Industry News

Epson and CIT partner

February 23, 2018

Epson America, a leader in printing technology, and CIT Direct Capital, the national digital small business-lending unit of CIT Group, are partnering to offer financing for commercial and digital print customers. The collaboration will allow CIT to provide Epson dealers, channel partners, resellers and customers a primary source of financing through a single point of …

Industry News

BYTE and TexTempo form partnership

February 22, 2018

Apparel software developer BYTE Software Services and sewn products automation and marketing experts TexTempo have partnered to deliver a broad platform of manufacturing process improvement solutions available to the sewn products industry. Under the agreement, TexTempo will be the exclusive sales agent for BYTE shop floor control, ERP and other manufacturing solutions in North America. …

Industry News

Applied DNA expands internationally

February 21, 2018

Applied DNA Sciences Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y., has established a central DNA testing laboratory in Ahmedabad, India, that provides full forensic authentication services. The laboratory supports Applied DNA’s growing global textile business in the Asia-Pacific region with expansion capability for other supply chains present in the region, such as fertilizer and pharmaceuticals. It is strategically …

Industry News

ACW acquires new dye range

February 20, 2018

American Cord & Webbing Co. (ACW) has acquired Mageba continuous dye range. The electronic range is designed for acid dying, which allows for fast color changes, and it is specialized for the continuous acid dying of light woven tapes and heavy-duty webbing used in commercial, industrial and military applications. ACW can now offer custom dye …

Industry News

MIPS and Tamarack partner for brain safety

February 19, 2018

MIPS, the Stockholm, Sweden-based brain safety technology company, will incorporate GlideWear to develop new products designed to protect the brains of athletes wearing hard shell helmets. The agreement between MIPS and GlideWear manufacturer Tamarack Habilitation Technologies Inc., will combine two revolutionary technologies. MIPS products address the rotational forces and energies that are linked to brain …

Industry News

Rainier Industries transitions CEO role from Scott Campbell to David Traub

February 17, 2018

Scott Campbell, president and CEO of Rainier Industries, Tukwila, Wash., has announced his retirement, and David Traub is assuming the role of the company’s CEO. Though the leadership is changing, the company’s values and mission to build high quality products and provide world class service remain the same. Campbell has been president since purchasing the …

Industry News

Meridian announces promotions

February 14, 2018

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group has promoted employees at its Valdese and Ranlo, N.C., plants in conjunction with major U.S. expansions. Promotions include Stephen Hudson to senior vice president, specialty markets; and Amy Isenhour to vice president, sales and marketing. Promotions at the Valdese plant: John Marlowe to vice president, manufacturing; Danny Whisnant to director, process …

Industry News

NAFTA textile negotiations

February 13, 2018

Negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico met to discuss textiles in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2017 and in Montreal on January 23–28, 2018. The first two rounds focused on technical discussions and exchanging information versus substantive decision- making. In the third round, the United States tabled text on rules of origin, including …

News

Massachusetts funds fibers and fabric research

February 12, 2018

The State of Massachusetts has made available a $3.9 million grant to support the second phase of research and development at the Defense Fabric Discovery Center, a cutting-edge research hub that opened in October 2017. This award follows an initial $2.2 million grant to support the Center’s opening and brings the Commonwealth’s investment to the …

Industry News

FGA Webinar: Backlit SEGs

February 9, 2018

March 13, 2018 | Noon EST Members: Free Non-Members: $25 Learn about fabric types used with backlit silicone edge graphics (SEG), fabric characteristics and how they interact with graphic applications. Discover backlit SEG applications, the best practices for success, how to apply silicone edge to graphics and tips for shipping and installation. Presenter: Mike Compton, …

Business Members only content

Savvy cash management helps your bottom line

January 1, 2018

Cash flow—the amount of money flowing into and out of your shop—is an easy concept to understand, yet not always well managed. Not every owner is aware of the impact skillful cash management has on net income, probably because the importance of managing revenue is far easier to recognize in some types of businesses than …

Business Members only content

New IRS accounting method changes

October 1, 2017

The tax returns of many businesses in the specialty fabrics industry have been—and will most likely continue to be—extra thick. Thanks to newly issued “repair regulations,” tax return filings for last year included more work on “Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method” than usual. Fortunately, the IRS recently made it easier for small …

Business Members only content

Smart documentation is key to selling your business

September 1, 2017

No matter where in the world we run our businesses, we aspire to be successful, profitable and happy. We have either started the business from nothing, purchased an existing enterprise or taken the reins of the family business. Often, we begin with limited skills, have minimal formal industry training and largely “learn by our mistakes.” …

Business Members only content

How to attract and hire exceptional employees

August 1, 2017

In the buyer’s market of recent years, it was probably easy for you to attract top-notch job candidates. Not so much today. With new job creation being healthier than expected in 2016, and further increases so far this year, finding and hiring the best candidates for your shop will no longer be a slam dunk. …

Business

Understand your customers’ personalities for better sales

July 1, 2017

Elemental keys to staying in sync and making the sale. The first thing you need to know is that your customers are different—from each other, and from you. You may feel that you already know that, but I can tell you that many business owners and professionals have lamented to me that the client they …

Business Members only content

Sustainability: good business

June 1, 2017

Rainier Industries succeeds with a light footprint and a firm handshake. For Rainier Industries Ltd., sustain-ability is more than just a buzzword—it’s a way of doing business. Although often associated with high expenses, Rainier president and CEO Scott Campbell considers sustainability an initiative that makes business sense. “It’s actually pretty easy and saves money,” he …

Business

Driving business during the slow season: entertaining clients

June 1, 2017

Everyone appreciates the time of year when things start to slow down. But after a recuperation stage, tent rental companies may find themselves twiddling their thumbs, waiting for clients to call. What do you do to drive business at these times? Many operations host a showcase or an open house, blending strategy and celebration. One …

Business

Handle with care

May 1, 2017

Layoffs or firings can mean trouble for everyone involved. It’s an unwelcome responsibility, but almost every business owner and manager will eventually come face-to-face with the disagreeable task of terminating one or more employees. “Firing people is one of the toughest, most unpleasant things you do as an employer,” says James Walsh in his book …

Business

U.S. trade policy

April 1, 2017

Last year was both a momentous and a productive year for the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and the Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) divisions’ efforts in Washington, D.C. The text of the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) limited damage to the U.S. textile industry to the greatest degree politically achievable; now the election of Donald …

Business

Pre-employment background checks

April 1, 2017

You may need them, but be careful. These days every new employee brings a possible threat to your business, including theft, sexual harassment, physical violence, identity theft, fraud and drug use. The potential for ruinous legal actions is higher today than ever before. That’s why a background check before you hire an applicant could save …

Feature

Building facades and vertical shade

February 1, 2018

For decades now, since the revelation of the 1970s back-to-earth, energy enlightenment era of oil embargoes and the beginning of the environmentalism movement, architects and government officials have acknowledged the importance of making ever more energy-efficient buildings. It has been proven that buildings (the construction of them and the manufacturing of all the materials that …

Feature

The business of yurts: round architecture

February 1, 2018

I never had an interest in going into business to just duplicate a product that already existed,” says Alan Bair, founder and owner of Pacific Yurts Inc. in Cottage Grove, Ore. “But early on I realized the yurt is a unique warm space that is limited only by the imagination. When you go into that circular …

Feature

Fabric performance tested and approved

February 1, 2018

That we live in a litigious society is evident to anyone who has spent even a little time in front of the television, where commercials touting the services of personal injury or product failure attorneys are pervasive reminders about how precarious life can be. Consumers have become ever more demanding in their expectations of what …

Feature

Job costing

February 1, 2018

It’s a fairly safe bet that not many fabricators started their operations because they wanted to work on spreadsheets. But like it or not, when you hang out a shingle, only part of your work will be designing a custom awning or reupholstering seats on a pontoon boat. Figuring out how to charge for those …

Feature

Working with architects

January 1, 2018

Key to the success of a productive partnership: exploration, preparation, communication and education, with a firm grasp of details and a final vision for the project. Fabrics and architecture have been partners for millennia and have worked together to create some of the most iconic, useful and beautiful structures in the world—from traditional Mongolian yurts …

Feature

Marine tension shade options

January 1, 2018

Marine fabricators help boat owners expand shading options with stretched fabric. It could easily be argued that the pleasures of boating are best appreciated on a deck rather than in a cabin. But protection from sun exposure requires more than that provided by a wide-brimmed hat. With that kind of coverage in mind, boat owners …

Feature

Creating a welcoming workplace to retain employees

January 1, 2018

To prevent employee turnover, create a workplace that provides continuous learning, competitive pay and benefits and open-minded management. Like many industries that rely on skilled workers, the specialty fabrics industry is facing a shortage of qualified personnel. As manufacturers and fabricators develop recruitment efforts to attract the next-generation workforce, management must simultaneously find strategies to …

Feature

Inspiration-driven marine fabrication, and sheltering San Francisco’s homeless

January 1, 2018

Having a really good life is not financially driven. It’s inspiration driven,” says Liz Diaz, MFC, owner of North Beach Marine Canvas in San Francisco, Calif. “Working on and around the water is a singularly lovely employment. I am inspired all the time by my location, by the San Francisco Design Center, by my tools …

Feature

On the march

December 1, 2017

For several years the U.S. military market has been characterized by base closures and troop drawdowns, which has had an admittedly dampening effect on the need for and spending on military textiles. The United States isn’t the only geographic market for these products, nor are these textiles limited to just our military; purchasers are found …

Feature

Protect and conserve potable water

December 1, 2017

If you’ve had a glass of clean water today, you can likely thank a fabric-based product. Engineered fabrics, membranes and geosynthetics perform behind-the-scenes work to ensure that communities have access to adequate potable water and clean waterways. Creative fabric uses also hold promise in delivering clean water in emerging markets—a meteoric task considering that 783 …

Markets

Weighing sustainability

February 1, 2018

Trends reflect a global interest in natural fibers and ethical practices. The smart and advanced textile industries, while broadly in agreement on the need to be more sustainable, are in less accord when deciding how to address the issue. Cultural and local differences can on one level exacerbate the difficulty in reaching a consensus, but …

Markets Members only content

Acquisitions reshape the U.S. tent and event rental industry

February 1, 2018

A wave of acquisitions reshaped the U.S. tent and event rental industry in 2017 Beginning in 2016 and accelerating the pace in spring and summer of 2017, several recapitalized tent rental companies acquired other like-businesses. The break-up of the Classic Party Rentals network, based in Inglewood, Calif., fueled much of the activity. A trend toward …

Advanced Textiles

New substrates for smart fabrics

January 1, 2018

Manufacturers of smart fabrics are looking for new, novel textile substrates. A key takeaway from the Smart Fabrics Program and E-Textiles Workshop at the 2017 IFAI Expo was the symbiotic relationship between smart technologies and the development of suitable textile substrates to facilitate the desired function. While the fashion apparel business has become increasingly commodity-driven, …

Geosynthetics Members only content

Geofoam solves construction challenges

January 1, 2018

High atop Hidden Peak, lightweight geofoam solves construction challenges the easy way. All projects have challenges, purpose and meaning, yet some projects mean a lot more to owners than others. It takes a visionary to leave a legacy, and Richard Bass, founder of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Utah, fit the bill. Bass is …

Advanced Textiles

Training and education for the high-tech textile industry

December 1, 2017

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitive Index (GMCI) report, the United States looks set to overtake China as the world’s most competitive manufacturing nation within five years. The textile industry is a significant part of that repositioning in its moves to bring manufacturing back to North America. It is not enough, however, to bring …

Markets Members only content

Fabric installation at Renwick Gallery plays with perceptions

December 1, 2017

Since the 17th century (with the debut of the French École des Beaux-Arts), drawing has been the first basic skill taught to architects. This still holds true, despite the advent of computer aided drafting (CAD) and sophisticated rendering software. And today there is a segment of the architecture community rediscovering and embracing the messy hand-drawn …

Advanced Textiles

A new NAFTA?

December 1, 2017

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to improve U.S. trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since taking office and subsequently threatening to withdraw the United States from NAFTA unless the terms were renegotiated, Mexico and Canada have been cajoled to revisit the deal. The first round of tripartite talks commenced …

Markets Members only content

Fighting pink stain

November 1, 2017

The work “pink” brings to mind a little girl dressed as a princess, cotton candy at the county fair and plastic lawn flamingos. But for those in the marine industry, the word takes on a sinister connotation as a stain caused by streptoverticillium reticulum. It’s a far greater menace than a never-washed red garment laundered …

Advanced Textiles

Fabrics go multifunctional

October 31, 2017

Textiles have evolved from being commodity materials to providing an array of benefits, including additional comfort and protection, improved hygiene and support for health care. The innate nature of fibers can provide certain special characteristics—cotton adds breathability and a smooth hand, and wool offers thermal comfort, for example. But due to the growing need for …

Advanced Textiles

Eco-friendly antimicrobials and sustainable solutions

October 1, 2017

Antimicrobial properties are fast becoming a required treatment in textiles for applications that range from hospital drapes and linen to contract and domestic textiles as well as clothing. While offering protection from germs is a positive factor, there has been some disquiet concerning the environmental impact of antimicrobial treatments. In response, fiber and fabric manufacturers …

Industry News

Epson and CIT partner

February 23, 2018

Epson America, a leader in printing technology, and CIT Direct Capital, the national digital small business-lending unit of CIT Group, are partnering to offer financing for commercial and digital print customers. The collaboration will allow CIT to provide Epson dealers, channel partners, resellers and customers a primary source of financing through a single point of …

Industry News

BYTE and TexTempo form partnership

February 22, 2018

Apparel software developer BYTE Software Services and sewn products automation and marketing experts TexTempo have partnered to deliver a broad platform of manufacturing process improvement solutions available to the sewn products industry. Under the agreement, TexTempo will be the exclusive sales agent for BYTE shop floor control, ERP and other manufacturing solutions in North America. …

Industry News

Applied DNA expands internationally

February 21, 2018

Applied DNA Sciences Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y., has established a central DNA testing laboratory in Ahmedabad, India, that provides full forensic authentication services. The laboratory supports Applied DNA’s growing global textile business in the Asia-Pacific region with expansion capability for other supply chains present in the region, such as fertilizer and pharmaceuticals. It is strategically …

Industry News

ACW acquires new dye range

February 20, 2018

American Cord & Webbing Co. (ACW) has acquired Mageba continuous dye range. The electronic range is designed for acid dying, which allows for fast color changes, and it is specialized for the continuous acid dying of light woven tapes and heavy-duty webbing used in commercial, industrial and military applications. ACW can now offer custom dye …

Industry News

MIPS and Tamarack partner for brain safety

February 19, 2018

MIPS, the Stockholm, Sweden-based brain safety technology company, will incorporate GlideWear to develop new products designed to protect the brains of athletes wearing hard shell helmets. The agreement between MIPS and GlideWear manufacturer Tamarack Habilitation Technologies Inc., will combine two revolutionary technologies. MIPS products address the rotational forces and energies that are linked to brain …

Industry News

Rainier Industries transitions CEO role from Scott Campbell to David Traub

February 17, 2018

Scott Campbell, president and CEO of Rainier Industries, Tukwila, Wash., has announced his retirement, and David Traub is assuming the role of the company’s CEO. Though the leadership is changing, the company’s values and mission to build high quality products and provide world class service remain the same. Campbell has been president since purchasing the …

Industry News

Meridian announces promotions

February 14, 2018

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group has promoted employees at its Valdese and Ranlo, N.C., plants in conjunction with major U.S. expansions. Promotions include Stephen Hudson to senior vice president, specialty markets; and Amy Isenhour to vice president, sales and marketing. Promotions at the Valdese plant: John Marlowe to vice president, manufacturing; Danny Whisnant to director, process …

Industry News

NAFTA textile negotiations

February 13, 2018

Negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico met to discuss textiles in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2017 and in Montreal on January 23–28, 2018. The first two rounds focused on technical discussions and exchanging information versus substantive decision- making. In the third round, the United States tabled text on rules of origin, including …

News

Massachusetts funds fibers and fabric research

February 12, 2018

The State of Massachusetts has made available a $3.9 million grant to support the second phase of research and development at the Defense Fabric Discovery Center, a cutting-edge research hub that opened in October 2017. This award follows an initial $2.2 million grant to support the Center’s opening and brings the Commonwealth’s investment to the …

Industry News

FGA Webinar: Backlit SEGs

February 9, 2018

March 13, 2018 | Noon EST Members: Free Non-Members: $25 Learn about fabric types used with backlit silicone edge graphics (SEG), fabric characteristics and how they interact with graphic applications. Discover backlit SEG applications, the best practices for success, how to apply silicone edge to graphics and tips for shipping and installation. Presenter: Mike Compton, …

Products

Beefy marine hardware

February 1, 2018

Trivantage has added SolaMesh™ hardware to its shade sail and structure product offerings. The new line of hardware complements SolaMesh fabric with a wide range of D-rings, shackles, stainless steel rope, rope connections and mounting options for all installations. The hardware offers eye-on-eye, jaw-on-jaw and hook-on-hook turnbuckle options to suit a variety of preferences and …

Products

Speedier printing

February 1, 2018

Epson America’s 64-inch Epson SureColor® F9370 wide-format textile printer is designed to deliver high-speed, reliable productivity for digital dye-sublimation transfers for a range of polyester textile and apparel applications. The printer delivers industrial-level production with speeds up to 1,169 square-feet-per-hour and features an integrated new fabric wiping system coupled with a highly accurate roll-to-roll media …

Products

Hot fabric developments

February 1, 2018

Teijin has developed SOLOTEX® THERMO, a polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fiber offering excellent thermal retention and insulation. The company says the fiber offers high comfortability thanks to its softness, form-suitability and stretchability. It absorbs near infrared sunlight and converts it to heat efficiently due to carbon-based inorganic particles mixed into the fiber’s molecular structure. The company …

Products

Stylish upholstery fabric

February 1, 2018

The Josef and Anni Collection from Designtex is a series of performance luxury textiles that combine and explore the relationship between color, materials and structure. Anni is available in six colors and Josef in 18 colors. All are plush, bleach-cleanable upholstery fabrics with a structured geometry that feature a strong sense of line, shape and …

Products

Expanded window shades

February 1, 2018

Phifer has added 16 new fabrics to its SheerWeave® Style 5000 line, expanding the current line of 36 patterns in its decorative window covering fabric collection. The additional patterns, previously available only through exclusive sourcing, are in stock in a 98-inch width. The fabrics feature Microban® antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of stain- …

Products

Lined SEG fabric

February 1, 2018

Fisher Textiles has introduced a new fabric for soft signage silicone edge graphics and roll-up banner stand applications. GF 4019 Nirvana B.O.B.® is compatible with transfer dye-sublimation and UV curable printing. The soft knit fabric features a coated printable black back, which provides a built-in liner for finished applications and promotes cost savings in material …

Products

Luxurious boat flooring

January 1, 2018

Infinity Woven Products LLC has introduced new designs to its Pattern Series collections of Luxury Woven Vinyl™ (LWV) flooring to the marine aftermarket. Manufactured and supplied in America, the newest designs are Current, Flax and Abacá, all created on state-of-the-art jacquard looms which manipulate individual yarns to form vibrant woven designs. Infinity’s LWV flooring is …

Products

Protective packaging

January 1, 2018

Cortec® has introduced EcoWeave®, a highly durable tarp-like film that protects expensive, heavy raw metal materials and finished products against corrosion. Made from the same type of woven polyolefin film used to wrap lumber, EcoWeave is tough yet lightweight and versatile. It offers a combination of tear resistance, durability, and VpCI® chemistry that works together …

Products

Colorfast inks

January 1, 2018

Huntsman Textile Effects has introduced a new range of reactive inks that deliver outstanding light- and weather-fastness for digital printing of polyester fibers. TERATOP® XKS HL inks are designed to help mills produce technical textiles with the highest color-fastness performance for the automotive interiors, outdoor furnishings and home textiles industries. Formulated for Kyocera print head …

Products

Durable cushion fabrics

January 1, 2018

Phifer’s new 2018 GeoBella® cushion and Phifertex® sling fabrics lines are marked by water-inspired blues and greens and varied textures. The GeoBella line of high-end, performance cushion fabrics mirrors the comfort of indoor furniture yet has the stability, strength and durability needed for high-traffic applications. Phifertex fabrics for outdoor seating combine clean lines and a …

Projects

Puffy Kachula: multipurpose comfort

February 1, 2018

What do you get when you mix a highly functional outdoor blanket with a puffy jacket? How about a blanket that is fashionable enough to wear as a wrap, yet practical enough to keep you warm and cozy in all kinds of conditions? That’s the idea behind the Puffy Kachula, a new design from Coalatree, …

Projects

Solar jacket charges itself to glow

February 1, 2018

Nick and Steve Tidball, twin brothers and founders of Vollebak, have created a jacket made from material that can be charged to glow in the dark by exposing it to almost any light source. The Solar Charged Jacket stores light to glow in the dark, and protects from driving rain and winds. The company, Vollebak, …

Projects

Exo-skeleton supports overhead work

February 1, 2018

Workers who must raise their arms over their heads for long periods of time know how strenuous it can be. Even though many companies have eliminated long-term overhead work, in some industries it can’t be avoided. To aid workers who deal with this type of manual labor long term, the Hohenstein Institute, Bonnigheim, Germany, has …

Projects

Folded fabric sculpture

February 1, 2018

The London Design Festival is an annual event that promotes London as the design capital of the world. It showcases the exciting and often cutting-edge work of artists, architects and designers at exhibits and installations in locations around the city. The Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design, was the …

Projects

Fabrics that store information

February 1, 2018

One day soon, the most sought-after feature in a new jacket may not be the style, color or its ability to keep you warm—it may be the garment’s unique capability to store information. Researchers at the University of Washington are using off-the-shelf conductive thread to create fabrics and fashion accessories that can store data from security codes …

Projects

Immigration art in Minnesota skyways

February 1, 2018

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. The call to “huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” has been a source of inspiration for people around the world to emigrate for a better life. Artist Nancy Ann Coyne wanted to explore the meaning of home for immigrants in Minnesota. A native New Yorker, Coyne was also …

Projects

Backpack repairs itself

February 1, 2018

What happens if you’re out on the trail and your backpack gets punctured? It’s not a problem if you’re carrying the Wolverine Pack, a utility pack made with a self-healing textile. Developed by Slughaus, a San Francisco, Calif.-based design firm, the Wolverine owes its healing capabilities to FuseFabric™ technology. The regenerative fabric is created using …

Projects

Balloon network provides internet

January 1, 2018

For many, internet access is common and logging in is second nature. But more than half of the world’s population is still without access. Google is committed to remedy this and has developed Project Loon, a network of balloons that can provide internet coverage to people in rural and remote locations. It works like this: …

Projects

The tent roof for cars

January 1, 2018

MINI Cooper owners with the spirit of the open road can carry their tent with them and erect it right on top of the car. Designed by AUTOHOME®, an Italian specialist in automobile roof tents, the Air Top™ Roof Tent works with the MINI Countryman and other models. The beauty of the design is that …

Projects

Helmets that detect concussions

January 1, 2018

More and more evidence is coming to light about the devastating effects of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries suffered during contact sports like football. Sometimes an athlete doesn’t even know he or she had a concussion and continues playing, possibly making injuries worse. To help players and coaches determine injuries in real time, mechanical …