Shared value

December 1, 2016

Last month, I was writing an editorial before IFAI Expo to be read after the show—a form of journalistic time travel. Today I am writing after doing my civic duty, but before the United States chooses a new president. I made some predictions about Expo, but I won’t venture into political prognostication. (Much.) After more …

Develop and diversify

November 1, 2016

By the time you read this magazine, IFAI Expo 2016 will have passed; but as I write this, it’s still 10 days out. The magazine will go to the printer before I have a chance to say anything about what I learned, or learned to question, in Charlotte. At this time of year, I’m always …

Water Repellency highly possible without fluorine

October 18, 2016

Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ, says repellency is all about outdoor textiles staying clean and dry. Centonze was a presenter Oct. 18 at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Because consumers are beginning to perceive fluorine-based garments as negatively affecting the environment, the textile industry continues to explore fluorine-free options. He adds, “Nature can …

Road work ahead

October 1, 2016

In the November 1933 issue of The National Canvas Goods Manufacturers Review, Manager-Editor McGregor said, “Unregulated competition was wasting natural resources, ruining worthwhile business enterprise, and exploiting human labor. … We live in a highly integrated business civilization requiring a new set of industrial principles.” In the November 2015 issue of Specialty Fabrics Review, our …

Doing well, doing good

August 1, 2016

Someone recently asked me: “What value do we (IFAI and the specialty fabrics industry) bring to the larger community?” It caught me by surprise. I have a deep and personal interest in the success of our industry. IFAI staff and volunteers work every day to advance, promote and protect it. I believe that the companies …

Benefit sharing

June 29, 2016

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 …

Special delivery

June 1, 2016

Mass customization is defined online as a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of “custom-made” with the low unit costs associated with mass production—sometimes with the qualification added that the customization is intended to take place at the last possible production stage before the product meets the customer. The concept started …

An intelligent ecosystem

May 1, 2016

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 …

Warp speed

April 1, 2016

One of my friends emailed me this morning to ask about some research she was doing into the history of women’s participation in “technological” careers, wondering what was considered “high tech” 30, 40 and 50 years ago, and reminiscing about professional life before cell phones and computers and a global communications network. When I started …

Forethought: The next job

March 1, 2016

Back in September 1999, I wrote my first editorial for the Industrial Fabric Products Review. At the time, I described myself this way: “I’m a rabid science fiction fan and a relentless afficionado of robust red wines, and I have no children, no pets, six slowly petrifying house plants, and only a fading hope that …