Snapshot: Awning Paradise

March 1, 2015

By Sigrid Tornquist When a customer tells one of Charles Webster’s sales people that he doesn’t like snaps on his boat covers because they break and are difficult to manage, and he’s sick of needing support poles—that’s the beginning of product development for DOWCO® Inc. “Sometimes things can be defined by what they are not,” …

Q&A with Charles Webster

By Sigrid Tornquist Q: You’ve taken your company from one location with 14 employees to four locations with more than 200 employees. How have you changed your management style to accommodate that kind of growth? A: I’ve found that as your company grows, sometimes you have to replace staff—which is difficult to do, but if …

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Energy for the future

Flexible and durable power-generating textiles are poised to make a difference in meeting tomorrow’s energy requirements. Looking forward, before imagination meets prototype, the next generation of energy-producing products seems unattainable. Looking backward, after such innovations are readily available, the development process seems logical—and simple. It’s the “hindsight is 20/20” phenomenon. While photovoltaic power-harvesting technologies are …

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Shade sales: Just add water

The resurgence in boating and the concern over sun safety have been a boon for marine fabricators offering products that protect and beautify without spoiling the fun, or the view. People are taking to the water in record numbers, encouraged in part by plummeting gas prices. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, approximately 89 …

Expansion in layers

Flexible composites are finding practical application in a growing number of industries. The world of composites covers a range of materials and applications. Flexible composites have long been manufactured to perform specific functions in generally demanding environments. Their tremendous strength-to-weight ratio and design flexibility make them ideal in structural components for the transportation industry. High …

Your taxes at work

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. The passage of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 late last year retroactively extended 54 tax breaks—but only for the 2014 tax year. The so-called “tax extenders” law opens the door for specialty fabric professionals to claim many of these popular (but temporary) tax incentives when 2014 …

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Automatic upholstery

Giving cars a winning look. The best meals are cooked from scratch, the wildest adventures take place off the map, and some of the most impressive auto upholstery restoration projects are done without a template. Two entries in the upholstery category of the 2014 International Achievement Awards were just such projects, transforming torn, tattered and …

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The value of collaboration

Turning today’s students into tomorrow’s engaged and educated industry professionals. While textile students are the future designers and manufacturers for the textile industry, students in areas such as architecture and product and graphic design are our future textile specifiers. Multi-disciplinary design has become a buzzword in education, but unless students are convinced this can help …

Flexible flooring

Launched in conjunction with Congoleum, Mercerville, N.J., ZON flexible flooring provides a durable surface and dimensional stability and is designed specifically for use in high traffic residential and commercial applications…

Fast, accurate printing

The JV150 Series printer is available in two sizes: 54-inch JV150-130 and the 64-inch JV150-160. It features advanced piezo technology print heads capable of print speeds up to 605 square feet per hour and…