Sunbrella Horizons collection

October 30, 2009

The latest Sunbrella® collection, Horizons, is an inviting contemporary offering with a clean and elegant palette. Colorfastness and cleanability define the performance line, which also offers some unexpected color combinations, such as the use of cool grays with warm tones like taupe, wheat and orange, as well as some new neutrals: Cadet, Taupe and Charcoal. …

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Digitally printed carpet

October 29, 2009

By Tim Greene One advantage of some of the new digital printing ink formulations is that they allow direct printing to industrial textiles. The advantage of digital printing is the ability to more cost effectively print short runs or turn jobs around quickly. Recently, I saw some examples of digitally printed carpets. I spoke with …

New high-tech, functional fabrics

October 28, 2009

Designed for enhanced protection and sustainability, Eschler functional fabrics integrate the latest innovative technologies. The company has introduced a layered comfort system: a new Layer One fabric from 100 percent recycled polyester, implementing antimicrobial technology; and two high-tech knits utilizing Schoeller’s revolutionary coldblack® technology, which reduces heat absorbency in dark-colored textiles and guarantees a high …

PGI launches new online customer survey

October 27, 2009

Polymer Group Inc. has launched a new online customer survey available in English, Spanish, Chinese and French as part of the company’s efforts to understand what drives value for its global customers. “In response to our customers, we have invested significant efforts to make sure that our website is bringing them the most complete and …

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Fabric Graphics Association scholarship awarded

The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) recently announced the recipient of the 2010 Fabric Graphics Association (FGA) Membership Scholarship. The recipient is Fritz Maddrell, sponsored by Portland Color, Portland, Maine. Maddrell is pursuing a degree in International Business at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. He is an avid photographer and enjoys shooting natural landscapes. The scholarship …

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Architects prepare for disaster

October 26, 2009

New York architects Viraline have a plan for repopulating Manhattan — after the hurricane that hasn’t happened yet hits the NYC shoreline causing Katrina-like damage; it could happen. By Mason Riddle In theory, shelter is such a simple, basic concept. When the need for shelter is thrown into high relief by a disaster, however, it …

ATCAE registration deadline extended

The registration deadline for the Atlas® Technical Conference on Accelerated Aging and Evaluation (ATCAE) has been extended until October 30. The conference for the global weathering community will be held Dec. 8–9, 2009, at the Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, Ariz. Participants will hear from experts from the solar energy industry, with presentations …

Tires recycled into fashion items

October 23, 2009

Old tires don’t always roll into landfills; some become long-lasting sheet rubber handbags, portfolios, totes and accessories at Vulcana LLC, Westfield, N.J. The attractive Vulcana bags come in fifteen styles and retail for approximately $79 dollars—a small price to pay for ecological chic. The key to the Vulcana product line is rubbRe™, a patented recycled …

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Maximize your equipment efficiency

October 22, 2009

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 …

UGA hosts top fiber researchers

October 21, 2009

The University of Georgia will host some of the world’s top fiber researchers next week to discuss their research in the use of fibers in applications ranging from biomedical to the creation of “smart surfaces” that can respond to a variety of stimuli. The Fiber Society conference will be held Oct. 28–30 and many of …

HeatSource Textiles Project crosses the Himalayas

October 20, 2009

The Himalaya mountain range touches six countries, boasts the world’s highest peaks and drains into lands housing 1.3 billion people—many of them living in poverty and herding domestic animals for sustenance. One Earth Designs (OED), Cambridge, Mass., was formed by two college students to assist Himalayan communities with science/technology education and sustainable infrastructure. OED honed …

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The softer side of signage

Making fabric the medium for the message By Janice Kleinschmidt A stone tablet may have served the early Viking explorers well, but the 21st century demands more flexibility—and certainly more mobility. That’s why soft signage continues to evolve. “You are seeing people’s needs for messaging change,” says Jason Amidon, 3M product marketing supervisor, noting a …

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Adding value to your business

October 19, 2009

Shop owners share their secrets for selling, upselling, expanding, and finding and retaining customers. By Shelby Gonzalez Collapsing financial system got you worried? Now is the time to focus on making your marine fabrication business strong. Thriving shop owners from around the country share insights and tips for selling, upselling, expanding, retaining customers and getting …

Bedding reduces MRSA infections

October 16, 2009

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial infections, usually acquired in hospitals, kill an estimated 50,000 people in Europe each year. A trans-European project team led by the University of Limerick, Ireland, received a three-year research grant to develop MRSA-resistant textiles for hospital gowns, bedding, curtains and pillow covers with antimicrobial properties instilled with nanotechnology. The MRSA-resistant …

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The UK’s blow-up structures experts

October 15, 2009

British fabric structures manufacturer Tectoniks is all set to help—bring on the disasters. By David Littlefield Post-disaster accommodation has changed little over the years, and it is easy to bring to mind row upon row of tented structures that spring up to provide quick, temporary and low-cost shelters for people with nowhere else to go. …

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Global technical textile business leaders to converge in Paris

October 14, 2009

According to Stephen M. Warner, president and CEO of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), “The rate of change and innovation in the technical textiles industry is outpacing the consumer awareness of applications, as well as the current standards and text procedures. There is a critical need for more substantive information exchange platforms that discuss …

Child restraint adds injury protection

Seat belts save childrens’ lives, but the impact of a severe frontal collision can place huge restraint pressure on a child’s chest. Researchers at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, working with Applus + Technologies Inc., Chicago, Ill., have designed a textile load limiter that reduces the length of time a child sustains …

Miller Heiman launches 2010 Sales Best Practices Study

October 13, 2009

Miller Heiman has launched the 2010 Sales Best Practices Study, an annual research project comparing complex, business-to-business selling and sales management best practices. This study marks the firm’s seventh year of gathering the data, which has drawn from the responses of more than 21,000 sales professionals to date. The study results help identify sales activities …

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Practicing sustainability in the tent rental industry

October 12, 2009

Tent renters benefit the environment—and their own profitability—when they get the most use possible out of their tents. By Peder Engebretson Hybrid cars, compost piles and recycling bins are signs of the times. But what does sustainability mean in regard to event tents? On the one hand, the rental industry is the perfect example of …

Dow Corning to present at technical textiles symposium

October 9, 2009

Dr. Liz Mallen, Impact Protection Business Development Manager for Dow Corning Corporation, will present information on the company’s Active Protection System at the How to Enter Technical Textiles Markets symposium this month. The Dow Corning Active Protection System is a patented impact protection textile that aims to address the drawbacks of traditional hard-armor systems by …

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Finding a niche: Small markets, big profits

October 8, 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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Base fabrics feature embroidered leaf designs

October 7, 2009

New embroidered leaf designs on two different base fabrics create an unusual and effective combination of sun protection and design opportunity. Small, curved leaves are embroidered onto base fabric Sorisa in a tendril design to give an attractive shimmering effect, with colors changing from light to dark grey. Small, round leaves are embroidered on the …

Wristwatch features embedded airbag

[Yardstick Enterprise Co. Ltd.] Taipei, Taiwan Airbags save lives on the road and a Taiwanese inventor, who has embedded an airbag in a wristwatch, hopes they will do the same in the water. Water sports enthusiast Tseng Tze-Kui came up with the idea of the inflatable bag in a watch as a lightweight alternative to …

Glen Raven Anderson gets ISO 14001 certified

A holistic and strategic view of environmental management has earned the Glen Raven manufacturing center in Anderson, S.C., the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 certification. In meeting the ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system standards, Glen Raven demonstrated that its environmental procedures, processes and planning met the highest standards. The Anderson facility was certified after …

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Fixed awnings available in 3 distinctive styles

Clear or tinted Romanza fixed awnings come in three distinctive styles to shield visitors from rain, sleet or snow while making entryways both more visible and more inviting. Sturdy fixed-frame awnings mount directly to building walls to add European style to entryways or facades. Styles l, ll and lll, “waterfall,” “slant” and “archway” designs, mount …

LED lighting offers design opportunities in fabric display applications

With its roots in theater, and later film, fabric and lighting techniques lend versatility to a wide variety of fabric applications. More recently, light emitting diode (LED) lighting, developed as an architectural fixture, has been adopted by the entertainment industry and is quickly spreading to exhibits, advertising and other markets. The fabric and lighting exhibit …

Wagner Companies achieves ISO 9001:2008 certification

The Wagner Companies, Butler, Wisc., has announced that it has completed its ISO audit and received ISO 9001:2008 Certification. ISO 9001 is a family of standards for quality management systems, maintained by the International Organization for Standardization and administered by accreditation and certification bodies. Wagner is a manufacturer of handrail fittings and metal products for …

Making it work with Millennials

Generation Y is impacting the business world in unprecedented ways. By Amy Orchard Who are the Millennials? If you’ve paid attention to reports in the national media about the emerging generation called ‘Millennials,’ you might also recognize the nametags Generation Y (GenY), Generation Next and Echo Boomers. Regardless of the label, Millennials are an impressive …

New materials offer reliable performance

New Ultem* composites, foam and fiber offer advanced materials technology for years of reliable performance. Target markets include flame-retardant fabrics, ultra-lightweight aircraft interiors, state-of-the-art radomes and other high-end products requiring outstanding performance. The resin-based fibers help manufacturers meet stringent aviation and transportation safety requirements, in a range of applications from carpet to fabrics for seating …

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“Barefoot Contessa” highlights outdoor entertaining

Each year, House Beautiful magazine brings home entertaining to life with its “Kitchen of the Year” at Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. The magazine’s monthly columnist, Ina Garten (known as the Barefoot Contessa), inspired the 2009 Kitchen of the Year, with both 1,000 square feet of culinary space and another 1,000 square feet of outdoor …

U.S. Congress revisiting trade agreements

Members of the U.S. Congress are lining up to support the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, which has 106 initial sponsors from both political parties. The legislation would make sweeping changes in U.S. trade policy, including renegotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs) to ensure national security, product safety, human rights and environmental …

FTC charges ‘bamboo-zling’

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged four sellers of clothing and other textile products with deceptively labeling and advertising items as made of bamboo fiber when they are actually made of rayon. The complaints also charge the companies with making false and unsubstantiated “green” claims that their clothing and textile products are manufactured using …

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Heavy-duty knitted shadecloth passes fire resistance testing

Polytex® and Comtex® extra heavy-duty knitted shadecloth have passed 2009 testing for fire resistance performed by the California State Fire Marshal. Both were awarded certificates as “Registered Flame Resistant Products” for meeting the minimum requirements for products identified in Section 13115 of the California Health and Safety Code. Both fabrics also passed NFPA 701 and …

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Coated fabrics aloft, restored for history

A daring Frenchman named Louis Blériot became the first to fly across the English Channel 100 years ago. The coated fabric on his plane’s wings, fuselage and collapsible floats (Blériot couldn’t swim) was manufactured by German-based Continental AG, a specialist in rubber and plastics technology. When the Musée des Arts & Métiers in Paris restored …

Textile manufacturers concerned on climate bill

A U.S. House of Representatives bill on climate change and energy passed by a seven-vote margin, and textile lobbyists vow to work on a Senate version that answers manufacturers’ concerns. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) opposed the bill, “because it will significantly increase energy costs for domestic manufacturers and not those of its …

AATCC symposium will focus on composites

Innovations in functional materials, sports and defense technologies and composites symposium, being conducted by AATCC’s Materials Interest Group, will focus on innovative applications and technologies in the areas of composites, defense/protective clothing, functional materials, and sports apparel. The program, chaired by Philip J. Brown with Clemson University, will be held October 26–27 at the Hyatt …

Durable thread built for outdoor use

Designed specifically for the outdoor fabric market, Solar Thread™ PTFE thread offers the durability and weather resistance needed to create the highest quality fabric products. Less abrasive than other materials and resistant to harsh chemicals, Solar Thread is both UV and water resistant, for long-term use in applications such as marine products, awnings and other …

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Landmark branch on the (geo)grid

When Valley National Bank chose a busy intersection of Manalapan Township, N.J., for its new branch, it envisaged an attention-grabbing building—and equally arresting landscaping. Dramatic grade changes on the property required high, good-looking retaining walls. To reinforce soils behind the 12-foot segmented wall, the construction team chose geotextiles from Strata Systems Inc., Cumming, Ga., a …

Economy may affect trade issues

President Barack Obama, along with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, talked tough about tackling U.S. trade issues with China on the campaign trail. However, like his predecessors, President Obama may have to focus on other critical national issues before China trade comes up in his priority list. The Obama administration did, …

New leadership for EDANA

EDANA, serving the nonwovens and related industries, has announced its new Board of Governors. Incoming chairman Kenneth Strassner, Kimberley Clarke, will take over from Gerd Ries of Johnson & Johnson, who has accepted the position of vice chair, a role he shares with Jean-Marie Becker, Ahlstrom. Paul Evers remains in his role as treasurer. In …

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Sun control fabrics put modern twist on traditional pattern

New metallic SheerWeave® Style 4700 introduces gloss and shimmer in a four-by-two basket weave, putting a modern twist on a traditional weaving pattern. Woven from vinyl-coated polyester yarns in pearlescent colors, the addition to the Style 4000 line marries neutrals with shiny translucents, creating rich, vibrant shades: quartz, champagne, antique gold, chrome, russet, silver smoke …

Bio-responsive textiles modeled after pine cones

Nature offers myriad ways of protecting living things from moisture, dryness or cold temperatures. A U.K.-based start-up company, MMT Textiles Ltd., London, England, hopes to offer the same advantages in performance clothing. MMT modeled its new, patented fiber technology after pine cones—common forest shape-shifters that respond to climate conditions by opening or closing. When conventional …

Trade, academics clash on Honduras market

The exile of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and military takeover of that Central American nation captured the attention of trade associations and university professors—and the Obama Administration is hearing from both. Honduras is the third largest market for U.S. textile mill products and fourth largest supplier of apparel to U.S. markets. A letter from 11 …

IFAI Expo ’09 highlights

Recognizing excellence The winners of the 2009 IFAI International Achievement Awards for design excellence in specialty fabrics were announced at IFAI Expo 2009 in San Diego. This year marks the 62nd annual competition, with 416 entries received in 28 competition categories from companies in 17 different countries. The goal of the International Achievement Awards program …

Color sensor guarantees correct color matching

Problem: Color matching often involves inefficient, labor intensive and subjective manual inspection. Subtle differences in some colors can make visual inspection unreliable. EMX Industries Inc. has developed the Colormax color sensor with multi-channel discrete outputs uniquely suited for integration into automated systems. Colormax can guarantee correct color matching in the manufacturing process at a fraction …

Fighting earthquake damage with fabric

A group of 27 companies in 13 countries is on a mission to research, develop and manufacture sensor-embedded textiles for use in geotechnical and masonry applications. The European Union partially funds POLYTECT (Polyfunctional Technical Textiles against Natural Hazards) to find technical textiles made with carbon and glass fibers to stabilize structures damaged by earthquakes, landslides …

U.S. textile and apparel imports decline

Only Vietnam increased its textile and apparel imports to the U.S. in the first half of 2009; China and all other countries decreased imports, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report. January through June imports dropped 10.3 percent from the same period in 2008, and the value of the imports declined by 14.3 percent to …

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The advantages of inflatable structures

Flexible and economical, air-supported structures fill multiple market niches. By Holly O’Dell When it comes to inflatable products, many people think of bouncy castles, parade floats or dancing tubes used for advertising. But the world of air-supported structures, or inflatables, extends far beyond the use of entertainment and advertising to industrial, military, architectural and aerospace …

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Geotextile fabric monitors changes within levees

Problem: Water leaks in levees are the main cause of their internal erosion. GeoDetect® is the first commercially available sensor-enabled geotextile fabric on the market. Fiber optics imbedded in the fabric provide data on changes that are occurring within a levee, measuring strain and temperature changes in soil structures. It can be used for long-term …

Drown the sound with recycled acoustic blankets

Cut down on noise at work or home with the EZ Hang acoustic soundproofing blanket, a portable and easily mounted 40 square feet of recycled all-natural textiles that can reduce sound by 10 decibels. LookChina Inc., Cramerton, N.C., markets reclaimed natural fiber products in a number of styles. EZ Hang’s outside loops allow blankets to …