New Rental Hall of Fame inductees

December 29, 2016

Two industry veterans are slated to become the newest inductees into the American Rental Association Rental Hall of Fame. Art Moore, the founder of Snorkel, and Spencer Etzel, a visionary in tent rental now with Rainier, will be formally inducted during a ceremony at The Rental Show® on Feb. 27. Art Moore founded Snorkel Fire …

Conant named ARA CEO

December 28, 2016

Tony Conant has been named executive vice president/CEO of the American Rental Association (ARA) by the organization’s board of directors. He succeeded Christine Wehrman, who retired after 16 years with the association. Conant most recently served as chief operating officer at the Institute for Supply Management where he was responsible for enabling operational excellence across …

Eco-friendly wearable electronics

December 27, 2016

Researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre at the University of Cambridge and scientists at Jiangnan University, China, are developing more environmentally-friendly conductive textiles using graphene-based inks on cotton. The researchers created inks of chemically modified graphene flakes that are more adhesive to cotton fibers, similar to the way cotton holds colored dye. Most of the …

Noonan named OMNOVA CEO

December 23, 2016

OMNOVA, Beechwood, Ohio, has named Anne P. Noonan president and CEO. Ms. Noonan succeeds Kevin M. McMullen who stepped down as chairman, CEO, president and member of the board of directors. Ms. Noonan will also be appointed to the board of directors. In connection with this leadership transition, the board has determined to separate the …

SPESA elects new leadership

December 22, 2016

The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) elected new leadership to two-year terms at its annual executive conference in San Antonio in November. Sam Simpson, vice president of Gerber Technology was named chairman. Nina McCormack, vice president and CFO of DAP America, Inc. was named vice chairman. Secretary/treasurer is Ed Gribbin, president …

Specialty Fabrics Showcase 2017

December 21, 2016

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS The April and May 2017 issues of Specialty Fabrics Review magazine will include our special annual showcase of our contributors’ latest high-performance fabrics, for end products ranging from awnings, canopies and tents to medical, military and aerospace products. If you’re an end-product manufacturer, watch for this special feature in our spring 2017 …

Lenzing first in sustainable wood sourcing

The Lenzing Group, Lenzing, Austria, was rated number one worldwide for the procurement of wood, the key raw material in cellulose fiber production. The ranking was compiled by the Canadian non-profit environmental organization Canopy Planet Society, which cooperates with 68 leading retail brands in the textile industry and evaluates sustainable sourcing processes. Canopy assessed the …

Outdura hires new design manager

December 20, 2016

Outdura is pleased to introduce Gloria Tsocos as the company’s design manager. Gloria joined the company in 2015 in its contract fabric division. She began her career as a fabric designer in the home furnishing and hospitality markets,and over the years specialized in indoor and outdoor upholstery fabrics. She served as a Professor at the …

Leigh Delaware Holdings launches SmartVista

Leigh Delaware Holdings, the Welford, S.C., parent company of Leigh Fibers and ICE Recycling, has launched SmartVista LLC, a company that will develop new products and engineered solutions by repurposing materials that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The company’s first products are focused on sorbents for spill remediation. New products and services will be …

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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 …

Marine Fabricator Conference

Online registration is open for the Marine Fabricator Conference 2017 from January 19–21 in Jacksonville, Fla. The annual three-day event features a variety of education and training from hands-on to classroom presentations covering topics including: Sewing Machine Maintenance, Patterning, Upholstery, Rigid Enclosures, Software and Business Management training and more. Attendees have numerous opportunities to connect …

Iosso receives sustainability award

Iosso Products, Elk Grove, Ill., received an award for Excellence in Sustainability at the Elk Grove Manufacturers Expo held on Oct. 10, 2016. The award acknowledged Iosso’s bio-based formulas that are alternatives to petroleum-based products. They not only are healthier for workers and the environment, but they also create jobs in rural communities and reduce …

Teijin plans expansion in U.S.

December 16, 2016

Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan, has purchased approximately 440 acres of commercial land in Greenwood, S.C., for a highly efficient carbon fiber production site. The new plant will meet diversified demands in automotive and aircraft applications and create some 220 jobs. With this investment, Teijin will accelerate its global expansion in integrated high-performance material businesses by …

Gore opens fabrics testing facility

December 15, 2016

L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Elkton, Md., has opened the Biophysics and Heat and Flame Protection Labs, a state-of-the-art fabric testing facility. There, Gore engineers will be able to measure the properties of component materials, Gore laminates and fully constructed garments and footwear in new, expanded and relevant conditions. The facility will enable Gore to …

Love Your Melon donates to fight cancer

December 14, 2016

Love Your Melon, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based apparel brand that makes an impact in the lives of children battling cancer, is donating $414,095 from its Cyber Monday sales to fight pediatric cancer. Leveraging digitally driven promotional and sales platforms, the company experienced the most successful day in its history. Love Your Melon is an apparel brand …

New textile and fiber science books

December 13, 2016

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health and technology professionals, has published four new books in the areas of textiles and fiber science. The titles include Performance Testing of Textiles: Methods, Technology and Applications, edited by Lijing Wang; “Activated Carbon Fiber and Textiles,” edited by Jonathan Chen; “Structure …

Gains for equipment rental industry

December 12, 2016

A five-year forecast for the equipment rental industry released by the American Rental Association (ARA) remains positive. ARA projects equipment rental revenue to reach $55.5 billion in the U.S. in 2020. Numbers in the forecast reflect recent changes in the marketplace as the forecast calls for industry revenue to increase by 4.3 percent in 2016 …

Milliken names new CEO

December 9, 2016

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

Sliva joins Herculite

December 8, 2016

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

New Future Fibres Hub in Australia

December 7, 2016

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

From the Charlotte Show Floor

December 6, 2016

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

Gerber’s Digital Solutions to educate future FashionTech innovators

December 5, 2016

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

SBA proposes changes to SBIC Early Stage Program

December 2, 2016

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

Small Business: 10 Big Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

December 1, 2016

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

Good people, bad choices

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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Eyes in the sky

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 …

Setting the stage

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 …

IFAI Expo 2016: advanced textiles

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

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

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, …

“Second Skin” to serve soldiers

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. …

Urban canoeists, into the fold

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 …

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Soft sensors

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 …

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Carrying on traditions

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, …

Tough as steel, but made for the road

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 …

Special powers: sunshine and movement

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 …

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IFAI Expo 2016: high points and highlights

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

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

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 …

Shared value

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

Specialty wraps, food and ambiance

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 …

Biomimetics and biotextiles

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, …

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

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 …

Analyze this

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 …

2016 Show Stopper winners: The best of the best

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 …