Industry News

Funding innovation: the Rhode Island Advanced Materials Innovation Center

October 11, 2019

Governor Gina Raimondo recently joined with University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley to announce $1 million in funding for the creation of the 401 Tech Bridge, the Rhode Island Materials Innovation Center. Industry partners will be able to work in the 401 Tech Bridge Center with the University of Rhode Island and entities …

Industry News

New management at Pelican Products

October 11, 2019

Pelican Products Inc. has promoted Michael Bubica to director of supply chain and inventory performance. In this role, he will work closely with sales, product management and customer service teams to better understand demand and align supply and distribution planning to meet customer needs and Pelican’s business objectives. Pelican has also hired Frank Gennaco as …

Industry News

Unifi appoints Creaturo

October 11, 2019

Unifi Inc. has appointed Craig A. Creaturo as executive vice president and CFO. He has more than 15 years of experience as an executive leader for finance and accounting teams at businesses with complex manufacturing and global operations.

Awards

Cloud ceiling

October 10, 2019

2019 IAA Outstanding Achievement Award The client wanted to create a more enclosed luxury retail space while retaining a view of the iconic domed roof of the O2 London, one of the largest tensile fabric structures in the U.K. The result was a stunning suspended ceiling system made of 256 fabric fins set 1250 mm …

Awards

Quiet Critters

October 10, 2019

2019 IAA Award of Excellence The eight 5-foot by 8-foot sound-absorbing “Acoustical FireFlys” that float above the Patten Free Library teen area allow a lively range of programming to take place, including films and maker workshops, without disturbing other library patrons. The new teen area has a distinctive high ceiling and a curved outer wall …

Industry News

Ayala named Aurora president

October 10, 2019

Marcia Ayala has been promoted to president of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc., a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Meridian Industries. Ayala, who started at Aurora in 2006 as director of research and development, was promoted to vice president of research and development in 2014 and promoted again to company vice president in 2015. She played a …

Industry News

Wyman named AATCC EVP

October 9, 2019

The AATCC board of directors has voted to promote Diana Wyman to the role of executive vice president. Previously, Wyman served as the AATCC technical director. Wyman has a BA in fashion merchandising from Radford University, an MS in Textiles from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Meredith College. The board made this …

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 …

Industry News

Bachansingh receives AATCC award

October 8, 2019

Jessica Bachansingh is the recipient of the 2019 AATCC Outstanding College Graduate Award. Bachansingh was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors for an outstanding graduating senior from their respective universities. She attends Florida State University and will be graduating with a retail merchandising and product development major along with …

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 Members only content

Merger of Academy Awning and Zebra Awning announced

May 1, 2019

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

Business

Are you ready for the new digital future?

May 1, 2019

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

Conference

Women in Textiles Summit 2019

March 27, 2019

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

Business Members only content

Strategies that can change the workplace and workforce

March 1, 2019

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

Business Members only content

How to solve the labor shortage

January 1, 2019

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

Business

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

November 1, 2018

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

Business Members only content

Tax law changes make adding equipment and vehicles more affordable

September 1, 2018

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

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

Long-term growth: The right equipment, the right software, the right employees

October 1, 2019

At each step along the supply chain, customers demand quality, efficiency, flexibility and speed.  The right kind of equipment, with the right kind of software and the right kind of operator, can lead to long-term growth.  by Maura Keller Today’s consumer expects faster turnaround times and custom quality at low prices, which means that manufacturers …

Feature

The state of sustainability: textile companies work to give themselves an eco-friendly edge

October 1, 2019

As climate change and pollution concerns remain at the forefront of public attention, textile companies work to give themselves an eco-friendly edge.  by Jeff Moravec A decade ago in this magazine, the growing attention to sustainability in the textile supply chain was a hot topic. Guess what? It still is. This doesn’t mean the industry hasn’t …

Feature

Power Grab: Smarter, stronger and more powerful textiles

October 1, 2019

Today’s textiles are stronger, smarter and more powerful than ever, delivering an array of functionalities that open up a world of opportunities for industries across the board.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A determined effort is underway to devise highly functional fabrics and textile-based products. Examples of powerful innovations run the gamut from electrically conducting materials to …

Feature

Tom Auer works to keep Bearse USA—and the U.S. sewing industry—on a firm foundation

October 1, 2019

Tom Auer strives to put Bearse USA—and the U.S. sewing industry—on a firm foundation.   by Jill C. Lafferty I believe in the philosophy of partnership with my customers,” says Tom Auer, president of Bearse USA, a Chicago., Ill.-based contract sewer of bags and other non-apparel items. “I think that their success is what we should …

Feature

Challenge accepted: Pete Mogavero and Anchor Industries are keeping craftsmanship up to date

September 1, 2019

Pete Mogavero leads the team at Anchor Industries to meet today’s market demands for quality, craftsmanship, speed and customization. by Jill C. Lafferty Anchor is 127 years old, and we have remarkable traditions here,” says Pete Mogavero, president of Anchor Industries Inc. “I’ve been here for 38 years; we’re a fifth-generation family business in stunning …

Feature Members only content

The changing automotive market

September 1, 2019

Although the automotive industry is subject to ups and downs, one fact remains steady: It’s an attractive market for specialty fabrics by Pamela Mills-Senn In an ever-changing world, there are few constants. But one constant is this—people love their cars. They may grumble about traffic. They may rend their garments over breakdowns and costly repairs. …

Feature Members only content

Tactical advantages in the military market

September 1, 2019

Department of Defense contracts can be lucrative, but it takes work  to get in—and to stay in. by Jeff Moravec Any company in the specialty fabrics industry would be interested in doing business with a client that has a budget of more than $700 billion, right? You’d think so. But big numbers can come with …

Feature Members only content

Surrounding the market—and finding (or creating) new ones

September 1, 2019

You can find and create new profit centers with existing technology, products and capabilities—and with new technology, innovation and creativity. Don’t let the details hold you back.  by Laurie F. Junker Today’s marketplace is dynamic, competitive and sometimes confusing—but still full of opportunity. Choosing a path can be both daunting and potentially expensive. Smart business …

Feature

Carl Pellegrini’s SeaCanvas: managed growth through quality, creativity and customer focus

August 1, 2019

By building his business slowly, Carl Pellegrini keeps SeaCanvas focused on quality, creativity and customer service. by Jill C. Lafferty Each project we accept is a new chance to make a change in the current design,” says Carl Pellegrini, the owner-operator of custom marine fabrication company SeaCanvas, based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “Let’s say …

Feature Members only content

Textiles team up with technology for smart medical products

August 1, 2019

Technological advances in the medical field are nothing short of mind-blowing. by Pamela Mills-Senn Take operating room (OR) technology. In today’s ORs, one might find an array of smart surgical tools, augmented reality devices and precision robotics that assist surgeons in performing the most complex and exacting of procedures. Patients are greatly benefiting from these …

Advanced Textiles

Committing to e-textile standards

October 1, 2019

The European market influences open international standards for e-textiles.  by Chris Jorgensen In the spring of 2017, companies representing the global e-textiles community formed the IPC D-70 E-Textiles Committee to develop IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries®) international standards for their industry. As word spread about the committee and its activities, the committee roster grew to …

Markets

Selling the energy efficiency benefits of fabric

October 1, 2019

Efforts to better market the energy-saving properties of shade products can help consumers and builders make more informed decisions—and move the industry forward. By Holly Eamon It’s easy for people to agree on the need to better regulate temperatures and air quality—and save money—when heating and cooling homes, offices and everything in between.  To the …

Advanced Textiles

Partnerships make a difference in bringing textiles to market

September 1, 2019

Partnerships along the supply chain support new products and applications.  by Marie O’Mahony British entrepreneur Richard Branson once said, “There are no quick wins in business; it takes years to become an overnight success.” This is certainly true for the development of innovative new textiles. Business owners who succeed in their efforts know that establishing …

Markets

Protecting professionals with slash-resistant clothing

September 1, 2019

Slash-resistant clothing can reduce the risk of knife injuries and lacerations, keeping frontline professionals safer.  By Robert Kaiser Throughout history, people have protected themselves with specially designed and constructed garments. From furs and chain mail to leather, metals and high-tech fabric, human beings have creatively employed a range of materials to protect against injury and …

Advanced Textiles

Soft robotics and shape memory alloys

August 1, 2019

Shape memory alloys are a fit with textile technologies. by Janet Preus What makes a material robotic? According to Brad Holschuh, Ph.D., assistant professor of wearable technology and apparel design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN), the simplest explanation is that it’s a synthetic product with mechanical actuation that can …

Markets

Channeling nature through fabric at Allianz Field

August 1, 2019

Dramatic Allianz Field soccer stadium in Minnesota takes its cues from Lake Superior and aurora borealis. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Soccer is an internationally loved sport for many reasons, but one draw has to be the fluid physicality of the athletes. The new Allianz Field soccer stadium in St. Paul, Minn., reflects this dynamic …

Advanced Textiles

E-textiles in health monitoring

July 1, 2019

Progress, potential and challenges for next-generation applications.  by Debra Cobb Among the many benefits promised by the smart fabric revolution has been the “consumerization of health care.” Wearables are enabling the remote monitoring of a wide range of chronic medical conditions, from diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF) to symptoms of disease, …

Markets

Creativity CUBED

July 1, 2019

Electra’s inventive flat-top temporary fabric structure helps it keep pace with Dubai’s fast-evolving event industry. By Holly Eamon In a world where customers increasingly expect their demands to be met instantaneously, companies that don’t prioritize active listening—or engagement—risk being left behind. Based in the competitive market of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), event and exhibition …

Advanced Textiles

Sustainable infrastructure and construction textiles

June 1, 2019

Infrastructure and construction textiles succeed with a focus on sustainable alternatives. By Seshadri Ramkumar and Marie O’Mahony  Today’s advanced textiles offer new forms for use in infrastructure projects and in building design and construction. These “hidden” textiles may be found in small-scale applications such as home furnishings as well as in huge projects such as …

Markets Members only content

Worth the weight: an invention designed to help one child transformed into a company primed to help everyone

June 1, 2019

By Holly Eamon Whether they’re being touted by a celebrity, promoted by major retailers or recommended by a friend, weighted blankets are the latest must-have household item. But as their transformative capabilities are increasingly introduced to and embraced by medical patients and professionals, their relevance is poised to long outlive similar fads—thanks to the determination …

Industry News

Funding innovation: the Rhode Island Advanced Materials Innovation Center

October 11, 2019

Governor Gina Raimondo recently joined with University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley to announce $1 million in funding for the creation of the 401 Tech Bridge, the Rhode Island Materials Innovation Center. Industry partners will be able to work in the 401 Tech Bridge Center with the University of Rhode Island and entities …

Industry News

New management at Pelican Products

October 11, 2019

Pelican Products Inc. has promoted Michael Bubica to director of supply chain and inventory performance. In this role, he will work closely with sales, product management and customer service teams to better understand demand and align supply and distribution planning to meet customer needs and Pelican’s business objectives. Pelican has also hired Frank Gennaco as …

Industry News

Unifi appoints Creaturo

October 11, 2019

Unifi Inc. has appointed Craig A. Creaturo as executive vice president and CFO. He has more than 15 years of experience as an executive leader for finance and accounting teams at businesses with complex manufacturing and global operations.

Industry News

Ayala named Aurora president

October 10, 2019

Marcia Ayala has been promoted to president of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc., a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Meridian Industries. Ayala, who started at Aurora in 2006 as director of research and development, was promoted to vice president of research and development in 2014 and promoted again to company vice president in 2015. She played a …

Industry News

Wyman named AATCC EVP

October 9, 2019

The AATCC board of directors has voted to promote Diana Wyman to the role of executive vice president. Previously, Wyman served as the AATCC technical director. Wyman has a BA in fashion merchandising from Radford University, an MS in Textiles from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Meredith College. The board made this …

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 …

Industry News

Bachansingh receives AATCC award

October 8, 2019

Jessica Bachansingh is the recipient of the 2019 AATCC Outstanding College Graduate Award. Bachansingh was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors for an outstanding graduating senior from their respective universities. She attends Florida State University and will be graduating with a retail merchandising and product development major along with …

Industry News

Students win AATCC merchandising awards

October 7, 2019

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ (AATCC) student merchandising competition received 32 entries, with 61 students participating from nine colleges and universities. Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing and merchandising by conducting a business model, determining a marketing strategy, and creating merchandising tools and products for an apparel line …

Industry News

Textile dyes market projections released

October 4, 2019

A new report published by MarketsandMarkets indicates that the low cost of manufacturing in countries, such as China, and the high demand for textile dyes in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region as a whole are the key factors driving the demand for textile dyes. The textile dyes market is projected to be worth $10.9 billion by …

Industry News

Removing toxic dyes from wastewater

October 4, 2019

A team of Texas Tech University researchers working in advanced textiles has found a new way to remove toxic dye pollutants from wastewater, and their approach is safer, cheaper and easier than traditional methods. Their results are described in the upcoming cover article of the online journal Particle & Particle Systems Characterization.

Products

Health care textiles with therapeutic designs

October 1, 2019

The Biophilia 2.0 collection of health care textiles includes 10 woven and coated textile designs featuring large gestural motion, geometric shapes and various construction techniques, including printing, yarn floats, embossing and expansive box motions. At the intersection between neuroscience and architecture, the collection offers a mix of hues while staying true to the inspiration source …

Products

Base for smart textiles

October 1, 2019

E-WEBBINGS® e-textiles are designed to serve as a customizable base for a wide range of smart textile applications within the Internet of Things (IoT). The smart textiles serve as the foundation layer to which electronic intercommunicative technology is integrated directly, and allow for smaller final product size, lower weight, optimal user comfort and significant cost …

Products

Newly certified FR fabric

October 1, 2019

Lightweight flame-retardant fabric Odyssey FR has passed California State Fire Marshal Title 19. The product was recently tested by a certified third-party facility and the state of California accepted the results, issuing a certificate under registration number F-28501. Utilizing the same base fabric as the popular Odyssey brand, the FR fabric is 7.25-ounces/square yard, available …

Products

High UV-protection shadecloth

October 1, 2019

Now available from U.S. distributors, Comshade® XTRA offers up to 99.7 percent UV protection. The premium extra heavy-duty knitted HDPE shadecloth is recommended for medium- to large-sized high tensile commercial projects where safety and longevity are critical. The fabric is available in 10 designer colors, including the new colors Aspen, Mushroom and Jade. With a …

Products

Minimal footprint cutting system

October 1, 2019

Available in three new configurations, the latest release of the Eagle-C125 conveyor cutting system features several options aimed to minimize required factory space while maintaining complete cutting automation. With an 8-foot-long, single-frame design in 60-, 72- and 78-inch widths, the system is recommended for companies that need to cut long parts, require continuous conveying or …

Products

Breathable, strong and water resistant

October 1, 2019

Solution-dyed polyester Hydrofend™ balances high water resistance with breathability, letting water vapor out while preventing water from coming in. Applications for Hydrofend include boat covers, boat enclosures, storage covers and furniture covers. To ensure superior performance, the fabric was designed with a tear strength starting at almost 40 pounds warp and fill. Available with a …

Products

Tested marine vinyls

September 1, 2019

Marine vinyls Surf and Bayside are designed to handle the challenges that long exposure to sun and water bring. Both employ Splash construction, a pink-stain resistant vinyl formulation. With UV protection and four-way stretch, the vinyls for boat interiors and exteriors feature a cold crack rating of -25 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,000 hours of exposure …

Products

Colorful architectural shade

September 1, 2019

Architectural shade fabric Commercial DualShade® 350 offers maximum durability and superior dimensional stability achieved through a proprietary knit pattern. The fabric features a single color on one side and a complementary color on the opposite side. These two different color yarns combine to form a single, dual-colored fabric that produces a shimmery, iridescent effect in …

Products

Silky endurance

September 1, 2019

EnduroSilk™ combines the look and feel of silk with endurance in the inaugural collection of this indoor/outdoor fabrics brand. The fabric is bleach-cleanable, stain-resistant, lightfast and durable in abrasion. Inspired by the classic and athletic beauty of sailing and equestrian sports, EnduroSilk celebrates vibrant color reminiscent of jockey silks and regatta flags in its Thoroughbred …

Products

Scalable print solution

September 1, 2019

The Alpha Series 5 190 and 330 printing systems meet the increased demands of textile digital printing. Featuring improvements in material handling, efficiency and material diversity, the technology platform offers sustainable, flexible and scalable solutions, even enabling waterless one-step production with Durst Advanced Digital Pigment ink. The printers, including dual roll, are equipped with Durst …

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

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 …

The Greater Good

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

January 1, 2019

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