Ultraflex Systems launches Signetics™ magnetic receptive media

June 30, 2016

Ultraflex Systems’ Signetics™ for magnetic receptive media offers easy on-site installation, no-edge chipping and high durability. Materials are engineered with an optimized face-film for ink adhesion and offer a neutral white point. Potential applications include wall graphics, menu boards, interior design decoration and fixture graphics. Signetics Select is offered in three sizes and has a …

Coated fabric demand increases

June 29, 2016

Demand for coated fabrics in the U.S. is forecast to increase 2.1 percent per year to 650 million square yards in 2020. Coated fabric usage is highly dependent on the production of end products and the level of competition from alternative materials such as leather, plastic and uncoated fabrics. These trends are presented in “Coated …

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Projects and prototypes

Industry breakthroughs are proving the viability of photovoltaic fabrics. The University of Wisconsin–Madison may not be the first research institution you would think of for solar textiles research, but a relatively new research team is changing that low profile substantially. Marianne Fairbanks, assistant professor in the School of Human Ecology, and Trisha Andrew, assistant professor …

Color connections

Colorlink is A&E’s first mobile app with a focus on thread color. It connects teams across design and production channels, offers an array of digital color choices and provides more control of thread color selection from design inception to the manufacturing floor. Colorlink also supports a companion device called COLORCATCH NANO, a hand-held tool that …

Bright simplicity

The Sunbrella® 2016 Upholstery Collection emphasizes design simplicity with bright colors and natural-inspired neutrals. The collection includes: Stripes (classic stripe patterns in bold colors), Wisteria (delicate shifts in color and texture), Regatta (seaside feel), Mist (textural neutrals), Emerald (modern and classy), Meridian (subtly textured solid) and Cast (heathered yarns in eight muted colors). The 2016 …

‘Batman v Superman’ premier tent is blockbuster

Everything Entertainment, an event-production company based in Staten Island, N.Y., routinely provides services for red-carpet events, trade shows and outdoor festivals in New York City. When tapped to provide a heated tent covering the exterior of Radio City Music Hall spanning Rockefeller Center to Avenue of the Americas for the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of …

Fast forward for footwear

In the quest among athletes for longer, faster or better performance, shoe selection can provide the competitive edge. The adidas Group, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, launched its Futurecraft series to open up new avenues for the design and manufacture of performance footwear. The company’s most recent collaboration with Alexander Taylor Studio, a London, England, industrial …

Foundations built to last

Mal Maher is the CEO of NC Carpet Binding & Equipment Corp., a Newark, N.J.-based company that manufactures machinery and offers supplies for the flooring trade. Founded in 1947 by his uncle and grandfather, Maher got his start in the family owned and operated business in 2000. Here, Maher shares his thoughts about production challenges, …

MIRA supercomputer puts on a bold front

In the world of high-speed calculations, supercomputers rule. MIRA, a supercomputer constructed for the Argonne National Laboratory’s Argonne Leadership Computing Facility in Lemont, Ill., is capable of 10 quadrillion calculations per second. An average personal computer would take 20 years to accomplish the same feat. To showcase MIRA’s abilities in climatology, seismology, chemistry and math, …

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Working smarter, from fabric to product

Amsterdam-based studio works with manufacturers to bring a design sensibility to smart fabrics. The theme for this year’s Met Gala, the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art style spectacular that brings out top celebrities and fashion industry icons, was about fashion in the age of technology. Some designers took the opportunity to integrate smart textiles into …

Comfortable turnout gear

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material—Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim is a segmented, stitch-free trim designed to offer greater flexibility and mobility for firefighters. The new trim laminates onto fabric, creating a flatter surface with minimal catch-points. Because the reflective material is segmented, it is more flexible and better able to conform to the gear’s fabric …

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Partners in success

Specialty fabricators don’t have to go it alone. Equipment and automation manufacturers are working hard, developing technologies that sharpen the competitive edge. Founded in 1908, Minnesota Knitting Mills (MKM) started out supplying nearby colleges with letter award sweaters, says Patrick Hickey, president of the Mendota Heights, Minn.-based manufacturer. The company transitioned into providing knit apparel …

Protective finish

LUX Shield zips have teeth and sliders that are resistant to corrosion caused by tanning chemicals and exposure to atmospheric elements. The protective finish and precisely formed teeth enhance the zip’s durability and appearance; zip model sizes range between 4, 6 and 8 mm. Main uses include leather garments, leather accessories, footwear, stone-washed garments and …

Fabric engineering

Ben Fox expands design capabilities for fabric structures, focusing on innovation and education to solve customer problems. “Our company’s roots are unique in that we started out as a construction service and kind of worked our way backward into manufacturing,” says Ben Fox, owner, president and CEO of Legacy Building Solutions, South Haven, Minn. “That’s …

A succession solution

How to determine if an employee stock ownership plan is right for your company. An exit plan is generally not at the forefront of a company owner’s mind, especially at the height of career success, but it’s no less important than any other business strategy. When the time comes to step down, a comprehensive exit …

Flying tent works up top or down low

Explorers who go everywhere in nature have to travel light and react quickly. A start-up company, Startraveller Equipment GmbH, Carinthia, Austria, developed the perfect companion for wanderers in the wild—the flying tent, an all-in-one tent that works as a ground tent, a floating tent hung on tree trunks, a hammock or a rain poncho. The …

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Smart fabrics, smart move

From research to manufacturing reality through the AFFOA Institute. The AFFOA initiative provides an exciting opportunity to enhance the functionality of the fabrics that all of us interact with every day,” says Dr. Julianna Abel, University of Minnesota mechanical engineering assistant professor. These functional fabrics, or “smart fabrics,” can include “multi-material fabrics for medical and …

Benefit sharing

Every year at this time, we start pulling together our editorial calendars, compiling a list of important products, key markets and vital industry issues. This year’s “issues” roster for the Review includes (but is not limited to): multifunctionality in high-performance fabrics; sustainability, inside and out; smart marketing and managing social media; adding value; the next …

Upcycling oceans of debris

Javier Goyeneche, president of Ecoalf Recycled Fabrics S.L., headquartered in Madrid, Spain, established his recycled clothing company in 2010. Ecoalf jackets and backpacks made from recycled wastes appear in upscale shops, such as Harrods in London and Bloomingdale’s in New York. Now Goyeneche and partners in both the fabric and fishing worlds have set out …

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Streamlining standards

Compromise and collaboration are key to revising standards that improve textile product safety. The road to revised standards can be bumpy, fraught with lively discussions and detailed (some might say “picky”) decisions. The standards, some enforceable and some voluntary, guide material and product manufacturers through the complex world of creating safe and functional products. Hundreds, …

Mirrors of reflection

Milan Design week allows designers and innovators in materials to wow the cognoscenti with creativity, and 3M™, the inventors of films, adhesives, tapes and thousands of other products for homes and businesses, went to Italy with a reflective idea. In partnership with Stefano Boeri Architetti, 3M Design installed Urban Tree Lounge to allow visitors prowling …

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Going up?

Creating a function—and personable—space for increasingly demanding customers is taking the tent-rental industry in some new directions. Poodle skirts and love beads, glam rock and disco, mood rings and pet rocks. There’s no denying that some trends end up being fads that fade. Occasionally, a trend—typically something with a reason to its rhyme—grabs a solid …

Automatic foam analysis

The Ross Miles Foam Analyzer (RMFA) is an instrument that measures foam height electronically. An LED bar and sensor bar are fitted along the intake vessel, and foam height is detected based on the difference in brightness at the foam-air boundary. The electronic height detection provides repeatability of the measurement and, with a resolution of …

Safety net for avid fans

Baseball is the all-American pastime, but it is not without its hazardous moments, for players and fans alike. Major League Baseball announced in 2015 its recommendation for extended screens to protect fans from batted or thrown balls and other hazards associated with flying debris. Fans gave the idea a raspberry, assuming screens would destroy the …

Tape for latex or dye-sub media

Designed to make hems on woven and knitted textile banner media without sewing, Banner Ups TexTape™ bonds permanently to most textiles and is durable for both outdoor and indoor use. It is made of premium grade modified double-sided acrylic adhesive and available in ⅜-inch and ¾-inch width. TexTape is applied like ordinary double-sided banner hem …

Thrace LINQ achieves ISO 9001:2008

June 28, 2016

Thrace LINQ, Summerville, S.C., has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for their quality management system. The achievement demonstrates the woven and nonwoven technical fabric supplier’s commitment to provide the highest quality materials to the markets they serve. ISO 9001 standard is designed to help ensure that an organization’s products and services consistently meet the requirements …

Leigh Fibers announces recycling partnership

June 27, 2016

Leigh Fibers, Inc., Spartanburg, S.C., will become the recycling partner for Cintas, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based uniform company. The first-of-its-kind national program will facilitate the safe disposal of out-of-service uniforms that normally end up in landfills. Instead, the recycling process will offer new life to the used materials in the automotive and other end-user industries. The …

Invista introduces winter denim

June 24, 2016

In response to research that shows that consumers are interested in the concept of winter jeans, Invista, the Wichita, Kan., integrated producer of polymers and fibers, recently launched two new Thermolite® brand technologies. Denim fabrics made with Thermolite® Infrared technology increase their temperature when exposed to solar or artificial light. Special ceramic pigments are added …

Hohenstein researches textiles’ softer side

June 23, 2016

The Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, has developed a digital method which allows 3-D analysis of the surface of textiles that come into direct contact with people’s skin. This new microscopy technique will allow greater understanding of the mechanical nature of contact between textile surfaces and skin, enabling manufacturers to improve the friction properties of textiles. …

Hexcel opens innovation center

Hexcel Corporation, a Stanford, Conn. manufacturer of advanced composites, has opened a $10 million innovation center in Duxford, U.K., to support the growing worldwide demand for composite materials for aerospace and industrial markets. The site is Hexcel’s largest research center for resin systems and adhesives. Duxford is also Hexcel’s center of excellence for process technology …

American & Efird to purchase thread maker

June 22, 2016

American & Efird, Mount Holly, N.C., the largest U.S. manufacturer of industrial and consumer thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles, is acquiring a majority ownership of India’s largest thread maker, Vardhman Yarns and Threads Ltd. from its joint-venture partner, Vardhman Textiles Ltd. When the purchase is complete, American & Efird will own 89 percent of …

A. Hoffman Awning wins creative awards

June 20, 2016

A. Hoffman Awning Co., Baltimore, Md., has won gold recognition in the 2016 Muse Creative Awards, an international competition for creative professionals who inspire with concept, writing or design. The company was chosen out of more than 1,200 submissions from 33 countries. A. Hoffman won for “A Guide to Consumer Awning Needs” and “Snowzilla on …

Hohenstein webinar series: Keeping Mold at Bay

June 17, 2016

Dr. Anja Gerhardts of Hohenstein’s William-Küster Institute for Hygiene, Environment and Medicine will present Keeping Mold at Bay: Exploration and Solutions for Textile and Apparel Factories on June 22 at 12:00 p.m. EST (USA). Dr. Gerhardts will describe the science behind mold infestations, the available preventive measures and treatments, and the comprehensive risk management strategies …

Huntsman taps Aggarwal to lead Textile Effects Division

June 16, 2016

Woodlands, Texas-based specialty chemicals manufacturer Huntsman Corp. has named Rohit Aggarwal as president of Huntsman’s Textile Effects division, effective July 31, 2016. Most recently he has been Huntsman’s vice president and managing director of Indian subcontinent operations, a position he has held since July 1, 2015. Aggarwal joined Huntsman in 2005 and has held various …

IFAI Expo Exhibitor Product Preview entry deadline extended

The 2016 Exhibitor Product Preview deadline has been extended to Friday, June 24. IFAI Expo 2016 exhibitors may submit the products and services they will be exhibiting in October. 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, …

Nano-enhanced textiles clean themselves with light

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a cheap and efficient way to grow special nanostructures—that degrade organic matter when exposed to light—directly onto textiles. Textiles, which already have a 3D structure that absorbs light, are ideal for the process. When the nanostructures are exposed to light, they create “hot electrons” that enable …

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Digital printing: New fabrics, inks and printers are expanding graphic applications, indoors and out

Advances in technology are making custom graphics easier, more affordable and much more impressive. Fabric printing has come a long way from the days when vinyl banners were the norm in signage and screen-printed T-shirts were the gold standard in custom apparel. “Advancements in digital printing technology have made it easy to print photorealistic images …

Textile methods for tissue repair

June 15, 2016

Elizabeth Loboa, dean of Missouri University College of Engineering, experiments with biomaterials seeded with stem cells to grow and replace missing tissue lost through injury, illness or surgery. These “scaffolds” hold stem cells as they grow into tissue; scaffolds then degrade to leave the natural tissue in place. Scaffolds can be made using electrospinning, a …

CORDURA® teams up with ESMOD students

June 14, 2016

INVISTA, a Wichita, Kan.-headquartered producer of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers, is launching its workwear brand CORDURA® with future fashion designers. INVISTA has partnered with ESMOD Paris, which provides complete training at the undergraduate and graduate levels in fashion design and business. ESMOD students will develop a style portfolio of casual work wear clothing that …

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Special effects for digitally printed interior décor

Combine textured fabrics, dazzling metallic effects, LED lighting and acoustics for interiors that impress. In and of themselves, digitally printed wall and window coverings, as well as upholstery-type products for interior décor, add pizzazz to residential and commercial settings. Additional effects can boost the impact significantly. The first product from DreamScape™, a division of Roysons …

Polyfab USA now American-owned

June 13, 2016

The management team of Polyfab USA LLC, Manhattan Beach, Calif., purchased the company from its “mother ship” Polyfab Australia. Polyfab Australia developed heavy-duty knitted HDPE shadecloth, ideal for solar protection, more than 25 years ago and established the USA division in 2008. “By focusing solely on the Americas, we think we can tap into that …

Xerium announces new facility

June 10, 2016

Xerium Technologies Inc., a Youngsville, N.C.-headquartered provider of industrial consumable products and services, plans to establish a new roll cover and mechanical services facility located in Concepción, Chile. From this location, Xerium will perform roll recovering, roll grinding and mechanical services and will be able to provide regional customers with faster and more cost effective …

Deadlines extended for IFAI Student Design Challenge and International Achievement Awards

June 9, 2016

The Industrial Fabrics Association International extended deadlines for its Student Design Challenge and International Achievement Awards. IFAI’s Student Design Challenge deadline is extended to July 1, 2016. The IAA deadline is extended to July 7, 2016. The Student Design Challenge gives students a chance to network with industry professionals and build their resume and portfolios. …

Snow Peak and Teijin jointly launch outdoor clothing range

June 8, 2016

Snow Peak Inc., a Japan-based provider of outdoor gear, and Teijin Limited, a Tokyo-based manufacturer of high-performance fibers, plan to jointly launch a range of outdoor clothing utilizing high-performance materials developed by Teijin. The new line includes outdoor field coverall jackets and pants made from Teijin’s Teijinconex®, a meta-aramid fiber that is temperature-resistant to over …

H&V launches Japanese version of its website

June 7, 2016

Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V), a global manufacturer of materials for filtration, battery separator and industrial applications, has launched the Japanese version of its website. The version includes all the capabilities of the original English version and the ability to access Technical Data Sheets for commercially available filtration media, batter separator and industrial nonwoven products. In …

Teijin to participate in 2016 CHINA AID

June 6, 2016

Teijin Limited will participate in the China International Exhibition of Senior Care, Rehabilitation Medicine and Healthcare (CHINA AID) 2016 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from June 8–10. CHINA AID is one of the country’s largest welfare and rehabilitation trade fairs and this will be Teijin’s first participation in the exhibition. Products to be …

Thoms joins Futureguard

June 3, 2016

John Thoms has joined Futureguard as its new Chicago-based Midwest regional sales manager. Thoms brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in both the retail and wholesale awning and screen business. Prior to dealer sales, Thoms and his wife founded and operated a suburban Chicago awning fabrication shop, winning awards as one …

Huntsman Textile Effects launches neon shades with ERIONYL® FF dyes

June 2, 2016

Huntsman Textile Effects, manufacturer of dyes and textile chemicals, has introduced ERIONYL® Flavine FF and Rhodamine FF dyes. The additions address the growing demand for polyamide dyes as polyamide fibers become increasingly popular within the segment of functional elastic garments. “Due to their high-color strength and with neon shades representing an essential collection item of …

Pfeifer Group acquires FabriTec Structures and Guard-All Building Solutions

June 1, 2016

PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH, with its business unit, Cable Structures, has acquired an ownership interest in FabriTec Structures and its sister company, Guard-All Building Solutions, who provide wide-span, frame-supported, fabric buildings. The new team will have offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Poland, Qatar, Singapore and China. In July 2015, German-based Pfeifer …

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Digital printing pushes boundaries in interior décor

If you follow interior design news, you probably know that major paint companies Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams herald Simply White and Alabaster as their respective 2016 “colors of the year.” Fortunately for those who eschew plain vanilla environments, there’s another growing trend: walls and even windows brought to life with digitally printed graphics. In a …