Company News

APV Engineered Coatings finishes 2019 with record sales

February 17, 2020

APV Engineered Coatings ended 2019 with a record sales year. The growth was fueled largely by demand for its specialty chemical products in the aerospace, flexible films and industrial textiles, architectural building products, and tire and rubber industries. The company also saw significant growth in its private label and contract manufacturing business. Founded in 1878, …

Industry News

Super absorbent polymer market outlook

February 14, 2020

The global super absorbent polymer (SAP) market size is poised to reach $12.10 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Grand View Research Inc. Growth is expected to yield a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 percent.  Rising demand for baby diapers, adult incontinence products, agriculture applications and female hygiene products is expected to drive …

Company News

Berry Global increases production to aid in Coronavirus protection

February 13, 2020

Berry Global Group Inc. reports it is prioritizing the production of nonwoven health care products in its Nanhai, China, and Suzhou, China, facilities, which are used to manufacture products that can help protect against airborne particles like the Coronavirus. Nonwoven materials produced at the facilities are used in face masks, N95 respirators and protective apparel, …

Company News

Americhem debuts comprehensive new website

February 12, 2020

Americhem, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is a globally recognized designer and manufacturer of custom color masterbatch, functional additives, engineered compounds and performance technologies. The company has released a brand new website that better aligns with its brand and global competencies at americhem.com. The new website provides customers, potential hires and others interested in Americhem with a …

Business

Small businesses with diverse workforces perform better financially

February 12, 2020

Small businesses with a diverse workforce are more innovative and financially successful, according to data gathered by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. Data indicates that businesses with more diverse management have 19% higher revenue and are more likely to outperform non-diverse businesses. Diverse teams are more innovative, and therefore, perform …

Industry News

Natural fibers drive growth

February 12, 2020

The global textile market is expected to post a CAGR of more than six percent during the period 2019–2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. The increasing consumption of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, cashmere and jute will drive the global textile market during the forecast period. The abundance …

Industry News

Grants support manufacturers

February 12, 2020

The U.S. Commerce Department is providing $13 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to support 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) that help manufacturers affected by imports adjust to increasing global competition and to create jobs. The TAACs, each of which service multiple states, are located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, …

People

Teijin Aramid appoints ter Horst

February 12, 2020

Teijin Aramid has announced the appointment of Peter ter Horst as the company’s new president and CEO per April 1, 2020. Ter Horst succeeds Gert Frederiks who will continue in an advisory role before retiring one year later after a long and impressive career at Teijin. Ter Horst joined Teijin Aramid in 2006 and brings …

Industry News

RGE commits to fiber innovation

February 11, 2020

Infinited Fiber Company’s strategic partner and investor RGE will invest $200 million in cellulosic textile fiber research and development to support solutions in alternative raw materials and closed-loop manufacturing. The target allocation for the investment is 70:20:10 in three areas respectively: scaling up proven clean technology in fiber manufacturing, bringing pilot scale production to commercial …

Company News

Zünd launches redesigned website

February 11, 2020

Zünd has launched a redesign of its website, www.zund.com. The new site is highly responsive and has a cleaner, more modern look and feel. Its content has been broadened and is now more logically structured, making it easier for visitors to locate relevant information. The new website automatically adapts to different devices and screen sizes …

Business

Small businesses with diverse workforces perform better financially

February 12, 2020

Small businesses with a diverse workforce are more innovative and financially successful, according to data gathered by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. Data indicates that businesses with more diverse management have 19% higher revenue and are more likely to outperform non-diverse businesses. Diverse teams are more innovative, and therefore, perform …

Management

SBA announces funding opportunity through the State Trade Expansion Program 2020

February 7, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the opening of the submission period for a funding opportunity through the State Trade Expansion Program. The purpose of the grant opportunity is to invite proposals for funding from eligible state entities interested in and capable of providing assistance, guidance and tools to qualified small businesses looking …

Business

Before selling, determine the true value of your company

January 1, 2020

By Larry Oxenham Succession planning can be a tricky matter, especially if you’re passing your business on to a family member. Sometimes keeping it in the family is viable, but not in every case. If it comes time to sell the business instead, you should be armed with some strategies for getting what it’s really …

Company News

Levi Strauss & Co. and Hohenstein collaborate to bring safer chemicals to the apparel industry

November 19, 2019

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) and Hohenstein have announced a collaboration to utilize the ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification system in the LS&Co. supply chain. This will amplify the capabilities of the Screened Chemistry program developed by LS&Co., helping establish a clearer pathway toward safer chemistry in the apparel industry by providing enhanced levels of …

Business

Customer service is king

November 1, 2019

Strategic service makes your company memorable.  By Randy Westlund We live in a constantly connected culture of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now—with no delays. Between instant messaging, next-day delivery and online services available 24/7, the marketplace is catering to these demands. Some revealing statistics show how much …

Business

Tax laws can help with startups and expansions

September 1, 2019

Tax laws can help or hurt new and expanding businesses. By Mark E. Battersby In today’s economy, it’s not unusual for an existing fabrication business to branch out, or for the owner or self-employed canvas professional to start another business in the same or a different field. Few realize, however, that Uncle Sam stands ready …

Business

Common mistakes cost more than you think

July 1, 2019

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

Conference

OFPANZ annual conference, July 25-27, New Zealand

May 22, 2019

The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference at the Napier War Memorial Conference Center in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, on July 25-27. The conference will bring together a diverse range of speakers and workshops, offering a variety of educational, social and professional networking opportunities, including the annual …

Business

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 …

Awards

IFAI’s 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

October 8, 2019

At this year’s annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, recognizing members who generously gave of their time to serve on different boards, task forces and committees, judged competitions and provided education and leadership to others in the industry. This year’s winners: Amy Bircher, president, MMI Textiles Inc. Jonathan Chakales, …

Expo News

2019 Chairman’s Award winner: Scott Campbell, Rainier Industries

October 8, 2019

The Chairman’s Award (originally, the President’s Award) is an honor bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given, and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. At IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI chairman Steve …

Expo News

Designing with shade cloth for human protection

October 4, 2019

Australia has a very high rate of skin cancer, so it’s not surprising that the country has led the world in the development of shade cloth, Chris Nolan told attendees of a shade cloth educational session at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. “Even in the temperate areas where most people live, we have an …

Expo News

Avoid expensive mistakes when applying graphics to awnings

October 4, 2019

Bill McSpadden wants IFAI attendees to not make the same mistakes he has made. On day 2 of IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla., McSpadden’s educational session on graphics for small to medium fabricators focused on avoiding expensive mistakes that turn profitable projects into unprofitable ones. McSpadden is owner of Capitol Awning, located in Richmond, …

Expo News

HDPE shade fabrics offer form and function for shade structures

October 4, 2019

Shade has been a requirement for human beings since ancient times, but very little technological development related to shade occurred until the last 30 to 40 years, said Andrew Nasarczyk, senior manager—research and development, GALE Pacific Ltd., Braeside, Victoria, Australia. Nasarczyk explained the design and development of world-class knitted shade fabrics in an educational session …

Expo News

Fire retardancy in shade structures: requirements and solutions

October 4, 2019

David Dean, director of research and development at Glen Raven/Sunbrella, led the campfire session, “Fire Retardancy in Shade Structures: Requirements and Solutions” during Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla., According to Dean, in the U.S. there are currently no federally-mandated fire retardancy (FR) regulations for shade structures. The few regulations that have been passed include those …

Expo News

Sales success with a dose of passive aggression

October 4, 2019

Chris Semonelli, vice president, sales and marketing, E Squared, and president of Coated Technical Solutions, says he has “a philosophy of being assertive with passive aggression” when it comes to sales. “You need to have a deadline with customers and R&D, and make frequent visits. Emails and faxes are great, but you can’t look customers …

Expo News

Award breakfast transforms into a networking event

October 4, 2019

Keynote speaker Thom Singer hosted IFAI’s annual award ceremony October 3 at Expo 2019, continuing his message to “see people.” As Expo exhibitors and attendees entered the breakfast event, Singer encouraged people to separate from familiar colleagues and sit with new people. This year’s award ceremony was infused with an additional goal—that of networking with …

Expo News

Industry 4.0 and what it means for your small business

October 4, 2019

Jonathan Palmer, CEO of Autometrix, presented the education session “Industry 4.0 for Small Businesses” at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. Industry 4.0 is a German initiative that began in 2011. The loose definition focuses on four main areas: interconnection (sensors, machines and devices), information (free-flowing info), assistance (robots/technology making a worker’s job easier and …

Expo News

Don’t overlook overhead

October 4, 2019

Gary Westlund, of Awning Tracker, knows what he’s talking about when he says, “Overhead is a real cost. Unless you properly account for overhead on job bids, you are just guessing.” Westlund gave a straight-talk presentation on Oct. 3 at Expo 2019, telling attendees he owned and operated his own awning business for 25 years, …

Feature

Retractables: part of the shade package

February 1, 2020

There has been growth in the U.S. market for retractable awnings, but today they’re part of a wide range of shade products designed to offer comfort, color, convenience, style and protection from insects as well as weather. by Laurie Junker The awning industry had been anticipating a boom in retractables for a long time. Scouring …

Feature

Textiles and Lifestyle

February 1, 2020

Textiles have become more responsive, providing health and wellness benefits while creating worlds of possibilities for manufacturers and users alike.  by Pamela Mills-Senn It wasn’t long ago that the demands placed on textiles were relatively straightforward. Whether apparel, furnishings, car seats, bedding, medical fabrics or others, textiles were tasked with meeting a generally standard set …

Feature

Change as business strategy

February 1, 2020

After jumping from the food industry to truck tarps, David Callahan targets customers who value quality and innovation over price.   by Jill C. Lafferty Local competitors are trying to go cheaper and cheaper, while we’re trying to do more and more quality,” says David Callahan, owner of Granite State Cover & Canvas Inc., based …

Feature

Succession Planning 101

February 1, 2020

A seamless transfer of leadership in a family business requires hard conversations and a detailed road map to avoid the worst potholes and ensure a successful journey.  by Jeff Moravec A family business can offer great rewards—personally and professionally—for its founders and their descendants. But a family business also presents unique challenges and requires careful …

Feature Members only content

Leading women: strength, innovation and growth

January 1, 2020

As dedicated industry professionals, women are running companies, developing innovative new products and meeting the challenges of a global marketplace. Our six subjects have varied backgrounds and career paths, but the advice they offer is surprisingly similar: engage, learn and toot your own horn. by Laurie Junker A woman starting a manufacturing company might not …

Feature

Investing in excellence—and workforce readiness

January 1, 2020

Kathryn Maisto mastered her marine canvas skills over a lifetime and across oceans, and now she’s training a new generation. by Jill C. Lafferty I’m always looking for ways to enhance our product line,” says Kathryn Maisto, MFC, owner of Fairwinds Canvas LLC, Racine, Wis. “In what we do and what we offer, we have …

Feature Members only content

Perfecting sound with acoustical fabrics

January 1, 2020

Fabric applications create acoustic environments that control sound, allowing the featured entertainment to be clearly heard.  by Sigrid Tornquist Fabric plays a critical role in sound control. On the most basic level, hard surfaces send sound bouncing around a room, while soft surfaces absorb sound and soften the impact on listening ears. For environments designed …

Feature Members only content

Shady dealings: screens, shades and shutters

January 1, 2020

As awareness over the protections and savings offered by shading systems grows, screens, shades and shutters are finding wider acceptance and use, fueled by innovations in technology and fabrics.  by Pamela Mills-Senn While many people appreciate the outdoors, most folks prefer to be shielded from the elements, with their environment climate controlled. Products like screens, …

Feature

Weaving the biomedical structure

December 9, 2019

by Amir Islam As medical technology increases, so too does the availability of options for different biomedical applications. With so many different characteristics available in woven biomedical textiles, choosing the right, reliable textile is essential for mitigating risk and ensuring successful procedures and applications. Woven biotextile properties Weaving biomedical textile structures, such as straight, tapered, …

Feature Members only content

Permanent Side Hustles: Turn one-time gigs into long-term revenue streams

December 1, 2019

by Jeff Moravec For many people, the so-called gig economy has created an entirely new way to make a living. The idea of side hustles may strike many fabricators as familiar—just with a new name. It’s not difficult to find fabricators who started a business with a narrow, well-defined specialty, only to find opportunities (sometimes …

Markets

Inhibiting microbes with topcoat technology

February 1, 2020

When compounded performance additives in vinyl aren’t enough, antimicrobial lacquers and topcoats offer extra protection. By Hugh Barrett Microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, can live on a surface for months. Manufacturers of flexible vinyl, films, fabrics and textiles use engineered antimicrobial (AM) lacquers and barrier topcoats to offer an extra level of protection against …

Advanced Textiles

Sustainable practices in today’s textile industry

February 1, 2020

 by Marie O’Mahony The story of sustainability in the textile industry has grown and changed, particularly in the last decade. The concept of “circularity” is now driving sustainability across the materials sector. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and …

Company News

Enduratex expands marine products representation

January 29, 2020

Enduratex™ has expanded its marine product representation through a new relationship with Coatney Sales and Haimes Coleman Group Inc., according to Eric Petersen, director of sales and marketing for Enduratex. Craig Coatney, principal of Coatney Sales, and Charlie Haimes, a principal in the Haimes Coleman Group, will cover the Midwest and Southeast regions, respectively. “We …

Marine

Marine Fabricators Association Announces Marine Fabrication Excellence Award Winners

January 28, 2020

The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) awarded the Marine Fabrication Excellence Awards for design excellence, and quality workmanship in marine applications at the 2020 Marine Fabricators Conference. Marine Fabricators Conference is an annual conference that includes education and training, networking opportunities, and an exhibitor show floor. Winners were selected based on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and …

Advanced Textiles

Making decisions in an uncertain trade environment

January 1, 2020

By Marie O’Mahony Editor’s note: The issue of U.S. trade is unusually dynamic and evolving today. The majority of this article represents information available when the speakers presented at IFAI Expo in October 2019.  With current international trade in a persistent state of flux, it’s tempting for the advanced textiles industry to stand by and …

Markets

Better together: Indiana Fabric Solutions’ partnership philosophy

January 1, 2020

Indiana Fabric Solutions’ partnership philosophy is helping both the company and the community grow.  By Holly Eamon Business is booming at Indiana Fabric Solutions, in part because of the owners’ focus on fostering connections within the workforce and the community. Connections, community and communication are key factors in the company’s recent expansion. Four years ago, …

Advanced Textiles

New test methods are needed for medical textiles

December 1, 2019

by Matthew Hardwick, ph.D. The spread of infection is a concern for all of us, but nowhere is it more concerning than in health care. The spread of infection both to and from medical environments is an ever-present problem in hospitals and clinics around the world. Numerous resources are being dedicated to fight the war …

Markets

Structured symbolism: ‘Wings over Stinson’ custom architecture

December 1, 2019

International Tension Structures lifts a community’s sense of pride, one 50-foot, membrane-wrapped steel wing at a time. By Holly Eamon Architecture without a definitive function is not an easy sell. But it’s rarely a regret. “The concept is hard for people to digest, especially early on in a project,” says Jacob Schwartz, director of engineering …

Advanced Textiles

The value and limitations of medical device master files

November 1, 2019

by Elaine Duncan Medical device master files, known as MAFs, have value for textile contract manufacturers and the medical device developer in many ways, but there are some practical limitations. Most medical device manufacturers that incorporate a medical textile into their products will seek a knowledgeable textile contractor who can address the quality system needs …

Geosynthetics

Geosynthetic applications in flood abatement

November 1, 2019

Geosynthetics offer cost-effective strategies for mitigating or even eliminating severe flooding in coastal regions.  By Robert M. and George R. Koerner On September 8, 1900, a Category 4 hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, which is situated on the Gulf of Mexico, averaging about 8 feet (2.4 meters) above sea level. The storm created a 15-foot (4.6-meter) …

Company News

APV Engineered Coatings finishes 2019 with record sales

February 17, 2020

APV Engineered Coatings ended 2019 with a record sales year. The growth was fueled largely by demand for its specialty chemical products in the aerospace, flexible films and industrial textiles, architectural building products, and tire and rubber industries. The company also saw significant growth in its private label and contract manufacturing business. Founded in 1878, …

Industry News

Super absorbent polymer market outlook

February 14, 2020

The global super absorbent polymer (SAP) market size is poised to reach $12.10 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Grand View Research Inc. Growth is expected to yield a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 percent.  Rising demand for baby diapers, adult incontinence products, agriculture applications and female hygiene products is expected to drive …

Company News

Berry Global increases production to aid in Coronavirus protection

February 13, 2020

Berry Global Group Inc. reports it is prioritizing the production of nonwoven health care products in its Nanhai, China, and Suzhou, China, facilities, which are used to manufacture products that can help protect against airborne particles like the Coronavirus. Nonwoven materials produced at the facilities are used in face masks, N95 respirators and protective apparel, …

Company News

Americhem debuts comprehensive new website

February 12, 2020

Americhem, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is a globally recognized designer and manufacturer of custom color masterbatch, functional additives, engineered compounds and performance technologies. The company has released a brand new website that better aligns with its brand and global competencies at americhem.com. The new website provides customers, potential hires and others interested in Americhem with a …

Business

Small businesses with diverse workforces perform better financially

February 12, 2020

Small businesses with a diverse workforce are more innovative and financially successful, according to data gathered by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. Data indicates that businesses with more diverse management have 19% higher revenue and are more likely to outperform non-diverse businesses. Diverse teams are more innovative, and therefore, perform …

Industry News

Natural fibers drive growth

February 12, 2020

The global textile market is expected to post a CAGR of more than six percent during the period 2019–2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. The increasing consumption of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, cashmere and jute will drive the global textile market during the forecast period. The abundance …

Industry News

Grants support manufacturers

February 12, 2020

The U.S. Commerce Department is providing $13 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration grants to support 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) that help manufacturers affected by imports adjust to increasing global competition and to create jobs. The TAACs, each of which service multiple states, are located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, …

People

Teijin Aramid appoints ter Horst

February 12, 2020

Teijin Aramid has announced the appointment of Peter ter Horst as the company’s new president and CEO per April 1, 2020. Ter Horst succeeds Gert Frederiks who will continue in an advisory role before retiring one year later after a long and impressive career at Teijin. Ter Horst joined Teijin Aramid in 2006 and brings …

Industry News

RGE commits to fiber innovation

February 11, 2020

Infinited Fiber Company’s strategic partner and investor RGE will invest $200 million in cellulosic textile fiber research and development to support solutions in alternative raw materials and closed-loop manufacturing. The target allocation for the investment is 70:20:10 in three areas respectively: scaling up proven clean technology in fiber manufacturing, bringing pilot scale production to commercial …

Company News

Zünd launches redesigned website

February 11, 2020

Zünd has launched a redesign of its website, www.zund.com. The new site is highly responsive and has a cleaner, more modern look and feel. Its content has been broadened and is now more logically structured, making it easier for visitors to locate relevant information. The new website automatically adapts to different devices and screen sizes …

Products

Non-rusting grommets

February 1, 2020

ClipsShop® Self-Piercing Grommet Sets include grommets and washers made from non-rusting solid brass to withstand rain and the elements. The heavy-duty solid brass rust-proof grommets and washers come in a variety of sizes and finishes for use in privacy screens, wind screens, sunscreens and related outdoor products. Available in 500-set packages, the grommet sets can …

Products

Artfully inspired performance fabric

February 1, 2020

Fabrics in the Artscape collection—including Brushstroke, Vogue, Enzo and Sedona—are the first digitally printed cotton and cotton/linen offerings in the Breathe by Milliken™ performance fabric line. The collection offers a modern approach, introducing both abstract and watermark characteristics. It also stands out as a natural option that allows for easy cleaning through its plant-based water …

Products

Matte finish awning material in user-friendly width

February 1, 2020

With a new matte look and a user-friendly width, Sattler 745 Evolution awning material is a flame-retardant PVC coated textile that offers dimensional stability and is extremely durable. The fabric is weldable and accepts graphic treatments. At 63 inches wide, the awning material is available in 30-yard rolls and in 20 matte finished colors. Keyston …

Products

Value-packed printer/cutter

February 1, 2020

The streamlined 30-inch VersaUV® LEC2-300 UV printer/cutter includes the popular features of the original LEC-300, plus improvements for increased versatility, more vibrant color and greater image detail. The unit takes advantage of the company’s ECO-UV inks, which adhere to the surface of a wide range of media, including PET or PVC-based substrates, canvas, tarpaulin, textiles, …

Products

Fabric for versatile branding

February 1, 2020

Canwil Dye Sublimation and Ink Jet Printed fabrics are available with short runs and quick turnaround times. The fabrics may be printed with custom logos or designs and can be sold on the roll or fabricated into finished products including backdrops, table covers, signage, SEG applications, tension fabrics and pop-up canopies. With flame-retardant options available, …

Products

Flexible clear vinyl for windows

February 1, 2020

Offering dimensional stability and distortion-free clarity from all angles and in all conditions, PanoramaFR is a flexible clear vinyl window material designed for residential and commercial use. The fabric combines proprietary manufacturing procedures and specifically formulated materials to set a new industry standard for clarity while receiving CSFM Title 19 certification of flame resistance. The …

Products

Dye sublimation printers

January 1, 2020

Offering reliability and high image quality with fast print speeds, SureColor® F9470 and SureColor F9470H 64-inch dye sublimation printers are designed for the roll-to-roll textile, home decor, promotional product and soft signage markets. The SureColor F9470H also offers the option of printing with two genuine fluorescent inks—yellow and pink—which brings bright, vivid colors to the …

Products

Tolkien pattern polyurethane collection

January 1, 2020

Taking a trip through fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien’s imagination, the Tolkien pattern polyurethane collection offers superior performance in 13 vibrant colors including Shire, Wizard, Mordor and Fantasy. With a line and dot repeat design, the collection is recommended for hospitality, workspace, restaurant and senior living. The fabric is Prop 65 compliant for a …

Products

Self-adhesive fabric for signage

January 1, 2020

Solvent, latex and UV-compatible, Sihl 3517 WallGrafX Prime self-adhesive polyester fabric offers block-out properties and a bright white surface. Recommended for wall decor, exhibition stands, furniture and other advertising applications. The fabric can be applied to smooth and lightly structured surfaces and is temperature and humidity resistant, making it suitable for both indoor (short or …

Products

Bag closing system

January 1, 2020

With its proven vector drive technology to ensure easy speed matching to conveying systems, the A1-PB EL height-adjustable bag closing system offers maximum speed, flexibility and fast start/stop action to reduce material waste. The new EL series features the addition of an electric lift mechanism, activated by a single push button, for simple, safe and …

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

Pop-up factory with a purpose

November 1, 2019

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth assembles three-ring pencil pouches for A Gift For Teaching. By Sammi Jones IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth made its third appearance on the show floor at Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. The booth, which debuted at Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La., and also appeared at Expo 2018 in Dallas, …

The Greater Good

Pushing the limits

October 1, 2019

Autometrix employees put the (bike) pedal to the metal to raise money for charity.  By Paul Johnson Most people experience joy when giving to a charity, but some undergo considerable pain because of their steadfast commitment and support for an enduring cause. Jonathan Palmer, Autometrix Inc. owner and CEO, and Joel Koopmans, customer solutions expert, …

The Greater Good

Making a mark in the community

September 1, 2019

At Presco, charitable giving, community support and energy conservation are a passion. By Paul Johnson In 1942, Robert “Earl” McMackin founded Precision Specialties Company, which made specific tools for geological and oil exploration. When working in the oil fields, Earl and his son, Edwin, recognized an opportunity to design and develop better materials for roll …

The Greater Good

Mermet Corporation seeks to protect ecology, promote sustainability and improve communities

August 1, 2019

By Paul Johnson  Mermet Corporation was not content to create just any standard environmental stewardship program for the company. Instead, the Cowpens, S.C.-based innovative solar shade manufacturer went several steps further to create its Weaving Change initiative. The program is a broad-based movement that supports sound environmental textile manufacturing, resource conservation, environmental protection and charitable …

The Greater Good

A common thread

July 1, 2019

Diamond Brand Gear is leading a regional effort to revive the art of sewing through education and collaboration. By Holly Eamon With roots extending to 1881, Diamond Brand Gear in Fletcher, N.C., continually works to build upon its legacy. The outdoor and military gear manufacturer is revitalizing not only its brand but also the industry’s …

The Greater Good

Setting a high standard: Owens Corning

June 1, 2019

Owens Corning’s philanthropic efforts, charity work and progressive employee policies have produced impressive results. By Paul Johnson For more than 40 years, Owens Corning, a developer and producer of  insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, has been a supporter of a wide range of philanthropic endeavors and a key partner assisting charitable organizations across the globe. …

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 …