To sew or to seal: expanding the toolbox

October 1, 2018

To sew or to seal is a question that some fabricators have answered by gearing their offerings toward products that utilize either the former or the latter, but not both. While this kind of specialization can be a viable and lucrative strategy, expanding the toolbox to incorporate both sewing and sealing can often prove even …

Performance finishes for performance textiles

Perhaps the people who develop textile finishings by coating or laminating could best be described as the unsung problem solvers—superheroes, even—of the textile performance world. Do they wear capes? Maybe they should—textile capes finished with performance-enhancing treatments. Problem solving is the basis of their work, as they treat textiles to enhance performance, in response to …

Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

“We have to be diverse and knowledgeable about the various types of products people are making in the industry,” says Taylor Bigley, co-owner and president of Awnings by Bigley & Hogshire, Hampton Roads, Va. “What’s in demand changes—the pendulum swings each way—and we have to react to it.” The roots of Awnings by Bigley & …

Strategies for how and when to grow your company

They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. You’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears (and a few bucks) necessary to make your business a success. You’ve made your customers happy, and they’ve told their friends. There’s never been enough time in the day, but now … it’s getting tough to manage it all. It’s …

Nonwovens in the automotive industry

September 1, 2018

“I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.”  When Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin Braddock heard those words in the iconic movie The Graduate in 1967, the use of plastics—or polymer-based materials—was on the rise. (This, although plastics had been around for almost 100 years; the first synthetic polymer was invented …

Moving military textiles into commercial markets

Located in Philadelphia, Pa., and founded in 1929, Ehmke Manufacturing Co. Inc. has made the military its primary target from the beginning, designing and fabricating a wide array of technical fabrics not just for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, but for allies and the defense industry in general. Products directed to the market …

Harold Warner and Dynamic Air Shelters develop larger and tougher inflatable structures

“I love the word resilience,” says Harold Warner, majority owner and president of Dynamic Air Shelters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Whether you’re operating on a physical plane or a psychological plane, resilience enables you to deflect danger and harm. What our company has done is expand and elevate the state of inflatable resilience in response to …

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Fabrics bring museum exhibits to life

August 1, 2018

Visitors to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., are bound to be moved by the multiplicity of impressions, sounds, lights and graphic images that could only be presented with the aid of fabric. “This Little Light of Mine,” the name of the main exhibition at the Jackson museum, aims to immerse visitors …

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Added value experiences keep the customers around

July 30, 2018

Delivering an added-value experience can help companies pull ahead of the pack, giving customers the incentive to return—while also elevating the business and the entire industry. It can be challenging to stand out from the scrum of companies clamoring for attention and business. More challenging still is inspiring the kind of loyalty that keeps customers …