Industry News

American Silk Mills adds Smith

December 13, 2019

Jeffrey W. Smith has joined American Silk Mills as director of sales. His addition will help fulfill the company’s business devlopment strategy and strengthen its sales capabilities. Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the home furnishings industry.

Industry News

U.S. economy predicted to hold

December 12, 2019

Seventy percent of corporate sales executives participating in a recent study commissioned by the Manufacturers’ Agents National Association are “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the current U.S. economic forecast. “Very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” was the consensus of 71 percent of that group’s forecast for their own firms’ projected revenue and 64 percent for …

Industry News

Rice joins board at Kraig Biocraft

December 11, 2019

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc., a developer of spider silk-based fibers, has selected Jon Rice, the company’s COO, to join its board of directors. The addition of Rice to the board will strengthen the overall skillset, perspective and experience necessary to support and drive growth for all of the company’s stakeholders. Rice’s understanding of Kraig’s operations …

Industry News

U.S. knit fabric market reaches $2 billion

December 10, 2019

According to the report “U.S. Knit Fabric Market Analysis and Forecast to 2025,” by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the U.S. knit fabric market rose 2.6 percent and reached $2 billion in 2018. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs and retailers’ margins. Over the period under review, knit fabric …

Industry News

Tukatech opens virtual fit model library

December 9, 2019

Tukatech has opened its library of over 750 virtual fit models for global brands and retailers to all 3D users in the fashion industry. Regardless of which 3D fashion technology system they use, anyone can access this library, which offers exact replicas of 3D fit models developed from leading brands’ live fit models. Each is …

Industry News

Organic products directory available

December 6, 2019

The Organic Trade Association is unveiling its new Find.Organic business directory, a source for information on U.S. organic products and services. Find.Organic, developed and managed by the Organic Trade Association, helps users search for ingredients and products by name, find organic businesses ranging from certifiers to business consultants and farming suppliers, and locate export-ready U.S. …

Industry News

Egyptian cotton exports peaking

December 5, 2019

Egyptian cotton production and exports are at their highest for five years following a renewed period of emphasis on improving sustainability. The 2018–2019 season saw an increase of 45 percent in exports. The Cotton Egypt Association, the independent body responsible for the global brand, supports the implementation of “The Egyptian Cotton Project,” which includes training, …

Industry News

Michelman appoints Wise

December 4, 2019

Michelman, a developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, has appointed Jason Wise as the company’s new CFO. Previous to joining Michelman in 2012 as its corporate controller, Wise held senior level managerial and auditing positions at global, mid-to-large-sized market companies including Baker Concrete Construction, Sun Chemical, Deloitte and Arthur Anderson.

Industry News

Industrial drying technology saves energy

December 3, 2019

Southern California Gas Co. and Gas Technology Institute have demonstrated a new industrial drying technology that uses less energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money. The technology can be used for drying or heat processing across a broad spectrum of industrial, agricultural and commercial applications, including textiles. The new technology uses up to 65 …

Industry News

En-Fold® provides all-weather solution at new Pier 17 restaurant

December 2, 2019

Pier 17 is a massive 300,000 square foot building at the waterfront along the East River in New York City. Encompassing retail, entertainment, architectural features and seasonal attractions, the area is intended to further the transformation of the Seaport district into a true destination. The new cocktail bar, R17, is located on the building’s rooftop …

Company News

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

November 19, 2019

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

Business

Customer service is king

November 1, 2019

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

Business

Tax laws can help with startups and expansions

September 1, 2019

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

Business

Common mistakes cost more than you think

July 1, 2019

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

Conference

OFPANZ annual conference, July 25-27, New Zealand

May 22, 2019

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

Business

Merger of Academy Awning and Zebra Awning announced

May 1, 2019

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

Business

Are you ready for the new digital future?

May 1, 2019

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

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

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

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 …

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

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

December 1, 2019

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

Feature

Biopolymers: a green alternative to plastic textiles

December 1, 2019

Bio-based materials are an increasingly desirable (and versatile) base for textiles in a variety of markets. by Debra Cobb Within global manufacturing’s quest to become more sustainable, biopolymers are becoming an increasingly important area of development. Polymers are the chains of monomers, or building blocks, that make up many materials, including textile fibers. Biopolymers—created from …

Feature

Polo Custom Products: from concept to production with a full range of services

December 1, 2019

by Rebecca Post Everything is global now. There’s more opportunity to enter into partnerships with your customers now. You can make suggestions that will improve their business, and that’s even expected,” says Kent Lammers, CEO and president of Polo Custom Products. In fact, says Lammers, keeping pace with customer expectations is what transforms clients into …

Feature

Get your glamp on

December 1, 2019

Traditional camping isn’t for everyone; some people prefer a more glamorous way to experience the outdoors. For these folks, glamping offers a way to enjoy nature without any mess, fuss or inconvenience.   by Pamela Mills-Senn Sure, there are some folks who enjoy the pup tent/sleeping bag approach to camping. But others don’t see why spending …

Feature Members only content

The fabrics of modern food production

November 1, 2019

Textile products for the agricultural market help to protect livestock and grain, improve yields, and make a farmer’s job a little easier and more profitable. by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby Call them the unsung heroes of modern food production.Today’s durable agricultural fabrics combat wind, sun, mud, moisture and other threats, helping farmers protect their grain and …

Feature

New board chair Kathy Schaefer: meeting industry challenges

November 1, 2019

New IFAI board chair Kathy Schaefer shares her vision for an organization that helps its members navigate a changing industry landscape. by Jill C. Lafferty I walk into IFAI Expo every year and say, ‘Wow. What’s new?’ There’s always something really ingenious,” says Kathy Schaefer, IFM, chief operating officer of Glawe Awnings and Tents, Fairborn, Ohio. …

Feature Members only content

Finders, keepers: long-term customer loyalty

November 1, 2019

Attracting customers in the market for shade products is one thing; retaining them for future business is another. Managing both objectives requires establishing connections that are meaningful and lasting.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A quick Google search on “connecting with customers” reveals all sorts of advice, usually in the form of the “seven best ways,” or the …

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 …

Advanced Textiles

New test methods are needed for medical textiles

December 1, 2019

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

Markets

Structured symbolism: ‘Wings over Stinson’ custom architecture

December 1, 2019

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

Advanced Textiles

The value and limitations of medical device master files

November 1, 2019

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

Geosynthetics

Geosynthetic applications in flood abatement

November 1, 2019

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

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 …

Industry News

American Silk Mills adds Smith

December 13, 2019

Jeffrey W. Smith has joined American Silk Mills as director of sales. His addition will help fulfill the company’s business devlopment strategy and strengthen its sales capabilities. Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the home furnishings industry.

Industry News

U.S. economy predicted to hold

December 12, 2019

Seventy percent of corporate sales executives participating in a recent study commissioned by the Manufacturers’ Agents National Association are “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the current U.S. economic forecast. “Very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” was the consensus of 71 percent of that group’s forecast for their own firms’ projected revenue and 64 percent for …

Industry News

Rice joins board at Kraig Biocraft

December 11, 2019

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc., a developer of spider silk-based fibers, has selected Jon Rice, the company’s COO, to join its board of directors. The addition of Rice to the board will strengthen the overall skillset, perspective and experience necessary to support and drive growth for all of the company’s stakeholders. Rice’s understanding of Kraig’s operations …

Industry News

U.S. knit fabric market reaches $2 billion

December 10, 2019

According to the report “U.S. Knit Fabric Market Analysis and Forecast to 2025,” by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the U.S. knit fabric market rose 2.6 percent and reached $2 billion in 2018. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs and retailers’ margins. Over the period under review, knit fabric …

Industry News

Tukatech opens virtual fit model library

December 9, 2019

Tukatech has opened its library of over 750 virtual fit models for global brands and retailers to all 3D users in the fashion industry. Regardless of which 3D fashion technology system they use, anyone can access this library, which offers exact replicas of 3D fit models developed from leading brands’ live fit models. Each is …

Industry News

Organic products directory available

December 6, 2019

The Organic Trade Association is unveiling its new Find.Organic business directory, a source for information on U.S. organic products and services. Find.Organic, developed and managed by the Organic Trade Association, helps users search for ingredients and products by name, find organic businesses ranging from certifiers to business consultants and farming suppliers, and locate export-ready U.S. …

Industry News

Egyptian cotton exports peaking

December 5, 2019

Egyptian cotton production and exports are at their highest for five years following a renewed period of emphasis on improving sustainability. The 2018–2019 season saw an increase of 45 percent in exports. The Cotton Egypt Association, the independent body responsible for the global brand, supports the implementation of “The Egyptian Cotton Project,” which includes training, …

Industry News

Michelman appoints Wise

December 4, 2019

Michelman, a developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, has appointed Jason Wise as the company’s new CFO. Previous to joining Michelman in 2012 as its corporate controller, Wise held senior level managerial and auditing positions at global, mid-to-large-sized market companies including Baker Concrete Construction, Sun Chemical, Deloitte and Arthur Anderson.

Industry News

Industrial drying technology saves energy

December 3, 2019

Southern California Gas Co. and Gas Technology Institute have demonstrated a new industrial drying technology that uses less energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money. The technology can be used for drying or heat processing across a broad spectrum of industrial, agricultural and commercial applications, including textiles. The new technology uses up to 65 …

Industry News

En-Fold® provides all-weather solution at new Pier 17 restaurant

December 2, 2019

Pier 17 is a massive 300,000 square foot building at the waterfront along the East River in New York City. Encompassing retail, entertainment, architectural features and seasonal attractions, the area is intended to further the transformation of the Seaport district into a true destination. The new cocktail bar, R17, is located on the building’s rooftop …

Products

Powerful grommet setting

December 1, 2019

The ClipsShop® CS-TIDY-51 Pneumatic Grommet Machine is a compact, portable press that produces 1,895 pounds of force at 87 psi for setting large self-piercing grommets and X-large curtain eyelets including #12 (40 mm I.D. eyelets). Fully portable for attaching metal grommets to oversize fabrications, the robust press weighs only 20 pounds, has a built-in carrying …

Products

Curated marine collection

December 1, 2019

The Marine Upholstery Collection is a curated line of products designed to provide the best selection of fabric options for any marine upholstery project. From new, top-of-the-line fabrics to trusted and proven brands, products included in the collection were specifically chosen because they meet or exceed industry performance standards, including durability, colorfastness, cleanability and comfort. …

Products

Shiny signage

December 1, 2019

With a glossy surface and a pigment-coated white back for complete opacity, GF4022 Nirvana Purity Shine® is a shiny soft signage fabric for frontlit framing systems. The newest addition to the Nirvana® line of fabrics, the product offers a two-in-one solution for dye sublimation and UV-printable fabric with a finished back that eliminates the need …

Products

Recycled thread

December 1, 2019

Industrial sewing thread ECO100 is a line of 100 percent recycled thread including Perma Core® ECO100, Anefil Poly® ECO100 and Wildcat® ECO100. For non-apparel applications, Anefil Poly is a polyester sewing thread in a twisted multifilament construction with good abrasion, chemical resistance and color fastness. Perma Core is a core spun, industrial sewing thread with …

Products

Thread coloring unit

December 1, 2019

The Coloreel thread coloring unit works with any industrial embroidery machine to instantly color a white-base thread during the embroidery process. This enables the user complete freedom to create unique embroideries without limitation in the use of colors. Benefits include a reduction in lead time, no need for large inventories of various colors of thread …

Products

Value-packed inkjet

December 1, 2019

With the color, performance and reliability that new and growing print service providers need, TrueVis SG2 series printer/cutters offer high-quality images, versatility, productivity and ease of use. The series’ technical improvements include an automatic pinch roller system requiring minimal operator intervention, a multiple print function that allows for highly accurate automated printing and cutting without …

Products

Animal-free warmth

November 1, 2019

Featuring the look and feel of natural down feather materials, nDown™ technology matches the performance of down without animal-based ingredients. Consumer benefits include easy home washing (no dry cleaning), no odor and durability. For products including apparel, sleeping bags and home furnishing textiles (blankets, pillows, etc.), the technology offers significant environmental benefits and lower manufacturing …

Products

Efficient printing

November 1, 2019

The SureColor F6370 44-inch dye-sublimation printer features speeds up to 680 square feet per hour, quickly and efficiently producing high-quality images for promotional products, soft signage and cut-and-sew fabrics. Designed with ease-of-use in mind, the intuitive printer comes equipped with new Epson Edge® Print workflow software, featuring an Adobe® PostScript® 3™ engine, as well as …

Products

Recycled biodegradable polyester

November 1, 2019

Designed for the commercial interiors heavy duty upholstery market, Clean Impact Textiles™ represent a step forward in establishing an advanced bicircular economy model for textiles. Under this model, polyester fabric at the end of its useful life can flow through either a biological or technical cycle. This technology is used to create high performance fabrics …

Products

Versatile software

November 1, 2019

With the latest update, Easy Cut Studio software for vinyl-cutting applications supports all the latest models as well as legacy vinyl cutters. Version 4.1.07 features added support for Mutoh Kona and Mutoh SC series cutters, for the Gerber FasTrack cutting plotter, and for Liyu SC-A, TC-A, TC-AA and HC-AF Series machines. The popular sign-making and …

Projects

Fabric transforms camper design

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Germ-fighting fibers keep hospitals clean

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Vest offers inflatable protection for bicyclists

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Sustainable shade technology

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Patio canopy expands church services

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

From waste to waterproof shoe

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Fashion meets furniture with TAPE

April 1, 2019

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

Projects

Hand-woven folk art with character

March 1, 2019

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

Projects

Marathon lamp is a bright idea

March 1, 2019

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

Projects

Animated display for Brussels airport uses kinetic fabric

March 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

Pop-up factory with a purpose

November 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

Pushing the limits

October 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

Making a mark in the community

September 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

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

August 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

A common thread

July 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

Setting a high standard: Owens Corning

June 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

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

May 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

YKK Group’s global commitment to efficiency and sustainability

April 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

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

March 1, 2019

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

The Greater Good

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

February 1, 2019

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