Industry News

New distributor for Marlen Textiles

May 20, 2019

Effective March 2019, Marlen Textiles welcomed Fabric Supply Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., to its family of authorized distributors. Fabric Supply has more than 75 years’ experience as a wholesale distributor and has a large stocking warehouse. The company prides itself on being able to fulfill orders expeditiously.

Industry News

New apprenticeship program launched

May 17, 2019

Textile manufacturer Carolina Narrow Fabric, Winston-Salem, N.C., is recruiting applicants for its new apprenticeship program, which will train technicians for the textile industry and provide them with career advancement opportunities. The program was launched in conjunction with the Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board, and includes two years of focused training, including mentorship by Carolina …

Industry News

BAT Scandinavia now open

May 16, 2019

BAT Group, a market leader for solar shading accessories, has opened a new branch in Sweden. The 1,200 square meter facility is located in the industrial zone near Gothenburg. BAT Scandinavia will open with the production of Rollerbat blind roller tubes for awnings and Screeny rollers. The branch was created to meet the needs of …

Industry News

Senecot is global head of R&D at Porcher

May 15, 2019

Porcher Industries, a leader in technical textiles and thermoplastic composite solutions, has named Jean-Marc Senecot global head of R&D and new technology plans. Senecot will confirm the group’s ambitious plans for new technologies during JEC World 2019.

Industry News

Glas named NTCO president and CEO

May 14, 2019

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has appointed Kimberly Glas to the position of president and CEO. She succeeds Augustine “Auggie” D. Tantillo, who previously announced his intention to step down. Glas, who was unanimously approved by the board of directors, brings more than 20 years of experience in government policy development and advocacy. …

Industry News

Future functional fabrics

May 13, 2019

Swiss textile innovator HeiQ has launched HeiQ Fabric Lab, a functional fabric development service to assist brands with fabric innovation. The lab takes a brand’s product idea and applies its expertise in fiber, yarn, fabric solutions and chemical technology, as well as that of its knowledge and sourcing partners, to develop the brand partner’s future …

Industry News

Pillet joins Gerber

May 13, 2019

Ketty Pillet has been named vice president of global marketing at Gerber Technology. She joins Gerber after 10 years in France working for Lectra as director of worldwide marketing, fashion and apparel. Pillet’s appointment supports the Gerber’s aggressive product release schedule for 2019.

Awnings & Shades Members only content

Wholesale Shade introduces Shade Sail University

May 10, 2019

Wholesale Shade, a premier shade sail fabricator, has developed a comprehensive guide for the shade sail industry. Covering design, selling, installation and more, this guide is a must-have for anyone looking to get into the shade business or to train new employees. It includes standard industry forms and a glossary of terms.  A redesigned website …

Industry News

Nees joins Aurora Specialty Textiles

May 10, 2019

Erik Nees has been hired by Aurora Specialty Textiles Group as sales account manager. He will oversee industrial sales, which includes working with new and current customers in the tape, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.

Industry News

Unifi Asia Pacific partners with Kipas

May 9, 2019

Unifi Asia Pacific Company Limited (UAP) has entered into a strategic commercial agreement with Kipas Mensucat Isletmeleri A.S. to supply REPREVE® staple fibers in the Republic of Turkey.  UAP and Kipas will leverage the supply infrastructure in Turkey to provide quality, service, speed-to-market and REPREVE-based staple fiber offerings to fabric mills as well as brand …

Business Members only content

Merger of Academy Awning and Zebra Awning announced

May 1, 2019

Academy Awning Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., and Zebra Awning, San Francisco, Calif., have merged. Michael Spear, owner of Zebra Awning, a San Francisco fixture since the mid-1980s, will continue in the role of Northern California representative for the corporation. Michael Richman and Jim Richman, owners of Academy, will serve in their same capacities for the …

Business

Are you ready for the new digital future?

May 1, 2019

Industrial Revolution 4.0 is here. by Connie Huffa Humans were born to learn and innovate. By nature, we constantly define, measure, analyze, improve and control our environments. Whether we know it or not, by wanting the latest and greatest we are changing not only how we make and buy things, but how we communicate our …

Conference

Women in Textiles Summit 2019

March 27, 2019

Women leaders in textile industry share expertise—and encouragement More women than ever now own textile companies, and IFAI’s recent Women in Textiles Summit brought together many of these business leaders to share their unique expertise within a highly specialized industry. This year’s inaugural summit, held March 6–8 in Savannah, Ga., facilitated what IFAI President and …

Business Members only content

Strategies that can change the workplace and workforce

March 1, 2019

Picture this: It’s bedtime and children are getting their goodnight kisses. The parents wish them sweet dreams, leave the room and close the door behind them. With their defenders gone, the children begin their nightly debate: Is the boogeyman here? And if so, what exactly are they going to do about it? The boogeyman comes …

Business Members only content

How to solve the labor shortage

January 1, 2019

Think about your local hospital. Picture it in your mind. Think about the people who work there and the work they do. Now imagine that this hospital closed, and so did many of the clinics. Can you imagine your community without access to health care? How would that change your life? As far-fetched as this …

Business

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

November 1, 2018

Whether it’s a result of a booming economy, tighter immigration laws or an educational system gone astray, finding qualified job applicants has become increasingly more difficult for those in the specialty fabrics industry. How can small businesses compete for badly needed, qualified workers? Thanks to our unique tax laws, every business can afford to offer …

Business Members only content

Tax law changes make adding equipment and vehicles more affordable

September 1, 2018

Last December’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) not only slashed tax rates, it also enacted rules that allow businesses to treat as an expense and immediately write off more—including 100 percent temporary expensing for certain assets. This means adding needed equipment, vehicles or even a new shop building is now a lot more affordable. …

Business

Stop sexual harassment in your workplace

July 1, 2018

Far too often, the process of making bad and/or unethical choices begins with a simple, almost thoughtless decision. How do I know this? Well, I’ve seen it happen far too often. Harassment is not a sexy subject, and ethics are more than words. “The times they are a changing,” and that’s more than just song …

Business Members only content

Tracking supplier compliance for sustainable textile companies

May 1, 2018

The issue of compliance can be complicated for textile companies, which have to comply with various regulatory and voluntary company standards for product safety and restriction of substances. In the United States, for example, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) contains provisions that aim to improve the safety of children’s products. The European Union …

Business

California Community College Makerspaces offer work-based learning for students

April 10, 2018

The CCC Maker Initiative, administered by Sierra College (www.sierracollege.edu), is offering internships and work-based learning experiences for students through 24 California Community College makerspaces, where students gain technical, entrepreneurial and work-ready skills sought by employers. California Community Colleges participating in the CCC Maker (cccmaker.com) initiative to build makerspace communities are preparing students for careers through …

Expo News

2018 Outstanding Volunteer Awards presented at IFAI Expo

October 18, 2018

At the annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2018 in Dallas, Texas, IFAI presented this year’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards, to people who generously gave of their time by serving on different boards, task forces and committees, judging competitions and providing education and leadership to others in the industry. The Outstanding Volunteer Award program was developed in …

Expo News

Mary Hennessy: IFAI’s newest Honored Life Member

October 18, 2018

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, at IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo in Dallas, Texas, association leaders announced that Mary Hennessy had been given Honored Life Member status for her many years of service to IFAI and, most notably, for her leadership as president and CEO of the association for the six years before her retirement …

Expo News

2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

The Fabric Structures Association (FSA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition awards. The winners were announced at IFAI Expo 2018, held Oct. 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. First Place Rafael Dias Simoes, Kevin Barthelmebs and Fabien Burgeat from ENSAVT University won …

Expo News

2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

Advanced Textile Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently selected the winners of the 2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition. The awards were announced during IFAI Expo 2018, held in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 15-18. First Place First-place honors went to J. Walter Lee, Stephanie Wang and Caroline …

Expo News

Small shops: Tips for shortening your lead times

October 17, 2018

Torey Heinz, of Teagles Consulting, has a background in small manufacturing jobs shops. This gives him a good sense of how poor workflow and other issues can affect a small shop’s lead times. Shortening lead time is important, Teagle told participants at his Oct. 17 Expo session, because shorter lead times mean increased sales and …

Expo News

Shade sails clinic

October 17, 2018

On October 17 at IFAI Expo 2018 in Dallas, Texas, Brydon Roe from Shade Sails Canada Inc., Revelstoke, British Columbia, led a shade sails campfire session where he shared his business’s top dos and don’ts for installing shade sails. When it comes to shade sail fabric options, Roe recommended polyester, Commercial95 (or a mid-grade shade …

Expo News

The right technology can save you money

October 17, 2018

Trying to figure out which technology can save a business money can be confusing given all the options available. In his Oct. 17 Expo session, “Using Technology to Improve the Bottom Line,” Mark Stiver, manager of ecommerce, strategy and analytics for Trivantage, gave a high-level view of the primary types of technology available to specialty …

Expo News

Testing basics provide key communication points on textile products

October 17, 2018

When you plan to sell a textile product, there are numerous reasons to test it before taking it to market. Many of those testing results tell you what you can ultimately communicate to others about your product, and what they can expect of your product. Dr. Emiel DenHartog, North Carolina State University, College of Textiles, …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

Expo News

The way forward with geosynthetics in the US Army Corps of Engineers is focus of plenary at GeoDallas

October 17, 2018

Jeb Tingle, senior research engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Miss., delivered the plenary address at GeoDallas on Oct. 17 on “Advancing the Nation’s Infrastructure: The USACE Role.” “There’s a big role for research and innovation,” Tingle said. “Doing business as usual won’t give …

Specialty Fabrics Showcase

2019 Specialty Fabrics Showcase

May 1, 2019

Performance is everything now for fabrics, as valuable to customers as appearance and style—from applications in awnings and tents to marine fabrication, outdoor structures, indoor architecture, apparel, medical and aerospace products, to name just a few. For our annual two-part showcase, we asked our contributors to send us information about their latest high-performance materials: fabrics …

Feature

Additional services enrich relationships and bottom line

May 1, 2019

Adding additional services to core offerings can provide a way to cement customers to your business, meeting more of their needs and strengthening your appeal—and bottom line—in the process. Once a company has a firm grip on its core business, attention often turns to broadening the services already offered or adding entirely new ones that …

Feature

Crafting skilled employees and happy customers at Charman Motor Trimmers

May 1, 2019

With a growing business and a dearth of skilled labor, Kimber Buglass trains his own employees, fostering project ownership and pride in the job. “Treat every job as if it’s your own job,” says Kimber Buglass, owner and managing director of Charman Motor Trimmers and Upholsterers Ltd. “I try to tell the team to be …

Feature

Recycle, repurpose, reclaim

April 23, 2019

Companies are finding creative ways to address the growing push toward recycling and repurposing used fabrics. It’s tempting to think that recycling was “invented” sometime in the late 1960s, but that would ignore the fact that back in the 11th century, Japan was figuring out ways to reuse its wastepaper. Recycling today looks much different …

Feature Members only content

Up-to-date upholstery

April 1, 2019

The commercial upholstery market is always evolving and changing,” says Lori Roop, director of design for CF Stinson LLC, a textile manufacturer based in Rochester Hills, Mich. Yet, Roop adds, “it’s always the same.” A contradiction? Not really. “There is always a huge value placed on color and design,” explains Roop, who works out of …

Feature Members only content

Making custom projects work

April 1, 2019

  When Eric Walton and Devlin McKee opened Custom Canvas Alaska LLC in Fairbanks 14 years ago, the partners knew they had to offer custom canvas work beyond the boat tops they started out providing. After all, a marine fabrication shop in Alaska faces some extreme seasonal ups and downs, making project diversification a survival …

Feature

Crafting shade at Auvents Ombrasole Awning

April 1, 2019

Ombrasole designs, manufactures and installs awnings of all types for North American climates—many of which feature Emilio Petrongolo’s custom and patented motors. Emilio Petrongolo can trace his fascination with canvas and sewing back to his childhood in Italy, where his grandmother made jute bags for storing wheat. Petrongolo, director of R&D and marketing at Auvents …

Feature Members only content

Extreme sports, tough textiles

March 1, 2019

Fabricators go to great lengths to make sure every piece of material they produce or distribute will be up to difficult tasks. But sometimes the task is so specialized—or so extreme—that production requires a truly exceptional level of care, expertise and, often, regulation. Products such as the ropes that firefighters use to rappel from helicopters …

Feature

Shane Cossette and TRS Industries keep customers covered, improve existing products, and invent new ones

March 1, 2019

I set aside much of my time to move throughout our building so I can work with managers to keep us on the same page,” says Shane Cossette, COO of TRS Industries, Fargo, N.D. “Something my dad instilled in me years ago was that not only is the customer always right, but it’s our responsibility to …

Feature Members only content

Thread technologies breaking through barriers

March 1, 2019

The future of fabric or any manufactured product boils down to the components that make it up. For fabric that means yarns and threads—the building blocks of fabric possibilities. It’s an exciting time to be a part of yarn and thread innovations—innovations that include conductivity, protection, sustainability and comfort. Imagine that yarns and threads can …

Awnings & Shades Members only content

Wholesale Shade introduces Shade Sail University

May 10, 2019

Wholesale Shade, a premier shade sail fabricator, has developed a comprehensive guide for the shade sail industry. Covering design, selling, installation and more, this guide is a must-have for anyone looking to get into the shade business or to train new employees. It includes standard industry forms and a glossary of terms.  A redesigned website …

Advanced Textiles

The protective textiles market

May 1, 2019

Advanced textiles sector participants can benefit from strong growth predictions.  by Seshadri Ramkumar The protective textiles sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4 percent, according to a recent report by Leeds, U.K.-based WTiN Intelligence Service. Earlier estimates by other market survey agencies, such as Grand View Research, estimated the annual growth …

Advanced Textiles

Advice for understanding IP law

April 23, 2019

Advice for innovators from innovators. by Janet Preus Editor’s note: Select entrepreneurs were asked to answer questions about intellectual property (IP) law and their experiences with it. Those interviewed are at various stages in their careers. Questions asked: What do you wish you had known early on when you were first dealing with IP law/patent …

Markets Members only content

Sustainable sourcing

April 1, 2019

Following her recent podcast Sustainable Textile Sourcing for Performance Textiles in Munich, I caught up with Anne-Marie van Hoof, owner and creative director at 4-Options Studio in The Netherlands, to get her take on what she sees as driving sustainability within the industry now and into the future. Fiber credentials The 4-Options Studio offers a …

Advanced Textiles

Providing comfortable high-tech clothing

April 1, 2019

Comfort for the human body needs to be comprehensive. This complicates the technologies that are available to reach the ultimate goal of providing physiological, environmental and psychological comfort. A definition of technology that matches consumer expectations of clothing is a “feeling of relief.” In light of this definition, the fiber and textile industry will need …

Advanced Textiles

Advancing sustainability in textiles

March 1, 2019

Textiles are part of a larger drive to protect and preserve resources for the future. Sustainability may be understood as a way to judiciously consume resources while leaving or even enhancing the availability of resources for future generations. The term “sustainability” has developed a powerful vibe that affects our society in general and the business …

Markets

Making it easy: the benefits of keder

March 1, 2019

Hidden within aluminum extrusions, shaping both simple tents and extravagant clearspans, lies the years-old invention that continues to help advance the success and technology of the tent industry today: keder, a bead or core that attaches to a fabric panel and then slides into a corresponding track in a frame. “Keder makes a joint, essentially, …

Markets Members only content

Fabricators and boat owners have a world of choices in windows

February 1, 2019

When it comes to choosing their windows, most boat owners don’t want to make it too complicated—they want a quality product that will last at a reasonable price. As fabricators know, however, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, according to Zach Grant, marketing manager at Sailrite®, a distributor of marine fabrics and supplies for …

Advanced Textiles

Advances in smart medical textiles

February 1, 2019

A series of novel developments in medical textiles see smart textiles coupled with smart design to deliver benefits to both patients and medical professionals. With the medical textile market predicted to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.23 percent during the period 2018–2022, the industry is positioning itself to meet this demand. …

Markets Members only content

Taking the lead: women in the tent rental industry

January 1, 2019

When Sarah Crews, director of sales and marketing for Miami, Fla.-based Economy Tent International (ETI), started going to outdoor trade shows 13 years ago, she didn’t see many women attending the events. Tent rental companies headed by women were even scarcer. But over the years that situation has changed, says Crews (formerly Lapping). “As the …

Industry News

New distributor for Marlen Textiles

May 20, 2019

Effective March 2019, Marlen Textiles welcomed Fabric Supply Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., to its family of authorized distributors. Fabric Supply has more than 75 years’ experience as a wholesale distributor and has a large stocking warehouse. The company prides itself on being able to fulfill orders expeditiously.

Industry News

New apprenticeship program launched

May 17, 2019

Textile manufacturer Carolina Narrow Fabric, Winston-Salem, N.C., is recruiting applicants for its new apprenticeship program, which will train technicians for the textile industry and provide them with career advancement opportunities. The program was launched in conjunction with the Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board, and includes two years of focused training, including mentorship by Carolina …

Industry News

BAT Scandinavia now open

May 16, 2019

BAT Group, a market leader for solar shading accessories, has opened a new branch in Sweden. The 1,200 square meter facility is located in the industrial zone near Gothenburg. BAT Scandinavia will open with the production of Rollerbat blind roller tubes for awnings and Screeny rollers. The branch was created to meet the needs of …

Industry News

Senecot is global head of R&D at Porcher

May 15, 2019

Porcher Industries, a leader in technical textiles and thermoplastic composite solutions, has named Jean-Marc Senecot global head of R&D and new technology plans. Senecot will confirm the group’s ambitious plans for new technologies during JEC World 2019.

Industry News

Glas named NTCO president and CEO

May 14, 2019

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has appointed Kimberly Glas to the position of president and CEO. She succeeds Augustine “Auggie” D. Tantillo, who previously announced his intention to step down. Glas, who was unanimously approved by the board of directors, brings more than 20 years of experience in government policy development and advocacy. …

Industry News

Future functional fabrics

May 13, 2019

Swiss textile innovator HeiQ has launched HeiQ Fabric Lab, a functional fabric development service to assist brands with fabric innovation. The lab takes a brand’s product idea and applies its expertise in fiber, yarn, fabric solutions and chemical technology, as well as that of its knowledge and sourcing partners, to develop the brand partner’s future …

Industry News

Pillet joins Gerber

May 13, 2019

Ketty Pillet has been named vice president of global marketing at Gerber Technology. She joins Gerber after 10 years in France working for Lectra as director of worldwide marketing, fashion and apparel. Pillet’s appointment supports the Gerber’s aggressive product release schedule for 2019.

Industry News

Nees joins Aurora Specialty Textiles

May 10, 2019

Erik Nees has been hired by Aurora Specialty Textiles Group as sales account manager. He will oversee industrial sales, which includes working with new and current customers in the tape, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.

Industry News

Unifi Asia Pacific partners with Kipas

May 9, 2019

Unifi Asia Pacific Company Limited (UAP) has entered into a strategic commercial agreement with Kipas Mensucat Isletmeleri A.S. to supply REPREVE® staple fibers in the Republic of Turkey.  UAP and Kipas will leverage the supply infrastructure in Turkey to provide quality, service, speed-to-market and REPREVE-based staple fiber offerings to fabric mills as well as brand …

Industry News

Thrace LINQ completes expansion

May 8, 2019

Thrace LINQ has completed the installation of a new Andritz® needlepunch nonwoven line. The Thrace Group invested more than $9 million in the project to satisfy the growing demand for its high performance nonwoven fabrics in North America. The state-of-the-art needlepunch nonwoven line is designed to produce world-class quality fabrics for geosynthetics, automotive and floor …

Products

Power products: tough tools and fabrics

March 1, 2019

Graphic software The new and updated tools available in version 4 of the EFI™ Fiery® DesignPro software suite from EFI allow graphic designers to create and complete designs directly within Adobe® design software. Fiery DesignPro eliminates the need to reduce designs to indexed colors, maintaining the highest possible fidelity of the artwork. It also creates …

Products

Labor saving products for productivity

January 1, 2019

Slick tent setup Rainier’s High Peak tent system provides an elegant, streamlined look with a frame design that allows for quick and easy installation without tools. The system features a flying center pole tension top with a catenary (arched) design and does not use interior support poles, maximizing usable space. The tent comes in a …

Products

New products: Savvy textile solutions

December 1, 2018

Breathable textiles Teijin Frontier has developed a polyester high-gauge knitting material laminated with a breathable film to produce thin, lightweight and breathable textiles. Textiles laminated with breathable film are widely used for high-functional sportswear due to their waterproofness and stretchability. The new material is compact as well as stretchable, form-stable and moisture-permeable. It has a …

Products

New and flexible fabrics

October 1, 2018

Sound barrier EPT’s XTRM Ply SoundSafe™ is uniquely designed to act as an acoustic barrier, reducing noise transmission through floors, walls and ceilings. It is a smooth, reinforced high-density Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) recommended as an acoustic wrap for machinery, equipment and ductwork. A typical application consists of applying the product over studs, joists or …

Products

Practical products with punchy effects

September 1, 2018

Versatile webbing Bally Ribbon Mills offers high-quality, high-performance webbing to meet the demands of recreational applications including the commercial and sport markets. The webbing is appropriate for a range of recreational applications including binding tape, chin straps, harnesses, packs, climbing webs, pet leashes, and parachute and balloon setups. Available in nylon, polyester, polypropylene, Kevlar®, Nomex®, …

Products

Faster printer

July 1, 2018

The Mutoh ValueJet 1948WX is recommended for everyday and high-production sublimation printing. With its staggered four-head design, it prints at speeds up to 2,199 sq ft./hr., with applications for trade show graphics, promotional items, flags, interior decor, apparel and more. Designed with advanced features such as a rear media feed lever for easy material handling, …

Products

Durable health care upholstery fabric

July 1, 2018

KnollTextiles’ Between the Lines collection offers performance, bleach-cleanable upholstery, privacy fabric and wallcovering for the health care and industrial markets. The collection includes coated upholstery fabrics such as Brigadoon 21, a phthalate-free vinyl upholstery fabric priced at less than forty dollars per yard. Ribbon Stripe is a certified Healthier Hospitals Initiative-compliant privacy fabric stocked with …

Products

High visibility striping

July 1, 2018

World Emblem’s high-visibility striping can be applied to work apparel, vests and many other clothing items to increase visibility and safety. Appropriate for construction workers, firefighters, police officers and others who need as much visibility as possible while working in low light or potentially hazardous conditions. Offered in 10 different trims and 48 standard placement …

Products

Ultra-light composite grid fabric

July 1, 2018

TeXtreme® has added ±45° Grid fabric to its Spread Tow line of ultra-light composites to further optimize solutions for new applications in advanced aerospace, industrial and sports product markets. Used alone or in combination with other TeXtreme products, the Grid fabric helps reduce the weight of products without sacrificing mechanical properties. The new grid fabric …

Products

Flame-resistant stretch fabric

July 1, 2018

Teijin Aramid’s Teijinconex Coolnex Stretch is a flame-resistant, durable stretch fabric that is also highly comfortable for workwear applications. The unique single-layer, high-performance textile combines FR protection with Solotex® stretch technology, which offers excellent fabric memory, elasticity and flexibility. Current workwear fabric using polyurethane is susceptible to reduced stretch and recovery over time, has poor …

Projects

Fabric transforms camper design

April 1, 2019

What’s the bottom line for camping gear? For many outdoorspeople, it comes down to fabric that is waterproof yet airy and comfortable, along with convenience and a dash of style. A new camper that is more like a geodesic dome on wheels checks those boxes. A collaboration between BMW Design Works Division and The North …

Projects

Germ-fighting fibers keep hospitals clean

April 1, 2019

It’s a common joke—don’t go to the hospital, it will make you sick. Yet there is some amount of truth to the idea. One study demonstrated that 92 percent of privacy curtains were contaminated with infectious bacteria within one week of laundering. Another study concluded that up to 60 percent of nurse and physician clothing …

Projects

Vest offers inflatable protection for bicyclists

April 1, 2019

If you fall off your bike, you want to make sure you protect your thorax, back and neck. A vest that takes its cue from automobile airbags can do just that. B’Safe features an airbag that inflates instantly in the event of an accident. Developed by the French airbag technology company Helite, B’Safe features a …

Projects

Sustainable shade technology

April 1, 2019

It’s only fitting that the new research and development facility for the Kolon Group, a leading South Korean manufacturer of innovative textiles, would stretch the boundaries of design. The company wanted the facility, dubbed the Kolon One & Only Tower, to embody its commitment to creativity, technology and sustainability. The 820,000-square-foot building is designed to …

Projects

Patio canopy expands church services

April 1, 2019

Summers are hot in San Ramon, Calif., located 35 miles east of San Francisco in the San Ramon Valley. The community is home to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, designed in the 1980s by Aaron Green, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. The church features a beautiful patio that congregants like to use for …

Projects

From waste to waterproof shoe

April 1, 2019

Each year, 23 billion pairs of shoes made from raw materials are tossed in the trash, where they end up incinerated or are left to decompose in landfills. Sympatex Technologies, the high-tech company that produces and distributes membranes, laminates and functional textiles, has a better model for the lifecycle of shoes than creating tons of …

Projects

Fashion meets furniture with TAPE

April 1, 2019

Benjamin Hubert of design agency LAYER likes to consider how fashion trends and the latest ideas in technology can be combined to realize his creations. For his furniture collection, TAPE, Hubert was inspired by design practices for garments in the sporting industry—specifically the use of tape to construct snowboard, ski and wet-weather gear. Hubert recognized …

Projects

Hand-woven folk art with character

March 1, 2019

Folk art meets Pokémon Ukrainian artist Oksana Levchenya has long admired the craftsmanship of traditional hand-woven rugs and tapestries. She founded OLK Manufactory in Kiev to create woven rugs and tapestries that exemplify the same kind of expertise. Her vertical kilims are created by hand using an intricate technique dating back to the 16th century. …

Projects

Marathon lamp is a bright idea

March 1, 2019

Sometimes inspiration is found in a most unexpected place. For designer Victor Moynier, the spark of an idea for a lighting fixture came from sportswear. The Lausanne, Switzerland-based industrial designer looked at running jackets and saw the possibility to produce a lamp using ripstop nylon. His Marathon lamp was one of nine lighting fixtures created …

Projects

Animated display for Brussels airport uses kinetic fabric

March 1, 2019

There are many “must sees” in the Flanders region of Belgium: charming cities and towns graced with medieval architecture, the paintings of the Flemish masters, historical sites, fashion, food and design. The tourism bureau, Flanders Tourism (Toerisme Vlaanderen), wanted to give travelers flying into the Brussels Zarventem Airport a taste of the adventure that awaits. …

The Greater Good

Parà Group’s green initiatives focus on conservation, preservation and clean energy.

May 1, 2019

By Paul Johnson As a world leader in the manufacture of marine, awning and outdoor fabrics, Parà Group makes a wide range of products for iconic brands, such as Ralph Lauren Home, Fendi Home and Missoni. Five state-of-the art factories in Northern Italy produce more than 33,000 pounds of yarn and 32,000 feet of fabric …

The Greater Good

YKK Group’s global commitment to efficiency and sustainability

April 1, 2019

The YKK Group, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has implemented a bold and broad-based strategy for energy efficiency, reduced carbon output and sustainability. YKK’s green approach has substantially decreased the environmental impact of its 111 facilities operating in 73 countries and regions. But beyond the environmental benefits, these measures have also lowered operating costs, improved safety …

The Greater Good

A&R Tarpaulins’ mentorship program takes internships to a new level

March 1, 2019

Bud Weisbart was determined to make a difference. He transformed A&R Tarpaulins into a leader in fabric and equipment manufacturing for the  aerospace industry, and also turned the company into a beacon of inclusiveness, diversity and multiculturalism. After earning a degree in social service and serving in many social service roles, Weisbart entered the business …

The Greater Good

Ennis Fabrics is committed to community support—from the top down

February 1, 2019

Ennis Fabrics in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has a history that’s steeped in community support. James Ennis Sr. launched Ennis Fabrics in 1972 with a goal to provide better industrial fabrics and service. From a modest 2,500 square-foot warehouse, the company steadily grew, and today it sells 9,000 products from a state-of-the-art office and warehouse that …

The Greater Good

In the pink: Cooley Group supports breast cancer patients and families

January 1, 2019

Social stewardship and community outreach have been woven into the culture at Cooley Group, headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I.  Nearly every quarter, Cooley Group conducts a specific outreach program under the “Cooley Cares” banner to improve lives and make positive changes in the community. Founded as a cotton awning fabrics manufacturer in 1926, Cooley Group has …

The Greater Good

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth assembles duffel bags for homeless recovery center

December 1, 2018

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth made its second appearance at Expo 2018 held in October in Dallas, Texas. Workers at the live manufacturing booth assembled 74 red duffel bags from start to finish. The bags, made from 14 oz. vinyl, were donated to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a North Texas-based organization devoted to helping …

The Greater Good

MMI Textiles builds a better community, and workplace, one volunteer event at a time

November 1, 2018

Integrity, service and teamwork are at the center of everything MMI Textiles does, extending beyond working with customers and hiring employees to supporting its community. “Giving back not only goes with our core values, but it also provides an opportunity to work as a team to affect and impact the lives of others less fortunate. …

The Greater Good

Safety Components puts its business acumen to work for charity

October 1, 2018

Following the events of 9/11, Joey Underwood, senior vice president of Safety Components in Greenville, S.C., witnessed several neighborhood efforts to raise money for families of the fallen firefighters in New York City. “I remember driving past a bake sale and thinking, ‘We’re in that business—we should do something, too,” he says. Safety Components develops …

The Greater Good

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group invests in American manufacturing

September 1, 2018

When it became obvious to Aurora Specialty Textiles Group (ASTG) that its 132-year-old facility in Aurora, Ill., was no longer adequate, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the company had given serious consideration to moving operations overseas. But that was not the case. “There might have been a split-second mention of Mexico, but only because …

The Greater Good

O’Sullivan Films’ creek cleanup is the centerpiece of its community work

August 1, 2018

When employees at O’Sullivan Films work to improve the world around them, they don’t have to go any further than their headquarters in Winchester, Va. Winchester, part of the Shenandoah Valley located 75 miles west of Washington, D.C., is home to Abrams Creek, a stream that runs through O’Sullivan’s campus, which includes offices and a …