Tent rental companies elevate their portfolio with tough installations

September 1, 2020

Tent rental companies confront challenges—and reap rewards—when they say yes to complex installations. by Pamela Mills-Senn In the tent rental industry, a willingness to tackle tough installations requires steely nerves, can-do attitudes, experienced and talented crews and lots of planning. But when it all comes together, challenging projects bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, …

Smart textile and e-textile solutions for indoor environments

Technology and fabric advancements are fueling the development of smart textile and e-textile solutions for indoor environments.  by Pamela Mills-Senn As the quest to add more functionality to interior spaces continues, smart fabrics and e-textiles are poised to make their own contributions, serving as platforms that can capture data, heat and cool, adjust lighting, entertain, …

Hardware and accessory suppliers keep essential components moving through the supply chain during COVID-19

by Jeff Moravec The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on corners of the specialty textiles industry that normally operate in the background of daily life. Terms like “N95” and “meltblown” are in the headlines. Restaurants are reopening under event tents. Vinyl dividers are popping up everywhere businesses meet their customers.  But textiles aren’t the …

IFAI Expo 2020 goes virtual

Get ready to experience IFAI Expo in an exciting virtual environment. The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the entire textile industry to pivot in 2020 and capitalize on emerging opportunities. In a similar fashion, IFAI has taken up the challenge to host its annual Expo in a digital environment that is safe, engaging and extremely relevant …

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Pivoting to the PPE textile products market

August 1, 2020

How the manufacturing of medical protective gear is challenging U.S.-based textile businesses—and throwing them a lifeline. by Debra Cobb The COVID-19 pandemic made it abundantly clear that the U.S. is unprepared to supply its health-care and frontline workers, as well as its general population, with the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed in such an emergency.  China …

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Staying agile in the time of COVID-19

Agility has emerged as the essential defining attribute of organizations able to respond to this crisis and chart a new, resilient course for the future. by Jeff Moravec Agility has always been something of a prerequisite for owning a company, and that skill set is clearly more valuable now than it ever has been. We …

Barry Adams on the science and art of the awning business

by Jill C. Lafferty “You have to be an exceptional artist. You’ve got to be able to create a vision for your customer,” says Barry Adams, owner of Peachtree Awnings in Norcross, Ga., and Tennessee Awnings in La Vergne, Tenn. “Where the customer lacks vision, we have to give them a vision about what we …

Expo 2020 Exhibitor Product Preview

IFAI EXPO 2020 is going virtual! Here’s your first look at the products and value-added services that await you on the virtual show floor in early November 2020. During the virtual Expo, exhibitors will highlight the latest products and information from the entire textile supply chain, from fibers and fabrics to shade systems and state-of-the-art …

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NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from four member companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. by Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

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Designing functional PPE

For PPE that is both effective and comfortable—and more likely to be worn regularly and properly—consider a systems engineering approach to design. by Sigrid Tornquist Perhaps never before has the acronym “PPE” been so much a part of the common vernacular. In the days of COVID-19, few are unfamiliar with the term. However, PPE—personal protective …