Company News

Change in ARA Insurance leadership

January 23, 2020

Phil Kelling, president and CEO of American Rental Association (ARA) Insurance, located in Kansas City, Mo., has announced his plan to retire effective Feb. 29, 2020. John Kennedy, CPA, CPL and current ARA Insurance CFO, who joined ARA Insurance in 2017, will assume the role following Kelling’s departure. Kelling has been with ARA Insurance since …

Company News

Gerber opens innovation center

January 23, 2020

Gerber Technology has opened its Gerber Innovation Center in the heart of New York City. The 18,000-plus square foot space will provide visitors with a unique experience that will help them stay connected to the latest trends and technology in fashion and apparel, as well as flexible material processing. In addition to the end-to-end experience, …

New Products

NexGen™ fabric technology: an alternative to PVC vinyl bedding products

January 22, 2020

Seam Seal International, a leading producer of bedding protection products, has introduced a patented, environmentally conscious mattress protector that provides an alternative to PVC vinyl products. Called NexGen™, the innovative new product is now available at major retail stores, with online sales set to launch in spring 2020. Besides providing a full range of hypoallergenic …

Company News

In the news: Global Impex internships offer hands-on training to Minnesota students

January 22, 2020

With workforce issues and the need for skilled employees taking over headlines, there’s a St. Cloud company giving students substantial roles in running a business. Global Impex USA, a textile business started two years ago by Kingshuk (King) Mukherjee, allows students to work on their own time—making sales calls, handling shipping orders and other practical, …

People

Industry veteran Steve Toth retires

January 22, 2020

After 36 years in the textile industry Steve Toth will be retiring from his position at Ennis Fabrics as regional sales manager, specialty division. Over his career, Toth has served on the board for numerous industry associations. Currently, Toth is a director on IFAI’s PAMA board. “From the beginning, Steve’s customer service philosophy and values …

Company News

Service Thread appoints Todd

January 22, 2020

Service Thread, an advanced manufacturer of engineered technical yarns and industrial sewing threads, announces that Sam M. Butler III has appointed Jay Todd as the new chief executive officer. Butler, his colleague and close acquaintance and former chief executive officer of the company will continue as the chairman of the board of directors of the …

Company News

Elevate Textiles commits to sustainability

January 22, 2020

Elevate Textiles has made a commitment to achieve sustainability targets by the year 2025 across its portfolio brands including American & Efird, Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components. The company’s 2025 goals include using at least 80 percent sustainably sourced cotton and 50 percent recycled polyester content to produce its products. It will also …

Company News

Jeff Nichols promoted to operations supervisor for Dunlap’s U.S. Thread division

January 21, 2020

Dunlap Industries Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Jeff Nichols to operations supervisor for its US Thread division. Nichols has worked with US Thread the past 12 years, plus several years part-time during his high school years. He has been an integral part of the company and has performed a variety of responsibilities, …

Company News

BAT opens powder coating plant

January 21, 2020

BAT has inaugurated a new powder coating plant in its Noventa di Piave, Italy, factory. Equipped with the most modern methods of process control, the new plant ensures the enhancement of the products’ qualitative features and limits the risk of environmental pollution. The plant, in which aluminum or galvanized-iron products will be treated, is equipped …

Company News

YKK wins U.S. Good Design® Award

January 21, 2020

QuickFree®, a zipper developed by YKK, has been recognized in the “Personal” category of the 2019 Good Design® Awards. Founded in Chicago in 1950 and presented each year by The Chicago Athenaeum, the award is considered the oldest and most prestigious global awards program for design excellence and design innovation. The award honors both products …

Business

Before selling, determine the true value of your company

January 1, 2020

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

Company News

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

November 19, 2019

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

Business

Customer service is king

November 1, 2019

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

Business

Tax laws can help with startups and expansions

September 1, 2019

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

Business

Common mistakes cost more than you think

July 1, 2019

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

Conference

OFPANZ annual conference, July 25-27, New Zealand

May 22, 2019

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

Business

Merger of Academy Awning and Zebra Awning announced

May 1, 2019

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

Business

Are you ready for the new digital future?

May 1, 2019

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

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 …

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

Leading women: strength, innovation and growth

January 1, 2020

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

Feature

Investing in excellence—and workforce readiness

January 1, 2020

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

Feature

Perfecting sound with acoustical fabrics

January 1, 2020

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

Feature

Shady dealings: screens, shades and shutters

January 1, 2020

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

Feature

Weaving the biomedical structure

December 9, 2019

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

Feature Members only content

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

December 1, 2019

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

Feature Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 …

Advanced Textiles

Making decisions in an uncertain trade environment

January 1, 2020

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

Markets

Better together: Indiana Fabric Solutions’ partnership philosophy

January 1, 2020

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

Advanced Textiles

New test methods are needed for medical textiles

December 1, 2019

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

Markets

Structured symbolism: ‘Wings over Stinson’ custom architecture

December 1, 2019

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

Advanced Textiles

The value and limitations of medical device master files

November 1, 2019

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

Geosynthetics

Geosynthetic applications in flood abatement

November 1, 2019

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

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 …

Company News

Change in ARA Insurance leadership

January 23, 2020

Phil Kelling, president and CEO of American Rental Association (ARA) Insurance, located in Kansas City, Mo., has announced his plan to retire effective Feb. 29, 2020. John Kennedy, CPA, CPL and current ARA Insurance CFO, who joined ARA Insurance in 2017, will assume the role following Kelling’s departure. Kelling has been with ARA Insurance since …

Company News

Gerber opens innovation center

January 23, 2020

Gerber Technology has opened its Gerber Innovation Center in the heart of New York City. The 18,000-plus square foot space will provide visitors with a unique experience that will help them stay connected to the latest trends and technology in fashion and apparel, as well as flexible material processing. In addition to the end-to-end experience, …

Company News

In the news: Global Impex internships offer hands-on training to Minnesota students

January 22, 2020

With workforce issues and the need for skilled employees taking over headlines, there’s a St. Cloud company giving students substantial roles in running a business. Global Impex USA, a textile business started two years ago by Kingshuk (King) Mukherjee, allows students to work on their own time—making sales calls, handling shipping orders and other practical, …

People

Industry veteran Steve Toth retires

January 22, 2020

After 36 years in the textile industry Steve Toth will be retiring from his position at Ennis Fabrics as regional sales manager, specialty division. Over his career, Toth has served on the board for numerous industry associations. Currently, Toth is a director on IFAI’s PAMA board. “From the beginning, Steve’s customer service philosophy and values …

Company News

Service Thread appoints Todd

January 22, 2020

Service Thread, an advanced manufacturer of engineered technical yarns and industrial sewing threads, announces that Sam M. Butler III has appointed Jay Todd as the new chief executive officer. Butler, his colleague and close acquaintance and former chief executive officer of the company will continue as the chairman of the board of directors of the …

Company News

Elevate Textiles commits to sustainability

January 22, 2020

Elevate Textiles has made a commitment to achieve sustainability targets by the year 2025 across its portfolio brands including American & Efird, Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components. The company’s 2025 goals include using at least 80 percent sustainably sourced cotton and 50 percent recycled polyester content to produce its products. It will also …

Company News

Jeff Nichols promoted to operations supervisor for Dunlap’s U.S. Thread division

January 21, 2020

Dunlap Industries Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Jeff Nichols to operations supervisor for its US Thread division. Nichols has worked with US Thread the past 12 years, plus several years part-time during his high school years. He has been an integral part of the company and has performed a variety of responsibilities, …

Company News

BAT opens powder coating plant

January 21, 2020

BAT has inaugurated a new powder coating plant in its Noventa di Piave, Italy, factory. Equipped with the most modern methods of process control, the new plant ensures the enhancement of the products’ qualitative features and limits the risk of environmental pollution. The plant, in which aluminum or galvanized-iron products will be treated, is equipped …

Company News

YKK wins U.S. Good Design® Award

January 21, 2020

QuickFree®, a zipper developed by YKK, has been recognized in the “Personal” category of the 2019 Good Design® Awards. Founded in Chicago in 1950 and presented each year by The Chicago Athenaeum, the award is considered the oldest and most prestigious global awards program for design excellence and design innovation. The award honors both products …

Company News

Ehmke Manufacturing Company announces promotions

January 20, 2020

Ehmke Manufacturing Company Inc., Philadelphia, Penn., has announced the promotion of team members to help implement new business and sales strategies. Glenn Aust will assume the role of president of Ehmke. The role was previously vacant after the retirement of Louis Verna, Jr.in 2001. Aust is responsible for the daily performance of the organization directly …

Products

Dye sublimation printers

January 1, 2020

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

Products

Tolkien pattern polyurethane collection

January 1, 2020

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

Products

Self-adhesive fabric for signage

January 1, 2020

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

Products

Bag closing system

January 1, 2020

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

Products

Outdoor fabric collection

January 1, 2020

High performance solution-dyed acrylic outdoor fabric Sol-Out is offered in solids, stripes and jacquard designs. Made with 100% Durashine™ fiber, the fabric collection is suitable for outdoor applications including furniture, carpets, marine exteriors and awnings. Color brilliancy, durability and performance characteristics of these yarns remain unchanged year after year, as they are manufactured to resist …

Products

Sustainable solution-dyed fibers

January 1, 2020

Fourteen fade-resistant colors comprise CHROMUCH Now, a turnkey program of select solution-dyed fibers made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles that use absolutely no water in the dyeing process. With a palette including mineral grays, sulphurous yellows, deep reds, pitch blacks and popular blues, the fibers’ ChromShield™ Technology allows for magnified color vibrancy and durability, and …

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 …

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 …