Industry News

Simmons joins Columbia board

December 12, 2018

The board of directors of Columbia Sportswear Co. elected Sabrina Simmons to serve as a director and member of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees effective immediately. The board intends to nominate Simmons for election by the company’s shareholders to a full term as a board member at the company’s 2019 annual meeting …

Industry News

Coated fabrics market growth

December 11, 2018

The ResearchAndMarkets.com report “Coated Fabrics Market by Product (Polymer, Rubber and Fabric-backed wall coverings), Application (Transportation, Protective Clothing, Industrial, Awnings, Roofing and Canopies, Furniture & Seating) and Region – Global Forecast to 2023” is now available. It details the growth rate of the global coated fabrics market, which is expected to grow from $23.93 billion …

Industry News

Zund to open new headquarters

December 10, 2018

Zund America Inc. held a groundbreaking for their new North American headquarters being constructed at Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek, Wis. The 50,000-square-foot space will include offices as well as spaces for product display, customer and employee training, and warehousing for its product and miscellaneous materials that support the installation and servicing of Zund …

Industry News

NCTO endorses U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

December 7, 2018

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) board of directors has endorsed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), according to a December 6th press release. The United States, Canada and Mexico signed the USMCA November 30. NCTO is a Washington, D.C. trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. According …

Industry News

Sonoco completes acquisition

December 7, 2018

Sonoco has completed the acquisition of the remaining 70 percent interest in the joint venture of Conitex Sonoco, a vertically integrated manufacturer of paper-based cones and tubes used in the textile industry. The joint venture was formed in 1998 between Texpack Inc., a Spain-based global provider of paper-based packaging products, and Sonoco’s former North America …

Industry News

Olympic Tent welcomes Linc Aldershof as its national sales manager

December 6, 2018

  Tent manufacturer Olympic Tent, Tacoma, Wash., has hired Linc Aldershof as national sales manager. Aldershof brings 43 years of experience in the tent and industrial fabric industry to Olympic Tent. He will be responsible for developing new business relationships, promoting products and overseeing the sales team. Aldershof is an accomplished sales professional with a …

Industry News

Bowman, Fredrickson, Loyzelle join Sattler

December 6, 2018

Ryan Bowman has been named sales manager, casual furniture division at the Outdura Casual Furniture Division of Sattler Corp. As sales manager, Bowman will serve in a key role for the Outdura sales organization. Steve Fredrickson has been named Sattler sales director, awning and marine division. Previously Fredrickson was with Serge Ferrari as the sales …

Industry News

Silk to launch safe chemistry

December 5, 2018

Silk Inc., a Massachusetts-based natural chemistry company, has raised $30 million in Series B Funding to catapult the company’s innovations into the green chemistry market. The funds will allow Silk to launch its safe chemistry into the trillion-dollar fashion and textile industry and scale up production to meet global demand. Silk’s move into the apparel …

Industry News

Huntsman and Chemours expand alliance

December 4, 2018

Huntsman Textile Effects and The Chemours Company FC LLC have agreed to expand their long-term alliance in the area of durable water repellence (DWR). By combining the strengths of both companies, the expanded cooperation unlocks the full potential of the alliance to develop and deliver new, sustainable DWR solutions and chemistry. It also puts them …

Industry News

Thrace Group commits to sustainability

December 3, 2018

In response to the European Union’s call for voluntary pledges for the uptake of recycled plastics, Thrace Group submitted a pledge to substitute more than 8,500 tons of virgin raw material with recycled by 2025. It represents Thrace Group’s contribution to the goal of significantly increasing the quantity of plastic waste that will be converted …

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 …

Business Members only content

Outside expertise: how to find affordable, professional help when you need it

March 1, 2018

While most owners of small- and medium-size businesses know the details of their companies intimately, there are often highly technical matters of law, accounting, management and marketing that are best handled by outside experts. Attorneys, accountants, and management and marketing advisers have specialized knowledge about niche areas that few business owners can hope to duplicate. …

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. …

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 …

Feature

Long-term clearspan tent installations offer a clear advantage

December 1, 2018

For Jeff McInnes, what better proof of the validity of clearspan structures being used for permanent buildings than having his recently installed aquatic center survive Hurricane Florence in North Charleston, S.C. “We often install permanent structures that sometimes need to be in place for extended durations; anywhere from three to 30 years,” says McInnes, North …

Feature

A dazzling duo: indoor fabrics and lighting

December 1, 2018

Fabrics have always been an essential component in commercial interior spaces. But, historically, their inclusion has been limited to more conventional roles, such as draperies and curtains, or flexible room dividers. With some exceptions, fabrics were not intended to serve as a focus in and of themselves. That has changed—decidedly. Fabrics are now looked to …

Feature

Going the distance: Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business

December 1, 2018

We don’t anticipate that the completion of a project is the last time we talk with our clients,” says Rob Kotowski, owner and president of Lake Shore Boat Top Co., St. Clair Shores, Mich. “We typically follow up with them a couple of weeks after they’ve taken delivery of their projects to make sure they’re …

Feature

A commitment to growth: Don Alhanati uses automation and lean manufacturing to ensure market diversity and growth for CustomFab USA

November 1, 2018

One of the keys to our success is our investment in advanced automated equipment,” says Don Alhanati, founder and president of CustomFab USA in Garden Grove, Calif. “That, and the fact that we have a creative staff. We are always looking at ways to do things smarter.” Alhanati had worked 12 years at a manufacturing …

Feature Members only content

Seeing is believing: make sure your website and social media strategies are smart, engaging, informative, and visually appealing

November 1, 2018

Perhaps your company relies on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity and steers clear of social media. Maybe your marketing efforts emphasize trade shows and real-world connections, quite successfully, rather than online communications. But you did just update your website … five years ago. Things have changed. Now your customers all have a phone in their hands, …

Feature Members only content

Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

November 1, 2018

Everybody knows about inflatables. They’re the bouncy houses rented for kids’ birthday parties, or the big blow-up gorilla that the local car dealership uses to attract customers. The real growth in the use of inflatable technology, however, is in much more serious (and practical) applications—even if they aren’t nearly as visible to most of us. …

Feature Members only content

Managing urban water issues with geosynthetics

November 1, 2018

As more land is lost to urban sprawl, and managing stormwater and wastewater runoff from hard-surface pavements has become a growing necessity, green infrastructure strategies are front and center in the minds of city planners, engineers and others focused on environmental and quality-of-life issues. Green infrastructure (GI) is a sustainable, low-cost and environmentally friendly approach …

Feature Members only content

To sew or to seal: expanding the toolbox

October 1, 2018

To sew or to seal is a question that some fabricators have answered by gearing their offerings toward products that utilize either the former or the latter, but not both. While this kind of specialization can be a viable and lucrative strategy, expanding the toolbox to incorporate both sewing and sealing can often prove even …

Feature Members only content

Performance finishes for performance textiles

October 1, 2018

Perhaps the people who develop textile finishings by coating or laminating could best be described as the unsung problem solvers—superheroes, even—of the textile performance world. Do they wear capes? Maybe they should—textile capes finished with performance-enhancing treatments. Problem solving is the basis of their work, as they treat textiles to enhance performance, in response to …

Feature

Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

October 1, 2018

“We have to be diverse and knowledgeable about the various types of products people are making in the industry,” says Taylor Bigley, co-owner and president of Awnings by Bigley & Hogshire, Hampton Roads, Va. “What’s in demand changes—the pendulum swings each way—and we have to react to it.” The roots of Awnings by Bigley & …

Advanced Textiles

New smart fabrics and protective gear innovations keep first responders safer

December 1, 2018

First responders—from firefighters to law enforcement to emergency medical services technicians—need to be ready to handle any situation they encounter, and they need the appropriate gear to respond quickly to emergencies. Responders draw on their experience to make sound decisions in the chaos of a crime or accident scene, or in the heat of a …

Advanced Textiles

Early adopters affect product development

November 1, 2018

IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & Textiles™” that exists to support those who innovate in the smart textile industry by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director Ben Cooper says, “About 30–40 percent of the [textile] industry has a warm-to-hot interest in innovation—new processes, …

Markets Members only content

A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

November 1, 2018

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

Markets Members only content

Basic training principles for new and long-time tent installers

October 1, 2018

Labor is a problem everywhere, with tent rental companies experiencing constant turnover and the need to train new installers. Desperate to fill out their crews, tent renters will often send new employees on the road for installations right off the bat, with training coming on the job from long-time employees. But just because a crew …

Advanced Textiles

Incorporating new materials into composites

October 1, 2018

In material science, strength alone is often found to have its limitations; a combination of hard and soft, rigid and flexible is an area of increasing interest for a wide range of applications from construction, to sports equipment, to protective apparel. Composites bring together two or more materials to provide one that has novel features, …

Markets Members only content

Recommended fabric cleaning products

September 1, 2018

It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do all the cleaning and maintenance,” says Marianne Iosso, vice president of Iosso® Products of …

Advanced Textiles

Textile-based robots

September 1, 2018

A Harvard collaboration develops soft, wearable robotics for hands. Soft, wearable robotics is an emerging field that looks at methods of enabling functional, powered support to assist human movements using lightweight, low-profile and flexible materials such as textiles. A diverse team of researchers in the Harvard Biodesign Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired …

Markets Members only content

Prototypes and progress: The problems of today are the products of tomorrow

August 1, 2018

  Good companies allocate time, energy, money and resources to the art of product development. Why? Because the products of tomorrow can’t be developed without working through the problems of today. Whether you’re doing product research and development for your own products or you’ve been hired by a customer to conduct the work, there’s a …

Advanced Textiles

Textile-based bio materials mend bodies

July 30, 2018

Textile-based biomaterials, or biotextiles, have the longest history in the field of biomaterials. In ancient China and Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C., natural fibers such as linen, silk, bark, horsehair and dried guts were used as suture materials for wound closure. The introduction of steel wire and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon …

Markets Members only content

Future architecture: Nicholas Goldsmith and the journey from mass to membrane

July 1, 2018

Nicholas “Nic” Goldsmith, FAIA, has been a major player for more than 40 years in the development of fabric architecture in North America and around the globe through his leadership of the innovative architectural/engineering firm FTL Design Engineering Studio, based in New York City. I’ve known Nic for more than 20 of those years, and …

Industry News

Simmons joins Columbia board

December 12, 2018

The board of directors of Columbia Sportswear Co. elected Sabrina Simmons to serve as a director and member of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees effective immediately. The board intends to nominate Simmons for election by the company’s shareholders to a full term as a board member at the company’s 2019 annual meeting …

Industry News

Coated fabrics market growth

December 11, 2018

The ResearchAndMarkets.com report “Coated Fabrics Market by Product (Polymer, Rubber and Fabric-backed wall coverings), Application (Transportation, Protective Clothing, Industrial, Awnings, Roofing and Canopies, Furniture & Seating) and Region – Global Forecast to 2023” is now available. It details the growth rate of the global coated fabrics market, which is expected to grow from $23.93 billion …

Industry News

Zund to open new headquarters

December 10, 2018

Zund America Inc. held a groundbreaking for their new North American headquarters being constructed at Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek, Wis. The 50,000-square-foot space will include offices as well as spaces for product display, customer and employee training, and warehousing for its product and miscellaneous materials that support the installation and servicing of Zund …

Industry News

NCTO endorses U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

December 7, 2018

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) board of directors has endorsed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), according to a December 6th press release. The United States, Canada and Mexico signed the USMCA November 30. NCTO is a Washington, D.C. trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. According …

Industry News

Sonoco completes acquisition

December 7, 2018

Sonoco has completed the acquisition of the remaining 70 percent interest in the joint venture of Conitex Sonoco, a vertically integrated manufacturer of paper-based cones and tubes used in the textile industry. The joint venture was formed in 1998 between Texpack Inc., a Spain-based global provider of paper-based packaging products, and Sonoco’s former North America …

Industry News

Olympic Tent welcomes Linc Aldershof as its national sales manager

December 6, 2018

  Tent manufacturer Olympic Tent, Tacoma, Wash., has hired Linc Aldershof as national sales manager. Aldershof brings 43 years of experience in the tent and industrial fabric industry to Olympic Tent. He will be responsible for developing new business relationships, promoting products and overseeing the sales team. Aldershof is an accomplished sales professional with a …

Industry News

Bowman, Fredrickson, Loyzelle join Sattler

December 6, 2018

Ryan Bowman has been named sales manager, casual furniture division at the Outdura Casual Furniture Division of Sattler Corp. As sales manager, Bowman will serve in a key role for the Outdura sales organization. Steve Fredrickson has been named Sattler sales director, awning and marine division. Previously Fredrickson was with Serge Ferrari as the sales …

Industry News

Silk to launch safe chemistry

December 5, 2018

Silk Inc., a Massachusetts-based natural chemistry company, has raised $30 million in Series B Funding to catapult the company’s innovations into the green chemistry market. The funds will allow Silk to launch its safe chemistry into the trillion-dollar fashion and textile industry and scale up production to meet global demand. Silk’s move into the apparel …

Industry News

Huntsman and Chemours expand alliance

December 4, 2018

Huntsman Textile Effects and The Chemours Company FC LLC have agreed to expand their long-term alliance in the area of durable water repellence (DWR). By combining the strengths of both companies, the expanded cooperation unlocks the full potential of the alliance to develop and deliver new, sustainable DWR solutions and chemistry. It also puts them …

Industry News

Thrace Group commits to sustainability

December 3, 2018

In response to the European Union’s call for voluntary pledges for the uptake of recycled plastics, Thrace Group submitted a pledge to substitute more than 8,500 tons of virgin raw material with recycled by 2025. It represents Thrace Group’s contribution to the goal of significantly increasing the quantity of plastic waste that will be converted …

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 …

Products

Slide-in-wire canopy

July 1, 2018

The patented Infinity Canopy is a dynamic and versatile slide-on-wire canopy. Its modular design allows it to adapt to any space, be configured in one or multiple colors, and change within minutes to create new designs and patterns—even on existing pergolas. It uses readily available parts and shade panels, which eliminates production time and simplifies …

Products

Wider IFR canvas

June 1, 2018

Gerriets IFR Super Canvas CS is a 40-foot-wide inherently flame-retardant (IFR) canvas woven from high-quality Trevira CS polyester. This means 40-foot-high seamless cycloramas, drops and projection surfaces are now available in a heavy-duty IFR material. The canvas allows even the largest theaters and opera houses to have seamless IFR soft goods with a long working life …

Projects

Motorized shades for customer comfort

December 1, 2018

People often agree that a meal tastes better outdoors. That’s why restaurant patios never go out of style. Not only is it enjoyable for patrons, the restaurant benefits from a larger service area with more tables. Princi Italia, a casual dining spot in West Plano, Texas, is one of three locations owned and operated by …

Projects

Washing bag fights plastic pollution

December 1, 2018

The millions of tons of plastic pollution that end up in the oceans and other waterways each year is quickly becoming a global crisis. One of the culprits is clothing made from synthetic textiles. With each laundering, numerous small plastic fibers make their way from the washing machine down the drain and into oceans, lakes …

Projects

Tuft love for natural carpets

December 1, 2018

Industrial textile designer Liset van der Scheer enjoys the challenge of taking traditional materials and using them in an innovative way. For a recent collection of carpet and poufs for Casalis, a Belgian designer and producer of contemporary interior textiles, van der Sheer explored the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. As she imagined the …

Projects

Heat-conducting graphene jacket

December 1, 2018

Part jacket. Part science experiment. That’s how the makers of a new graphene-coated jacket describe their garment. Only a single atom thick, graphene is invisible to the naked eye. It’s lightweight, highly conductive, and is the strongest material known to humankind. But graphene also comes with challenges. It’s hard to work with and very expensive …

Projects

Parachute system ensures safe landings for astronauts

December 1, 2018

What does it take to get astronauts home safely from a deep-space mission as their crew module hits the earth’s atmosphere and slows from 20,000 mph to a mere 325 mph? A strong, agile parachute system. NASA has been testing such a system for the Orion spacecraft. It consists of 11 parachutes, including three main …

Projects

Soft and flexible fabric generates electricity

November 1, 2018

What if your favorite shirt could also power your digital watch? Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have created a woven fabric that generates electricity when stretched or exposed to pressure. Working in cooperation with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and the research institute Swerea IVF, researchers Anja Lund and Christian Müller …

Projects

Light-filtering awnings enhance a view

November 1, 2018

It’s all about the view when your apartment is located in the town of Teramo on the slopes of Italy’s Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines range. Panoramic ceiling-to-floor windows installed in each room take advantage of the landscape. There’s only one problem: All that spectacular scenery and light also comes with the …

Projects

Tropical greenhouse housed under ETFE dome

November 1, 2018

Imagine entering a tropical utopia where the weather is always a perfect 82 degrees and a beautiful setting of flowers, lush greenery, ponds, waterfalls, butterflies, birds and other creatures awaits. This environment isn’t just a dream. Plans are in development to build the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under a single dome in the Pas-de-Calais area …

Projects

Ultra-sustainable electric car uses biological materials

November 1, 2018

The mantra, “reduce, reuse, recycle” has been taken to a new level by students at Netherlands Eindhoven University of Technology. They developed an ultra-sustainable electric car that gets a remarkable 744 miles to the gallon. The students considered the environmental impact of every aspect of the automobile, including production, consumption and recycling, in order to …

Projects

Patch offers gear-repair on the go

November 1, 2018

It happens when you least expect it. That new down vest or cozy sleeping bag catches on something and suddenly it’s ripped. Repairs can be costly and time consuming. The common “duct tape” patch doesn’t quite cut it. That was the thinking of Kelli Jones, an active outdoorswoman who wanted to find a better and …

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 …

The Greater Good

Haartz Corporation’s community involvement goes deep

July 1, 2018

Many mission statements of companies claim that part of their corporate responsibility is to support the communities where their employees work and live. Often, this means making a donation to a worthy cause.                 But at the Haartz Corporation, a world leader in convertible toppings and interior surface …

The Greater Good

Service Thread believes that business success and community success go hand in hand

June 1, 2018

When it comes to serving the community, no need is too great or too small for Service Thread, a Laurinburg, N.C.-based designer and developer of engineered yarns and sewing threads. “We usually try to participate in everything,” says Hope Dohogn, human resources manager. “It’s very rare that we would say no.” Whether that need is …

The Greater Good

Ascend Performance Materials supports its employees and communities

May 1, 2018

After a tornado outbreak swept through northern Alabama in 2011, Ascend Performance Materials LLC sprang into action. The Houston, Texas-based company provided housing for employees from their Decatur facility who lost everything, and volunteers from the company helped with cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Out of that tragedy, it founded the Ascend Cares Foundation to support …

The Greater Good

Supporting marine conservation one product at a time

April 1, 2018

Every year more than eight million tons of plastic go into the oceans. Animals are threatened by harsh oil spills, garbage and other debris that invades their habitats; the trash is killing off entire ecosystems and species. This is why www.MarineVinylFabric.com is changing the way businesses can help change the world. David Goldman, founder and …

The Greater Good

Globe Manufacturing Company helps volunteer fire departments stay safe

March 1, 2018

Many fire departments across the U.S. are under-funded and volunteer-based. This lack of funding often means many firefighters lack the needed on-scene safety equipment. In response, the world’s leading manufacturer of protective clothing for firefighters is putting its expertise and resources to good use. Globe Manufacturing Company LLC, Pittsfield, N.H., recently awarded 13 volunteer-run fire …