Awnings & shades

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  • Vacu-Wash® uses a cleaning agent in a specially designed vacuum chamber to clean fabrics effectively using a safe and eco-friendly process. The product won an Honorable Mention in IFF’s 2014 Innovation Award competition. Photo: Vacu-Wash® USA

    Habit forming

    The secret to a sideline in cleaning and repair is convincing customers to do it regularly.

  • IFAI Expo 2014 report: Add graphics, add value

    A recap from this year's Awning Symposium at IFAI Expo.

  • Use of an integrated En-Fold retractable roof system allows the homeowner the convenience of creating the ambiance of an indoor space while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the outdoors. Photo: Uni-Systems

    Kinetic architecture

    Retractable fabric systems are poised to transform outdoor spaces.

  • Weitra Castle’s mega-sized courtyard umbrellas open up to cover the entire space, and visitors enjoy the process as well as the rain protection. Photos: SEFAR® Architecture

    Preventing rain checks, castled

    Protecting a courtyard from rain checks with a series of four inverted umbrellas.

  • Outdoor furniture today requires high-performance fabrics with great style and as much comfort as interior furniture. Photo: J. Ennis Fabrics

    Living easy

    Fabric solutions turn the outdoors into practical and pleasureable spaces with all the beauty and comfort of a room indoors.

  • Base Structures Ltd. has now developed its own cricket tradition, replacing both the Nursery Pavilion and the Mound Stand canopies on the Lords Cricket Ground. Photo: Base Structures Ltd.

    Covering cricket in eye-catching style

    The world's oldest cricket club added a new canopy over its Nursery Pavilion.

  • Photo: Betsy Hansen

    Sharp focus, broad impact

    Hal Lapping tightens his company’s focus to make quality products affordable.

  • Positively powerful

    Kisha Moldovan builds relationships with sincerity and enthusiasm to boost business and advance the industry.

  • Photography by Betsy Hansen

    The failsafe questions

    John Conroy ensures project success by asking the right questions.

  • The ensemble of privacy and shade pieces that transformed a condominium’s exposed courtyard amenities into an oasis got attention and brought Shades (Thailand) several inquiries about similar projects. Photo: Shades (Thailand) Inc. Ltd.

    A shade ensemble: privacy with a view

    A Thailand company transforms a fishbowl into an oasis.

  • A wall in the demo area of EFI’s Meredith, N.H., facility features graphics printed in four colors on digital textile media using the EFI VUTEk TX3250r printer. Photo: Stacy Keenan

    Primer for printing

    Digital printing on textiles expands client lists and adds new dimensions to product innovation.

  • Rent What? specializes in theatrical and event drapes, pop-up dressing rooms and the traditional pipe-and-drape backdrops for trade shows. Sister company Sew What? Inc. helps clients with custom fabrication and sewing service. Photo: Rent What? Inc.

    Sew, stop, drop and rock-and-roll

    Rent What? Inc. adds an awe-inspiring moment to theatrical and musical events.

  • Photo by Betsy Hansen

    Solutions in motion

    Andy Moon's concern for customers is the driving force behind product design.

  • The Roberta Bondar Park Tent Pavilion in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Canada, is constructed using Seaman Corp. industrial coated fabric, Shelter Rite. The outdoor venue accommodates concerts, wedding receptions and more. Photo: Seaman Corp.

    Vinyl matters

    What fabric manufacturers know about PVC fabrics that you should know, too.

  • Duvall Design Inc., West Rockport, Maine, installed 10,000 square feet of retractable restaurant enclosures at a theater entrance in the Cayman Islands. The structures provide shaded waterfront seating on the esplanade. Photo: Duvall Design Inc.

    Alfresco elegance

    Creating outdoor spaces that have the coziness of being inside.

  • Industry Outlook: Awnings and canopies

    Sponsored by IFAI Market Research

    Access more than 35,000 readers with IFAI's flagship publication.

    Fabric suppliers and end-product manufacturers will see an overall drop in sales revenue in 2009 due to the slow U.S. economy, tight credit conditions and a retrenchment in spending by customers. In fact, in an IFAI survey in November 2008, only 35 percent of suppliers and manufacturers reported a favorable outlook for sales growth in 2009.

    Prices for fabric will continue to increase. There is still a strong need to increase consumer awareness of awnings and their direct benefits, especially in energy savings. Growth in the awnings market is strong in certain areas of the United States, while other areas are suffering more from current economic conditions. Consolidation of companies will increase as weaker firms either go out of business or are acquired by stronger firms. This will lead to fewer players competing for the same-or possibly decreasing-pool of potential customers, who may be looking to scale back their own expenditures in 2009.

    Creativity and the use of innovative materials and technologies will reward those market players who increase their value proposition to their customers in 2009. If the economic climate begins to improve in the second half of 2009, suppliers, manufacturers and customers should begin to gain confidence in the economy, which will help to spur growth for the awning and canopy market in the last six months of 2009 and beyond.

    From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.