For the birds

Designers and architects with fresh sustainability challenges: how to prevent collisions with birds attracted by light and reflections from glass surfaces. In Minneapolis, Minn., deep in construction of a futuristic-looking new Vikings football stadium downtown, the public is now voicing fears that birds will suffer fatal collisions with completion of the massive glass structure in …

Personal power source

Technology currently under research pursues low-power energy harvesting from the human body—and textiles will have an important role to play. Digital/electronic advancement has changed our culture into one that requires more information with less hassle and more privacy. Wearable electronics are playing a key role in the Internet of Things (IoT) as a platform for …

Snapshot: Awning Paradise

By Sigrid Tornquist Most everyone who has spent a lifetime manufacturing custom products can point to one stand-out project that was the highlight of their career. For Vern Schaefer, that project was manufacturing and installing awnings for the Virgin Grand Resort in the Virgin Islands. The project began as part of a remodeling project for …

Product Test

When the lighting designer for James Taylor’s 2014 tour came to Peter Finder and described his vision for a stage backdrop that used both back and front lighting, Finder suggested something new. He’d recently heard of a process from one of the company’s fabric suppliers, called custom woven jacquard, that allows an image to be …

Q&A with David Snoad

By Sigrid Tornquist Q: How have you helped your staff prepare for their new management responsibilities? A: About a year and a half ago we accessed some government money to put a number of our people through management training. The training was optional but for those who chose to participate, they graduated with Certificate IV …

Snapshot: Client support, on time

By Sigrid Tornquist Among the benefits of creating a process-driven workplace is the ability to turn out high-quality products in a short time frame. And, as a wholesale manufacturer, Pinz Co. Ltd. also values its ability to support its customers as they, in turn, fulfill their clients’ needs. When South East Blinds and Awnings in …

A greener clean

Canvas cleaning companies walk a fine line when it comes to sustainability. The problem isn’t that safe, relatively sustainable cleaners can’t be made; it’s that cleaning is at best a once-a-year job, so customers don’t tend to value “greenness” very highly. They’re not thinking of the total effect of your cleaning business on the environment; …

Infinite possibilities

Seeking sun protection for his patio, Dr. Alan Shargani could not find a solution that was reasonably priced or didn’t take several weeks to make. He ended up designing his own and created Infinity Canopy Inc., a versatile and customizable shade system that is simple to install, affordable and eliminates production time. A chiropractor and …

Stretching to new heights

Stretch fabrics are more popular than ever in the entertainment industry, thanks to the trend toward projecting light and images on three-dimensional forms. But there’s another reason they’re in demand, and it’s a purely practical one. Remember the wrinkle-resistant men’s slacks that used to be advertised in lifestyle magazines? They’re a good analogy for what’s …

Fabric solar house competes at Versailles

This summer, one of the most lavish residences in the world was home to some of the most unique and sustainable dwellings imaginable when the Palace of Versailles hosted the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, a showcase of 20 solar-powered homes built by college students from around the globe. Among the entries was Techstyle Haus, which …