Projects

Washington’s wartime headquarters, restored

March 29, 2017

A significant artifact from the Revolutionary War, George Washington’s Headquarters Tent has been restored and is on display at the new Museum of the American Revolution. Just opened in Philadelphia, Pa., in April 2017, the museum tells the story of America’s founding through immersive gallery experiences, object theaters and recreated historical scenes. The tent’s journey …

Industry News

IFAI’s 2017 Smart Fabrics Program

March 29, 2017

Channeling exciting ideas into new product development. At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference, four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New …

Business

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

Industry News

Student Design Competitions application deadline May 15

March 27, 2017

IFAI appreciates members’ dedication to helping advance the textile industry. We encourage you to further that advancement by passing along the following information to students  who are interested in a textile industry career. Students have until Monday, May 15, 2017, to submit projects for the IFAI Student Design Competitions. Any project completed between May 2016- May 2017 is eligible. …

Industry News

CORDURA® receives multiple awards

March 24, 2017

CORDURA Brand received more than 50 ISPO TEXTREND Innovations awards on its 50th anniversary year at the February 2017 ISPO TEXTRENDS show in Munich. The brand also won “best in category product” for CORDURA® 4EVER™ knit by Yoonia. In total, 51 CORDURA fabrics in six key textile categories were selected as winners. A number of …

Industry News

DuPont™ Sorona® recognized in global competition

March 23, 2017

Dupont™ Sorona®, a renewably sourced polymer, was named runner-up for Fiber Producer of the Year by the World Textile Awards. The first independent global awards competition, the World Textile Awards, are dedicated to recognizing and rewarding excellence across the global textile industry. Sorona is derived, in part, from renewably sourced plant-based ingredients, allowing for a …

Industry News

Inland Tarp & Liner acquires Brawler

March 22, 2017

Inland Tarp & Liner LLC has acquired the physical assets and equipment of Brawler Industries and Brawler Environmental Containment, Midland, Texas. The company hired most of the former Brawler employees and is updating equipment to supplement production of pit and pond liners at its recently expanded facility in Odessa. The combined plants include over 100,000 …

Industry News

Rose Brand moves West Coast facilities

March 21, 2017

Rose Brand, Secaucus, N.J., has moved its West Coast office and warehouse to 11440 Sheldon St., Sun Valley, Calif. Just three miles from the former location, the new office has 60 percent more space. This will provide more room for inventory, custom sewing services, rental stock and other growth. Rose Brand West stocks and produces …

Industry News

Superior Ink Certifiably Green

March 20, 2017

Superior Ink Printing, Denver, Colo., has received the Certifiably Green Denver Certificate after a yearlong effort to convert their business to a more sustainable platform. To qualify for the certification, Superior Ink went through a full assessment process by a Certifiably Green Sustainability Advisor and made all required changes. These changes range from implementing a …

Industry News

Outlook 2017 Conference speaker’s book wins award

March 17, 2017

Michael M. Woody’s book, American Dragon: Winning the Global Manufacturing War Using the Universal Principles of FEWER, FASTER, and FINER, was named a Business & Economics Foreword Indies finalist. The Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards recognize the best independently published books. The book gives an overview of China’s manufacturing rise and how U.S. manufactures …

Business

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

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Building markets in Ukraine

March 1, 2017

Ukraine plans to attract $300 million for the development of domestic technical textiles and nonwovens industries. According to recent statements from the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine plans to attract up to $300 million USD worth of investments for the development of the domestic technical textiles and nonwovens industries over the next several years. This …

Business

Fewer, faster, finer

March 1, 2017

How U.S. manufacturers can adapt to changing expectations of customers. Back in 2007, Trans-Tex LLC, based in Cranston, R.I., was struggling to survive. Management quickly concluded that the company, a dye sublimation heat transfer printer of narrow web fabric, could not compete against overseas competition by attacking their strengths. Those competitor strengths included manufacturing long …

Business

Creatively Pleasing

February 1, 2017

Phyllis Mitchell is the owner of Phyllis Mitchell’s Island Style Marine Canvas & Upholstery in Kemah, Texas. Since its opening in July of 2013, the company has been specializing in the design and fabrication of all things sewn on a sail or powerboat. Here, Mitchell shares her thoughts about the industry, the challenges her company …

Business

Tax law changes

February 1, 2017

How the Trump Administration may affect businesses. Any change in Washington, D.C., brings the possibility—and the likelihood—of tax law changes. The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States is no exception. In his campaign, President Trump highlighted several goals of tax reform that included reducing the official corporate tax rate …

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From old to new: a glimpse into recycling technology

January 4, 2017

Recycling discarded materials into usable other things requires considerable effort and investment, but more companies are doing just that. Take Serge Ferrari North America, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer of flexible composite membranes used globally by numerous markets. In 1996, the company began exploring the idea of recycling its materials for the print and tent …

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When to count income

January 1, 2017

Get ready for new guidelines on ‘revenue recognition.’ Sometimes accounting rules and the tax law are logical and equitable; sometimes they aren’t. One question always seems to surface: When is a business’s revenue considered “income”? The time to claim income and deductions is dictated by rules or laws, not by a business owner’s opinion. Accounting …

Business

Keeping up with the Joneses

January 1, 2017

Stephan Kåmark is president of Oxnard, Calif.-based Advanced Canvas & Upholstery Services. The Channel Islands Harbor shop specializes in flooring, enclosures, covers, solar power and repairs in the marine, industrial, aviation and military sectors, offering quality fabric and hardware from the U.S. and Europe. Here, Kåmark talks about his biggest influence, the rewards that come …

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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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Game on

March 1, 2017

A competitive mind-set is what manufacturers of high-tech fabrics and fabric products say is powering demand for their high-performance solutions.  When you think about high-tech sports and recreation products designed to help athletes hone the competitive edge, equipment rather than fabric likely springs to mind first, but this reaction is behind the times—fabrics have evolved to …

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Bring it on

March 1, 2017

Jacob Schwartz navigates the design and construction process by leveraging group strengths, examining all options and committing to long-term solutions for clients. “Without exception, the more—and earlier—we are engaged in the design process, the more successful the fabric application becomes,” says Jacob Schwartz, owner and director of engineering and construction for International Tension Structures (ITS), Phoenix, …

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Shade with character

March 1, 2017

Fabricators bring together innovative and classic elements to protect their boating customers from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether permanent or removable, shading on boats has a big job to fulfill: protecting the crew and passengers from the sun while creating a comfortable environment. And boat owners are becoming more knowledgeable about the health dangers that …

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The 2017 State of the Industry: Part 2

March 1, 2017

The slow economic recovery after the Great Recession has made kick-starting growth in the specialty fabrics industry a continuing challenge. Five of the six key markets covered in Part 2 of this report showed growth in 2016, which is expected to continue in 2017. (The military market was down 6 percent, and is expected to …

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Glamp it up

February 1, 2017

The growing glamping trend brings together comfort and the great outdoors-whether for a weekend getaway or as a way of life.  Glamorous camping—aka glamping—is more than camping for people who want a weekend in nature but don’t want the challenges that come with being outdoors. Glamping is fabric at its best. It’s soft shadows that …

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The buck starts here

February 1, 2017

Chris Ritsema leads his company by building a strong culture that encourages growth and success for his employees. My vision has always been to grow a company that empowers its employees,” says Chris Ritsema, owner of Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich. “I want to give people a reason to stay here and build their careers—and …

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More than covered

February 1, 2017

Demands increase for truck covers and tarps that offer weather protection and driver convenience. With millions of trucks being utilized across a wealth of industries, tarps and truck covers are big business for manufacturers and specialty fabric suppliers. As the industry continues to grow, some companies have increased their efforts to gain market share within …

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Part 1: State of the Industry 2017

February 1, 2017

Despite some slowing of global GDP in 2016, growth of the U.S. and Canadian specialty fabrics industry is slow but steady, and markets like fabric structures, tent rental and manufacturing, fabric graphics and marine fabrication are outpacing national averages. The pace is expected to continue, but can also be somewhat constrained by changes in unemployment …

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Air Apparent

January 1, 2017

Companies and event organizers use inflatables to grab public attention and promote their brands.  Although he now sells spaces in luxury subterranean survival shelters, Robert Vicino once focused his entrepreneurial spirit on loftier altitudes. He put a 90-foot King Kong on the Empire State Building and designed Otto the Autopilot for the farcical movie Airplane. …

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Sun-Powered textiles

January 1, 2017

Fabrics with self-cleaning properties can last longer, require less maintenance and even reduce air pollution.  Sunlight can damage many types of fabrics, yet it can also have a beneficial effect on textiles that are enhanced with self-cleaning technologies. Thanks to functional coatings and pioneering research, self-cleaning properties—powered by the sun—are extending the life of textiles …

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Sustainable Opportunity

January 1, 2017

Eric and Angie Riggins create new products and capture new markets to ensure a steady stream of work throughout the year.  We’re always looking for opportunities to grow the business,” says Angie Riggins, co-owner of Alpha Canvas, Charlotte, N.C. “We have to be innovative to set ourselves apart from our competitors—we find ways to meet …

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Developing friendlier fabrics

January 1, 2017

As sustainability is increasingly important to growing numbers of consumers, fabric manufacturers are broadening their eco-friendly offerings, giving specialty fabricators plenty of green options. As a famous frog once lamented, it’s not easy being green. The same can be said for companies wanting to “green” up their product offerings and manufacturing processes, since doing so …

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Built for comfort, durability, and safety

December 19, 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 …

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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” …

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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. …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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: …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 Members only content

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 …

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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 Members only content

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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

Advanced Textiles Members only content

Keeping up with carbon

March 1, 2017

Demand for carbon fiber stresses market ability to provide it,  but costs and efficiences are expected to improve. Although carbon fiber as a commodity has been around since the late 1960s, only in the past 10 years can there truly be considered a dynamic market of real substance with steady growth potential. Others in the …

Markets Members only content

Covering the environment

February 20, 2017

Eco-concerns increase in truck and tarp industry These days, nearly every business is burdened with some kind of environmental challenge. These challenges include cutting landfill deposits, disposing toxic-laden wastes in a proper manner and educating employees on workplace recycling. Nearly every company has pressures from regulators and customers to change their products and processes to …

Fabric Structures Members only content

Green glamping

February 17, 2017

Eco-friendly glamping structures designed to keep Mother Nature smiling. Glamping brings together the best of two worlds—all the splendor Mother Nature has to offer in posh, elegant accommodations. As if that weren’t enough, glamping structures are usually designed with fabrics that blend into the surroundings that leave less of a footprint to challenge the environment. …

Fabric Structures Members only content

Inflation rates

February 1, 2017

Blow-up shapes and structures make a valuable medium for edgy and interactive art. When Los Angeles based artist Paul McCarthy installed two works in Munich’s Haus der Kunst, the widely known provocateur hired a company that specializes in inflatables for branding to create a flowerpot of geraniums to cover the museum’s roofline. The blow-up vinyl-coated …

Advanced Textiles Members only content

Special (fabric) effects

February 1, 2017

Ubisoft and OCAD University students worked together to advance the technology of the motion capture suit. Ubisoft, a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, is behind some of the world’s most recognizable game brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Watch Dogs, and more recently has launched Ubisoft Motion …

Advanced Textiles Members only content

Better chemistry, better products

February 1, 2017

Sustainability in textile development and manufacturing is an ongoing conversation, much of it revolving around processes that conserve energy, water and natural resources. Beyond manufacturing processes, however, sustainability issues are driving true technical innovation, resulting in new products that offer a host of advantages. Replacing PFCs The search for alternatives to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) such …

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Self-cleaning textiles embrace sustainability

January 10, 2017

Self-cleaning textiles and coatings are making inroads in a variety of industries including those related to medical, architectural and fashion endeavors. Using hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties, self-cleaning textile technology allows fabrics to be cleaned simply by water without using cleaning agents. The photocatalytic component of these textiles can help decompose organics on the textile using …

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Knowing what you need

January 1, 2017

Examining antimicrobial and omni-repellency performance. Textile testing was front and center at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference and on the IFAI Expo 2016 show floor in Charlotte, N.C. Testing to be assured that a product will perform as expected is an important step in the development of any application; in antimicrobial performance, it is becoming even …

Fabric Structures Members only content

Flying the “Paper Airplane”

January 1, 2017

Canvas Specialty, Inc. works through challenges to create a shade structure that is also art. The simplicity of the paper airplane has made it a popular toy for generations of kids (and adults), even in this age of high-tech entertainment. But while the shade structure installed recently in Los Angeles’ Grand Park was designed to resemble …

Marine Members only content

Stability at sea

January 1, 2017

Redesigned nylon para sea anchor provides unmatched strength and support for a new oil vessel. Fabric’s wide-ranging aquatic capabilities are often observed above water in the form of sails, for example, or inflatable and flexible boating structures. When put to work beneath the surface, dependence on its strength is just as—if not more—critical, succeeding only …

Markets Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 …

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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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 …

Industry News

IFAI’s 2017 Smart Fabrics Program

March 29, 2017

Channeling exciting ideas into new product development. At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference, four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New …

Industry News

Student Design Competitions application deadline May 15

March 27, 2017

IFAI appreciates members’ dedication to helping advance the textile industry. We encourage you to further that advancement by passing along the following information to students  who are interested in a textile industry career. Students have until Monday, May 15, 2017, to submit projects for the IFAI Student Design Competitions. Any project completed between May 2016- May 2017 is eligible. …

Industry News

CORDURA® receives multiple awards

March 24, 2017

CORDURA Brand received more than 50 ISPO TEXTREND Innovations awards on its 50th anniversary year at the February 2017 ISPO TEXTRENDS show in Munich. The brand also won “best in category product” for CORDURA® 4EVER™ knit by Yoonia. In total, 51 CORDURA fabrics in six key textile categories were selected as winners. A number of …

Industry News

DuPont™ Sorona® recognized in global competition

March 23, 2017

Dupont™ Sorona®, a renewably sourced polymer, was named runner-up for Fiber Producer of the Year by the World Textile Awards. The first independent global awards competition, the World Textile Awards, are dedicated to recognizing and rewarding excellence across the global textile industry. Sorona is derived, in part, from renewably sourced plant-based ingredients, allowing for a …

Industry News

Inland Tarp & Liner acquires Brawler

March 22, 2017

Inland Tarp & Liner LLC has acquired the physical assets and equipment of Brawler Industries and Brawler Environmental Containment, Midland, Texas. The company hired most of the former Brawler employees and is updating equipment to supplement production of pit and pond liners at its recently expanded facility in Odessa. The combined plants include over 100,000 …

Industry News

Rose Brand moves West Coast facilities

March 21, 2017

Rose Brand, Secaucus, N.J., has moved its West Coast office and warehouse to 11440 Sheldon St., Sun Valley, Calif. Just three miles from the former location, the new office has 60 percent more space. This will provide more room for inventory, custom sewing services, rental stock and other growth. Rose Brand West stocks and produces …

Industry News

Superior Ink Certifiably Green

March 20, 2017

Superior Ink Printing, Denver, Colo., has received the Certifiably Green Denver Certificate after a yearlong effort to convert their business to a more sustainable platform. To qualify for the certification, Superior Ink went through a full assessment process by a Certifiably Green Sustainability Advisor and made all required changes. These changes range from implementing a …

Industry News

Outlook 2017 Conference speaker’s book wins award

March 17, 2017

Michael M. Woody’s book, American Dragon: Winning the Global Manufacturing War Using the Universal Principles of FEWER, FASTER, and FINER, was named a Business & Economics Foreword Indies finalist. The Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards recognize the best independently published books. The book gives an overview of China’s manufacturing rise and how U.S. manufactures …

Industry News

Unifi wins gold at World Textile Awards

March 17, 2017

Unifi, Inc., Greensboro, N.C., was named 2016 Fiber Producer of the Year at the World Textile Awards. Unifi is a leader in producing high-quality recycled fiber and other premium value-added technologies that combine environmental responsibility, style and performance. The company provides innovative, global textile solutions and branded yarns for customers at every level of the …

Industry News

Congressman tours new Aurora facility

March 16, 2017

U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (Illinois 14th Congressional District) recently toured the new textile manufacturing operations at Aurora Specialty Textiles Group in Yorkville, Ill. The visit included a question-and-answer session and a tour of the plant’s new 124,000 square foot manufacturing operations. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group provides a wide range of coating, finishing and dying capabilities …

Industry News

PA Group partners with Point Blank Enterprises

March 15, 2017

PA Group USA, Chattanooga, Tenn., a Gold Certified partner for Microsoft Dynamics, is working with Point Blank Enterprises to implement the Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The deployment will focus on providing Point Blank Enterprises with a modern, unified ERP platform that will provide powerful business intelligence and efficiency for years to come. …

Industry News

SEAMS celebrates 50 years

March 14, 2017

SEAMS, the National Association for the U.S. Sewn Products and Textile Industries, is marking its 50th anniversary at the annual Spring Networking Conference entitled “Shaping the Next 50 Years.” The conference scheduled for May 2017 in Asheville, N.C., will explore the trends and opportunities that diverse sewn products brands, manufacturers, OEMs, suppliers and retailers can …

Industry News

Webinar series: flexible solar structures

March 13, 2017

Learn about solar-powered fabric technology in IFAI’s free webinar   ATP is excited to partner with division member Pvilion in a webinar on solar structures. This free webinar for all members and non-members will be held Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at Noon EDT.  Pvilion CEO and co-founder Colin Touhey will speak on the company’s innovative solar-powered fabric technology. Pvilion is the expert and …

Industry News

Teijin receives technology award

March 10, 2017

Teijin Aramid received the 2016 Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award for unmatched performance of conveyor belts reinforced with the company’s high-performance aramid products, which enable the mining industry to realize a lower cost of ownership, longer lifetime and reduced energy consumption. Frost & Sullivan, a leading independent market research firm, gave the award. Teijin’s Twaron-reinforced …

Industry News

OEKO-TEX® partners with ZDHC

March 9, 2017

OEKO-TEX®, Zurich, Switzerland, is joining the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program. A provider of standardized solutions that optimize customers’ manufacturing processes and help deliver more sustainable products, the organization anticipates collaborating with other leading brands and contributors that are also members of the ZDHC Program. OEKO-TEX has long supported the vision of globally …

Industry News

AmeriPride is ENERGY STAR certified

March 8, 2017

AmeriPride, one of the largest textile and rental supply companies in North America, has earned ENERGY STAR certification at their Minnetonka, Minn., headquarters and another Minneapolis office. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification signifies that the buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency …

Industry News

CORDURA® debuts strongest nylon fiber

March 7, 2017

INVISTA, a worldwide integrated producer of polymers and fibers, has announced that the company’s CORDURA® brand has developed the strongest nylon-6,6 staple fiber ever produced by the company. T420HT high-tenacity fiber, which will enhance the core strength of CORDURA fabrics, is the result of an intensive two-year research and design process. Already adopted by a …

Industry News

PolarFleece® returns

March 6, 2017

Polartec, Lawrence, Mass., will reintroduce the iconic PolarFleece® brand. When it debuted in 1981, PolarFleece set the premium standard for lightweight warmth and comfort, and became a fashion icon that changed outdoor apparel. Polartec will first introduce the PolarFleece pullover, a humble homage to the original article. In a modern update, the garment will combine …

Industry News

Eton Systems expands in U.S.

March 3, 2017

Eton Systems, the Ganghester Sweden-based global supplier of customized material handling solutions, is conducting all sales-related activities through its headquarters in the U.S. as of the first quarter of 2017. The move will increase the company’s presence and become an even better partner to a growing American industry. Previously, independent sales agents serving North American …

Industry News

Roland offers wrap workshops

March 2, 2017

Roland DGA, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of advanced wide-format inkjet printers and other advanced digital devices, has announced its schedule of Born-to-Wrap™ workshops for 2017. The classes offered, which take place at various locations throughout the country, are led by the vehicle wrap pros from Louisville, Kentucky-based Digital EFX Wraps, renowned for both installation and …

Industry News

Walmart awards textiles grants

March 1, 2017

Walmart has awarded $3 million in U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grants to six universities. The schools will split the grant money to work on a variety of projects involving innovations in domestic textile manufacturing. It is the third and final round of grants for the fund, which has provided a total $10 million in grants …

Industry News

NETInc 2017 Registration is still open

February 28, 2017

NETInc (Innovative Nonwovens Conference) brings together industry professionals from around the world eager to share knowledge, innovation and new ideas about the nonwovens industry. This is the only technical conference developed by engineers and technologists to help attendees understand the innovation behind science and how it impacts the market. Early bird discount ends March 24, …

Industry News

DSM Dyneema launches Black Dyneema® Diamond Technology

February 27, 2017

DSM Dyneema recently launched Black Dyneema® Diamond Technology, a fiber innovation that combines next level cut protection and uncompromised comfort. Black Dyneema Diamond Technology builds upon the Dyneema Diamond Technology platform. This innovation leverages DSM Dyneema’s unique, patented process to permanently embed deep, rich color directly into the fiber. Glove manufacturers will be able to …

Industry News

AATCC test methods available as online subscription

February 24, 2017

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) test methods, including all new and revised methods published in 2016, can now be accessed as an online subscription through American Society for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) compass database. The “AATCC Collection” is comprised of 123 test methods, 11 procedures, and nine monographs. A subscription gives access …

Industry News

J. Ennis Fabrics’ regional sales manager

February 22, 2017

J. Ennis Fabrics, Plainfield, Ind., has named Steve Toth to the position of U.S. specialty regional sales manager. Toth brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the specialty products market to the position. He started with The Astrup Company (now Trivantage) and took on various vice president roles within the company. His experience …

Industry News

Oxco expanding operations

February 21, 2017

Oxco Inc., a light manufacturer and supplier of nonwoven materials for a variety of markets and end-use applications, is launching new operations in York County, S.C., to accommodate the company’s growth. The project is expected to create more than 130 new jobs and bring approximately $13 million in new capital investment. Located in Fort Mill, …

Industry News

A bigger Yarn Expo

February 20, 2017

Yarn Expo Spring 2017 is expected to be 20 percent larger in scale, occupying more than 19,000 square feet of space, when it is held March 15–17 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. Nearly 360 exhibitors, up from 309 in 2016, will be on hand to showcase some of the world’s highest …

Industry News

India to hit $30 billion export target

February 17, 2017

India’s garment exports are on track to meet a government goal of $30 billion in the next three years, according to the Apparel Export Promotion Council, the official body of apparel exporters in India. Apparel exports are expected to increase in 2017–2018 due to innovative design, quality of products and initiatives by the government, including …

Industry News

New Outdura design manager

February 16, 2017

Outdura, Hudson, N.C., has promoted Gloria Tsocos to design manger. Tsocos joined the company in 2015 in the contract fabric division. She began her career as a fabric designer in the home furnishing and hospitality markets and has specialized in indoor and outdoor upholstery fabrics. She served as a professor at the Fashion Institute of …

Industry News

ARA donates to wildfire relief

February 15, 2017

Responding to the wildfires that ravaged Gatlinburg and parts of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the American Rental Association (ARA) Foundation and the ARA of Tennessee have joined forces to donate $6,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. The ARA Foundation matched the ARA of Tennessee’s donation of $3,000 through its Matching Funds Program. The …

Industry News

Zabek retires from Seaman

February 14, 2017

Ed Zabek has retired from Seaman Corp., Wooster, Ohio, after 29 years of service. Most recently he served as regional sales manager in the eastern U.S. Zabek is an expert in the industrial fabrics business and has been a mentor to many associates in the company.

Industry News

Analysis of protective fabrics market

February 13, 2017

“Industrial Protective Clothing Fabrics Market—Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016–2024,” a report from Transparency Market Research, analyzes and forecasts the market for industrial protective clothing fabrics at the global and regional level. The market forecast is based on revenue from 2016 to 2024, considering 2015 as the base year. The study …

Industry News

50 U.S. companies certified to GOTS

February 10, 2017

Fifty companies in the U.S. are now certified to the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS). Seven Canadian companies are also certified. GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The standard, which includes spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing, includes both environmental …

Industry News

Fabric structures guidelines updated

February 9, 2017

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Tension Membrane Committee has revised ASCE 55-10, the organization’s primary set of guidelines for designing a wide variety of tensioned fabric structures. The updated standard, ASCE 55-16, includes a chapter on air-supported structures, information on how to design a structure to meet codes and more. Working groups spent …

Industry News

Carroll, Isenhour join Meridian

February 8, 2017

As it expands its U.S. manufacturing operations, Meridian Specialty Yarn Group Inc., Valdese, N.C., has added two positions to the company’s management team. Ed Carroll, former vice president of finance for the Branded Apparel Segment of Gildan Activewear Inc., has been hired as vice president of finance. Carroll has more than 20 years of experience …

Industry News

IFF announces 2017 scholarships

February 7, 2017

Students have until June 10, 2017, to apply for any of four $5,000 scholarships available through The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF). Each year, IFF awards several scholarships to degree-seeking students enrolled in accredited colleges, universities or technical schools. The scholarships are paid directly to the students’ schools for fall semester tuition. Available scholarships include: Textile …

Industry News

Mold, Mildew and Harmful Bacteria in Textiles: Can Your Fabrics Be Protected?

February 7, 2017

February 16 | Noon – 1 p.m. EST Companies can have their carefully built reputations ruined overnight when mold, mildew or other harmful bacteria are found on their fabrics. With a global supply chain, a complex distribution network and uncontrolled shipping environments, this scenario, while not the norm, can create expensive problems for companies within the …

Industry News

Sympatex to launch first 100% CO2-neutral membrane

February 6, 2017

At ISPO Munich 2017, Sympatex Technologies will introduce the “guaranteed green” Sympatex membrane. To eliminate any contribution to global warming, the ecological alternative among functional textile specialists will compensate the CO2 amount of its entire yearly membrane production starting from 2017 through respective climate protection certificates in cooperation with the Munich-based consultancy ClimatePartner. The material …

Industry News

The Chair Forum™ slated for March 2017

February 3, 2017

Facilitated by leading family business governance experts Dr. Craig Aronoff, Dr. Jennifer Pendergast, and Joe Schmieder, the Chair Forum will provide an insider’s view of the innovative and meaningful ways that family businesses build thriving governance systems. It is an opportunity for in-depth conversations with peers and experts on some of the distinct questions that face …

Industry News

Growth for the North American markets

February 2, 2017

German-based HUESKER Inc. celebrated another milestone during the month of December. The expanding of their operations in Cleveland County and the city of Shelby, through of an 8.5-million-dollar state-of-the-art facility. HUESKER Inc. recently celebrated their 25th anniversary in the United States. The new facility will manufacture core products locally for the North American market per …

Industry News

Huntsman partners with knitting specialist

February 1, 2017

Huntsman Textile Effects, a provider of high quality dyes and chemicals, has entered into a partnership and collaboration agreement with Viyellatex Group, a multi-dimensional business conglomerate in Bangladesh with spinning, knitting, dyeing, accessories and printing facilities. The agreement reinforces Huntsman as the preferred supplier of Viyellatex and will help the Bangladeshi company be more competitive …

Editorial

Recurring revenue

February 1, 2017

Twenty years ago, while working as an editor at my first publishing company, I was working with a group of other editors that were mostly 9–10 years younger than I was. (Generation X was the term used, the generation born after the baby boomers, often perceived to be disaffected and directionless.) With the usual enviable …

Industry News

Tejin acquires Continental Structural Plastics

January 31, 2017

Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan, has acquired Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich., a global leader in automotive lightweight composite technologies. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin, the company will remain an autonomous operation, maintaining its brand in North America and strengthening its global capabilities. The acquisition will enable the combined companies to …

Industry News

Toyobo to increase airbag business

January 30, 2017

Toyobo Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan, is increasing its production of fabrics and yarn for automobile airbags by investing more than $8.5 million in plants and equipment globally through 2020. The company will separate its fabric production plant for airbags from their existing fabric plant in Thailand and establish a manufacturing joint-venture company with a local …

Industry News

Applied DNA Sciences to provide traceability for retailer

January 27, 2017

Applied DNA Sciences Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y., will provide its SigNature T DNA products and services platform to empower textile supply chain security for a large U.S.-based retailer over a multi-year period with established revenue thresholds. The retailer selected SigNature T for its ability to assure quality in global supply chains. SigNature T DNA platform …

Industry News

Mutoh and Avery Dennison offer training

January 26, 2017

Mutoh America Inc., a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, is partnering with Avery Dennison, global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and materials, to offer a Wrap Training Program in 13 cities across the U.S. in 2017. Master installers Justin Pate of The Wrap Institute and John Duever of Vinyl Images will host the …

Industry News

Outdoor Graphics Webinar

January 24, 2017

IFAI Member Exclusive Presented by the Fabric Graphics Association One week left to register!  January 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00pm Central Come learn about techniques for creating successful outdoor graphics. Industry experts will provide detailed and tangible ways to specify, produce, and finish outdoor graphics for strength and longevity. A few of the …

Industry News

Minnesota Knitting Mills receives award

January 23, 2017

Minnesota Knitting Mills Inc., Mendota Heights, Minn., was selected for the 2016 Minnesota Excellence Award by the American Economic Institute (AEI), a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meet its stringent standards of excellence. AEI conducts yearly business surveys and industry research to identify companies that …

Industry News

Enduratex™ moves headquarters

January 20, 2017

Enduratex™, a provider of vinyl-coated fabrics to the automotive, hospitality, marine, health care and spa industries, has moved its U.S. corporate headquarters from Mira Loma, Calif., to Corona, Calif., as of Jan. 1, 2017. The move will enable staff expansion and accommodate additional customer needs. The company also introduced a new logo that represents the …

Industry News

N.C. State to host textile summit

January 19, 2017

Recognizing the importance of textiles as building block materials for new product development and the advancement in textile technologies, the College of Textiles at N.C. State University in Raleigh is hosting Textile Summit 2017 March 21-22. The conference will bring together faculty, staff and students with representatives from textile programs at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, …

Products

Attention-getting activewear

March 1, 2017

Shockwave is Top Value Fabrics’ newest addition to its line of polyester fabrics for active wear applications. The 92/8 Polyester Spandex Space Dye Jersey Fabric is soft to the touch and allows for good lateral movement and comfortable wear. Popular applications include yoga apparel, hoodies, sports bras, leggings, headwear and athleisure wear. Top Value Fabrics …

Products

Decorative fabrics

March 1, 2017

The Outline Collection from KnollTextiles is a textiles and wallcovering collection that explores line work, geometry and color in high-performance products. Highlights include Nature Walk, a polyurethane upholstery by designer Ruth Adler Schnee, high-performance 100 percent woven polyethylene wallcoverings Alias II and Asterisk II, and digitally printed privacy fabric with integrated mesh for easy maintenance. …

Products

Light control

March 1, 2017

Phifer has expanded its SheerWeave collection to include additional blackout and light-filtering interior sun control fabric options. Style 7600 blackout has a soft, acrylic foamed backing for total light blockage. Style 7650 is a complementary range that uses the face fabric of Style 7600, providing privacy while allowing for natural light. The new fabrics are …

Products

Stress-free removable film

March 1, 2017

DPF 510 Removable is a short-term promotional removable film available in a Gloss (DPF 510GTR) and Matte (DPF 510MTR) finish. It features a two-sided, lay-flat poly coated liner that provides a consistent and vibrant print quality compatible with a variety of print systems including Eco-Solvent, Solvent and Latex. DPF 510 Removable is recommended for short-term …

Products

Stay dry in the rain

March 1, 2017

MINOTECH™ is a water-repellent outerwear material inspired by the design of straw raincoats made in ancient Japan. Due to the material’s micro-garter structure, small convex bulges help reduce horizontal surface tension to allow raindrops to slip off the surface in a vertical direction. With its non-laminated structure, MINOTECH has high moisture permeability that allows sweat …

Products

New colors for shade solutions

March 1, 2017

Vicar International is stocking Cooltra Shade in Desert Tan, Aqua Blue, Black and Forest Green. Manufactured with 100 percent high density polyethylene warp knitted shade fabrics, Cooltra Shade is lightweight, durable and can provide shade for up to 95 percent UV coverage. The mesh is manufactured with a pre-heat set process for added strength and …

Products

Engineered for inclement weather

February 1, 2017

Tecasafe® Typhoon3™ is a tri-laminate FR fabric designed for use in rainwear. With a PPE category 2 rating, it provides protection from arc flash events and is engineered to feel comfortable and stand up to extreme wear and multiple launderings. Tecasafe Tundra1000™ is a double-sided, wool-enhanced fleece with a high PPE category 2 rating. Weighing …

Products

A next-generation adhesive supply unit

February 1, 2017

The Dynamelt™ S Series Adhesive Supply Unit features a 10-or-20-pound capacity hopper, intuitive controls and consumes 20 percent less energy than competitive units. New features include a Nano ceramic hopper coating that is five times more durable than other PTFE coatings, a repositionable display panel and a 7-Day Scheduler. A “standby” temperature may be programmed …

Products

Durable architectural shade

February 1, 2017

Commercial HEAVY 430 is engineered to withstand extreme weather conditions on large-scale tension structures. Its biaxial stability and load-bearing strength creates the needed shape and tensioning endurance for large-scale structures and is made from 100 percent HDPE monofilament using a patent pending intertwining knit pattern. Commercial HEAVY 430 blocks up to 94 percent of ultraviolet …

Products

Breathable and waterproof

February 1, 2017

Polartec® has created new versions of Polartec NeoShell® specifically for the Teton Bros. TB 2.0 Jacket. The new waterproof NeoShell fabrics offer a combination of stretch, breathability and overall comfort. A more supple 70-by-160-denier mechanical stretch nylon woven NeoShell fabric balances drape and stretch with high durability for greater mobility in the body of the …

Products

A geometric wave

February 1, 2017

Palm Harbor has a leather-like look with a weave embossed pattern. Its topcoat, Forbid SRT, increases stain resistance while preserving the integrity of the fabric luster and softness of the faux leather textile. Palm harbor exceeds 100,000 cycles on the Wyzenbeek Test and has a cold crack rating of -10 degrees F. The collection is …

Products

Decorative fabrics

February 1, 2017

Avenues is a Mondrian-inspired design that features a large-scale color block. Ideal for a modern home or commercial setting, Avenues is 54 inches wide and available in colors Daylight (neutral tones white, flax and gravel) and Midnight (darker tones black, blue and charcoal). Cirrus portrays an allover cloud look that gives the fabric the illusion …

Products

Optimal blockout and durability

January 1, 2017

Midnight Blockout is a knitted polyester fabric engineered with a durable acrylic black back for applications that require blockout. Constructed for the tradeshow industry, it meets NFPA 701 FR specifications and provides options in ink compatibility including dye sub direct, dye sub transfer, UV and latex. Slight stretch makes Midnight Blockout suitable for use with …

Products

Moving shade

January 1, 2017

Oasis® Patio Shades Driven by Lutron® are motorized patio shades and retractable insect screens available for the home market. The high-end patio shades bring advanced control to outdoor spaces by controlling heat, UV rays, glare and insects. Oasis 2800 Patio Sun Shades are available in a range of solar screen fabrics with weaves from 1 …

Products

Fabric for health care

January 1, 2017

Frankie from Mitchell Faux Leathers is a high-performance polyurethane upholstery fabric made with a proprietary manufacturing system. The resin platform is coated directly onto the textile, resulting in a thin sheet of polyurethane for scratch resistance, hydrolysis resistance, UV stability and chemical cleaner resistance. Frankie does not contain PVC, heavy metals, phthalates or other toxic …

Products

Fire-resistant shadecloth

January 1, 2017

The newly redeveloped FR Comshade™ is a fire-rated knitted HDPE shade fabric with a next generation FR additive that is environmentally safe and less aggressive against UV inhibitors than the original FR Comshade. Line includes seven colors—Aquamarine, Cappuccino, Midnight Green, Porcelain, Sandstone, Silver and White—and is 8.25 oz. per square yard, 150 inches wide on …

Products

Direct-to-fabric printing

January 1, 2017

The TX300P-1800 roll-to-roll, direct-to-textile inkjet printer is 75 inches wide and engineered for direct-to-fabric applications. Capable of utilizing five types of textile-specific inks that can be direct printed on a variety of synthetic or natural fibers, the printer is suitable for creating samples, one-offs or individualized production runs that include custom fashions, runway designs and …

Products

Color-intense ink

January 1, 2017

Roland DGA has introduced fluorescent ink formulated for its Texart XT-640 and RT-640 wide-format dye-sublimation printers. The inks, Fluorescent Pink (Fp) and Yellow (Fy), can be combined with Roland DG’s Texart process ink colors to produce vivid fluorescent hues and soft pastel tones. The DG Fluor Color Library swatch palette can be installed in Adobe® …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Projects

Washington’s wartime headquarters, restored

March 29, 2017

A significant artifact from the Revolutionary War, George Washington’s Headquarters Tent has been restored and is on display at the new Museum of the American Revolution. Just opened in Philadelphia, Pa., in April 2017, the museum tells the story of America’s founding through immersive gallery experiences, object theaters and recreated historical scenes. The tent’s journey …

Projects

Mathematics + design = visual drama

March 1, 2017

The science and art of mathematics comes together dramatically in the redesigned Mathematics: The Winton Gallery at London’s Science Museum. A vision of the late architect Zaha Hadid, whose Zaha Hadid Architects created the design in collaboration with curator David Rooney, the exhibit showcases 400 years of mathematics history from the renaissance to the present …

Projects

Shapeshifting inflatables

March 1, 2017

The concept of inflatables is certainly not new; they’re available in every size, shape and color imaginable. But what is new is a process to create inflatables that can fold themselves into complex shapes. MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group has introduced aeroMorph, inflatable structures that have the capacity to fold like Origami all on …

Projects

Minimal gear, maximum adventure

March 1, 2017

The freedom of the open road. It means getting on your motorcycle and going, not worrying about where or when to stop. The equipment a biker takes along can make all the difference. That’s the idea behind the Bivouac tent designed by Swiss-based Expose, a group of outdoor and motorcycle enthusiasts who prefer to travel …

Projects

Fashion-forward exhibit: the personal touch

March 1, 2017

London’s NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula, a public exhibition space for contemporary art and design, was recently transformed into a sea of tulle by hip young fashion designer Mary Goddard. Known for designing flamboyant yet feminine clothing in unlikely materials, Goddard created oversized dresses using about 1300 feet of tulle in vibrant colors and suspended …

Projects

Applying the perfect sunscreen

March 1, 2017

The Musee de L’Homme, a museum of anthropology in Paris, recently reopened its doors after being shuttered for a six-year renovation. One of the goals for the building, which is listed as a historical monument, was to bring space and light into its halls. The project included the creation of the Gallery of Mankind, a …

Projects

Local color, in style

March 1, 2017

It took big ideas and creativity to transform a 45,000-square-foot space into Rebel, Toronto’s hottest new nightclub. Local designer Studio Munge was up to the challenge, mixing bold colors and sensual patterns in multiple layers to create a unique, changing environment that breaks up the two-story space into distinctively themed gathering spaces. Eventscape, a Toronto-based …

Projects

Urban intervention

February 1, 2017

The Centro Cultural Miguel Angel Asturias (CCMAA) is a sprawling, stunning cultural center in the heart of Guatemala City. A section of the complex’s public space was ripe for rejuvenation, which is where Taller KEN, a young architectural firm based in Guatemala City and New York, comes in. Known for design that is modern and …

Projects

More than scraps

February 1, 2017

The centuries-old tradition of handiwork—making a patchwork quilt, darning socks, patching jeans—is explored through the lens of sustainability at an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse seeks to draw attention to the environmental impact of industrial textile practices that fill up landfills with remnants from yarn, …

Projects

Keeping it cool

February 1, 2017

Scientists at Stanford University have developed a textile to keep you cool. It’s a plastic-based material that can be woven into fabric to cool the body two ways, allowing the wearer to feel nearly four degrees (F) cooler than with typical cotton clothing. The textile cools first by enabling perspiration to evaporate through the material, …

Projects

A dumpster gets recycled

February 1, 2017

A unique classroom concept brings new life to typical city dumpsters by providing a mobile space for learning. The brainchild of New York-based architect John Locke and his Department of Urban Betterment, the Inflato Dumpster consists of a membrane made of lightweight materials and clear polyethylene, an inexpensive, biodegradable material that allows views both into …

Projects

A maze, suspended

February 1, 2017

Audacious. Abstract. Experimental. These are just some of the words one could use to describe the work of Numen/For Use, a design collective working in the fields of conceptual art, scenography, and industrial and spatial design. Designers Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljkovic formed the collective in 1998 and established Numen in 1999 for …

Projects

The smart way to dress for winter

February 1, 2017

Skiers, runners and other winter athletes are at greater risk of contracting chest infections when exercising in the cold. Now there is a “smart” solution—a balaclava that warms oxygen before it’s inhaled. Developed by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England, and German advanced knitting machine manufacturer Stoll GmbH, the prototype features a knitted patch of electric-conductive …

Projects

Canopy scores a touchdown

February 1, 2017

As part the plan to realize head coach Jimbo Fisher’s commitment to rebuild the Seminoles football dynasty, Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium recently underwent a major renovation. The project included the construction of a premium club seating section featuring 6,000 seats and hosted services at the south end of the stadium. The 24,930-square-foot area …

Projects

Fast women, light bikes

January 1, 2017

At this year’s women’s Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf again dominated the women’s field for the win. She set a new course record with an 8:46:46 finish defending her 2015 title. The 112-mile bike route takes competitors along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway where they must be prepared to withstand trade winds …

Projects

Spinning meaningful yarns

January 1, 2017

Upon a first glance, a visitor to artist Chiharu Shiota’s art installation at Berlin’s Blain|Southern gallery might have thought the artist painted her dramatic concept in mid-air. Named “Uncertain Journey,” the piece is actually a dense web of red yarn. Known for installations that immerse gallery goers in a world of color and texture, Berlin-based …

Projects

Stand out in a crowd

January 1, 2017

There are many options for businesses and other organizations that exhibit at events. But it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle if you opt for the fairly standard types of tents used by most vendors. Now there’s an option that could make any exhibitor feel like a star. The Star Tent stands out because …

Projects

Inspired by nature

January 1, 2017

How do you reimagine the design of a convention center? After all, it’s a structure that generally has an industrial feel in order to accommodate large event, meeting and trade show space and the expanses required to move displays, equipment and groups of people in and out. The international architecture firm, Studio Fuksas, looked to …

Projects

Textile, heal thyself

January 1, 2017

What if you accidentally spill a chemical on your shirt, causing a hole, and miraculously, the shirt repairs itself when you throw it in the wash? It’s not just the stuff of science fiction. Known as self-healing textiles, fabrics are being developed that can repair themselves as well as neutralize chemicals dangerous to human health. …

Projects

Blowin’ in the wind

January 1, 2017

While on several long trekking tours, Nils Ferber ran into one problem: His electronic equipment kept running out of batteries. The Zurich, Switzerland-based designer realized that there was no easy way to keep his devices powered up in the wilderness. He also recognized that this could be a real issue for mountaineers, filmmakers and expedition …

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 …