Minnesota Knitting Mills announces future ownership plans

May 31, 2016

Harold (Bunny) Kuller, owner and chairman of the board of Minnesota Knitting Mills, has announced long term ownership plans for the Mendota Heights, Minn.-based knit manufacturing company. Wade R. Kytola, current vice president and member of the board of directors, will become an increasing stakeholder of MKM. Kytola has been with the company for more …

BeBop Sensors named in Gartner report

May 27, 2016

BeBop Sensors Inc., a Berkeley, Calif.-based developer of smart fabric sensor technology, has been included in Gartner Inc.’s list of “Cool Vendors” in the “Cool Vendors in Using IoT-Enabled Humans Instead of Robots, 2016.” Vendors selected for Gartner’s report are innovative, impactful and intriguing. According to Michele Reitz, lead author and analyst at Gartner, “Robots …

Teijin’s CFRTP obtains ISO/TS 16949 accreditation

May 26, 2016

Tokyo, Japan-based Teijin Limited announced that its Teijin Composites Innovation Center (TCIC) has obtained ESO/TS 16949 accreditation of requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2008 for automotive production and service part organizations. TCIC is an R&D and mass-production plant of Sereebo™, Teijin’s technology for mass producing carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP). ISO/TS 16949 defines quality …

WRAPSCON 2016

May 25, 2016

National Business Media, producers of WRAPS magazine, Sign & Digital Graphics magazine and THE NBM B.I.G. SHOW, presents WRAPSCON June 2–4 at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The event will feature graphics installers and manufacturers and distributors in the business. Event sponsors and topics covered include: Mutoh America: tips …

Bauer joins APV Engineered Coatings

May 24, 2016

APV Engineered Coatings hired Lon Bauer as product development manager. Bauer will be responsible for developing new coatings for flexible films and textiles, including development on the company’s VYNGUARD® line of premium high-performance coatings. Bauer’s background includes more than 25 years in the chemical industry with more than 20 years in the coatings industry. He …

2016 Exhibitor Product Preview: Call for entries

May 23, 2016

IFAI Expo Exhibitors: Tell us about the products and services you’ll be exhibiting at IFAI Expo 2016. Product descriptions are featured in the August issue of Specialty Fabrics Review. The August issue of Specialty Fabrics Review will include an advance look at new products and services to be exhibited at IFAI Expo 2016 in Charlotte, …

ARA Foundation donates to Canadian Red Cross

In response to the wildfires sweeping through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, the American Rental Association (ARA) Foundation has donated $3,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to assist in relief efforts for affected families, businesses and communities. The donation is a part of the Disaster Matching Funds Program and matches a donation previously made by the …

Aurora hires new sales and management staff

May 20, 2016

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc., Yorkville, Ill., recently invested in a new U.S. manufacturing textile plant and its new hires reflect the company’s expansion as it adds new capabilities and enters new markets. John Schuster, a former Business Unit Director for GMT, has been named director of plant operations. Schuster will have responsibility for manufacturing, …

Webinar: How to hit the profit zone

May 19, 2016

As an IFAI member-exclusive benefit, the Tarp Association will host a breakeven analysis webinar on Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. CDT. Knowing when you are above the breakeven point is essential to keep the boat afloat. Join business coach, author and CEO Ralph White on for a webinar that will help you …

Memoriam: Michael Funk

May 18, 2016

Michael Funk, of Montgomery, Ill., died unexpectedly from heart failure on May 14, 2016, at Rush Copley Medical Center. He worked for Glen Raven/Sunbrella in sales for the last 30 years. Michael is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Patti, his daughter Jennifer (fiancé Kristoffer Hinchley), his brothers David (Karen) Funk and James …

Coolcore signs distribution agreement with ITOCHU

Coolcore, Portsmouth, N.H.-based manufacturer of chemical-free cooling and moisture transportation fabrics, has entered into an exclusive relationship with Tokyo’s ITOCHU Corporation to distribute Coolcore fabric and finished goods throughout Japan. According to the agreement, ITOCHU will be the exclusive Japanese distributor for the entire collection of Coolcore cooling fabrics, designed for the everyday, workwear and …

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures celebrates 75 years

May 17, 2016

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, a manufacturer of custom commercial fabric and metal awnings and canopies, fabrication of exhibit components, experiential displays and industrial architectural elements, based in St. Louis, Mo., celebrates its 75th anniversary this week. On May 16, 1941, Lawrence Canvas Products Company opened to manufacture and sell tarpaulins, truck and trailer covers. …

Uniquetex to bring jobs to Cleveland County

Uniquetex, LLC Inc., intends to build a 150-person workforce in Cleveland County, N.C., over the coming five years. The company, which manufactures nonwoven fabrics for health care providers and other industries, is investing $31.6 million in the production facility—its first in the U.S. Uniquetex is a joint venture between Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., Ltd., …

Industrial Fabrics Foundation Innovation Award call for entries

May 16, 2016

The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) is now accepting entries for its 2016 Innovation Award. Each year, the IFF honors projects created by those who pace the industry of tomorrow. IFF encourages companies to submit their projects so they can inspire others in the specialty fabrics industry and act as catalysts for the next great innovations. …

NCTO welcomes U.S.-China memorandum of understanding to terminate Chinese export subsidies

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) applauded the announcement of a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and China in regards to an agreement by China to terminate export subsidies under its “Demonstration Bases-Common Services Platform.” “There is no doubt that China’s rise to become the world’s largest exporter of textile and apparel products …

Sciessent expands bluesign® partnership

May 13, 2016

Sciessent, provider of environmentally-friendly antimicrobial and anti-odor solutions, has partnered with bluesign® systems for their fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent (DWR), CURB. CURB joins Sciessent’s odor absorbing Lava technology on a list of bluesign-approved products. Engineered to keep harmful fluorocarbons out of the environment, CURB delivers the same water repellent performance as existing technologies. Textile manufacturers …

U.S. Manufacturing Council to meet May 18 via teleconference

May 12, 2016

The United States Manufacturing Council will hold an open meeting via teleconference on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Council members will review and deliberate on proposed recommendations by the Trade, Tax Policy, and Export Growth Subcommittee focused on tax policy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a proposed recommendation by the Workforce Subcommittee focused on career pathways …

Dowco acquires plastics and seating manufacturer

May 11, 2016

Dowco®, a Manitowoc, Wis.-based manufacturer that focuses on cut and sew products for the marine and powersports markets, has acquired Premier Plastics and Leisure Designs of Hoyt Lakes, Minn. Premier Plastics is a manufacturer of rotational molded and vacuum formed plastic components for the marine, powersports and construction industries. Leisure Designs, a subsidiary of Premier …

Sunbrella® honored with platinum award in ADEX Competition

May 10, 2016

The Sunbrella® 2016 Upholstery Collection was honored with a Platinum award in this year’s ADEX awards competition. The 2016 additions to the Upholstery Collection emphasize design simplicity with bright colors and natural-inspired neutrals. The new introductions include seven fabric groupings (Stripes, Wisteria, Regatta, Mist, Emerald, Meridian and Cast) with vibrant colors and patterns as well …

Call for entries: IFAI’s Student Design Challenge

May 9, 2016

IFAI’s Student Design Challenges is the industry’s best showcase for tomorrow’s talent. The opportunity will give students a chance to network with industry professionals and build their resume and portfolios. Deadline is June 10, 2016. This year’s competition features awards in four separate challenges, all using textiles as major components: Advanced Textiles: Design for aerospace, …

Alemany joins Rose Brand as director of products

May 6, 2016

Rose Brand Inc., provider of theatrical fabrics, custom curtains and production supplies, has hired Joshua Alemany as director of products. He will work alongside the sales, marketing and product teams and will lead efforts to bring new products to design and production professionals. Alemany is a long time veteran of theatre production and the entertainment …

TMI introduces new senior marketing manager

May 5, 2016

TMI International LLC, provider of flexible PVC products for managing industrial and commercial environments, has appointed David Schneider to the position of senior marketing manager. Schneider will provide strategic planning and leadership to the marketing team in support of TMI’s core business, as well as initiatives in new product development, e-commerce and expanded dealer support. …

Silicone Edge Graphics webinar set for June 2

May 4, 2016

As an IFAI member-exclusive benefit, the Fabrics Graphics Association will host a Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) webinar on Thursday, June 2 at 10 a.m. CDT. The one hour webinar will provide an overview of the types of applications, intricacies and equipment used in SEGs. By attending you will: • Learn how SEGs are used in …

Q-Lab launches new Q-PANEL CX corrosion coupons

May 3, 2016

Q-Lab Corporation, a global provider of material durability testing products, has launched new Q-PANEL CX corrosion coupons, also known as mass loss coupons. Corrosion coupons are standardized steel panels used as reference specimens in corrosion testing. They serve as independent test monitoring devices and help to verify the rate of corrosion in corrosion chambers. Q-PANEL …

Teijin Frontier establishes subsidiary in the Americas

May 2, 2016

Teijin Group’s fiber-products converting company, Teijin Frontier Co., has established Teijin Frontier Mexico S.A. de C.V. in Mexico City as its automotive material subsidiary in the Americas. Sales and marketing activities are scheduled to begin in July 2016. The company plans to manufacture and sell materials for auto manufacturing and serve as headquarters for the …

Leading the third generation

May 1, 2016

Ryan Chism, estimator and project manager at The Chism Company Inc., San Antonio, Texas, is the third generation working in a family-owned and managed company. Founded in 1951, the company has grown from a small home improvement business to a recognized industry leader in fabric and metal shade and protective solutions. Here, Chism shares his …

Let there be (flexible) light

As efficiencies continue to improve, more applications are found for flexible photovoltaics. For a long time, it was common knowledge that thin film and flexible photovoltaics (PV) were not practical because of their lower efficiencies compared with more traditional glass-encased PV. That is no longer the case. Efficiencies are now comparable (approaching or exceeding 20 …

An intelligent ecosystem

Last Friday (April 22), I’d meant to wear my original “Earth Day” button, purchased in 1970 as a callow youth in Morris, Minn.; but as a jaded professional in Minneapolis, Minn., I remembered to grab earrings but left the button sitting next to one that says “CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT: If you’re tired of voting for …

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Futuristic fabrics

Today’s smart fabric products, with embedded or woven technological components, are resonating with consumers, and the market is responding. Woven, nonwoven and knitted textiles are the foundation of the fabrics that make up our daily existence, from the clothes we wear to the upholstered chairs we sit on. They’re also the building blocks of the …

Getting physical: The other smart textiles

Nonelectronic fabrics can cool, warm and clean themselves—and enhance the health and performance of the wearer. Much attention has been given to textiles that are integrated with electronic sensors and circuitry (e-textiles). But some smart textiles do not rely on electronics. According to Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, professor and founder of the Pratt Institute Intelligent Materials Applied …

Infinite possibilities

Even though many options exist for outdoor canopies for residential and commercial use, Dr. Alan Shargani couldn’t find one that would work for his home. He found that the canopies available were difficult to install and maintain. Made from one long piece of fabric, they required precise measurements and fabrication, and once they were installed …

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Soaking up the sun

Solar-powered Techstyle Haus demonstrates the aesthetic and functional benefits of state-of-the-art fabric architecture. When the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe issued a call for attractive, energy-efficient homes powered by the sun, one team of design students tapped the potential of fabric architecture. The competition submission, known as Techstyle Haus, brought together 50 students from Rhode Island …

Military-grade comfort

In hot, humid weather most people want to wear light, breezy clothing. If you’re in the military, however, the clothing option is limited to the uniform you’re issued. Outdoor Research, a Seattle, Wash.-based designer of high-performance outdoor gear, has partnered with W.L. Gore & Associates, Newark, Del., to create military clothing that is comfortable in …

Fit to print

Epson America Inc., Long Beach, Calif., revealed the creative potential of its SureColor® F-Series dye-sublimation printing solutions at the Epson Digital Couture event in New York City on Feb. 9. In its second year, the event showcases clothing collections fabricated by 11 North and Latin American designers using Epson print technology. The designers unveil their …

Exam rooms to go

When an athlete is injured on the field, it’s critical that medical professionals evaluate him or her right away. At a football game or other arena sport, distractions and confusion can inhibit a quick, efficient diagnosis. Engineering students at the University of Alabama devised a solution: They designed a collapsible tent that can be set …

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To the rescue

More consumers are seeking protection from the sun, heat, bugs and high energy bills, and shading system manufacturers are surrounding the market, indoors and out. The U.S. market is looking rather attractive these days to manufacturers of shade systems. For a variety of reasons—energy conservation, protection from the elements and insects, heat and glare reduction—screens, …

Self-cleaning skins

The Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has a strong commitment to sustainability. Located on First Nations land, the center received BEST® certification by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada—a recognition of eco-friendly operations and infrastructure. One of the more unique sustainable features the center installed consists of self-cleaning surfaces on …

Urban shade, on the move

Imagine a massive bright red, two-story canopy heading toward you on multiple bicycles. Sound like something out of the movies? Well, it’s no fantasy. Called the People’s Canopy, the structure was commissioned by the city of Preston in the United Kingdom, working with In Certain Places, an art program for urban intervention and events, as …

At the intersection of textiles & technology

Qaizar Hassonjee mines market opportunities and forms partnerships to bring smart fabrics to market. “The intersection of textiles and technology is a huge untapped opportunity for the textile industry,” says Qaizar Hassonjee, senior director, business development and partnerships, for adidas Digital Sports. “Market segments such as hospitality, health care and military are really prime for …

Smart Fabrics Summit draws key industry participants

Government and industry players gathered in Washington, D.C., April 11 to discuss the “nascent smart fabrics market,” as described by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who moderated the final session at the one-day event. “This room is buzzing with energy,” said David Lauren, executive vice president of global marketing and communications for Ralph Lauren Corp., …

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Going social

Gain an edge over competitors by learning to navigate the sea of social media marketing. The ways in which social media is utilized for business are nearly limitless, but it is especially valuable for building brand equity, highlighting company culture, enhancing public relations efforts, complementing customer service, augmenting business development, developing customer relationships and strengthening …

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Finding shelter in fabric

Alaska Structures® Inc. recently completed a contract for 365 new and improved U.S. Air Force Medium Shelter Systems. The United States Air Force (USAF) is no slouch when it comes to providing quality equipment, supplies and shelter for its ranks. The military branch recently invested more than $15 million in a Medium Weight Shelter Systems …

Designed for drama

Szczecin is a charming city situated in the northwest corner of Poland, near the Baltic Sea. The city was looking to update its 1976-era summer theater, a popular spot for big name concerts, celebrations and cultural events. Flanagan Lawrence, London, England, won a competition to design the new space. The original theater features an iconic …