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Innovation helps fabrics industry expand

March 1, 2009

Processes that spark innovation are just good business By Barb Ernster Most people agree that innovation is the key to growth and expansion, but some innovative business practices are truly inspired in their creativity and utility. Innovation is a widely used term, but not readily understood, says Louis Foreman, founder of Enventys, a full service …

Eco-friendly WeatherMax withstands environmental elements

Problem: Outdoor performance fabrics must withstand environmental stress, but is there a durable fabric that is also environmentally responsible? Solution: The best way to reduce waste is to design a superior product that lasts. WeatherMax employs advanced UV technology and solution-dyed SaturaMax yarns to maintain its rich color and dimensional stability for a minimum of …

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Commuter train’s 10th anniversary features vinyl wrap

The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE®) dressed up in party gear for its 10th year of passenger rail service between Stockton and San Jose, Calif. Wrapped Graphics of Stockton wrapped the entire train in printed vinyl, showing off ACE’s commemorative logo and inviting slogan in bright blues, reds and yellows. Wrapped Graphics used an HP® 9000 …

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Green Bag Artist Series added to line of totes

Banner Creations Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., added the Green Bag Artist Series to its line of Green Bag earth-friendly cloth bag totes. Work by Roseville, Minn., watercolorist Richard Graves and Minneapolis artist Kristin Wallner are the first to be featured. The bags are made from Ecophab fabrics, which are manufactured from recycled soda bottles. The print …

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Forces drive growth of fabrics for trade show graphics

By Tim Greene A number of forces are driving growth of fabrics for trade show graphics. InfoTrends conducts end-user research among digital wide format printing systems companies and print service providers and found four forces to be among the most prevalent in determining the strength of trade show graphics as a digital print application. The …

Company offers curtain tracks for airplane interiors

Compiled by Juli Case We’ve been asked to repair a curtain, and need some curtain track. The thing is, it’s in an airplane. Where can we buy some? In the United States, materials used in an airplane interior must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. We contacted a number of curtain track suppliers and …

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Awning fabric mirrors appearance of woven fabric

Problem: Woven fabric awnings may lose their water repellency without a periodic chemical treatment, and woven fabrics that require stretch factoring and heat seal seam tape mean longer assembly times and higher labor costs. Solution: Herculite® Natura™ awning fabric is a revolutionary new, dimensionally stable, vinyl composite featuring the look and feel of woven fabric …

Robots to test hazmat gear

Public safety and military personnel don hazmat suits to prevent exposure to deadly chemicals, and can’t afford to think twice about whether those garments provide sufficient protection. The Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Mo., recently received a $26.3 contract from the U.S. Army to put protective gear to the test, using free-standing, two-legged robots that …

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Seiko I expands portfolio

Seiko I Infotech (SIIT), San Diego, Calif., expanded its product portfolio for outdoor graphics. SIIT will not continue the original equipment manufacturer agreement with Hewlett-Packard to develop and market low solvent-based large-format printers for the outdoor graphics printing market. SIIT will provide a wider range of products, not only with its existing technology but with …

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Creating a business plan

By Pat Hayes Whether starting the business by buying it or taking it over from previous owners, I would speculate that the majority of small businesses have only a rough plan on why they are in business or where they plan to take it. I started out with an idea, determination and a prayer. In …

Defining composites

Compiled by Juli Case What is a composite? Technically, a composite is simply a material that is composed of disparate components that are combined in such a way that the finished product has different properties than each component could achieve on its own. Therefore, a vinyl-laminated fabric is a flexible composite. Composites use a textile …

Strong bale tarpaulins at a reasonable price

Problem: Off-the-shelf tarps for covering large stores of hay and straw are relatively inexpensive, but they aren’t very durable. With the high price of hay and straw, a reliable covering is necessary. Solution: The Profitable Farming Company will be launching the Bull Flex, a new line of bale tarpaulins that will augment the company’s current …

New waterproofing technique uses nanofibers on fabrics

Swiss researchers coated polyester fabric with tiny silicone nanofilaments and the result is a whole new level of waterproofing. “The water comes to rest on the top of the nanofilaments like a fakir sitting on a bed of nails,” says Professor Stefan Seeger, University of Zurich, who is leading the effort to create the super-waterproof …

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Sawgrass and Mimaki enter license agreement

Sawgrass Technologies Inc., Charleston, S.C., and Mimaki Engineering Co. Ltd. of Japan have entered into a license agreement under which Mimaki will sell inks for sublimation imaging. Mimaki president Akira Ikeda says, “We intend to offer our own ink technology as a compliment to our printer systems so that customers have bundled solutions.” Mimaki Engineering …

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Neschen launches dye sublimation textile media

Neschen Americas, Elkridge, Md., launched its new and improved dye sublimation textile media. All aspects of the Neschen DirectTex and TransferTex lines have been reviewed in order to achieve the best product versatility, bold color reproduction and sharp image detail for applications including panels, flags and retail displays. Other new products include DirectTex Knit Banner …

TenCate offers Baycor

Compiled by Juli Case. Where can I find the agricultural shade fabric called Baycor? Baycor is now part of the Nicolon family of fabrics from TenCate. The materials are polyolefin, and include woven and knit structures. Contact: SOURCE TenCate Industrial Fabrics North America Juli Case is IFAI’s information and technical services manager.

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Hendee finds new market opportunities

Demand and supply: Chuck Hendee creates products to meet customer needs. By Sigrid Tornquist “In general, I don’t think we’ve ever developed a product—or spent any money to develop one—where there wasn’t an existing demand,” says Chuck Hendee, IFM, MFC, president of Hendee Enterprises Inc. “We respond to needs or inquiries that become obvious in …

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Shade structures help restore city park

Hurricane Katrina’s destructive path along the Gulf Coast took a toll on the City of Lake Charles, La., but a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency helped restore city parks. Shade Systems Inc., Ocala, Fla., a manufacturer of outdoor shade structures, put wind in the sails of the new recreation areas with visually uplifting …

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EPS introduces new product line

EPS-Doublet, Denver, Colo., a manufacturer of custom graphic banners, trade show displays and event signage, rolled out a new product line at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, including Pop-Up displays, expandable banner stands, fabric displays and tri-panel stands. Visit www.eps-doublet.com.

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Shepherd adds new color to PRECISE pigment line

The Shepherd Color Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, added a new color into its PRECISE product line of pigments designed for coloring fibers and films. Yellow 40P140, CI Pigment Yellow 53 is a bright yellow pigment that meets approval for FDA 21CFR 170.39, FDA 21CFR 178.3297, CONEG, RoHS 2000/95/EC, WEEE 2002/96/EC, Toy Safety EN71.3, Council of Europe …

How fabrics can pass NFPA 701

Compiled by Juli Case. Our fabric meets CPAI-84. What do we have to do to it to make sure it passes NFPA 701? Both CPAI-84 and NFPA 701 are methods that assess the flammability of fabric. CPAI-84 is a specification written especially for materials used in tents, whereas NFPA 701 is a more general test …

Jacket features LED light system for safety

[InteractiveWear] Starnberg, Germany InteractiveWear AG provides the technology services again for Italian menswear designer Ermenegildo Zegna with an innovative new product. The two companies previously collaborated on the Solar JKT Jacket in 2008. The Freeway Jacket, part of the spring/summer 2009 collection, is designed to improve safety in urban outdoor travel situations. Integrated into the …

Milliken moves beyond carbon neutral

The Leonardo Academy, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainability among competitive businesses, has certified the global operations of Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., as carbon negative. Reducing its contribution to global climate change has been one of Milliken’s goals, and the Leonardo Academy performed an analysis of the company’s emission inventories, offsets and reduction credits and …

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Companies to give away free heatcutters

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc., Aurora, Ill., has teamed up with HSGM Inc., manufacturer of German-made heatcutters, to give away one hand-held heatcutter each month. The fabric finishing tool model HSG-0 has a retail value of $200. The heatcutter is perfect for finishing polyester fabrics, allowing the user to cut the fabric free hand and …

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Wasatch introduces hybrid screening

Wasatch Computer Technology Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, announces advances in inkjet color separation with its Precision Rosette/Stochastic Hybrid screening, which eliminates the fourth screen or yellow moiré. Wasatch SoftRIP SP users can print yellows and flesh tones without concern about moiré or changing screen angles. Prints made with these separations exhibit the rosette structure …

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Fabric art to be featured at 2010 Winter Olympics

The 2010 Winter Olympics will host world-class athletes and fabric art worthy of the event. By Jake Kulju Janet Echelman likes a good breeze. Her massive fabric sculptures pepper the world—from Phoenix to Portugal, Bombay to Hong Kong—often designed specifically for engaging the wind elements that surround them. Her last project, “She Changes,” a 160-foot-tall …

Manufacturer produces made-for-iPod apparel

[QIO Systems] New York, N.Y., U.S.A. French fashion brand Celio has launched the iPod compatible Celio Club Suit, and Canadian brand Killa has launched a range of hip-hop clothing for fall 2009, both incorporating advanced e-textile technologies from QIO Systems. QIO manufactures, licenses and sells made-for-iPod electronics to apparel manufacturers. The traditionally tailored Celio jacket …

CPSC accredits Hohenstein Institute

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has accredited the Hohenstein Institute as an independent testing laboratory, which entitles the institute to test toys and textiles destined for U.S. markets for compliance with legally set lead limits. The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act 16 CFR Part 1303 requires manufacturers and importers in the U.S. to …

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TruckSkin offers flexibility

TruckSkin is a patented, changeable “second skin” vinyl outerwear for truck bodies using vivid, four-color imaging. Unlike its “rolling billboard” predecessors, TruckSkin offers fleet owners the flexibility to add, remove or change the “skin” as often as they wish. Installations can be completed in less than one hour. TruckSkin, Traverse City, Mich., is privately owned …

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Nilit launches line of recycled yarns

Israel-based Nilit Ltd., a global manufacturer of nylon fibers, has launched a line of recycled yarns produced from a combination of Nilit polymers and polymer waste. According to the company, the development is a breakthrough in yarn engineering and production, as the process involves shortened energy-consuming stages, such as evaporation and reduced pollution. Nilit, which …

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Luxurious marine fabric protects boaters

Sunbrella® Supreme uses a proprietary bonding process that adheres an acrylic fabric for the face of the product to an acrylic flocking for the reverse side, while also creating a waterproof barrier. The result is a marine fabric that protects boaters from rain and spray while offering a luxurious, velour-like feeling inside the cabin or …

Sports bra features heart-sensing technology

[Textronics Inc.] Wilmington, Del.,U.S.A. NuMetrex® by Textronics® has premiered a new seamless control heart-sensing sports bra designed for even greater support during high impact sports. The NuMetrex Heart Sensing Sports Bra features electronic sensing technology integrated directly into the fabric. The textile electrodes are knitted into the bra so they stretch and move, maintaining contact …

MarChem changes name to indicate fabric development

“The coated fabric industry, especially for marine and tent/awning, is trending toward more custom fabrics,” says Alan Prelutsky, vice president of sales and marketing for DASH Multi-Corp., parent company of MarChem Coated Fabrics Inc., New Haven, Mo. MarChem now has a new name, MarChem Custom Fabrics Inc. or MarChem CFI, to signal its resolve to …

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Wall Film used on e-commerce web site

Avery Dennison Graphics & Reflective Products Division’s MPI 2601 Wall Film is used exclusively on the e-commerce web site www.whosyoursuperstar.com. Customers can upload their favorite photos and create wall-sized vinyl murals, printed by FLEET Decal & Graphics, Plymouth, Pa. MPI 2601 Wall Film is removable and safe for use over most paints. The film prints …

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Welding tools feature ergonomic, tapered handles

The new Forsthoff S-line of hand-held, electronic, hot air welding tools from Abbeon Cal Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif., features ergonomic, tapered handles for comfort, with temperature control knobs and power switches conveniently placed at the base of the handles. The motors have an increased carbon life span of more than 1,500 hours. SOURCE Forsthoff

Fabric provides solar heat and glare control

GreenGuard®-certified SheerWeave Infinity starts with a core yarn made from post-industrial waste by-products, but provides the same solar heat and glare control properties of other SheerWeave fabrics, to help conserve heating and cooling energy, harness natural light and maintain interior comfort levels. The fabric is available in nine colors, in width options of 63 inches, …

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State of the Industry 2009: Awnings and canopies

Challenge, opportunity and growth: Our market forecast for manufacturers of awnings. By Jeff Rasmussen In 2008, nonresidential construction amounted to $712.9 billion, 11.8 percent above the $637.5 billion figure for 2007. This helped to offset a weak residential construction market in 2008, which was down 26.8 percent in 2008. The numbers for nonresidential construction continue …

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University claims development of strongest polyester fibers

North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Textiles claims to have developed a new fiber-making process that produces the strongest polyester fibers ever made. The process combines two different polymers using two established processes, but achieves better control of thread line variables, modifying the molecular structure of the polymers to achieve greater strength. NCSU also …

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pHenceit offers outdoor advertising products

pHenceit offers outdoor advertising products for the construction industries, including digitally printable silt fence, and digitally printed shade cloth, PVC perforated vinyl, mesh, vinyl signage and billboard advertising. Visit www.infolink.com.au/c/pHence-it.

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Ultraflex stocks fine European looped carpet

Ultraflex Systems Inc., Randolph, N.J., now stocks an enhanced fine European looped carpet called UltraCarpet Extra, suited for indoor, digitally-printed carpet or floor mats. The white, tufted, pile carpet is made for solvent, eco-solvent and UV inkjet printing. Ink will not scratch off, drying time is minimal and it is an earth-friendly product. SOURCE Ultraflex …

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Xorel Graphic gives wall coverings eco-friendly designs

Xorel Graphic for textile wall coverings, paneling and upholstery offers a new visual vocabulary, with bold new printed designs that radiate through transparent Xorel facades. Distinctive, functional and sustainable, Xorel Graphic is available in two new standard designs and ten colorways, as well as custom colors. The collection is free of PVC, chlorine, plasticizers, heavy …

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State of the Industry 2009: Tent rental

Challenge, opportunity and growth: Our market forecast for tent renters By Jeff Rasmussen In 2008, tent manufacturers, who produce and sell tents to tent rental companies in the U.S. and Canada, consumed 24.3 million square yards of fabric, a 1 percent increase from 2007. For 2009, growth in total fabric consumed will probably be flat, …

Seaman adds state-of-the-art coating line

Richard N. Seaman, president and CEO of Seaman Corp., recently announced that the company has completed the first phrase of its capital investment program with the installation of a $5.5 million state-of-the-art liquid coating line at the Bristol, Tenn. manufacturing facility. The new equipment is intended to improve productivity and coating capabilities, and supports the …

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Museum features inkjet reproductions of portraits

Museum Schloss Rheydt, Mönchengladbach, Germany, has an exhibition on the town’s historic textile industry, including a portrait series of important figures. Only one of the portraits is real; the rest are reproductions printed on Mediatex canvas, manufactured by Junkers & Müllers, headquartered in Mönchengladbach. The original portraits were scanned, printed on Mediatex and finished with …

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Digital print film enhances Sunbrella Graphics System

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics’ new thermal digital print film is an enhancement for its Sunbrella Graphics System (SGS). SGS Thermal Digital Print film is a flexible urethane film that can be digitally printed on most solvent, eco-solvent and UV printers and then applied to Sunbrella and other Glen Raven fabrics. It is designed for use …

Welder with ultra-thin wedge heats consistently

The Pro-Seam wedge welder has an exclusive “Smart-Seam” control system to deliver even, consistent heat through a proprietary ceramic heating wedge only one-eighth-inch thick. The ultra-thin wedge delivers a low profile that reduces wrinkles, improves overlap control and eliminates alignment problems on a broad range of welding material. SOURCE Hapco Inc.

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State of the Industry 2009: Marine fabrication

Challenge, opportunity and growth: Our market forecast for marine fabricators By Jeff Rasmussen The U.S. marine fabric market has been in a state of flux in 2007 and 2008. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, OEM boat sales could be down about 25-30 percent for 2008. Marine fabric suppliers experienced approximately a 15 to …

Rowley Co. launches Finestra

Rowley Co., Gastonia, N.C., will launch a new venture, Finestra Decorative Hardware, after acquiring custom drapery hardware manufacturer Resin Solutions Inc. in January 2009. Finestra’s American-made finial, pole and accessory designs will be available in 36 hand-rubbed finishes, and founder of Resin Solutions Amy Weavil will continue leading creative and custom design. The acquisition will …

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Firm adds VUTEk printer to production portfolio

EFI, Foster City, Calif., reports that Joseph Merritt & Company of Hartford, Conn., has added a VUTEk QS3200r 3.2 meter superwide roll-to-roll UV printer to its production portfolio. Prior to acquisition of the QS3200r, the shop had an all-solvent superwide format production platform. Joseph Merritt & Company is a marketing communications firm. The QS3200r is …

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Software provides accurate print job estimates

Wasatch’s latest RIP and Print management software, SoftRIP Version 6.5, includes a Cost Estimator that provides an accurate estimate of every print job before the production process is started, including costs for media, inks, and any additional post-production charges. Results can be exported to a database or directly to a web page. Version 6.5 includes …