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2019 State of the Industry

March 1, 2019

Economic growth in 2018 increased in the United States: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 3.0 percent for the first time since 2005. Unfortunately, growth has been down in other advanced economies such as Canada, Japan and Europe. Growth in the emerging economy of China was also down in 2018—reaching 6.6 percent. China’s GDP is projected …

Changing the markets—and the marketing—of custom fabric graphics

February 1, 2019

The company’s founders could never have imagined the products that Art Display Company is making for its customers today. Back in 1947, when the Maryland sign shop began printing business signage, awnings were cotton canvas, neon signs were cutting-edge technology and everything from painting to sewing was done by hand. Today, the company produces a …

Whether indoors or out, custom graphics have a strong appeal with brand-savvy businesses

Those contemplating adding fabric graphics to their professional repertoire will find an arena poised for expansion and strong demand, driven by advancements in print and ink technology as well as by fabrics that increasingly deliver stunning results more reliably. Also fueling activity is the accelerating movement toward personalization and customization, says Randy Anderson, product marketing …

Getting into fabric graphics means doing your homework

Ron Nissenbaum, CEO of Humphrys CoverSports in Philadelphia, Pa., has been in the business long enough—51 years to be precise—to have witnessed a few changes in the way fabricators use graphics. When Nissenbaum started at Humphrys, which itself is nearly 150 years old, graphics were a rarity on the tarps, sports field covers and other …

Paul Aumento relies on employees and customers to keep Creative Textile Solutions a responsive manufacturer

Nova Scotia is a small market and Halifax is a smaller city compared to some others, so we’ve had to diversify to continue a successful year-round employment,” says Paul Aumento, co-owner and president of Creative Textile Solutions Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “So we expanded our markets right away to include whatever can be manufactured …

Working innovation: all successful companies innovate to grow, but each approach is unique

January 1, 2019

If there were a formula for writing a hit song, we could all do it. Efforts have certainly been made to figure out just what’s required to reach the top of the charts, but there simply isn’t a single defined path that can be taken to ensure musical success. In manufacturing, businesses that look to …

Women’s work: challenges and rewards in the specialty fabrics industry

Since the earliest days of civilization, women have sewn garments, constructed the tents they called home, and woven the textiles that made life more comfortable and defined distinctive cultures. Over the millennia, textiles produced by women have been essential to life and enterprise. As industrialization made these goods profitable, however, the textile world became a …

Melynda Norman-Lee brings tented events to life, continuing a tradition of success at JJL Events Inc.

“When I work on challenging projects I see the possibilities, not the restrictions,” says Melynda Norman-Lee, event project manager for J J L Events, Toronto, Ont., Canada. “I start visualizing the final outcome when I first start talking with the client. If I haven’t captured that vision from the beginning, I won’t be able to …

Fabric’s role in revitalizing neglected urban areas

Like other rust belt cities, Detroit began declining decades ago, propelled by a combination of bad luck, bad timing, bad decisions and economic transformations that delivered additional crushing, seemingly fatal, blows. Its condition was such that not so long ago, numerous companies sprang up offering tours of the city’s ruined buildings and factories—a somewhat morbid …

Long-term clearspan tent installations offer a clear advantage

December 1, 2018

For Jeff McInnes, what better proof of the validity of clearspan structures being used for permanent buildings than having his recently installed aquatic center survive Hurricane Florence in North Charleston, S.C. “We often install permanent structures that sometimes need to be in place for extended durations; anywhere from three to 30 years,” says McInnes, North …