Mark Schechter rejoins KB Contract

July 31, 2017

Mark Schechter has been named senior vice president of sales Midwest and new markets for KB Contract, a division of Keyston Bros. Schechter briefly was associated with Shafer Seating, prior to which he had been a long-time employee of Keyston Bros. and KB Contract. A long time Denver resident, Schechter will manage his new responsibilities …

Vectorply opens high-tech facility

July 28, 2017

Vectorply Corporation, a Phenix City, Ala.-based manufacturer of high-performance composite non-crimp fabrics, opened the doors of their new Advanced Composite Reinforcement Center in June. The 53,000-square- foot facility features 38,000 square feet of manufacturing space dedicated to producing the company’s VectorUltra™ line of advanced multiaxial reinforcements. In addition, the new facility is home to the …

Lenzing invests in Thailand

July 27, 2017

The Lenzing Group plans to build a state-of- the-art lyocell fiber production plant in Prachinburi, Thailand, by the end of 2020. The plant is part of a strategy to substantially increase Lenzing’s share of specialty fibers as a proportion of total revenue. The company established a subsidiary in Thailand and is purchasing a commercial property …

Cotton for absorbent textiles

July 26, 2017

Jayalakshmi Enterprises, based in South India, has developed two mechanically processed cotton varieties for use in absorbent technical textiles products. One has a soft silken touch and the other variety is high end. The two different types of processed cotton can be used in nonwoven manufacturing processes such as needlepunching and hydroentangling to develop absorbent …

Bluestar Silicones becomes Elkem Silicones

July 25, 2017

Elkem, a leading producer of silicon-related advanced materials, is assuming responsibility for Bluestar Xinghuo Silicones and Yongdeng Silicon Materials and integrating them into the Elkem Group. Previously, the two plants were owned by Elkem owners, China National Bluestar. This move further develops Elkem’s integrated silicone value chain from upstream quartz mining to silicon, silicones and …

Know-how now

July 24, 2017

Experienced upholsterers consider the loss of training in their trade, and how to bring in new talent. With 39 years in the upholstery industry, Chip Lueck recalls a vast pool of shops around the country with talented upholsterers. “It’s not there anymore,” says the owner of Recovery Room in Panama City Beach, Fla. “I’ve talked …

An education in upholstery

The owner of The Funky Little Chair sets out to preserve quality and services by offering upholstery classes at her shop. “The Funky Little Chair” could be the title of a children’s book, but Cynthia Bleskachek’s lessons are for adults. “If people want to be a professional upholsterer, they have to dig in and figure …

A&E Corporate sustainability report

American & Efird (A&E), a leading manufacturer and distributor of industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles, has released its “2016-2017 Corporate Sustainability Report.” This year’s report reflects the three concepts that drive A&E’s industry-leading sustainability program: transparency, traceability and trust. It also highlights the company’s accomplishments in the areas of safety, …

Bio-based materials of the year

July 21, 2017

The Nova-Institute, Hürth, Germany, has presented the innovation award, Bio-based Material of the Year 2017, to three innovative materials in specific applications. The competition focused on new developments in the bio-based economy, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2016 or 2017. The winners were elected by the participants of the 10th …

Early-bird registration opens for textile coating and laminating conference

July 20, 2017

The organizers of TCL2017, the International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating, have announced that discounted early-bird rates are now available for delegates to the event, which will take place in Berlin, Germany on November 8-9 2017. Registrants should simply visit the conference website at www.intnews.com/TCL to secure their place at this special rate. At …

Teijin Aramid receives Gold Partner certificate from EcoVadis

July 19, 2017

Teijin Aramid received a certificate from EcoVadis that qualifies the company as a Gold Partner for its sustainability efforts in the automotive market. Teijin Aramid is the preferred supplier of aramid for most large tire producers, who use the para-aramid Twaron to produce their high performance tires. EcoVadis operates the first collaborative platform providing Supplier …

Trivantage Adds Sunbrella® Throws to Product Line

July 18, 2017

Patio and indoor furniture retailers looking to add a cash-and-carry product to their showroom can now order Sunbrella® throw blankets from Trivantage®, the nation’s one-stop shop for fabrics, hardware and accessories. “Sunbrella throws are a great way to start a conversation about the benefits of durable, bleach cleanable Sunbrella fabric,” said Katie Szabo, the decorative …

Pro Em Party & Event Rentals acquires Universal Resource Supply LLC and SoCal Tents & Events

PRO EM Party & Event Rentals (PRO EM), Phoenix, Ariz., has acquired Universal Resource Supply LLC and SoCal Tents & Events (URS), a Los Angeles, Calif.-based event rental company. The purchase marks the second acquisition in 45 days by PRO EM, according to a press release. The company acquired Illinois-based Partytime-HDO Productions in May. Financial …

Honeywell Spectra® Fiber being used in military and industrial applications

July 17, 2017

Honeywell International Inc. announced its Spectra® fiber is being used in a new range of textiles designed for military and industrial applications. The fabrics will be created by Heathcoat Fabrics Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of technical textiles based in the United Kingdom. They are suitable for a range of end use applications in which …

Sunbrella® Contour wins ADEX award

Sunbrella® Contour received a platinum award in this year’s ADEX awards competition, an architecture and design industry recognition of excellence in design and product innovation. Contour, a rich, knit-textured fabric ideal for shade structures, expands the possibilities of what can be crafted using shade fabrics. It has the unique ability to fit any shape or …

Schoeller signs HYDRO_BOT production agreement

July 14, 2017

Schoeller Textil AG and Osmotex AG have signed a production agreement for HYDRO_BOT, a new technology for moisture management that transports moisture to match human sweat rates in various climates, conditions and activity levels. Tests of the HYDRO_BOT panels have shown encouraging results for the moisture management solution. Behind HYDRO_BOT is Osmotex, a Swiss-Norwegian start-up …

USTR requests special session on U.S.-Korea free trade agreement

July 13, 2017

On July 12, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, as directed by President Trump, formally notified the Republic of Korea that the United States is calling a special Joint Committee meeting under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to start the process of negotiating to remove barriers to U.S. trade and consider needed amendments to …

Kubacki, Baily and Letendre promoted at FLEXcon

FLEXcon Company Inc., Spencer, Mass., has expanding its leadership team with two new vice presidents and a new director. Tom Kubacki has been named vice president of Manufacturing. Kubacki has been with the company 28 years and most recently served as director of Coating Technology and Production Control. Nathan Bailey will lead the company’s strategic …

Classic Party Rentals to sell all tenting assets

July 12, 2017

Classic Party Rentals is selling all tenting assets as part of a decision to exit the third-party event rental services business. Hilco Industrial, Northbrook, Ill., announced on July 12 the immediate private treaty sale process for Classic’s tenting assets. The sale includes substantially all assets from the tenting business unit of Classic Party Rentals, according …

Hemp cultivation sets record

The cultivation of hemp was legalized in most European Union-member states between 1993 and 1996. In 2011, cultivation decreased to its lowest value since 1994, just 8,000 hectares. However, it has increased steadily since 2012 to reach 33,000 hectares in 2016. According to the European Industrial Hemp Association, Europe expects almost constant or moderately growing …

Particulates, protection and partnerships

First responders put their lives at risk on a regular basis to meet whatever challenges arise—which is why specialty textile developers and manufacturers continue to invest R&D resources in finding new and better protective gear for those brave men and women standing in harm’s way. Globe Manufacturing Co. in Pittsfield, N.H., develops gear for the …

Exporting process video available

July 11, 2017

The process of exporting your product to international markets can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? What are all the necessary steps to get your product or service out there? The U.S. Commercial Service, a resource for U.S. businesses on all things exporting, has released the “Exporting Basics” video series to help U.S. businesses break …

Changes at American Cord & Webbing

July 10, 2017

Dennis Smith, national sales manager at American Cord & Webbing Inc. (ACW), has announced his retirement after 27 years with the company. At the same time, Susan Lake is ACW as director of Sales and Marketing. Lake managed the Midwest and East Coast from 2013 to 2015 and left to become vice president of sales …

Coalition promotes sustainable cotton

July 7, 2017

Cotton 2040 is a new initiative convened by the sustainability nonprofit, Forum for the Future with support from the C&A Foundation, to make more sustainable cotton a mainstream commodity. The effort brings together a coalition of international brands and retailers, cotton standards, existing industry initiatives and other stakeholders across the supply chain to scale up …

GOTS-certified facilities on rise

July 6, 2017

The number of facilities that have been certified by the Global Organics Textile Standard (GOTS) increased 21 percent in 2016 to 4,642 according to the recent GOTS Annual Report. GOTS-certified facilities are now located in 63 countries worldwide, impacting 1.4 million workers. GOTS certification covers the processing of organic fibers along the entire supply chain …

Top Value Fabrics Acquires Pacific Coast Fabrics

July 5, 2017

Top Value Fabrics (TVF), Carmel, Ind., has acquired Gardena, Calif.-based Pacific Coast Fabrics. The acquisition expands TVF’s product offerings and strengthens its west coast distribution network for printable textiles. “TVF is known throughout the industry for outstanding customer service and quality products, and the Pacific Coast Fabrics team shares that same dedication to the customer,” …

American Textile announces new hires and promotions

American Textile Company, Duquesne, Penn., recently announced new hires and promotions. Mark Milani has been named vice president of Manufacturing and Distribution. Milani joined the company in 2012 and previously was vice president of Quality and Engineering. Chris Donelan was promoted to AmeriFill division director. He has been with the company since 2009, and with …

New medical textiles center

July 3, 2017

The Hohenstein Institute has established the Hohenstein Health Center for textile health research within their company group in Bönnigheim, Germany. The center focuses on all aspects of health sciences in which clothing and other textile products and procedures affecting human health play a central role. It takes an interdisciplinary approach and is open to all …

Redesigned steam suits for the U.S. Navy

July 1, 2017

One of the dangers of life on a submarine is the potential for one of the pressurized steam lines aboard to rupture. In such a situation, steam would leak at extremely high temperatures, potentially resulting in severe injury or death. While it is highly unlikely for this to occur, safeguards must be in place in …

Planning for the circular economy

Economics is an older science than ecology, created (if not perfected) during times when there were no scarcities of natural resources (and no wild-eyed college freshmen running around flashing their “Earth Day 1970” buttons at each other). In ecological science, there really is no concept of unlimited resources. Economics is necessarily focused on short time …

Mike Peterson reshapes company culture at SugarHouse Awning

Mike Peterson restructures an awning company’s culture by asking hard questions, collaborating on the answers, and fearlessly changing the rules. Our old philosophy was to focus on profitability and the end result—and in order to get there we did our best to take care of our customers, and our employees came last,” says Mike Peterson, …

Digital knitting machine

Nothing to wear? What if you could just push a button and print out a sweater? While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, technology is revolutionizing the fashion industry in exciting ways—including the development of a 3-D printer for knitting. Called Kniterate, the printer automatically turns digital designs into knitted garments. The computer-controlled …

A hammock/tent for sleeping in the air

Designed for one person—up to 250 pounds—REI’s Quarter Dome Air Hammock is a minimalist alternative to a tent. Lightweight and easy to set up and take down, it’s made of 15-denier ripstop nylon to provide tear-resistant protection. Settling into a fabric sling is great for relaxing or napping, but it doesn’t offer the support needed …

Designing with natural decor brings tented events to life

According to the color gurus at Pantone®, Greenery—the Pantone Color of the Year 2017—emblematizes our intrinsic desire to restore, revitalize and reconnect. Pantone calls the naturally neutral shade “symbolic of new beginnings”—a description appropriate to the thousands of weddings and other social events that occur under tents every year. “Green is a happy color,” says …

Japanese-inspired fabrics

The Azuma textile collection, from KnollTextiles, is inspired by the balance and harmony found in Japanese design philosophy and culture. The four upholstery fabrics in the collection, Kabuki, Sashiko, Zen Wave and Kaya, celebrate bold graphic forms and simple, subtle beauty. The fabric designs include striking geometric elements, vivid colors, subtle embroidered patterns, wave motifs …

Understand your customers’ personalities for better sales

Elemental keys to staying in sync and making the sale. The first thing you need to know is that your customers are different—from each other, and from you. You may feel that you already know that, but I can tell you that many business owners and professionals have lamented to me that the client they …

Coats Epic Metallic thread

Coats Epic Metallic thread is a specially developed metallised sewing thread consisting of a metallised yarn twisted together with a durable polyester core spun thread. The thread is especially suitable for decorative stitching on denim wear, apparel and leather goods that have not been treated with tannins. The metallic elements are available in gold, silver …

Soggy-free foam

The Bellbloc fabric liner system improves the performance of fabrics in upholstery applications by protecting foam inserts from the elements, extending the useful life of foam cushions. Developed specifically for the outdoor, hospitality, contract, long-term care and residential markets, the innovative liner is engineered to resist moisture, mold and mildew while reducing foam compression in …

Compact sewing table

The Merrow® Helmsman Table is designed to be easy to assemble, lightweight and durable. The narrowest table on the market, it features an adjustable-height frame seated atop locking wheels. Ergonomically friendly and highly transportable, it can be adjusted for any location or environment and can be used with an air, clutch or servo motor. The …

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Closing the loop: long-term sustainability strategies for textile manufacturers

Textile manufacturers are deploying sustainability strategies and forming partnerships to green up products and processes, helping manufacturers meet the requirements of even the most eco-concerned customers—and getting a good start on the circular economy of the future. For most manufacturers, eco-friendly, sustainable products are becoming a competitive necessity. And as concern over environmental issues has …

Professional printing

Next-generation SureColor S-series 64-inch S40670, S60670 and S80670 high-performance, roll-to-roll eco-solvent printers are the first large-format signage printers powered by Epson’s PrecisionCore printhead technology, for printing of photographic quality images for the signage, vehicle graphics and fine art reproduction markets. The new line incorporates the fourth-generation Epson Ultrachrome GS3 solvent ink, designed to reduce ink …

Woven metal fabric for space travel

Maybe it’s the Game of Thrones effect, because these days, metal fabrics are super hip. And just like the practical purpose they served in medieval times, a new woven metal fabric being developed by NASA can be put to use in a number of ways. Raul Polit Casillas, a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion …

The graphic edge

Fisher Textiles, a supplier of fabrics for digital printing, has introduced DD 4444 Domination®, a new fabric for frontlit Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) applications that is specially treated for UV-curable, direct and transfer sublimation printing. DD 4444 Domination is very stable with a gorgeous sheen that can also be used for banners, exhibit graphics, photographic …

Recycling and repurposing used fabrics and scraps

About five years ago, Scott Massey, president of Awning Cleaning Industries/APCO Products (and a member of IFAI’s board of directors), decided to expand his business reach in an earth-friendly way. His company has always had an environmental bent, since well-maintained fabrics stay out of landfills longer. Still, even these fabrics eventually need replacing, resulting in …

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Wearable electronics technology developers, textile designers and fashion brands join forces to make smarter clothing

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a slow but sure evolution of wearable electronics, including smart textiles, designed primarily to monitor body functions and communicate with the Internet of Things. But a great many of them were not especially wearable, and some never made it out of the lab. The tide, however, seems to be …

Durable, flexible fiber-reinforced hydrogel

Scientists at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, have combined hydrogels containing high levels of water with glass fiber fabric to create a flexible, reinforced material that is five times tougher than carbon steel. The researchers developed the durable, tensile material utilizing the same method used to produce reinforced plastics. They combined polyampholyte (PA) gels, a …