Presentation of the Sustainability Awards, June 12 in Frankfurt am Main.
Keeping family businesses strong requires a long-term strategy and realistic planning.
Ron Houle works for defense procurement funding at the highest levels of U.S. government.
Scaling down on size can offer more options to customers in the tent market.
New cloak provides the best protection yet.
Durability and cleanability top the performance list for transit upholstery fabrics, but style, comfort and safety (and economy) aren’t far behind.
Throughout the entire supply chain, the fabric graphics market is stepping up its green game.
Manufacturers of aeronautics and aerospace products fill demanding and diverse performance requirements.
A report analyzing the value chain for apparel manufactured overseas outlines where and how U.S. workers contribute to the value and global production of imported apparel.
Part II discusses specific market segments and international industry participants.
The market for products utilizing flexible components is growing rapidly.
New technologies are stretching the boundaries for fabrics and films.
Thread manufacturers keep pace with fabric improvements for consistently reliable performance in end products.
The push and pull of tradition and fashion keep fabrics and fabricators in touch with customers.
Steady but slow economic recovery characterized the industry in 2012.
In an IFAI business climate survey, three factors constraining growth in the U.S. specialty fabrics market were mentioned: high raw material costs, overseas competition, and high oil/energy prices. From September –December 2008, high raw material and petroleum-related prices were exacerbated by tighter credit markets and record unemployment.
Survey respondents reported some positive factors: increasing market share due to increased consolidation, greater export opportunities, and development of new technology and growth in eco-friendly green markets. Growth markets include medical textiles, military applications, safety and protective products, and the domestic and international use of geosynthetics.
Increases in raw material and energy costs, increased labor costs and medical insurance premiums and the possible long-term shrinkage of the military market were mentioned as threats to growth. The poor economy means a weak U.S. dollar, tighter credit and reduced consumer buying. Overcapacity could be a problem, due to increased costs, decreased customer demand and global competition, especially from China and India.
In response, suppliers will focus on high value products, profitable niche markets and product diversification, improving manufacturing processes, R&D and information technology. Advertising, marketing and sales promotion will be key.
From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.