A 4,000-square foot installation hits the road

June 1, 2008

When Time Warner’s Home to the Future exhibit in New York City proved a smashing success, the company asked the project’s designers, NYC’s ESI Design, to find a way to take the 4,000-square foot installation on the road. ESI came up with the Time Warner Home to the Future Mobile, which traveled to 12 of …

Curtains separate work bays

[ Lethbridge Custom Canvas Ltd. ] Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada A local Toyota forklift dealer required a completely enclosed area in which they could pressure-wash equipment being serviced without affecting equipment being worked on in the next bay. Lethbridge fabricated two 35-foot-by-12-foot curtains using 18-ounce Sampson FR; the top hem of each curtain is reinforced with …

3G Mermet expands U.S. operations

Increasing sales of solar protection fabric and operations scattered among temporary buildings were two of the reasons that 3G Mermet tripled its floor space in its expanded Cowpens, South Carolina, facility. The new 130,000-square-foot building gives the company room to grow and consolidate corporate, sales, support, weaving, coating and warehouse in one central location. Mermet …

Invista adds Cordura Colorlock fabrics to Cordura brand

Invista’s latest addition to the CORDURA® brand portfolio, Cordura Colorlock fabrics, provide excellent stain resistance, colorfastness and long-lasting, durable performance. A process in which color is permanently built into the fiber eliminates the need to piece-dye fabrics, eliminating the energy consumption and waste generation of traditional dyeing processes. Additionally, several colors in the portfolio are …

Strong removable cover fits military equipment

This closely fitting cover for some complex and irregularly shaped military equipment is designed to be robust enough to survive military conditions and be easy for soldiers to remove and replace. After consultation with the customer, Valley Canvas fabricated a prototype, which was later patterned for repetitive use. The cover has a close fit with …

OptiTex forms global business linkages

OptiTex, Petach Tikva, Israel, recently announced expansions, partnerships and distribution agreements that put the company all over the map. In addition to opening new offices in Belgium and Bangalore, India, OptiTex has developed a partnership with Luidi Design, Los Angeles, Calif., a manufacturer of work apparel and uniforms. New distribution agreements with Neural Technology S.A.C. …

J. Ennis Fabrics introduces new fabrics

Novelties Exotic Woods from J. Ennis Fabrics have an authentic woodgrain look and feel, without harming any trees. Contract upholstery fabrics are inherently stain-, fire- and abrasion-resistant, for use in hospitality settings, offices, automotive and home décor markets. Offered in four woodgrain colors: mahogany, oak, birch and walnut. Midship Neutrals feature the top neutral colors …

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Motorization provides effortless lifestyle for homeowners

Show, don’t tell is one of the first maxims writers learn, and Somfy Systems Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., took that lesson to heart when designing its new Home Motion Center interactive home. The facility features automated window coverings, rolling shutters and awnings powered by Somfy, including the company’s Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS) controls. Among those …

Hill-Rom to offer antimicrobial silver

Hill-Rom, Batesville, Ind., a manufacturer of medical technologies and surface products, will offer customers the option of antimicrobial silver enhancement for all preventive and therapeutic surfaces by 2009. The company has developed an agreement with NanoHorizons Inc., State College, Penn., to use nanoAg+™ with SmartSilver™ in patient supports, such as beds for hospital or long-term …

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Tough vinyl film engineered for screen printing

SX ReadyCal 1001 Promotional Film is a tough, scuff-resistant, flexible, white calendered vinyl film specifically engineered for screen printing. Designed to show off colorful and bright promotional graphics and make messaging stand out, it’s recommended for novelty and promotional decals, product identification labels, nameplates, POP, bumper stickers and floor and window graphics. Permanent adhesive bonds …

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Printable fabric wall coverings allow instant redesign

The only thing worse than installing wallpaper is removing it, but the days of seams and glues—and maybe even paint—may be over, if Lokai ! Design’s printable fabric wall coverings take hold. Lokai ! Design, Dietzenbach, Germany, installs a tenter frame system on walls or ceilings, which are then covered with digitally printed Mediatex® Presto …

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India’s nonwovens and technical textiles industry expands

The economy, in particular the losses of manufacturing jobs, currently occupies the center stage in the presidential election campaigns in the U.S.—a dramatic shift from other issues that were considered priorities six months back. Some economic pundits are predicting (or acknowledging) recession. The situation is quite a contrast 10,000 miles away in India. For the …

Victor Group announces exclusive distribution of GreenShieldâ„¢ finishing

Victor Group Inc. has announced that it will be the exclusive mill distributor of GreenShield™ finishing from G3 Technology Innovations LLC (G3i), an ecological nanotechnology-based stain and water repellent. Eco Intelligent® Polyester fabrics finished with GreenShield are certified Cradle to Cradle™ Silver by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), a combination that can also help contribute …

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Australia’s largest temporary shade structure keeps sports cool

Tradition is important at Victoria Park Racecourse, where sporting events, from equestrian competitions to the Clipsal 500 Adelaide V-8 Supercar race, attract South Australian enthusiasts. Full sun-exposure detracts from patrons’ enjoyment, and while permanent solutions are debated, Shadework International, Stirling, Australia, installed the largest temporary shade structure in Australia in Victoria Park. Roger Cook, chair …

DuPontâ„¢ Capstoneâ„¢ products give textiles stain and soil resistance

DuPont™ Capstone™ products are performance-driven and fluorine-efficient, designed to give textiles superior resistance to soil and stains, with improved cleanability, but without changing the look, quality, hand or color of the fabrics. The fluorotelomer products have a minimal environmental footprint, and are commercially available for home furnishings, fire-fighting foam, fluorosurfactants, and leather end-uses. SOURCE DuPont™ …

Greek legend inspires a thread of hope in Germany

The heroic Theseus of Greek mythology followed a thread through a mysterious maze to battle the half-man, half-bull Minotaur. German artist Alexander Huemer saw parallels between the Minotaur and fears about integrating new Eastern European countries into the European Union. His art project, the Ariadne thread, symbolizes a bright red pathway to unity. The Ariadne …

Manufacturing and management solution increases productivity

Eton Systems has introduced the new Eton 5000 manufacturing and management solution, featuring the fully integrated syncro™ material handling system, select™ shop floor and management software, and extended training and support services tailored specifically to meet the needs of apparel and sewn-products companies. Delivering shorter production series and greater flexibility, the Eton 5000 System allows …

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Custom Covers protect Antarctica research station

Custom Covers, Southampton, England, makes temporary membrane or tensile structures for many cool venues, but one of the company’s recent projects was ice cold: covers for the British Antarctic Survey’s new Halley VI Research Station in Antarctica. “We aim to make covers for absolutely anything,” says Custom Covers chief executive Robert Sanders, “and this project …

Treated fabric provides sun protection

Problem: Children exposed to too much solar UV radiation are at increased risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Solution: Fabric treated with High IQ® Sun Protection for Kids provides the highest level of protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. High IQ (for innovation and quality) has other textile color and finishing options …

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Students use eggs as inspiration for inflatable concrete shelters

Two engineering students competing in a British Cement Association competition to find new uses for cement based their entry, an inflatable concrete shelter for refugee relief, on meditations about the compressive strength of an eggshell. “We came up with the two critical components of concrete canvas,” say Peter Brewin and Will Crawford, who met at …

Double seal keeps wet suits watertight and wearable

Problem: New maritime regulations require all vessels to have survival suits for workers, and the suits must be watertight but also easy to put on and take off. Solution: The unique double seal on the YKK Airtight/Watertight Zipper keeps air and water from penetrating the suit or its bag from the inside or the outside …

OMNOVA receives winning risk assessment

The Mogadore, Ohio, OMNOVA Solutions Inc. Performance Chemical facility staff knows a lot about risks and rewards. The plant’s innovative tool to assess the risks associated with manufacturing a product or handling a raw material won OMNOVA a 2007 Award of Excellence in Environmental, Health, Safety and Security Performance from the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, …

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Composites allow creation of custom materials for unusual applications

It sounds like science fiction: portable airport hangars supported by columns of air, paper that conducts electricity and synthetic mother-of-pearl that can be bent without breaking. We have now entered The Matrix, but don’t expect to see Keanu Reeves in a black coat defying gravity and leading a cyberpunk revolution. The revolutionaries developing composite materials …

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Polyurethane skin keeps furniture germ-free

Problem: Seating fabric used in public areas can allow indirect transmission of bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew among users. Solution: Millions of naturally antimicrobial silver ions released gradually from the surface of AgUARDIAN™ polyurethane skin eliminate the majority of bacteria and other microbes on contact. The patent-pending process is safe, effective and guaranteed for the …

EDP honors Gandinnovations with best in printing

The European Digital Press Association singles out the best products in printing each year, and Gandinnovations, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, received two top honors in the 2008 listings. The company’s Jeti 3324 Aquajet printer, which prints directly to fabrics with water-based inks, received the “Best Textile Printer of the Year” award. Gandi UV White Ink won …

Small Business Health Options Program to help businesses

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), introduced by senators Durbin, Snowe, Lincoln and Coleman, is designed to help small businesses that now employ about 13.5 million workers who are uninsured. Key elements of the legislation: It would provide small businesses with tax credits to help them afford premium costs; help control costs by offering …

Fabric provides lightweight, decorative storm protection

Problem: Customers want lightweight yet attractive hurricane protection systems at a reasonable price. Solution: Storm-A-Rest™ hurricane protection systems are made of Supreme Protector®, one of the world’s strongest commercially woven fabrics, to be lightweight (2.5 ounces/square foot) and 15 times stronger than steel on a per-weight basis. The product received Florida Building Code certification for …

Treaty to stimulate U.S.-Belgian trade

A new treaty signed in December 2007 reduces the tax bite on the estimated 1,200 U.S. companies doing business in Belgium. It reduces double taxation of income, eliminates barriers to trade and investment, and facilitates movement of capital across the two countries’ borders. Bilateral trade between the U.S. and Belgium is valued at $35 billion …

Oeko-Tex educates textile and apparel manufacturers

More than 7,500 textile and apparel manufacturers now have their products tested and certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and the number continues to grow. In order to continue to provide comprehensive information about the advantages and use of the standard in assuring consumers that materials are free of harmful substances, 14 international Oeko-Tex Testing …

Solution-dyed nylon fabrics meet military specifications

Problem: Soldiers deployed in hostile territory want to maintain concealment, and fabrics that don’t hold camouflage color or reflect a visible near-infrared (NIR) signature put them at greater risk. Solution: To enhance concealment, the exact color and NIR signature are permanently built into solution-dyed nylon CORDURA® fabrics using nano- and micro-sized particles. CORDURA fabrics provide …

Textile industry grows in India

According to FICCI-Technopak, an Indian technical textile industry group, lack of investment and absence of research and development are the only factors hampering potential growth of technical fabrics to a $37 billion industry by 2020. Technical textiles have registered growth of greater than 11 percent, says FICCI, with building, geotechnical, medical and eight other segments …

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Developing sustainable products and practices

From magazine articles to seminars to trade show floors, the topic of sustainability has worked its way into business consciousness. And most manufacturers and distributors are starting to realize that implementing a few green elements here and there is not enough. Is it possible for a business to be a responsible steward of both the …

Tractor assists in easy and safe tent set-up

Problem: Large event rental companies use equipment for setting up tents that isn’t designed for that purpose, causing prospective stability and safety concerns. Solution: The Bullfrog tractor, designed to set up and take down tents, has a traditional driver’s seat and a rear-mounted joystick for easy positioning of the on-board stake driver. With carrying capacity …

Atkins & Pearce introduces new Web site

A new Web site introduced recently by Atkins & Pearce, Covington, Ky.,www.atkinsandpearce.com, describes how the company works with customers, aggressively pursues research and development, and applies its expertise to medical, military, agricultural, mining, drilling, power generation, automotive and many other applications. A&P produces engineered textiles, braids and fibers, specifically for products using wick, yarn, cord, …

Researching competitors helps businesses be successful

Hear the term “competitor intelligence,” and you may visualize sinister activities like industrial espionage, electronic eavesdropping and other shadowy phenomena that smack of poor ethics or outright illegality. Typical competitor intelligence-gathering techniques, however, are generally based on common-sense research principles, and usually involve public information available to any savvy business person willing to seek it …

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Erickson values employees in creating a successful business

“I believe that as responsible corporate citizens, we must provide living wages for our employees,” says Mike Erickson, MFC, president and owner of Canvas Designers Inc. in Riviera Beach, Fla., who, in fact, pays his staff above the industry standard. “I want employees who stay on long term.” And that’s exactly what he’s got, along …

Eastman showcases virtual city on award-winning Web site

Visit an imaginary city that showcases unique and innovative solutions to building and construction problems at a portal on the Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, Tenn., award-winning Innovation Lab Web site (www.eastmaninnovationlab.com). The portal features dynamic photos, video clips and interactive navigation to showcase how Eastman™ materials can change the landscape. Eastman manufactures chemicals, fibers and …

Thermoforming used for fabrics

We want to shape a multilayer laminated fabric into a three-dimensional form. What is the process and where can we get the equipment? It sounds as though you’re describing thermoforming, a process that is used with plastics, but has also been used for fabric. In thermoforming, a material is heated and stretched over a form. …

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Curtains conceal elevator mechanics

[ Coastal Canvas Products Co. ] Savannah, Ga., U.S.A. The glass elevator shaft in this upscale residence was visible from all four floors, allowing a clear view of the elevator’s mechanics. Coastal Canvas was enlisted to design curtains to conceal the mechanical apparatus, and move up and down with the elevator car without inhibiting the …

Performance Fibers acquires four INVISTA plants

Since becoming an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc. in 2004, Performance Fibers, Richmond, Va., has purchased several North American, Asian and European businesses as part of an ongoing growth strategy. The company recently announced its acquisition of INVISTA’s North American tire cord and polyester industrial filament assets in North and South Carolina and Mexico. …

Understanding the differences between NFPA and CSFM

What is NFPA 701? What test and specs must be met to earn the NFPA 701 Registered Flame Retardant Seal from the State of California Fire Marshal? Our sales team struggles when this question is asked. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) are two separate entities. While both …

Fabric vehicle cover protects operator

[ Hi Plains Canvas Products Inc. ] Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A. In order to provide city employees with protection from the elements while operating the city’s Steiner plow tractor, city officials from Amarillo, Texas, retained Hi Plains Canvas to manufacture a complete enclosure for the vehicle. The removable cover, with the exception of the front windshield, …

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PGI introduces green acoustic materials

In 2007, Polymer Group Inc., Charlotte, N.C., introduced new Silonyx™ substrates as acoustic barriers in automotive trunks and wheel-well liners. This year, Silonyx will be integrated into package trays, hush panels, dash insulators and HVAC ducts, illustrating how a product that is economical and green can make a lot of noise in the market. The …