2021 Specialty Fabrics Showcase, Part 1

Apr. 1, 2021  |  Feature, Specialty Fabrics Showcase

Awnings, tents, shade sails, marine upholstery, protective gear, furniture: regardless of the end product, the fabric needs to perform in harsh conditions while looking good, keeping the planet green and fitting into a client’s budget. For our two-part annual showcase, we asked contributors to sen…
Scott Sutherland: Ready for anything

Apr. 1, 2021  |  Feature, Perspective

In the summer of 2020, Scott Sutherland was elated with record-shattering sales, but he was also in a situation he had never imagined: out of aluminum, out of fabric, out of nearly every component used to make tents.
Sewing industry shape-shifting

Apr. 1, 2021  |  Feature

In January 2020, Archana Sharma, CEO of AKAS Tex LLC, a Bensalem, Pa., textile manufacturer/creator and designer of high-performance fabrics, says her company began receiving emails from Singapore, Australia, Japan and other eastern hemisphere countries inquiring about face masks and antimicrobial f…
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COVID-19 survey: Labor and supply chain challenges dominate pandemic struggles

Mar. 1, 2021  |  Feature

More than a year after the declaration of a global pandemic, it’s no surprise that a majority of companies in the industrial fabrics industry were negatively affected by the events of 2020. But the struggles were uneven, with some companies pivoting to new markets and others experiencing a positiv…
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Fabricators pivot, persevere and prosper

Mar. 1, 2021  |  Feature

COVID-19 made an abrupt entrance in 2020, catching almost everyone off guard. It quickly became clear that waiting it out wasn’t an option for most businesses. Many pivoted, looked for opportunities and took calculated risks to keep their employees working and the bottom line healthy during what h…
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A ‘mixed bag’ for U.S. textile manufacturing

Mar. 1, 2021  |  Feature

The year 2020 was not a particularly good period to assess the health of the U.S. textile manufacturing industry—or, for that matter, many other types of industries. But industry participants report that the optimism manufacturers felt at the beginning of the year was still there at the end, despi…
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The textile industry finds a path forward

Mar. 1, 2021  |  Feature

California was the first U.S. state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order because of the spreading pandemic, and with that decision, Jonathan Palmer, CEO of Grass Valley, Calif.-based Autometrix Inc., became one of many business leaders navigating a company through uncharted waters.
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Getting smarter about wearables

Feb. 17, 2021  |  Feature

Wristwatches date to the 16th century—and for most of their history, they’ve functioned as a woman’s accessory. (Men stuck with the pocket watch until the early 1900s.) Until recently, the watch served one practical purpose: to tell time. Today, our watches tell us our heart rate, sleep activi…