Eyes in the sky

February 2, 2012

Airships, widely used before the 1940s for controlled motor-powered flight, gave way to fixed-wing aircraft early in the history of human flight. The early airships’ slow speed, large size and inability to maneuver made them cumbersome, and hydrogen gas made them highly flammable. Times change, however, and so did airships. Aeros, a Montebello, Calif., company …

Somfy Systems’ TaHomA™ system wins 2011 Excite Award

February 1, 2012

Somfy Systems Inc., a leading manufacturer of radio-controlled motors for interior and exterior window coverings, was recently awarded a 2011 EXC!TE Award from Custom Retailer 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 system …

Asia dominates Q2 global yarn production

The International Textile Manufacturer’s Federation (ITMF) reports that global yarn production rose 12.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011, due to higher output by Asia and, in particular, China. While yarn production in Asia increased by 13.9 percent, all other regions decreased. Production fell 7.3 percent in South America, 6.5 percent in Europe and …

Grommet-replacing lace

E-Z Lace Supreme from Manart-Hirsch Co. Inc., Lynbrook, N.Y., is a suitable substitution for grommets and is up to 25 percent stronger. Featuring 1.25-inch lacing holes woven into the fabric, the 3-inch spacing is durable enough to secure awnings and flexible enough to protect bimini tops. The 63 percent solution-dyed polyester and 37 percent solution-dyed …

Matching webbing

Cafe Noir #35 Edge Webbing is the latest addition to the line of shade sail edge webbing available from Polyfab USA, Manhattan Beach, Calif., offering an accurate match with Café Noir Polytex®, a fire-rated, knitted HDPE shade fabric for modular shade structures and shade sails. Recommended for residential and small commercial installations with unsupported spans …

Awnings turn into art and light up the night

The awning business has been good to Ann and Ed Hunzinger, fourth-generation owners of the Evanston Awning Co., Evanston, Ill. The Hunzingers have been good for the industry in turn, serving in leadership roles in the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association and the Midwest Fabric Products Association. The next generation of Hunzingers in the business (sons …

Geomembranes offer high performance

With the EPT Xtrm Pl geomembranes from Engineered Polymer Technologies (EPT), Hillside, N.J., fabricators can reduce the number of seams needed and still maintain high product performance. Suitable for potable water storage and protection, coal ash liners, retention ponds, land fill and solid waste containment, tunnel and canal liners, fuel and water storage tanks, flexible …

Ken Robinson’s commitment to employees pays off

Ken Robinson leverages economics and human resource strategies to increase productivity. By Sigrid Tornquist “One of the most universally disliked classes I took while pursuing my MBA at Tulane University was one about human resources,” says Ken Robinson, president of Engineered Textile Products Inc. (ETP) in Mobile, Ala. “But even while I was taking the …

Fabrics in entertainment

Specialty fabrics play an important supporting role in live entertainment applications. By Jamie Swedberg The world of textiles used in theater applications can seem foreign, even to companies that produce and work with specialty fabrics. Part of what makes it daunting is the jargon: It’s easy to feel like an outsider when you don’t know …

Photovoltaic fabrics add energy in design

Photovoltaic fabric structures add function to form and energy to aesthetics. By Janice Kleinschmidt Power is literally in the hands of today’s fabric structure makers—and the forecast looks bright for any fabric-related business that looks to the sun for advantage. “I think every fabric product manufacturer in the future is going to be selling power …