Permanent Side Hustles: Turn one-time gigs into long-term revenue streams

December 1, 2019

by Jeff Moravec For many people, the so-called gig economy has created an entirely new way to make a living. The idea of side hustles may strike many fabricators as familiar—just with a new name. It’s not difficult to find fabricators who started a business with a narrow, well-defined specialty, only to find opportunities (sometimes …

Biopolymers: a green alternative to plastic textiles

Bio-based materials are an increasingly desirable (and versatile) base for textiles in a variety of markets. by Debra Cobb Within global manufacturing’s quest to become more sustainable, biopolymers are becoming an increasingly important area of development. Polymers are the chains of monomers, or building blocks, that make up many materials, including textile fibers. Biopolymers—created from …

Polo Custom Products: from concept to production with a full range of services

by Rebecca Post Everything is global now. There’s more opportunity to enter into partnerships with your customers now. You can make suggestions that will improve their business, and that’s even expected,” says Kent Lammers, CEO and president of Polo Custom Products. In fact, says Lammers, keeping pace with customer expectations is what transforms clients into …

Get your glamp on

Traditional camping isn’t for everyone; some people prefer a more glamorous way to experience the outdoors. For these folks, glamping offers a way to enjoy nature without any mess, fuss or inconvenience.   by Pamela Mills-Senn Sure, there are some folks who enjoy the pup tent/sleeping bag approach to camping. But others don’t see why spending …

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The fabrics of modern food production

November 1, 2019

Textile products for the agricultural market help to protect livestock and grain, improve yields, and make a farmer’s job a little easier and more profitable. by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby Call them the unsung heroes of modern food production.Today’s durable agricultural fabrics combat wind, sun, mud, moisture and other threats, helping farmers protect their grain and …

New board chair Kathy Schaefer: meeting industry challenges

New IFAI board chair Kathy Schaefer shares her vision for an organization that helps its members navigate a changing industry landscape. by Jill C. Lafferty I walk into IFAI Expo every year and say, ‘Wow. What’s new?’ There’s always something really ingenious,” says Kathy Schaefer, IFM, chief operating officer of Glawe Awnings and Tents, Fairborn, Ohio. …

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Finders, keepers: long-term customer loyalty

Attracting customers in the market for shade products is one thing; retaining them for future business is another. Managing both objectives requires establishing connections that are meaningful and lasting.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A quick Google search on “connecting with customers” reveals all sorts of advice, usually in the form of the “seven best ways,” or the …

Long-term growth: The right equipment, the right software, the right employees

October 1, 2019

At each step along the supply chain, customers demand quality, efficiency, flexibility and speed.  The right kind of equipment, with the right kind of software and the right kind of operator, can lead to long-term growth.  by Maura Keller Today’s consumer expects faster turnaround times and custom quality at low prices, which means that manufacturers …

The state of sustainability: textile companies work to give themselves an eco-friendly edge

As climate change and pollution concerns remain at the forefront of public attention, textile companies work to give themselves an eco-friendly edge.  by Jeff Moravec A decade ago in this magazine, the growing attention to sustainability in the textile supply chain was a hot topic. Guess what? It still is. This doesn’t mean the industry hasn’t …

Power Grab: Smarter, stronger and more powerful textiles

Today’s textiles are stronger, smarter and more powerful than ever, delivering an array of functionalities that open up a world of opportunities for industries across the board.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A determined effort is underway to devise highly functional fabrics and textile-based products. Examples of powerful innovations run the gamut from electrically conducting materials to …