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What equipment do you need?

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Michael Richardson, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group

You need a sewing machine for making a 1-inch hemmed, double-stitched border around the edge and the ability to insert grommets in the corners and possibly the top and bottom, depending on width.

Elissa Decker, Moss Inc.

Our fabrics are mainly finished with hot-knifed edging, webbing and grommets and/or Velcro™. Welding may also be used with fabrics and vinyl and makes for a smooth transition, so the main equipment used includes hot knives, industrial-grade sewing machines, grommet machines and welders.

Eric Tischer, Verseidag Seemee®

With regard to edge finishing, depending on the material, you can use welding equipment, either hot air or radio frequency.

Truy Pham, U.S./Canada sales manager, Miller Weldmaster Corp., Navarre, Ohio

Our Impulse Extreme welding machine makes it easy to finish outdoor fabric. It was made to weld large outdoor fabrics, all PVC and vinyl. We introduced the 3.0 version in November. The new machine is pretty much hands-free; it will fold over the exact amount of fabric you need to make a pocket or hem.

Paul McGovern, Mimaki USA Inc.

You need wide-format inkjet printers with dye sublimation ink or pigment solvent. Then you need a heat calendar press. Companies that make them are AIT, Graphics One and Monti Antonio. Glen Raven has the SGS [Sunbrella Graphics System] to bond Sunbrella® fabric with 3M film.

Mike von Wachenfeldt, Glen Raven Inc.

We sell a machine and system called Sunbrella Graphic System, which bonds film to our fabric for long-term, outdoor use. You couldn’t just apply pressure-sensitive film without that process. It would not last, adhere and hold up for long-term exterior applications. For protecting the printed images, alternatives would be using a clear vinyl laminate or liquid lamination for a clear coat on top of a printed image.

Janice Kleinschmidt is a freelance writer and editor based in San Diego, Calif.

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