Establishing a sound business plan

August 31, 2009

By John Baker Dwight Eisenhower, when contemplating the plan for the invasion of Normandy and northwest Europe during World War II, said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” His view was that while both are necessary, plans are nothing but static documents, yet planning is a responsive and dynamic action that brings focus to uncertainty. …

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J. Ennis Fabrics launches 2 new collections

J. Ennis Fabrics has introduced two new lines of upholstery fabrics. The Treasures II collection, featuring more than 100 patterns and stripes, is ideal for use in furniture and accent pieces. The Palette collection, made for upholstery and bedding applications, is comprised of three solid color books. The books, titled energy, equality and renewal, contain …

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Finding a niche: Small markets, big profits

August 30, 2009

How and why digital graphics companies are succeeding because they found their niche. By Gail Nickel-Kailing I was sent on a quest to find digital graphics companies that are printing on textiles in niche markets. So what is a niche? Why a niche market? And who are these people? “Merriam-Webster” says that a niche market …

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Advancements in outdoor fabrics help get the message out

Improvements to outdoor fabrics have led to greater opportunities for digital printing. By Holly O’Dell Digital printing has opened the door to new possibilities in outdoor fabric applications. End product manufacturers, not to mention their customers, are becoming more aware of fabric capabilities in outdoor settings, as well as their uses, which include retail applications, …

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Maximize your equipment efficiency

When to upgrade and when to buy a new printer: A guide to increasing your efficiency on a tight budget. By Andrea Swensson A downshift in the economy doesn’t necessarily have to mean a downshift in profits, and one of the most important aspects to consider when examining the financial side of your printing business …

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A last resort financing fix and more

August 28, 2009

By Mark E. Battersby A recently announced $15 billion, multi-pronged plan is designed to help ease the credit crunch affecting so many marine fabrication businesses. One part of the plan earmarks extra funding for loans and technical assistance by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “microloan” lenders. In addition to extra funding for microloans, new …

Museum exhibit to feature textiles

The Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, N.M., will host an exhibit titled Material World: Treasures from the Textile Collection, which will feature a collection of textiles and costumes from all over the world. “Making and embellishing textiles can be a powerful tool of socialization and a reflection of cultural values,” says Dr. Bobbie …

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Polyfab USA introduces 3 new colors

August 27, 2009

Polyfab USA, Manhattan Beach, Calif., has added three new colors to its Polytex® line of knitted shade fabric and two new colors to its Comtex® line of knitted shade fabric. The new colors, which were added to increase options for customers, include red, café and cappuccino. Polytex will be available in all three colors while …

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Spotting tent quality

August 26, 2009

Knowing how to spot superior shelters can save the day. By Barb Ernster John Crowley can spot a quality tent just by looking at it. “You get a feel for a good tent when you see it. It looks structurally superb,” says the general manager of ProEm Distinctive Tents in Denver, Colo. He sums up …

Specialized Technology Resources lab receives China Metrology Accreditation

Specialized Technology Resources Inc. (STR), Enfield, Conn., received a China Metrology Accreditation (CMA) for its lab in Shenzhen, China. CMAs are presented by the Administration of Quality and Technical Supervision at the Municipal Levels after an assessment of the metrology capabilities of a laboratory that tests the quality and safety of products sold to the …

Birdair Inc. wins Talisman Centre roofing contract

August 25, 2009

The Talisman Centre for Sport and Wellness in Calgrary, Alberta, Canada, awarded Birdair Inc., Amherst, N.Y., a contract to replace its 162,000 square foot roof. The new roof will be constructed of a Tensotherm™ with Nanogel® fabric membrane roofing system.

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Dome promotes Vancouver Olympics

August 24, 2009

It takes more than athletes to create a successful Olympics. By Janice Kleinschmidt A lot has changed since 776 B.C. (the first written record of the Olympics)—and even since 1896 (the first “modern” Olympics). These days, the games entail building permanent structures (i.e., stadiums), as well as temporary structures used before, during and after the …

AATCC announces details of 2010 materials competition

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) announced its 2010 materials competition will focus on three main areas. The fields include industrial sports materials, medical materials and devices and smart nanofibrous materials. Winners of the competition, organized by the AATCC’s Materials Interest Group, will receive cash prizes.

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Kentucky Derby Festival features 241,149 square feet of temporary structures

August 21, 2009

Providing temporary environments for ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’ required creativity and attention to detail. Each year, for the past 135 years, people have flocked to Louisville, Ky., to sip mint juleps, enjoy sumptuous southern fare, cheer as some of the finest horses in the world race to the finish—and make a wager …

AATCC announces 2010 design competition theme

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) announced the theme of its 2010 design competition will be “Summer Bling!” The theme, developed by the AATCC’s Concept 2 Consumer® (C2C) interest group, includes designs for summer apparel. Winners will receive cash prizes and a cotton passport by Pantone®.

Agion earns gold certification

August 20, 2009

Agion has received a Cradle to Cradle Gold Certification from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), resulting in the first gold level certification for an antimicrobial technology. After receiving the silver certification last year, the company decided to go for the gold in the areas of renewable energy, water conservation, material safety and social responsibility.

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Shop layouts that produce big payouts

August 19, 2009

Efficient and proficient shop layout and workflow optimize production, inventory, safety and the customer experience. By Maura Keller Marine fabricators have a desire to maximize their shop layouts to optimize production, inventory, safety and customer experiences. But that is easier said than done, especially when it comes to small, clutter-filled shop environments. Can it be …

NCFI Polyurethanes provides training in the green building industry

NCFI Polyurethanes, Mount Airy, N.C., is providing training for sustainable insulation contractors. The company notes the expansion of the green building industry as a motivating factor to seek out and provide training for qualified professionals. A recent McGraw-Hill Construction report states the industry could earn up to $140 billion by 2013.

Turkish manufacturer requests Karl Mayer machinery

August 18, 2009

Karl Mayer, Obertshausen, Germany, received an order for its new open-width dyeing and sizing machine from Turkish manufacturer Şirikçioğlu, Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. The machine features deep color technology, which Şirikçioğlu will use to produce denim apparel.

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Unique structure built for Australian sporting event

August 17, 2009

HTS Höcker Germany recently won the contract to design, manufacture and install what is believed to be the world’s largest and most structurally complex demountable building. The unique structure, known as the Pit Pavilion, will be used exclusively for the Clipsal 500 V8 Super Car race held annually at Victoria Park, Adelaide, South Australia. The …

Glen Raven facility gets ISO certified

The Glen Raven facility in Anderson, S.C., earned an ISO certification for environmental excellence. An independent auditor inspected the facility to make sure ISO 14001:2004 environmental management standards were met in all aspects of operation. The facility, which produces Sunbrella® performance fabrics, has practiced a recycling program for 20 years and stopped sending waste to …

Invista introduces new sustainability platform

August 14, 2009

Invista has launched the Cordura® Cares Program to emphasize the company’s commitment to sustainable practices. Sustainable performance, corporate responsibility and enduring materials comprise the three pillars of the program, which was launched at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009 trade show.

Health Savings Accounts

By William J. Lynott As a business owner, you’re fighting what seems like a losing battle against rising health care costs. While this problem isn’t likely to disappear, the Health Savings Account (HSA) legislation, signed into law in 2003, offers you the possibility of making a dramatic reduction in your costs. In their first year …

P2i raises $6.7 million to support company growth

August 13, 2009

P2i Ltd., Oxfordshire, U.K. has raised $6.7 million to increase the company’s global presence in a wide range of markets. The company plans to invest the money in facilities, marketing, sales and equipment. The funds were provided by shareholders such as Swarraton Partners, Naxos Capital Partners and Unilever Ventures.

Trützschler launches nonwovens unit

August 12, 2009

Trützschler GmbH, Dülmen, Germany, has launched a nonwovens unit as part of a recent company restructuring. The unit is comprised of Fleissner GmbH in Egelsbach, Germany, Erko Trützschler GmbH in Dülmen, Germany and American Trützschler in Charolotte, N.C.

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History, development, and future prospects for geosynthetics industries in China (Part 1 of 2)

By Jingkui Chi Abstract This article presents an introduction to the development of China’s geosynthetics production, applications, testing, and research, and discusses the market supply and demand as well as development trends. 1. Introduction 1.1 Development of geosynthetics in China The production and application of geosynthetics in China started in the late 1970s. Those materials …

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Geosynthetics magazine launches new website

August 10, 2009

Geosynthetics magazine, an IFAI publication serving the geosynthetics industry, has launched a new website. The site features the current issue of the magazine, up-to-date geosynthetics news, a blog and two years of previously published content, along with PDFs of older issues. New issues of the magazine will be uploaded on the first of every other …

China, India becoming trading partners

August 1, 2009

When Tata Consultancy Services, a worldwide firm providing IT, business solutions and outsourcing services, set up a development center in Hangzhou, China, Indian workers asked for—and got—an Indian vegetarian restaurant. Historically, China and India have disputed over the common border, but are moving into a new phase as both lose U.S. and European market share. …

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Fabric benefits tight exhibits market

Fabric exhibits transcend economic and environmental concerns for a natural fit in a tight market. By Barb Ernster No one disputes the fact that the exhibits market is hurting, but exhibit builders are not dismayed. They’re adapting to new demands for efficient, economical and longer-lasting designs with sustainable and changeable features. And fabric is part …

Photoluminescent light strip works without batteries, wires or electricity

Lunabrite™ is a new indoor/outdoor photoluminescent light strip that works without batteries, wires or electricity; it fully charges in half an hour or less of UV or solar light, and emits light for more than eight hours afterwards. The flexible light tube technology conforms to almost any curve or surface edge and attaches to most …

U.S. textile imports decline

The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed that imports of textiles and apparel decreased by 9.7 percent from April 2008 to April 2009, and import value declined by $5.8 billion, reflecting the depressed worldwide economy. Three countries holding their own in a down market are China, with a 15 percent increase in imports over the previous …

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Keys to economic sustainability

Products, processes, people: environmental and economic sustainability are part of the same equation. By Janice Kleinschmidt Open a door and you’ll find 10 more doors. That’s how Paul Bennotti views sustainability. The director of marketing responsible for leading sustainability initiatives at Quebec’s Victor Group sees a “tremendous evolution” in how companies such as Victor strive …

Cutting machine cuts up to 66 inches per second

The Model 8 luxury edition cutting machine cuts up to 66 inches per second, offering greater throughput than any other system in its class. Highly recommended for high volume, low-ply cutting applications that may require marking as well as precision, consistency and reliability. The all-new front panel is ergonomically designed to be user friendly, with …

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Yurt manufacturer named powerhouse in job creation

When the Edward Lowe Foundation, which supports and recognizes second-stage entrepreneurs, cited 50 Colorado companies as “major powerhouses when it comes to job creation,” a yurt manufacturer and one of its customers both made the list. The Colorado Yurt Company, Montrose, Colo., began making the rounded canvas structures in 1984, gradually updating the yurt’s traditional …

Australian government budget for textiles under fire

An Australian government innovation budget for the textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry is drawing fire from the Footwear Manufacturers’ Association of Australia, Technical Textile and Nonwoven Association (TTNA) and Carpet Institute of Australia. The budget excluded the technical textile sector from a Building Innovative Capacity (BIC) fund, even though it was identified in an …

Layoffs, terminations and tactics

Fiscal reality, fair firing and responsible management. By William J. Lynott It’s an unwelcoming and unrewarding responsibility, but given today’s troubled economy, almost every manager will eventually come face-to-face with the disagreeable task of terminating one or more employees. “Firing people is one of the toughest, most unpleasant things you do as an employer,” says …

New fabric collection combines elegance with functionality

As clinics and hospitals focus more on things like nutrition, relaxation and overall wellbeing, high-quality furnishings and a home-like atmosphere are becoming more popular. Comfort, aesthetics and safety are paramount in the health&care fabric collection from drapilux, combining elegant patterns with functionality. The fabrics offer warm patterns to suit a “hotel” atmosphere in the ward, …

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Designer uses recycled tents to make dresses

Tent dresses, made popular in the 1960s with A-line shapes and unstructured fabrics, wafted around flower children for a few scant years and disappeared into fashion history. A completely different tent dress concept, designed by Angelika Werth, Nelson, B.C., Canada, may have a more durable lifecycle. Werth’s hand-sewn dresses are fabricated of recycled tents, from …

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Report provides overview of aircraft textiles industry

A 150-page report, Aircraft Textiles: Interior Fabrics and Air Cabin Design, gives a timely overview of the aircraft textiles industry, including the latest developments in products and safety standards. Published by Textile Media Services, Keighley, U.K., the report contains profiles of 25 global aircraft fabric and carpet suppliers, as well as news about: Key trends …

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Tent markets trend: a more competitive environment in 2009

By Jeff Rasmussen The impact of the recession on tent fabric suppliers, tent manufacturers and event rental professionals has been profound. Sales for 2009 are down 15-20 percent for tent manufacturers through April, tent orders from event professionals are down and many event operators are in a wait-and-see mode, holding back on making big purchases …

Print production specifications

Click on the image on right to enlarge. General information The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) provides these specifications to ensure quality standards in advertisement print reproduction and the integration of digital content into our publications. IFAI publications are printed completely with computer-to-plate technology (CTP). Please do not send film. Digital specifications IFAI publications are …

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Sphere designed for disaster relief

When disaster strikes—be it fire, flood, hurricane or tornado—tents often provide temporary shelter for displaced victims. German designer Felix Stark of Formstark designed the Sphere Refugee Tent to provide tent occupants with a sense of community as well as physical shelter. “The concept behind ‘sphere’ not only considers taking shelter from extreme weather conditions but …

IWCE recognizes Rowley Co.

A new look and advertising campaign for Rowley Co., Gastonia, N.C., got a second look from judges at the May International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) Vision ’09 conference. The decorating supply manufacturer won the Best Advertising Campaign award for 2008-2009. Rowley’s magazine ads, online banners and revamped website show off not only the company’s products, …

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Advanced Textiles 2009

IFAI’s European-U.S. networking conference fosters innovation and strategic partnerships. By Yvonne Heinen-Foudeh and Galynn Nordstrom According to Italian director Federico Fellini, “the only true realist is the visionary.” Advanced Textiles ’09 (AT ’09), which took place April 2–3 in Brussels, Belgium, brought this concept to life—and business—moving beyond today’s technical textile innovations to discuss the …

Hagfish used for fiber research

There’s no better place for scientists to seek eco-friendly, high-strength materials than in nature, and researchers at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, reeled in the hagfish for fiber research. The hagfish (Class Myxini) is an ugly eel-like sea creature with four hearts, two brains and the ability to generate a fibrous slime when …

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Sunbrella® fabrics receives four ADEX awards

Each year, Designjournalmag.com, a trade resource for architects and designers, announces the Awards for Design Excellence (ADEX), and Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, High Point, N.C., had a day in the sun. Sunbrella® fabrics received four ADEX awards: The Caroline Seabreeze Collection of furniture fabrics took the Platinum; the Ginza Collection of awning fabrics and Sunbrella …

NCTO urges yarn fraud enforcement

In testimony before the Small Business Committee in June, National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) member companies, past U.S. Customs senior staff and government investigative agencies called on Congress and the Administration to overhaul the textile enforcement effort in the CAFTA and other trade preference areas, as textile fraud has soared to new levels. Harding …

Blanket protects lunar outposts

Textile engineering students at North Carolina State University (NCSU) have the next manned moon landing covered with a blanket that protects lunar outposts from radiation while storing energy for astronauts’ use. The project, one of 10 finalists in the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage competition, tackles one of NASA’s key concerns about moon missions …

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Exhibit booth creates a place for pause

[Moss Inc.] Belfast, Maine, U.S.A. Made up of an inner and outer rectangular box, the hanging rectangular surround that Moss Inc. created for Derse’s 2008 Exhibitor Show booth in Las Vegas, Nev., created a place for pause within their booth, away from the activity of the tradeshow floor. One key element of the design was …

AATCC announces 2009 design competition winners

In its fourth annual Materials Design Competition for students, intended to promote innovative product development from a material structures design perspective, AATCC has announced the 2009 winners. All entries were evaluated on concept originality, design element integration, technical feasibility, clarity of supporting documentation, technical and materials rationale, efficacy of the proposed commercialization, and viability of …