helping a sick child, declining elder or traumatized accident victim feel cared for and safe. Nevertheless, health care institutions must prioritize infection control over feel-good factors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. acute …

Projects

Skin-tight, skin right

June 1, 2016

Slide into a pair of Calzedonia cosmetic effect jeans, and the slinky, body-hugging design will showcase long legs to perfection. It’s what the jeans do after you take them off, however, that makes them an innovative investment in beauty. Calzedonia, a brand of Calin Group, based in Attica, Greece, sells hosiery, leggings and swimwear from …

Projects

Italian courtyard transformed into border crossing

June 1, 2016

Milan, Italy, takes its role seriously as an international center of design and fashion, so 2016 Milan Design Week featured mind-bending examples of modern architecture, interior design and product development. The Italian magazine Interni curated an exhibition for the event called “Open Borders,” and invited MAD Architects, a futuristic architecture studio located in Beijing, China, …

Projects

Fighting AIDS with fine design

June 1, 2016

The Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) raises funds for grants to organizations engaged in HIV- and AIDS-related activities—and does it in style. In conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City, DIFFA hosted a Dining by Design event in March, featuring dining installations with award-winning interior design. This year, Ghislaine …

Projects

Infinite possibilities

May 1, 2016

Even though many options exist for outdoor canopies for residential and commercial use, Dr. Alan Shargani couldn’t find one that would work for his home. He found that the canopies available were difficult to install and maintain. Made from one long piece of fabric, they required precise measurements and fabrication, and once they were installed …