Moving military textiles into commercial markets

September 1, 2018

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 …

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 …

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 …

Brenda Hagerty and Porcupine Canvas: sales and customer-focused marketing

July 1, 2018

“Cold calls are a thing of the past,” says Brenda Hagerty, co-owner and president of Porcupine Canvas Manufacturing Ltd. in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada. “Calling someone out of the blue to try to sell them something just doesn’t work in today’s industry. What clients want are our feet on the ground.” Hagerty’s history with Porcupine Canvas …

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Enhancing workplace (and worker) performance: automation and technology, equipment ROI and the new workforce

Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich., focuses on custom marine canvas and upholstery products, says owner Chris Ritsema. The company also has a smaller portion of the business dedicated to other textile-related products, such as porch enclosures, shade sails, awning recovery, furniture covers, golf cart enclosures and a wealth of other custom projects. “We continue to …

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Stressed? Interactive textiles monitor humans and structures for potential damage

During the evening rush-hour traffic, the eight-lane 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis suddenly collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The bridge was a continuous truss design, and an overstressed gusset plate at a critical joint was later determined as the weak point that contributed to its …

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Sign language: The fabric sign and banner market is hotter than ever

Ask average consumers what springs to mind when they hear the words “signs and banners,” and they’ll likely describe wayfinding placards and lengths of logo-imprinted fabric hanging from street poles. And although placards and pennants have their place in the sign and banner arena, this is a market segment with innovative and expanding applications in …

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Playing it safer: performance and protection for sports and recreation

June 1, 2018

Today, people of all ages are embracing active lifestyles: playing team sports, hitting the slopes, biking, climbing and hiking in all kinds of weather conditions, testing their mettle in boxing rings and martial arts classes or going for the gentler forms of exercise, like yoga. People are on the move, including retiring baby boomers who …