Saves money and reduces greenhouse gases.
Manufacturers of fabric-based products find great potential in handling and transporting cargo, as fibers and fabrics become lighter and stronger.
Test methods for assessing the physiological comfort of vehicle seats.
As sales of RVs trend upward, so do the opportunities for fabricators in custom shops.
Bike cover gives fast protection during monsoon rains.
Project required ground-breaking concepts, including a three-day install and two-day takedown time.
Conformable textured wrap film for the automotive restyling industry.
Color change wrap film offers custom styling effects.
For Bennett Custom Canvas Inc., this unique auto project was a bit of an adventure.
Durability and cleanability top the performance list for transit upholstery fabrics, but style, comfort and safety (and economy) aren’t far behind.
The wrap eliminated weight, helping Quantum in the 2012 American Solar Car Challenge.
A fully custom restoration for a vintage 1964 Chevolet Impala.
Renewed demand for these niche markets helps support growth.
Old aircraft helps scientists peer into the stars.
Vinyl films help vehicles—trucks, boats, planes, trains and automobiles—meet at the “finish” line, and the consumer market is on the inside track.
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.