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 …

New leadership for EDANA

October 7, 2009

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 …

Japan’s nonwoven production falls off

In the first half of 2009, Japanese nonwoven production decreased 23.2 percent from the previous year, to 132,288 tons, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Production decreased in all categories. Production of needle-punched nonwovens for automobile applications fell by 40 percent, the largest decline, with significant impact on overall production. Spunlace fabric …

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Making mass customization personal

Mass customization helps companies meet customers’ real needs—efficiently. By Janice Kleinschmidt There was a time when a fast-food burger always came with mustard and pickles, whether you liked it or not. A special order flew in the face of the whole fast-food concept. When Burger King said “Have it your way,” the burger business got …

Calibration tailors monitoring instruments for fabric industry needs

Problem: Inaccurate monitoring instruments could provide misleading data about supplies. Supplies that are particularly sensitive to temperature or humidity can have their storage conditions monitored with data loggers or chart recorders that are specifically tuned for accuracy in the targeted range for quality control. A Custom Point calibration will help ensure that monitoring instruments are …

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Durasol consolidates awning operations

North American commercial operations for Durasol Awnings Inc. are being consolidated into a one-story modern facility in Middlebury, Vt., with lots of room for expansion. Durasol, a manufacturer of outdoor, manual and motorized awnings, freestanding solar awnings and other products, may also add a new division from its parent company, BAT S.p.A. of Italy, to …

System of brand and product authentication for consumer goods

IntelliMark, a system of brand and product authentication for consumer goods, documents, food and apparel, is based on a microscopic ®mark® covert marker integrated into products which can be viewed with a specialized detection instrument. The anti-counterfeit process emerged from a partnership between ARmark Authentication Technologies LLC, Glen Rock, Pa. (experts at integrating marks into …

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Flexible bulk containers provide promising new markets

By Jamie Swedberg Manufacturers have struggled in the sluggish economy, and so have suppliers who sell them parts and raw materials. But the bear market has also affected another group: the companies that make and distribute shipping containers—frequently made of fabric. Pallets and drums are still important, but over the last few decades, there’s been …

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Tester measures fogging characteristics of automotive interior materials

Problem: A method is needed to minimize harmful contaminants found in automobile interior materials. The FT-F1 Fogging Tester is designed to test the fogging characteristics of automotive interior materials, which measures the tendency for plastic or elastomeric materials to volatize substances that can condense and collect on interior surfaces. It features wide temperature range and …

Heywinkel Group reorganizes

Julius Heywinkel GmbH has now become Heytex Bramsche GmbH, making the company’s successful brand name also the name of their company. The Heytex companies manufacture coated and laminated technical textiles for products ranging from truck tarps and tents to advertising banners, large-format screens and stadium roofing. Along with the corporate restructuring, there has been a …

Website offers business-to-business European marketplace

Look for ads in Google, fax mailings or trade fair exhibits about a new website where European textile sellers and buyers can advertise products to a wider audience—a business-to-business European marketplace for textile manufacturers and suppliers. Textiles-online.com, launched by a Netherlands-based company, will give suppliers registered on the site 10 free advertisements, each of which …

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Matching shade material

Compiled by Juli Case We’re doing a repair job on a panel of a big motorized window shade. It’s in an office and the shades on the other windows are fine, so we just need to match the material. Who makes Thermoveil? The owner of the tradename ThermoVeil is Mechoshade Systems, a manufacturer of large …

Moisture management test produces objective measurements

Problem: Moisture properties in fabrics are difficult to describe with consistency. A standardized moisture management test method from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) produces objective measurements for the liquid moisture management properties of knitted, woven and nonwoven fabrics. The results are based on water resistance, water repellency and water absorption characteristics …

DuPont, DOE launch solar research program

Thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules would be used for more mainstream commercial and residential solar energy applications if they were waterproof, since moisture degrades PV module performance. Chemical giant DuPont, Wilmington, Del., will partner with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to solve this problem, testing an ultra-thin protective film during a three-year research project. …

Globalized business

Fostering global business relationships was key to Moto Nohmura’s leadership and Taiyo Kogyo’s success. By Kikuko Tagawa During the IFAI Japan meeting in April 2009, Moto Nohmura, IFAI Japan honorary chair, shared insights about his business experiences in the U.S. IFAI Japan director, Kikuko Tagawa, IFAI Japan directors Hideyuki Nishikawa and Toshio Katayama, who was …

Defining tricot fabric

Compiled by Juli Case We have a project requiring tricot fabric. What is that? Tricot is the name of a particular type of warp knit fabric, accomplished on a tricot knitting machine. Basically, in a tricot knit, two parallel lines of yarns are interloped, the loops being formed in roughly the warp direction. As compared …

Device accurately measures principle types of fabric strain

Problem: Manufacturers need a cost-effective means to test fabric performance. Fabric Testing Utility (FTU) is designed to advance the OptiTex system’s ability to recreate the dynamics of fabric movement on fully adjustable, lifelike, virtual mannequins. The lightweight, briefcase-sized device accurately measures the four principal types of fabric strain: bend, stretch, shear and friction. The machine …

NatureWorks joint venture ends

A joint venture between Teijin Limited, Osaka, Japan, and Cargill Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., has ended amicably with Cargill resuming full ownership of NatureWorks LLC. The maker of Ingeo™ biobased renewable plastics and resins, NatureWorks LLC, didn’t fit into Teijin’s recent portfolio restructuring. The global economic downturn has slowed sales growth of Ingeo, but NatureWorks continues …

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Joyce Read joins Moss

Moss Inc. announced that Joyce Read has joined its national sales team to direct its sports marketing initiative. Read’s sales skills were honed at the Mary Kay organization, where she attained her highest level in personal sales at number four in the Diamond Seminar. Along with her love of sports and innate design sense, those …

Plastic quick-release buckles available through different supplier

Compiled by Juli Case We had been using a black plastic quick-release buckle from a particular supplier. We’ve since moved on to another supplier, but we had a customer come in for a repair and he’s insisting on the old buckle. Now, though, we can’t find it. Any idea of who might still have some? …