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Basic training principles for new and long-time tent installers

October 1, 2018

Labor is a problem everywhere, with tent rental companies experiencing constant turnover and the need to train new installers. Desperate to fill out their crews, tent renters will often send new employees on the road for installations right off the bat, with training coming on the job from long-time employees. But just because a crew …

Incorporating new materials into composites

In material science, strength alone is often found to have its limitations; a combination of hard and soft, rigid and flexible is an area of increasing interest for a wide range of applications from construction, to sports equipment, to protective apparel. Composites bring together two or more materials to provide one that has novel features, …

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Recommended fabric cleaning products

September 1, 2018

It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do all the cleaning and maintenance,” says Marianne Iosso, vice president of Iosso® Products of …

Textile-based robots

A Harvard collaboration develops soft, wearable robotics for hands. Soft, wearable robotics is an emerging field that looks at methods of enabling functional, powered support to assist human movements using lightweight, low-profile and flexible materials such as textiles. A diverse team of researchers in the Harvard Biodesign Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired …

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Prototypes and progress: The problems of today are the products of tomorrow

August 1, 2018

  Good companies allocate time, energy, money and resources to the art of product development. Why? Because the products of tomorrow can’t be developed without working through the problems of today. Whether you’re doing product research and development for your own products or you’ve been hired by a customer to conduct the work, there’s a …

Textile-based bio materials mend bodies

July 30, 2018

Textile-based biomaterials, or biotextiles, have the longest history in the field of biomaterials. In ancient China and Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C., natural fibers such as linen, silk, bark, horsehair and dried guts were used as suture materials for wound closure. The introduction of steel wire and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon …

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Future architecture: Nicholas Goldsmith and the journey from mass to membrane

July 1, 2018

Nicholas “Nic” Goldsmith, FAIA, has been a major player for more than 40 years in the development of fabric architecture in North America and around the globe through his leadership of the innovative architectural/engineering firm FTL Design Engineering Studio, based in New York City. I’ve known Nic for more than 20 of those years, and …

New technologies make textiles interactive and smarter

Textiles are well established as passive materials offering comfort and protection, as well as design and fashion choices. With strong interest in promoting textile manufacturing and enhancing the utility and performance of textiles, academia and government researchers have initiated efforts to enable them to be active as well. Textiles that can provide functional performance properties, …

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How to use the H-2B program to hire legal temporary guest workers

June 1, 2018

For tent and event rental companies, the busy season not only brings the promise of more work, it also ups the need for more workers, a worry for businesses facing potential labor shortages. In response, some U.S. businesses turn to the H-2B program, hoping to fill their seasonal needs by employing legal temporary immigrant labor, …

Redefining textiles

New materials and manufacturing processes give the word “textile” new meaning. Textile technology is undergoing a revolution, with innovative structures, raw materials and manufacturing platforms creating new fabrics that defy old-school definitions. Introductory textile science classes teach that textiles are materials that can be woven, knit, crocheted, knotted or felted from yarns spun from cellulose, …