Editor’s Blog

Doing well, doing good

Someone recently asked me: “What value do we (IFAI and the specialty fabrics industry) bring to the larger community?” It caught me by surprise. I have a deep and personal interest in the success of our industry. IFAI staff and volunteers work every day to advance, promote and protect it. I believe that the companies …

Benefit sharing

Every year at this time, we start pulling together our editorial calendars, compiling a list of important products, key markets and vital industry issues. This year’s “issues” roster for the Review includes (but is not limited to): multifunctionality in high-performance fabrics; sustainability, inside and out; smart marketing and managing social media; adding value; the next …

Special delivery

Mass customization is defined online as a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of “custom-made” with the low unit costs associated with mass production—sometimes with the qualification added that the customization is intended to take place at the last possible production stage before the product meets the customer. The concept started …

An intelligent ecosystem

Last Friday (April 22), I’d meant to wear my original “Earth Day” button, purchased in 1970 as a callow youth in Morris, Minn.; but as a jaded professional in Minneapolis, Minn., I remembered to grab earrings but left the button sitting next to one that says “CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT: If you’re tired of voting for …

Warp speed

One of my friends emailed me this morning to ask about some research she was doing into the history of women’s participation in “technological” careers, wondering what was considered “high tech” 30, 40 and 50 years ago, and reminiscing about professional life before cell phones and computers and a global communications network. When I started …

Forethought: The next job

Back in September 1999, I wrote my first editorial for the Industrial Fabric Products Review. At the time, I described myself this way: “I’m a rabid science fiction fan and a relentless afficionado of robust red wines, and I have no children, no pets, six slowly petrifying house plants, and only a fading hope that …

Forethought: Waging wars

Last week’s blizzard was officially the fourth most powerful snowstorm to hit the Northeast in more than 60 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On Jan. 20, NASA and NOAA reported their analyses that Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880, with 15 of the 16 …

Forethought: The once and future industry

As a life-long science fiction fan, I tend to think of the past in terms of the future (and vice-versa). So as I have spent the last ten months researching the history of an industry in the archives of this magazine, I kept compiling important events and themes in my head and letting them bubble …

Forethought: On your mark…

One hundred years ago, the first issue of The National Tent and Awning Manufacturers Review was issued to association members. In 1915, World War I deepened in Europe: in January, the first German Zeppelin attack occurred over Great Britain; in May, the SS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine; in April, the massacre of …

Forethought: IFAI Expo 2015

IFAI Expo 2015: Let’s talk Some of the most interesting conversations I have with people in our industry occur after I ask them to tell me about a connection that changed their business, or their jobs. Their stories are always interesting and informative, and I am often amazed to see how delighted they are because …