Optitex releases Version 12.2 software

November 27, 2013

Optimizes fabric usage and enhances productivity for users. In this latest version, a new nesting solution (Nest ++ Pro) deploys an improved algorithm utilizing multi—core processing, which increases the efficiency of fabric usage during the nesting process by up to 1 percent. Users of the PDS module can now enjoy increased productivity using new features …

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SBA’s online portal now accepting Small Business Week Awards nominations

November 26, 2013

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) online portal is ready to accept nominations for the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year award. Now in its second year, the dedicated web portal has made it easier to submit and track submissions of nominees for National Small Business …

Leib Oehmig named COO of Glen Raven Inc.

November 25, 2013

Leib Oehmig, president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC, the makers of Sunbrella® fabrics, has been named chief operating officer of Glen Raven Inc. as part of a long–range plan for strengthening the parent company’s global operations. In his new role, Oehmig will work closely with Allen E. Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen …

Bringing up baby in Grobags

November 22, 2013

The Gro Company, a Devon, U.K., manufacturer of baby sleeping products, made a name for itself with an award-winning wearable blanket that has revolutionized how parents in the U.K. and Australia put children to bed. The Grobag wraps around the infant, with a long closed bottom for kicking little legs, and does away with blankets …

Trelleborg engineered fabrics help increase performance of Solving’s air bearings

November 21, 2013

Trelleborg’s Coated Systems business, Trelleborg Engineered Fabrics, has been awarded a contract to supply an engineered fabric for use in American Solving Inc.’s air bearings. This virtually eliminates malfunction and improves air bearing performance while meeting stringent customer specifications. Trelleborg and designer and manufacturer of heavy load-handling systems Solving have worked closely for many years. …

New Seaman Corp. video traces the company’s growth from 1949 to today’s global reach

November 20, 2013

Seaman Corp., Wooster, Ohio, has released a new corporate video presentation, “The Spirit of American Ingenuity,” outlining the company’s growth over the last 64 years to become a global leader in the development and production of high-performance industrial fabrics. The 13-minute video was produced at Seaman manufacturing locations in Wooster, Ohio, and Bristol, Tenn., as …

Research Alliance formed for the microbial production and application of biopolymers

November 19, 2013

Four Germany-based partners BRAIN, the Hohenstein Institute, Kelheim Fibres and rökona, have announced the formation of a new research alliance for the biotechnical production and modification of specialty alginates. The aim of the alliance is to establish a sustainable microbial bioprocess for the production of specialized alginate components. The biopolymers should serve a dual purpose: …

Ultraflex introduces “groovy” printing substrates at SGIA 2013

November 18, 2013

Ultraflex Systems Inc., a supplier of quality, digitally printable media from 30 inches up to 196 inches, showcased some “groovy” new products in a Woodstock-themed booth at SGIA 2013, held concurrently with IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013 in Orlando, Fla. New products include Ultima Supreme-R, a premium 15-oz. frontlit vinyl-coated substrate designed for the industry’s …

HP drives growth opportunities with new solutions for large-format print providers

November 15, 2013

HP has announced upgrades, certifications and workflow solutions for its large-format sign and display portfolio, helping print service providers (PSPs) grow their businesses and explore new markets. In recent years, many large-format print shops have transformed their business models, offering new high-value applications to avoid commoditization. This transformation has been driven by technology advances that …

3M Window Film expands manufacturing in Asia-Pacific region

November 14, 2013

Two new facilities will help meet growing demand. 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn., has completed significant investments in the Asia-Pacific region with the scale-up of world-class manufacturing facilities in China and Singapore to support the growing window film business. The two locations will allow 3M to continue to meet customer needs, both in the region …

New product: MedTextra fabric system

November 11, 2013

Stay-wet fibers for high-value filters and fabrics Imagine a fabric that creates a balance between moisture, airflow, and virus-scale filtration. A textile that is able to do all three has been developed by Minnesota entrepreneurs—the MedTextra Fabric System, according to an Oct. 25 press release. MedTextra is produced as woven or nonwoven fabrics using current …

Small Business Administration kicks off Veterans Small Business Week, Nov. 4-11

November 8, 2013

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the kick-off of Veterans Small Business Week, an initiative on the part of SBA to reach out to veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners. Veterans Small Business Week will be held from November 4 to 11 and is part of SBA’s work throughout the year to make …

Globe Canvas Products Company to merge with D.C. Humphrys Company

November 7, 2013

During the 2013 Specialty Fabrics Expo in October, agreements were signed to merge the assets and personnel of Globe Canvas Products Co., Yeadon, Pa., into Philadelphia-based D.C. Humphrys Co. In a letter dated Oct. 28, Globe Canvas Products’ president Kevin Kelly, IFM, MFC, CPP, said: “Globe will continue as an operating division of Humphrys. I …

Webinar on export opportunities in Mexico

November 5, 2013

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, at 2:00 pm EST, the U.S. Department of Commerce and ExpoProducción Mexico will co-host a webinar on export opportunities in Mexico for U.S. textile and apparel producers. The webinar will feature information on the Mexican market and business culture, an overview of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and …

NASA seeking student science experiments for balloon flight

November 4, 2013

NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space aboard a high-altitude scientific balloon. This balloon flight competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge, La. NASA is targeting fall 2014 for the next flight opportunity for the …

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Design and branding

November 1, 2013

Awnings have long been an effective way to brand a business, but other kinds of shade structures are emerging as an additional option, especially when organizations understand that branding isn’t only about company colors and logos. Shade structures can be a creative option to communicate branding as a message of a company’s (or a city’s) …

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The great(er) outdoors, all year

When the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), needed to enclose a very large courtyard to be able to use the space all year long, they turned to J. Miller Canvas Inc. of Santa Ana, Calif., to make it happen. The solution: a motorized, sliding panel roof system, engineered to be covered or retracted to …

New COO for Leigh Fibers

Darrell J. Turner has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Leigh Fibers Inc., succeeding Keith Taylor, who will transition to the board of directors. Turner has spent 30 years in the energy, waste and recycled materials industries, most recently as vice president and general manager of the energy services division of Headwaters Inc.

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Energy efficiency and sustainability

Is more heat in a home or office a good thing? It depends on the season, of course. As more people turn to solar and geothermal systems to heat and cool their homes and places of business, ambient heat gain can be a challenge—one that can, to some extent, be addressed by well-designed shade structures.Duvall …

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Weaving vignettes of memory

Early Jacquard looms used punch cards to automate weaving of patterns and designs. This punch card technology also was used to program early computers and store binary code. Phillip Stearns, a New York-based artist exploring the intersection of digital media and textile design, developed a project that combined the two histories to provide a visual …

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Beating the heat with shade

Temperature extremes in Japan are leading to greater reliance on fabric shade structures. By Kikuko Tagawa Japan has been experiencing extremely hot summers in recent years. The summer of 2013 was especially fierce, according to a statement issued by the Tokyo Climate Center (TCC) Advisory Panel on Extreme Climatic Events, at its extraordinary session held …

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Building business with LEED

Awnings and solar shades can boost energy performance and contribute to LEED certification points. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a family of rating systems that recognizes building or renovation projects for improvements in energy efficiency, water conservation, habitat protection, indoor environmental quality and resource efficiency. LEED is owned and managed by …

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Bottom line: evaluating comfort

Recall your last marathon all-day, all-night drive—and the aftermath. Remember the aching back and neck, headache, sweating torso and ice-cold feet, the feeling of other-worldliness? The symptoms of uncomfortable vehicle seats include decreased concentration and tiredness that can lead to accidents. The Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, has developed test methods for assessing the physiological comfort …

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Fabric, flexible, photovoltaic

Solar energy-collecting fabric products offer major potential to impact energy use—and make businesses in the industry hugely successful. Coal and oil have superbly fueled and helped enable the extraordinary growth of modern civilization. Their supply is reaching its peak, though, and will soon start to decline—while our population continues to grow and its energy needs …

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Over-the-top remake for historic train station

The Salzburg, Austria, Central Train Station is a major transportation hub, connecting nearly 15,000 people to surrounding towns and bringing tourists to admire the breathtaking mountain views. The original station, built in 1908, consisted of a building with an arched marble hall and an arched two-part metal hangar on an island platform. Renovation plans in …

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Responsive textiles vs. reactive façade systems

Research illuminates the possibilities for creating textile second building skins that can be “controlled” by the environment and user preferences. Structures are designed and built to offer people protection and comfort. New research seeks to change views concerning how people may interact with buildings and buildings with their environment—not if, but how. This research demonstrates …

Threading compassion through end-of-life tapestries

Aging and death conjure images grey and grim, steeped in sadness. Vermont artist Deidre Scherer brings color, texture and dignity to her life-sized thread-on-fabric depictions of end-stage illness, on exhibit Sept. 23 through Nov. 18 at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minn. “Her work reminds the viewer that knowing we …

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Creating the future of textiles: wear and forget

New smart textile products will need to collect and quantify information for the user—and offer comfort and durability at a competitive price. What are the most exciting or intriguing developments in the industry in advanced textiles? Although advanced textiles are expanding in many directions, there’s a common thread among recent developments: giving sensory capabilities to …

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Jamboree tents: clean, helpful and thrifty

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) hold a National Scout Jamboree every four years, uniting scouts from around the nation for 10 days of outdoor adventure, fun and education. Thousands of scouts, staff and volunteers raised tents in July 2013 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Mount Hope, W. Va., a 10,000-acre site donated to …

The softer side of storage

Every cabinet becomes unique, based on what you put in it. Dutch designer Dewi van de Klomp has fashioned a collection of storage cabinets made exclusively from foam rubber. Narrow slits or larger openings cut into the foam create space for whatever the owner would like to store. As the cabinet fills up, it may …

Needles and thread performance also in demand

The properties of technical textiles can make products stronger, tougher, chemically resistant, antimicrobial or fireproof. As technical materials replace traditional ones, manufacturers are challenged to obtain—or create—needles and thread that work on technical textiles, according to Issue No. 93 of Technical Textile Markets from Textiles Intelligence. Among the strategies used by manufacturers of needles are: …

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Positively portable structures

High-performance cladding makes transportable fabric structures unique—and practical. Native Americans have known for eons about the virtues of lightweight, flexible fabric-wrapped structures, long before Europeans arrived in North America in the 15th century. Camping enthusiasts have appreciated lightweight, portable tents for generations. Likewise, rock concert road shows have benefited from the sophisticated techniques of mobile …

LAUNCH competition attracts innovators

A coalition of technological innovators from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of State and NIKE formed LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges. Its 2013 Systems Challenge identified 10 top concepts, but attracted many others, including a newly …

Pull-out tab for graphics

Moss Inc.’s new SimPullTab™ for fabric graphics provides the market’s most optimized and visually appealing design addressing graphic change-out access. Manufactured from durable, see-through plastic and smaller than current pull-out tabs available for removing fabric graphics from frames, its low profile replaces more noticeable tabs that can absorb visual attention. SimPullTab is a standard installation …

First Hohenstein “Cooling Power” quality label

After extensive testing by the Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, temperature-regulating fibers made by Coolcore LLC, Portsmouth, N.H., have received the first Hohenstein Quality Label “Innovative Technology—Cooling Power.” The Coolcore textiles are chemically-free and do not use latent heat storage or phase-change materials to absorb and store heat. Instead, the textiles exploit the body’s sweat to …

Business holidays and tax deductions

Parties, gifts, happy workers and tax deductions. By Mark E. Battersby The season for gift-giving and holiday parties is fast approaching. And although many specialty fabrics products business owners and managers clearly know how to celebrate and show their appreciation to both customers and employees, few are aware that Uncle Sam, in the form of …

Low-lead polyester

The newest addition to Top Value Fabrics’ line of polyester fabrics for industrial applications: 600 x 300 denier PVC-backed polyester, developed with a low lead formulation for manufacturers that want a lower-lead material without the requirement of using CPSIA-compliant goods. Durable, versatile material has a sturdy .55mm vinyl embossed backing; applications include a variety of …

Event rental revenue will increase in 2013

Projections from the American Rental Association’s (ARA) latest forecast from the ARA Rental Market Monitor™ show that the equipment rental industry in the U.S. continues to outpace gross domestic product by four times in 2013. Revenues will reach $33.5 billion, representing a 7.0 percent increase over 2012. Construction and industrial equipment rental is forecast to …

New website for Stimpson metal fasteners product line

Focusing on customer needs, Stimpson has updated the site with a fresh look and creative overview for each specific product area. According to Jennifer Marcroft, advertising manager, “Our goal at Stimpson is to provide our customers with the highest quality fasteners, as well as a superior customer service experience.” The new Stimpson website features informative …

Hollow Core carousel

The cumbersome size, shape and weight, as well as the delicate care required, of precision-tooled cylinders and sleeves for printing storage makes traditional storage inefficient and unproductive. Vidir Machine’s Hollow Core carousel is a highly effective solution for organizing, storing and accessing heavy printer cylinders and hollow printing sleeves—it allows printing operations to utilize untapped …

Exports to EU falter, but grow in emerging nations

The world’s leading clothing exporting companies are turning toward emerging nations for sales, while exports to Europe continue to fall, according to the latest issue of Global Apparel Markets, published by Textiles Intelligence. Even within the EU, exports fell; EU exports to countries outside the EU increased by 12.1 percent, while exports within member states …

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Top trends in composites

JEC Group predicts strong growth. The JEC Group, a recognized resource for composites industry services, support and expertise, is forecasting strong growth for the composites industry in the Americas through 2018, as the result of macro trends that are generating demand for advanced composites across multiple sectors. Projected growth of the overall market for composites, …

Advertising tents

Available in three sizes, 10 x 10, 10 x 15 and 10 x 20, commercial-grade Advertising Tents are made for long-term use, with multiple options available for customization. Canopy uses a premium truss configuration to keep the canopy secure, and the telescopic legs use their hexagon shape to maintain stability. With six and a half …

Event industry veterans join forces

Debra Roth founded Pink Inc., an innovative event management company (now part of Moss Inc.). Marc Posnock co-founded Transformit, a successful fabric architecture firm with event display expertise. Together, the two have founded Originators Design+Fabric Structures, New York, N.Y., “integrating traditional design principles with new technologies and the latest trends,” according to company information. “We’re …

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Water control and conservation

By Sigrid Tornquist Harvesting rainwater is nothing new—but using fabric shade structures to collect and distribute rainwater, while providing an attractive aesthetic, is largely an untapped resource that can translate into growth potential for fabricators. Architen Landrell, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, U.K., manufactures a structure that is essentially the opposite of an umbrella. The Inverted Cone acts …

FR for nylon

Alexium Intl., working with Duro Textiles, is completing production trials on its Ascalon™ FR treatment for nylon and is nearing its commercial product launch. Alexium has refined the production process and chemistry enhancements in key FR criteria, and is working with independent laboratories to test performance on additional product lines. Duro Textiles is the company’s …

An “Americas” partnership: Concept III and Guilford

Concept III Textiles, Red Bank, N.J., brings its performance fabrics to applications in outdoor and active wear, and now has a partner with expertise in the spandex and knits that athletes love to wear. N.C.-based Guilford Performance Textiles has joined Concept III to develop business with leading outdoor and active-wear U.S. apparel brands. The partnership …

Alfresco elegance

By Sigrid Tornquist Creating outdoor spaces that have the coziness of being inside combined with the natural light and fresh air of the outdoors is a continuing trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down—for both residential and commercial clients. Polyfab’s HDPE sail cloth is a popular choice for alfresco applications, and for the …

Darren Arthur steps toward technology

Darren Arthur runs his marine canvas shop with two employees—and he’s about to venture into automation. By Sigrid Tornquist “The decision to buy a plotter-cutter system for my marine canvas shop was initially an overwhelming idea,” says Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J. “I had never seen that type of …

Ultraflex Systems builds sales team

John Mitchell has been appointed Canadian sales representative to expand on Ultraflex’s growth and leadership position in the Canadian market. Mitchell brings 25 years of experience in the graphics industry, most recently as president of 3deltaE, a provider of marketing and technical support for eight graphic art firms, and formerly as business director (Canada) for …