Company News

YKK announces environmental vision

September 23, 2019

YKK Corp. has announced its new YKK Group Environmental Vision 2050, “Towards a brighter future for nature and humanity.” The vision defines the long-term direction for environmental initiatives that YKK must take to realize a higher level of environmental management. Issues identified in the vision were gathered during workshops conducted with employees and from results …

Company News

NILIT embraces social responsibility

September 20, 2019

As a leader in premium Nylon 6.6, NILIT has taken significant measures to strengthen its corporate social responsibility position over the last three years. The company examined its products and manufacturing facilities, and conducted complete life cycle assessments to ensure that its policies and procedures fully safeguard employees and the communities in which it operates. …

Company News

Mount Vernon FR expands

September 19, 2019

In response to increased demand for its flame-resistant products, Mount Vernon FR is expanding operations at its Trion, Ga., facility. The additional 4,500 square feet of production space will be home to new state-of-the-art FR treatment equipment that will increase Mount Vernon FR’s production and finished fabric capacity by 20 percent. The project will be …

Company News

MMI acquires Competition Textiles

September 18, 2019

MMI Textiles Inc., a diversified supplier of fabrics, trims, hardware and other notions, has acquired the assets of Competition Textiles. Competition Textiles is also a woven fabric converter, as well as an importer of fabrics, making this acquisition an enhancement of MMI’s existing stock line. Mike Wire, the former owner of Competition Textiles, will stay …

Company News

Milliken joins PCIAW

September 17, 2019

Milliken & Co., a leader in performance and protective textiles, has joined the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW), an association created to strengthen the influence of the clothing industry through collaborative leadership and strategic advocacy. Milliken will partner with the organization to sponsor the 2020 PCIAW Summit and Awards, to be held in London. …

Company News

KE launches new website

September 16, 2019

KE, a leading company in the outdoor industry, has launched a new website, www.keoutdoordesign.com, to communicate and interact more effectively with its customers. Immediate and intuitive browsing for mobile and desktop versions will offer in-depth information about KE products. Available in six languages, the website enhances browsing and exploration of its contents. Applications and references …

Company News

Teijin joins climate consortium

September 16, 2019

The Teijin Group has joined the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Consortium, an initiative supported by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Financial Services Agency and Ministry of the Environment. The TCFD issued its recommendations for voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures by companies in June 2017, creating momentum toward the action for …

Industry News

Sattler hires Tombuelt

September 13, 2019

Sattler Corp., a division of The Sattler Group, Austria, has named Ulrich Tombuelt as CEO. Tombuelt has many years of executive management experience in the textile industry in the U.S. and Europe. Located in Hudson, N.C., Sattler Corp. is known for its high-tech fabrics.

Industry News

Shannon named president of STA

September 12, 2019

Matt Shannon of Greenwood Mills, Greenwood, S.C., has become the next president of the Southern Textile Association (STA). The change in leadership happened at the 111th annual STA meeting, July 22-24, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Industry News

Von Maubeuge wins ASTM award

September 11, 2019

ASTM International’s committee on geosynthetics presented its Award of Merit to Kent von Maubeuge, director of corporate identity and corporate communication and senior product manager with NAUE GmbH & Co. KG in Espelkamp, Germany. Von Maubeuge was honored for outstanding service and for the advancement of standards development in the area of geosynthetic clay liners.

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. …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2019 Early Bird Rates End June 26

June 19, 2019

For Immediate Release June 18, 2019 PR Contact Christian Weiland 651 225 6916 caweiland@ifai.com   IFAI Expo 2019 takes place Oct. 1-4 in Orlando, FL, USA. The Early Bird Rate deadline is approaching fast, and those who wish to save on their Expo registration must do so by June 26. This year’s Expo is held …

Expo News

2018 Outstanding Volunteer Awards presented at IFAI Expo

October 18, 2018

At the annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2018 in Dallas, Texas, IFAI presented this year’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards, to people who generously gave of their time by serving on different boards, task forces and committees, judging competitions and providing education and leadership to others in the industry. The Outstanding Volunteer Award program was developed in …

Expo News

Mary Hennessy: IFAI’s newest Honored Life Member

October 18, 2018

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, at IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo in Dallas, Texas, association leaders announced that Mary Hennessy had been given Honored Life Member status for her many years of service to IFAI and, most notably, for her leadership as president and CEO of the association for the six years before her retirement …

Expo News

2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

The Fabric Structures Association (FSA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition awards. The winners were announced at IFAI Expo 2018, held Oct. 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. First Place Rafael Dias Simoes, Kevin Barthelmebs and Fabien Burgeat from ENSAVT University won …

Expo News

2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

Advanced Textile Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently selected the winners of the 2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition. The awards were announced during IFAI Expo 2018, held in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 15-18. First Place First-place honors went to J. Walter Lee, Stephanie Wang and Caroline …

Expo News

Small shops: Tips for shortening your lead times

October 17, 2018

Torey Heinz, of Teagles Consulting, has a background in small manufacturing jobs shops. This gives him a good sense of how poor workflow and other issues can affect a small shop’s lead times. Shortening lead time is important, Teagle told participants at his Oct. 17 Expo session, because shorter lead times mean increased sales and …

Expo News

Shade sails clinic

October 17, 2018

On October 17 at IFAI Expo 2018 in Dallas, Texas, Brydon Roe from Shade Sails Canada Inc., Revelstoke, British Columbia, led a shade sails campfire session where he shared his business’s top dos and don’ts for installing shade sails. When it comes to shade sail fabric options, Roe recommended polyester, Commercial95 (or a mid-grade shade …

Expo News

The right technology can save you money

October 17, 2018

Trying to figure out which technology can save a business money can be confusing given all the options available. In his Oct. 17 Expo session, “Using Technology to Improve the Bottom Line,” Mark Stiver, manager of ecommerce, strategy and analytics for Trivantage, gave a high-level view of the primary types of technology available to specialty …

Expo News

Testing basics provide key communication points on textile products

October 17, 2018

When you plan to sell a textile product, there are numerous reasons to test it before taking it to market. Many of those testing results tell you what you can ultimately communicate to others about your product, and what they can expect of your product. Dr. Emiel DenHartog, North Carolina State University, College of Textiles, …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

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

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

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

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 …

Feature Members only content

Prepare now for a future disaster

August 1, 2019

by Jeff Moravec Although extreme events such as fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters were once considered rarities, they are becoming more common. Business owners need to ask themselves how they would survive such an ordeal—and what they need to do to prepare for the possibility.  “Don’t think it can’t happen to you,” says Randi …

Exhibitor Product Preview

Expo 2019 Exhibitor Product Preview

July 1, 2019

Your first look at the new products and value-added services waiting for you on the show floor at IFAI EXPO 2019 in Orlando, October 1–4. This fall, hundreds of exhibitors will bring you the latest products and information from the entire textile supply chain, from fibers to fabrics to shade systems; from state-of-the-art equipment and …

Feature

Animal care and protection

July 1, 2019

As awareness heightens over the contribution that pets and other animals make to our lives, more attention is being paid to their comfort and well-being. by Pamela Mills-Senn Nobody ever really thinks about how swimming pools might affect frogs, toads, snakes, squirrels, mice and other small critters. Rich Mason, owner of Crownsville, Md.-based FrogLog®, didn’t …

Feature

A bright future: fabrics that generate electricity

July 1, 2019

Pvilion’s Colin Touhey is working to forge strategic partnerships to integrate photovoltaic technology into all kinds of fabric products.  by Jill C. Lafferty Every time you are building what you think is a one-off project, you’re probably going to do something similar a second time, a third time, a hundredth time,” says Colin Touhey, CEO …

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 …

Awnings & Shades Members only content

Wholesale Shade introduces Shade Sail University

May 10, 2019

Wholesale Shade, a premier shade sail fabricator, has developed a comprehensive guide for the shade sail industry. Covering design, selling, installation and more, this guide is a must-have for anyone looking to get into the shade business or to train new employees. It includes standard industry forms and a glossary of terms.  A redesigned website …

Advanced Textiles

The protective textiles market

May 1, 2019

Advanced textiles sector participants can benefit from strong growth predictions.  by Seshadri Ramkumar The protective textiles sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4 percent, according to a recent report by Leeds, U.K.-based WTiN Intelligence Service. Earlier estimates by other market survey agencies, such as Grand View Research, estimated the annual growth …

Company News

YKK announces environmental vision

September 23, 2019

YKK Corp. has announced its new YKK Group Environmental Vision 2050, “Towards a brighter future for nature and humanity.” The vision defines the long-term direction for environmental initiatives that YKK must take to realize a higher level of environmental management. Issues identified in the vision were gathered during workshops conducted with employees and from results …

Company News

NILIT embraces social responsibility

September 20, 2019

As a leader in premium Nylon 6.6, NILIT has taken significant measures to strengthen its corporate social responsibility position over the last three years. The company examined its products and manufacturing facilities, and conducted complete life cycle assessments to ensure that its policies and procedures fully safeguard employees and the communities in which it operates. …

Company News

Mount Vernon FR expands

September 19, 2019

In response to increased demand for its flame-resistant products, Mount Vernon FR is expanding operations at its Trion, Ga., facility. The additional 4,500 square feet of production space will be home to new state-of-the-art FR treatment equipment that will increase Mount Vernon FR’s production and finished fabric capacity by 20 percent. The project will be …

Company News

MMI acquires Competition Textiles

September 18, 2019

MMI Textiles Inc., a diversified supplier of fabrics, trims, hardware and other notions, has acquired the assets of Competition Textiles. Competition Textiles is also a woven fabric converter, as well as an importer of fabrics, making this acquisition an enhancement of MMI’s existing stock line. Mike Wire, the former owner of Competition Textiles, will stay …

Company News

Milliken joins PCIAW

September 17, 2019

Milliken & Co., a leader in performance and protective textiles, has joined the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW), an association created to strengthen the influence of the clothing industry through collaborative leadership and strategic advocacy. Milliken will partner with the organization to sponsor the 2020 PCIAW Summit and Awards, to be held in London. …

Company News

KE launches new website

September 16, 2019

KE, a leading company in the outdoor industry, has launched a new website, www.keoutdoordesign.com, to communicate and interact more effectively with its customers. Immediate and intuitive browsing for mobile and desktop versions will offer in-depth information about KE products. Available in six languages, the website enhances browsing and exploration of its contents. Applications and references …

Company News

Teijin joins climate consortium

September 16, 2019

The Teijin Group has joined the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Consortium, an initiative supported by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Financial Services Agency and Ministry of the Environment. The TCFD issued its recommendations for voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures by companies in June 2017, creating momentum toward the action for …

Industry News

Sattler hires Tombuelt

September 13, 2019

Sattler Corp., a division of The Sattler Group, Austria, has named Ulrich Tombuelt as CEO. Tombuelt has many years of executive management experience in the textile industry in the U.S. and Europe. Located in Hudson, N.C., Sattler Corp. is known for its high-tech fabrics.

Industry News

Shannon named president of STA

September 12, 2019

Matt Shannon of Greenwood Mills, Greenwood, S.C., has become the next president of the Southern Textile Association (STA). The change in leadership happened at the 111th annual STA meeting, July 22-24, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Industry News

Von Maubeuge wins ASTM award

September 11, 2019

ASTM International’s committee on geosynthetics presented its Award of Merit to Kent von Maubeuge, director of corporate identity and corporate communication and senior product manager with NAUE GmbH & Co. KG in Espelkamp, Germany. Von Maubeuge was honored for outstanding service and for the advancement of standards development in the area of geosynthetic clay liners.

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 …

Products

Cooler tone

September 1, 2019

Brite White is the latest color addition to the SheerWeave® Style 2500/2410/2390/2360 line of sun control fabrics. Brite White is a much cooler tone than the existing Oyster and complements a more modern design scheme. The lightweight fabric provides the broadest range of performance in a non-directional, full basketweave construction. An alternative to solar screening, …

Products

Sporting ten new colors

September 1, 2019

With 10 new vibrant colors, Champion MVP 14 athletic wall pad vinyl is stocked for immediate shipment in 28 popular colors that accommodate virtually all specified colors used in schools, universities, sports venues and fitness centers throughout the United States. The PVC vinyl material has a leather grain emboss with the necessary FR treatments to …

Products

Universal take-up system

August 1, 2019

ReelPRO V2™ is an easy to install, easy to use universal take-up system for wide-format printers and laminators, allowing users to improve efficiency when printing vehicle wraps, banners, wallpaper and signs. System allows the user to operate the printer unattended and automatically shuts down when running in manual mode at the end of the print …

Products

Efficient flatbed printer

August 1, 2019

The VersaUV® LEF2-200 20-inch benchtop UV flatbed printer offers features that increase ease of use and efficiency. The printer inherits the VersaUV LEF series’ ability to print full-color graphics and unique textures, including premium finishes, onto an array of materials and objects up to 3.94 inches (100 mm) thick, including leather and other fabric substrates. …

Products

Stylish woven collection

August 1, 2019

Zealand is a woven collection with a rattan-like look and a metallic finish developed for hospitality, contract seating, lounge and casino, and health care applications. The collection is produced with antibacterial and antimicrobial agents and further fortified with a proprietary topcoat, FORBID SRT, which combats blue jean dye transfer, lipstick, Sharpie and pen marks, and …

Products

Automotive leather cutter

August 1, 2019

Digital leather cutting solution Versalis® 2019 improves productivity and nesting efficiency performance with an evolution in equipment and software design based on customer feedback. Cutting precision is improved by a large pressure plate that flattens wrinkles before the start of the cutting operation to deliver a higher level of performance and production standardization. Its ergonomic …

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

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 …

The Greater Good

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth assembles duffel bags for homeless recovery center

December 1, 2018

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth made its second appearance at Expo 2018 held in October in Dallas, Texas. Workers at the live manufacturing booth assembled 74 red duffel bags from start to finish. The bags, made from 14 oz. vinyl, were donated to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a North Texas-based organization devoted to helping …