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Hazardous duty

December 1, 2015

How fabric technology is protecting rescuers against ever-more-dangerous situations. On the hot summer day in 2013 when 19 experienced firefighters lost their lives, the Yarnell Hill fire, northwest of Phoenix, Ariz., spanned 8,400 acres. The trees were dry, the humidity was low and the wind suddenly turned, cutting off escape and creating an inferno. The …

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The age of automation

Sewn or sealed, automation is trending as U.S. companies strive to increase efficiency and decrease costs. The art of sewing textiles is lacking in U.S. manufacturing as lower-cost labor in Asia has helped meet consumer demands for competitive retail prices. But automation technology is slowly advancing, helping companies bring production costs down while keeping quality …

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Navigating the seas of social compliance

October 1, 2015

Keeping a weather eye on your supply chain. Container ships are the life blood of the global apparel and textile trade. Every year, thousands of vessels traverse the oceans loaded with billions of dollars in ready-made goods waiting to be claimed by eager consumers. The process by which these goods are transferred from ship to …

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Technology and growth

Taking the time now to learn about automated manufacturing processes can save time in the long run, while increasing productivity and revenue. Automated cutting and the associated use of CAD software has been available to those processing textiles since the late 1980s. While technology has matured, price has come down and industry acceptance has grown, …

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Managing cyber security

Don’t fall asleep at the computer. The recent headlines about Internet hacking and high-profile security breaches have focused on large retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot, and big banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. Unfortunately, fraud and financial data losses are not limited to retailers or even to one industry. Small businesses …

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Retirement plan or tax benefit?

June 1, 2015

Successful businesses often still have things to learn about managing taxes and income. Many business owners and managers are aware of “qualified plans” or programs like 401(k) and Defined Benefit plans, which allow the sponsoring employer: current income tax deduction for plan contributions; tax deferred growth on plan assets; asset protection under ERISA (the Employee …

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The “Philosopher’s Stone”

February 1, 2015

New technology makes sustainable fabric finishing possible. Before knowledge of elements, atoms, nanotechnology and environmental issues, alchemists sought to convert base metal to gold and silver. They believed this transmutation would happen through the magical use of a “Philosopher’s Stone.” Significantly, this ability would also transform the holders of the Stone with riches beyond their …

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Habit forming

January 1, 2015

The secret to a sideline in cleaning and repair is convincing customers to do it regularly. Cleaning and repair of fabric products is a bit like pie-making: It’s an extremely useful skill, and there’s a sizable market for it, but it’s not everyone’s strong suit. Today’s high-performance fabrics are an investment. They have a longer …

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The world of your website

Why it’s important to give your website the careful attention it needs to support the success of your business. All industries experience their share of change. The fabrics industry is no different. From hemp to cotton to microfibers to “smart clothes” that gauge body temperature and GPS locations, the fabrics industry is undergoing a rapid …

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Saturation point

PPE manufacturers are running at capacity to help in the fight against Ebola. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), or Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a potentially fatal disease that was first identified in 1976. Since then, outbreaks have happened every couple of years, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. However, none of these outbreaks has been as serious as the …