SPESA to host “Advancements in Manufacturing Technology” Dec. 8th

October 31, 2011

SPESA will host a conference entitled “Advancements in Manufacturing Technology” to an audience of apparel and sewn products manufacturers on Thursday, Dec.8, 2011, at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons in Greensboro, North Carolina. The full-day conference—targeted at mid-level and upper-level managers and supervisors—will provide vendor-neutral, factual information to help manufacturers improve their quality …

Somfy Systems’ TaHomA™ system wins 2011 Excite Award

October 27, 2011

Somfy Systems Inc., a leader in manufacturing of radio-controlled motors for interior and exterior window coverings, was recently awarded a 2011 Excite Award from CustomRetailer magazine for its Total Home Automation System, TaHomA™. The innovative, Z-Wave® based home automation solution allows consumers to control, schedule and supervise their Somfy-powered window coverings, lighting and thermostats; the …

Honored Life Members recognized at Gala celebration

The Industrial Fabrics Association International recognized four members for their contributions to the specialty fabrics industry at the organization’s annual Gala dinner at IFAI Expo Americas in Baltimore, Md. Missak Azirian, president of Alpha Productions Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., has been in the industry for 32 years and is a pioneer in the retractable awning …

Sewing expertise centers from Groz-Beckert®

October 26, 2011

When large-scale sewing operations struggle with sophisticated equipment or nagging quality problems, Groz-Beckert® is ready with technical solutions. The sewing equipment company, headquartered in Albstadt, Germany, launched Sewing Expertise Centres in India, Singapore and Sri Lanka to provide consultation on correct needle selection, process optimization, quality assurance, fault analysis and alternative joining processes, among other …

Keynote speaker at IFAI Expo Americas 2011: Charles E. Cook Jr.

Following IFAI’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, attendees were treated to a reasoned and occasionally biting analysis of U.S. politics by Charles E. Cook Jr., editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and political analyst for NBC News and the National Journal. Cook analyzed the twists and turns of U.S. elections for the …

IFAI announces the 2011 International Achievement Award winners

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) 2011 International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications ceremony took place at IFAI Expo Americas 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. on October 25. This year’s competition included 33 categories. IFAI received a total of 385 entries from 16 countries. Winners were …

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TenCate receives 2011 IFF Innovation Award

New geotextile manages water and soil stabilization issues. The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) chose TenCate’s new water-wicking geotextile, Mirafi® H2Ri, to receive this year’s Innovation Award. The product was officially launched with the announcement of the award at IFAI Expo Americas 2011.  The story of Mirafi H2Ri began with one question at a business meeting …

Remodeling activity reaches record levels

October 25, 2011

BuildFax has unveiled its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for August 2011, showing that remodeling activity reached a record high during the month. BuildFax also released data showing, based on its national footprint of permit data, an estimate of more than 3.3 million residential remodeling projects will be permitted in 2011. This figure is up from …

IFAI President/CEO Stephen Warner departing

(Baltimore, MD – 25 October 2011)—Peter McKernan, Chairman of the Board for the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), announced today that President/CEO Stephen Warner is stepping down from his post. Said Warner, “I have sincerely enjoyed working for IFAI these last 35 years, including 25 years as its president. It has been a tremendous honor …

EU REACH: Two-part webinar series helps to learn requirements

October 24, 2011

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restrictions of Chemicals) is a major reform of European Union chemicals policy, affecting all global supply chains that produce and use chemicals. It is particularly important for small- and medium-sized companies to know about requirements under REACH and how to comply with this regulation, in force in all EU Member …

CORDURA® NYCO fabrics for workwear market debut

October 21, 2011

In line with the CORDURA® brand team’s commitment to developing innovative and protective fabrics for the workwear industry, a new range of CORDURA® NYCO fabrics from Malaysian based Penfabric, part of the Japanese Toray Group of companies, will be introduced to the European workwear market at the A+A show in Dusseldorf, Germany. The innovative range …

Teijin’s CFRP technologies win top ICIS Innovation Award

October 20, 2011

Teijin Ltd. has announced that its mass production technologies for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) have been selected by this year’s ICIS Innovation Awards as the overall winner, as well as the recipient of the Best Product Innovation award. The ICIS Innovation Awards, now in their eighth year, are organized by ICIS, the chemical publishing …

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ARA’s Professional Driver Education Program celebrates first anniversary

October 19, 2011

The American Rental Association (ARA) Professional Driver Education Program recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Developed in cooperation with ARA Insurance and a number of rental operators, representing small- to large-size construction and general tool member companies, the ARA Professional Driver Education Program has issued certificates of completion to nearly 400 rental professionals in its first …

Textile window strip prevents mold on wet/steamed up windows

October 18, 2011

It will soon be that time of year again: winter is coming and the windows start to steam up. Just one hot shower or a soup bubbling on the stove can make enough condensation for it to run down the cold window panes and gather where they meet the window frame, where mold and fungus …

Tri Vantage® to unveil new booth at IFAI Expo Americas 2011

October 17, 2011

Tri Vantage LLC will debut a new booth during IFAI Expo Americas in Baltimore, Oct. 25–27. The new booth (No. 523) has four sections focused on sun control, industrial, furniture, marine and Awning Composer. “When Expo attendees visit each of these areas, they will have an opportunity to experience product and service offerings with excellent …

Cooling down, warming up with functional fibers

October 14, 2011

A Japanese government-sponsored initiative known as Cool Biz has encouraged companies to allow employees to dress more casually, including shedding the traditional suit coat and tie, in an effort to save energy for the past several summers. This year, however, in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster and resulting decline in electrical power production, …

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AC Canvas Glossy expands Aurora’s Northern Lights™ collection

October 13, 2011

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc. has added AC Canvas Glossy to its Northern Lights line: a traditional acrylic “gesso”-coated canvas built upon a 65 percent polyester, 35 percent cotton base fabric, with a high-gloss shine. Fabric is compatible with latex, solvent or UV-cure print technologies, and is available in widths up to 76 inches. It …

Presco rebrands Engineered Film division

October 12, 2011

Presco, a U.S. manufacturer of PVC film and extrusion coated films, has announced the launch of Pres-Flex Engineered Film, a rebranding of its Engineered Film division. The rebranding allows Presco to further distinguish from its Outdoor Marking Products division. Pres-Flex Engineered Film is supported by a new website, www.pres-flex.com, which details manufacturing capabilities, recycling programs, …

Interface Inc. working to fulfill Global Transparency Pledge for products

October 11, 2011

Interface Inc. announced at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that the company is on track to complete environmental product declarations (EPDs) for 90 percent of its total products, measured by production volume, by the end of 2011. The update comes as part of Interface’s pioneering pledge to obtain EPDs on all products globally in …

Huntsman Textile Effects opens 12th Formulation and Distribution Center in Brazil

October 10, 2011

Huntsman Textile Effects has officially opened its 12th Formulation and Distribution Center (FDC) in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to further enhance the company’s ability to shorten the supply chain in the Americas. The FDC will focus on the production of dyeing auxiliaries, pre-treatment and finishing products for local customers. The Brazil market represents one of the …

New website for Gerber Technology improves functionality

October 7, 2011

Gerber Technology unveiled its new website in English, Chinese, French and Spanish. The site delivers rich content in multiple formats such as product videos and case studies and touts intuitive navigation, powerful in-site search functionality and a bold, fresh design. The site incorporates content from websites related to two of Gerber’s recent acquisitions, YuniquePLM™ product …

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New Mitchell Group website showcases faux leather upholstery collections

October 5, 2011

The Mitchell Group, Chicago, has launched a new website to better display its brands and expanded collections of faux leathers. The site, www.MitchellFauxLeathers.com, features the company’s leading brands: Sta-Kleen® dry-erase performance urethane, ReCast® enhanced faux leather and the Mitchell Collection of popular patterns. The faux leather upholstery collections include everything from traditional leather looks to …

GE announces collaboration to supply membranes for South Korean military uniforms

October 4, 2011

GE, Fairfield, Ct., has announced a collaboration with Kolon Fashion Material (KFM, Gwacheon, South Korea) on a wide range of membranes that KFM will use in laminate production to supply the Republic of Korea military and the consumer market. The collaboration is part of GE’s strategy for its eVent® fabrics waterproof/breathable product line. The alliance …

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Hillside banners highlighting neighborhood identity in Duluth

October 3, 2011

The Port of Duluth, Minnesota, rises high above Lake Superior, providing glistening panoramic views of the largest Great Lake from its East and Central Hillside neighborhoods. Neighborhood Housing Services of Duluth (NHS) put out a call to independent artists in the hillside neighborhoods for banner designs to highlight the neighborhoods, call attention to a burgeoning …

Fabric planters for a small planet

October 1, 2011

In large metropolitan areas, big populations translate to limited space, and that means limited gardening. Pocket rose gardens and green roofs don’t slake the human thirst for flowers and vegetables grown close to home. The BACSAC®, a double-walled geotextile fabric planting container that allows dirt to drain and breathe, is inspiring city gardeners to grow …

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Shade sail software

MPanel Software, St. Louis, Mo., now offers the MPanel Shade Designer, developed specifically for the shade sail industry that uses HDPE knitted fabric. This standalone software requires no CAD system and provides a step-by-step wizard interface that walks the user through the process of creating a three-dimensional model and an accurate flat fabric pattern of …

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Polycarbonate sheets for marine windows

Makrolon polycarbonate sheets for marine windows are now available from Tri Vantage®, packaged and shipped economically and safely. Manufactured by Bayer MaterialScience, Makrolon offers glass-like clarity, outstanding impact strength, superior dimensional stability and excellent thermal resistance. It can be sewn into a number of marine enclosures, and is recommended for marine applications that include large …

UW wins NASA’s 2011 X-Hab competition

In June 2010, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invited university teams to submit concepts for inflatable space lofts to its eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) 2011 competition. The 14-member winning team from the University of Wisconsin deployed the entry at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where the judges tagged the Badger X-Loft as “ready …

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Street pole banners constructed from vinyl showcase fabric

GiantPole.us, a DisplayShops specialty website, has released a line of street pole banners constructed from a new vinyl showcase fabric, dyed in acrylic with two-ply, ring-spun yarns to resist fading, abrasions, and dry rotting due to weather. The 30-inch-wide by 60-inch-high street pole banners come with a green background and the customer’s choice of two …

Durable fabrics for high traffic environments

LTM Textile Resources developed the Heavy Traffic Program to serve the market needs for extremely durable fabrics for use in high traffic environments. The first two patterns, Genesis (passing 375,000 double rubs) and Prophesy (passing more than 1,000,000 cycles), feature a unique construction in 100 percent polyester with a stain-release finish. When produced with high …

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Fabric space portal takes visitors to outer limits

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium draws tourists from around the world to see out-of-this-world space exhibits and displays. When the museum launched its first major renovation since 1967, tensioned fabric manufacturer Fabric Images Inc., Elgin, Ill., went into warp drive to develop indoor environments that would take visitors to the outer limits. Fabric Images engineered and constructed …

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Alain Perez pushes the limits

Alain Perez embraces challenge to create extraordinary temporary structures. By Sigrid Tornquist There came a point in our business when we realized that if we were really going to make a difference for our clients and our company, we had to control the product from design to fabrication to installation,” says Alain Perez, founder and …

Shrinkable fabric, custom fit

Patented shrinkable fabric from Transhield Inc. is custom-fit, lightweight and reuseable, available to protect military vehicles, heavy equipment and hardware from corrosion and environmental damages caused by sun, snow, rain, salt spray or sand, especially during long-term storage. Transhield military fabric includes patented Adhesive Additive Delivery—a vapor corrosion inhibitor system that provides 100 percent protection …

Monofilament turf blades offer durable performance and natural look

The Christian Unified School District of San Diego will take the field this fall on the first-of-its-kind synthetic turf using TenCate Monoslide Ultra™ with XQ™ technology turf blades. TenCate Grass Americas, Dayton, Tenn., developed the three-dimensional monofilament turf blades with a ribbed crescent design to provide resilience and a natural look, as well as the …

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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Alain Perez, founder and president of Eventstar Structures

Interview by Sigrid Tornquist What’s your greatest challenge in bidding projects? We find ourselves in projects that are being bid by two or three of our clients, and they’re all bidding with us as the provider/vendor. The challenge is being fair with everyone. We make sure we’re transparent, and forthright about how we can fit …

Contemporary wallcoverings

Omnova Solutions’ latest Genon® wallcovering designs—Coupé, Perennial and Perennial Texture—reflect classic Asian designs with a modern twist, incorporating delicately crafted line work with rich, organic palettes. The new designs use Omnova’s exclusive REcore® Recycled Wall Technology; they look, perform and hang just like traditional vinyl wallcoverings, but contain 30 percent recycled content and a minimum …

New manikin for testing firefighting protective wear

Over the years, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC) at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., has offered safe, controlled, repeatable testing of firefighting protective wear using PyroMan, a manikin with sensors that aid computer analysis of tissue burns. PyroMan, torched regularly in the pursuit of science, works well testing gear for structural …

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Fabric structures for glamorous camping

Fabric structure manufacturers find a global market in the ‘glamping’ trend. By Janice Kleinschmidt Have you heard about the s’more sommelier? That sounds like the setup to a joke. It is a setup—but it’s no joke. The Happy Glamper package at Lakedale Resort Campground on San Juan Island, Wash., includes sleeping on pillow-top queen beds …

Parking closure for plastic zippers

A new parking closure for ITW MaxiGrip’s plastic zippers: the slider remains in a parked position and does not require removal from the zipper. The Ultraseal nonporous slider closes in one direction and opens in the other; in conjunction with MaxiGrip’s plastic zippers, the assembly is virtually waterproof, airtight, gas tight and resistant to chemicals. …

Italian textile machinery exports growing

The quality and cachet of Italian fashion, leather goods and wine may soon be matched by Italian textile machinery, according to the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT). Exports of Italian machinery have risen 37 percent during the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. “The growth of our export …

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Business valuation basics

Merger, purchase, sale or expansion? The first step is knowing how to establish the value of a business. By Gary W. Stansberry Every owner could benefit from establishing the value of his or her business, but if there are plans to sell, buy, merge or expand, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of value …

New product makes unloading fabric rolls easier

The GAC® Roll Puller™ RP4 takes the labor out of unloading fabric rolls from a truck, and helps to protect workers from injury. Product can be used not only for geotextiles but to unload any kind of product that comes on a 3.5–4.5 inch cardboard core: grid, carpeting, clothing fabrics, canvas, plastics and more. Unit …

Hybrid film and fibers capture energy from the elements

What if a solar cell could harvest energy from the sun, wind and rain? The Institute of Material Research and Innovation (IMRI) at the University of Bolton, England, has developed hybrid film and fibers that do exactly that. An organic photovoltaic cell applied to a commercial piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film or a piezoelectric polymer …

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Incredibly smart textiles

As understanding evolves and resources become available, interactive textiles could be headed into the mainstream. By Barb Ernster Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak may be fiction, but it could be a reality in the not-too-distant future. That may be a matter of physics, but perhaps a smart textile will help it along. Who would have thought …

Record drought shrivels U.S. cotton crop

A monster drought in Texas and five other Western states may wipe out 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop. The government estimated that warehouse stockpiles of cotton were the lowest in 15 years, and “This bottleneck situation could temporarily spike prices,” according to Peter Egli, a Chicago risk manager at Plexus Cotton Ltd. Cotton …

Business viruses

Businesses are just as susceptible as computers. By William J. Lynott We all know how devastating a computer virus can be, but not every owner or manager is aware of the destructive viruses that can infect a business. Unlike computer viruses, which attack through cyberspace, these profit killers attack strictly through internal causes. Because they’re …

Glen Raven: zero-waste goal within reach

By the end of 2011, the Glen Raven Technical Fabrics plant in Burnsville, N.C., will no longer landfill any of its wastes. A substantial investment in recovering nylon and polyester fibers, office paper, batteries, fluorescent tubes, plastics, cardboard, wood pallets and food waste brought the company close to its zero-waste sustainability goals, leaving only soiled …

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Where tent markets stand today

IFAI’s 2011 State of the U.S. and Canadian Tent Rental Market report shows hopeful growth. By Jeffrey Rasmussen IFAI market research reveals that participants in the tent manufacturing and rental industry have had to face challenges on more than one front, but real improvements are evident, particularly when noting trends since 2008. IFAI conducted a …

The restoration of Faribault Woolen Mill

The Faribault Woolen Mill, at one time the largest manufacturer of wool blankets in the U.S., closed in July 2009, leaving a void in Faribault, Minn., where the company (established in 1865) used to be. Now, a former Dairy Queen International Inc. CEO and his family aim to bring back the Mill. Chuck Mooty, president …

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A safer fabric membrane ceiling

A new fabric membrane ceiling provides a prudent replacement for a Tokyo museum. By Kikuko Tagawa Due to the earthquake in Japan in March 2011, some panels of the ceiling boards of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo, Japan, collapsed. Three months after the earthquake, it reopened with a new …