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 …

Spinning meaningful yarns

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 …

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Air Apparent

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

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 …

Adjust to fit

During the MMPA’s annual gala in November, Specialty Fabrics Review magazine won six awards from the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association: Bronze Awards in Feature Design (“Textiles in space,” Feb. 2016), Regular Column (“Perspective”) and Overall Design; a Silver Award for Overall Excellence; and Gold for Best Feature Article (“Making the rounds,” Oct. 2015)—and for …

Stand out in a crowd

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 …

Sustainable Opportunity

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 …

Inspired by nature

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 …

Optimal blockout and durability

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 …

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Knowing what you need

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 …

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Flying the “Paper Airplane”

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 …

Textile, heal thyself

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. …

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Developing friendlier fabrics

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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When to count income

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 …

Moving shade

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 …

Blowin’ in the wind

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 …

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Stability at sea

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 …

Fabric for health care

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 …

Fire-resistant shadecloth

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 …

Direct-to-fabric printing

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 …

Keeping up with the Joneses

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 …

Color-intense ink

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® …