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Canopy protects New Zealand kindergarten from UV rays

June 1, 2016

Mid-century kindergarten in New Zealand gains a contemporary facelift and enhanced enrollment—and a healthy dose of shade. Of all the roles that shade structures fulfill—from aesthetic appeal to space expansion— their most critical function is weather protection. Few places require as much protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays as New Zealand, which, according to the country’s …

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Framework for success

March 1, 2016

Companies with in-house metal shops enjoy advantages in quality control and customer service, plus increased opportunities for expanding operations. Like the stars of box-office hits, fabric usually gets all the glory as the most noticeable player (especially when emblazoned with colors and custom graphics) in structural protective coverings. But just like those high-grossing stars of …

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Envision, build, repeat

Michael Catalano treats his clients as strategic partners—and that keeps them coming back. “We have a saying here: It’s not about the first job. It’s about the next job,” says Michael Catalano, CEO of Capitol Awning Co., Jamaica, N.Y. “And probably 90 percent or more of our work ends up being repeat business.” Michael Catalano …

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Angles of shade

February 1, 2016

Tech giant Google™ relied on old-school textiles to help shed some shade on its new campus expansion. Google™ is known for its inventiveness, creativity and efficiency. It’s no surprise that the unique Internet company continued that trend when it chose an industrial fabric solution for the outdoor area of its new campus expansion. The shaded …

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Demand + supply = prevail

October 1, 2015

Robert Cole brings decades of experience and common sense to the time-honored but always evolving economic model of supply and demand. One of the great things this industry has to offer is the quality of its suppliers,” says Robert Cole, IFAI Honored Life Member (HLM) and owner of Goodwin-Cole, Sacramento, Calif. “They’ve kept our industry …

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Selling shade

August 1, 2015

Conrad Masterson builds his business by focusing on what clients really want—and what employees need. “The first thing I learned when I entered the shade sail industry was to focus on what the customer really wants,” says Conrad Masterson, president of SHADE Industries, Phoenix, Ariz. “That may sound simple, but it can be easy to …

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Shade sails on ice

June 1, 2015

A goal of the restoration of New York City’s Riverbank State Park ice rink, completed in December 2014, was to extend the season for the ice by protecting it from increased sun exposure it experienced in late winter. Considering the facility’s high visibility due to its location—69 feet above the Hudson River, on top of …

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Printed, practical and appealing

Fabric graphics projects enhance public spaces thanks to their aesthetic, acoustic and eco-friendly properties. When 114 million viewers tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015, they partook in a visual feast of fast-moving plays, dazzling electronic displays and big-screen graphics. TV viewers and fans in attendance at University of Phoenix Stadium …

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Shades of urban renewal

Urban renewal is a trend whose time has come and stayed—and shade components are playing a starring role. It wasn’t long ago that downtowns seemed more like ghost towns in many urban areas. The promise of larger lawns, less traffic and easily accessible malls drew people to the suburbs instead of toward the cities’ hubs …

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A round of shade

May 1, 2015

Aresidential remodeling job transformed a Tucson, Ariz., home and back yard into a relaxing private oasis—minus the gently wafting shade of palm trees or any shade at all. The homeowners contacted Phoenix-based SHADE Industries® to devise an elegant solution to a glaring problem. The SHADE Industries “sails” team looked at the yard’s round patio design …

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An awning of a different color

April 2, 2015

Carrying the load: Framed awnings and tensile awnings must meet different engineering and code standards. Erik Jarvie, structural engineer and sales manager for TensionStructures (a division of Eide Industries Inc., Cerritos, Calif.) lays it out straight on the curvy business of tensile awnings: “Tensile awnings typically have fabric that is under a significant amount of …

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Behind the curves

April 1, 2015

Tensile structures add exciting new dimensions —and distinct engineering challenges— to the commercial shade products market. It could be said, like the mythical Greek lion-goat-snake beast the chimera, that the tensile awning is a creature of blended ancestors. Not long ago, structures with tensile fabric characteristics started appearing in places often reserved for framed awnings …

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Tensile awnings, by design

March 16, 2015

Designing and fabricating tensile awnings calls for a special skill set. Craig Flanagan, long-time owner of Shade to Order P/L, Gateshead, NSW, Australia, knows a thing or two about producing tensile awnings and canopies. He has some recommendations for those interested in the market. “In a small factory the fabricator is the sales person, designer, …

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The value of collaboration

March 1, 2015

Turning today’s students into tomorrow’s engaged and educated industry professionals. While textile students are the future designers and manufacturers for the textile industry, students in areas such as architecture and product and graphic design are our future textile specifiers. Multi-disciplinary design has become a buzzword in education, but unless students are convinced this can help …

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Habit forming

January 1, 2015

The secret to a sideline in cleaning and repair is convincing customers to do it regularly. Cleaning and repair of fabric products is a bit like pie-making: It’s an extremely useful skill, and there’s a sizable market for it, but it’s not everyone’s strong suit. Today’s high-performance fabrics are an investment. They have a longer …

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IFAI Expo 2014 report: Add graphics, add value

November 18, 2014

Part of this year’s Awning Symposium at IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo, hosted by the Fabric Graphics Association (FGA), was a panel presentation entitled: “Add Graphics: Increase Value and Customize Products.” Discussion focused on how to bring graphics into businesses of all sizes, bringing in new customers or expanding your offerings to existing customers through diversification. …

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Kinetic architecture

October 1, 2014

Retractable fabric systems are poised to transform outdoor spaces. So you thought retractable fabric structures were a late 20th century phenomenon sheltering sports stadia, outdoor shopping malls, and en plein air cafes? Think again. Forms of retractable fabric roof systems date to Roman times. The Coliseum’s vast seating area, the cavea, was covered with a …

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Preventing rain checks, castled

August 1, 2014

The courtyard of Weitra Castle, tucked into the Austrian-Czech border just north of Vienna, features a three-tiered arcade supported on granite columns, and its Renaissance style makes the courtyard a perfect setting for evening events—as long as it doesn’t rain. SEFAR® Architecture, Depew, N.Y., set out to protect the courtyard from rain checks with a …

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Living easy

May 1, 2014

Fabric solutions turn the outdoors into practical and pleasureable spaces with all the beauty and comfort of a room indoors. This was the winter that earned bragging rights for much of the U.S. and Canada. So at the first drip of a melting icicle, folks started thumbing through seed catalogs and searching for the perfect …

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Sharp focus, broad impact

April 1, 2014

Hal Lapping tightens his company’s focus to make quality products affordable. We remain focused on our core products, and because we stay focused we offer the best quality products at the most competitive prices,” says Hal Lapping, president of Economy Tent Intl. (an Anchor company), Miami. Fla. “And part of that mind set is that …

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Covering cricket in eye-catching style

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), owner of the 200-year-old Lords Cricket Ground in London, England, is the world’s oldest cricket club, arbiter of the laws of cricket and keeper of historical artifacts from the sport’s storied past. Lord Byron swung the bat in the first Harrow-versus-Eton match in 1805; His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh …

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Positively powerful

March 1, 2014

Kisha Moldovan builds relationships with sincerity and enthusiasm to boost business and advance the industry. “I don’t think about other awning companies as competition or in any way as a negative, because the more people who are spreading the word about awnings, the more we all have an opportunity to be successful,” says Kisha Moldovan, …

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The failsafe questions

February 1, 2014

John Conroy ensures project success by asking the right questions. “We design projects by thinking about how they could fail,” says John Conroy, owner of House of Canvas, Ottawa, Ont., Canada. “By considering all the things that could possibly go wrong, before even starting the project, we minimize surprises.” While in high school, Conroy began …

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Sew, stop, drop and rock-and-roll

January 1, 2014

The music builds as Jay-Z, Mötley Crüe, Alice in Chains or OneRepublic open a concert with the backlit band playing behind a Kabuki drape—which suddenly drops to reveal the band in sharp detail. “The Kabuki effect is great,” says Zito, production manager for OneRepublic. “The band’s first song is behind the drape, all backlit; it’s …

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A shade ensemble: privacy with a view

A street-level condominium courtyard lacked the privacy for dining, swimming and relaxation, and the owner (who used the condo for high-end holiday rental) looked to Shades (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Phuket, Thailand, to transform a fishbowl into an oasis. The maker of shades and free-standing fabric structures designed four products—shade sail, privacy screen, roller blind and …

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Solutions in motion

 “Make your customers remember you. Make them laugh—but don’t be a salesman,” says Andy Moon, CEO of Baraboo Tent & Awning, Baraboo, Wis. “It’s your presence that makes an impression. Be a problem solver and help your customers out.” Moon grew up in and around the custom awning, canopy and marine business, in a company …

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Primer for printing

Digital printing on textiles expands client lists and adds new dimensions to product innovation. For the Brooklyn Plantology garden center in New York, Capitol Awning Co. of Jamaica, N.Y., created a custom awning that showcased a logo, text and a leafy design that captured the essence of the space. The shop printed the imagery directly …

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Vinyl matters

What fabric manufacturers know about PVC fabrics that you should know, too. Many businesses in the industrial fabrics industry (Seaman Corp. among them) have shown consistent growth over decades by developing cost-effective, high-performance products that utilize vinyl—a polymer used safely and successfully in a range of applications. Today, the vinyl industry represents $54 billion of …

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Water control and conservation

November 1, 2013

By Sigrid Tornquist Harvesting rainwater is nothing new—but using fabric shade structures to collect and distribute rainwater, while providing an attractive aesthetic, is largely an untapped resource that can translate into growth potential for fabricators. Architen Landrell, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, U.K., manufactures a structure that is essentially the opposite of an umbrella. The Inverted Cone acts …

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Urban renewal

City officials are choosing fabric structures as part of revitalization programs that energize struggling urban neighborhoods—to spruce up degraded spaces, provide shelter and act as inspirational focal points. “We get a lot of requests from architects for urban renewal projects,” says Architen Landrell’s Jason Smith. “Tensile structures are brilliant for urban renewal because you can …

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Comfort, inside and out

For just this once—think inside the box. Shade structures can be installed inside—managing comfort, while enhancing decor. An emerging market in the United Kingdom may again be paving the way for other parts of the world. “About four years ago we began designing internal tensile structures in the domestic [residential] market,” says tensARC Ltd.’s Dr. …

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Design and branding

Awnings have long been an effective way to brand a business, but other kinds of shade structures are emerging as an additional option, especially when organizations understand that branding isn’t only about company colors and logos. Shade structures can be a creative option to communicate branding as a message of a company’s (or a city’s) …

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Energy efficiency and sustainability

Is more heat in a home or office a good thing? It depends on the season, of course. As more people turn to solar and geothermal systems to heat and cool their homes and places of business, ambient heat gain can be a challenge—one that can, to some extent, be addressed by well-designed shade structures.Duvall …

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Building business with LEED

Awnings and solar shades can boost energy performance and contribute to LEED certification points. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a family of rating systems that recognizes building or renovation projects for improvements in energy efficiency, water conservation, habitat protection, indoor environmental quality and resource efficiency. LEED is owned and managed by …

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Fabric, flexible, photovoltaic

Solar energy-collecting fabric products offer major potential to impact energy use—and make businesses in the industry hugely successful. Coal and oil have superbly fueled and helped enable the extraordinary growth of modern civilization. Their supply is reaching its peak, though, and will soon start to decline—while our population continues to grow and its energy needs …

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Beating the heat with shade

Temperature extremes in Japan are leading to greater reliance on fabric shade structures. By Kikuko Tagawa Japan has been experiencing extremely hot summers in recent years. The summer of 2013 was especially fierce, according to a statement issued by the Tokyo Climate Center (TCC) Advisory Panel on Extreme Climatic Events, at its extraordinary session held …

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Design and function meet

October 1, 2013

Renovation of a seaside resort included custom awnings, shades and canopies for an elegant finish. By Maura Keller Situated on the bluffs of Watch Hill, R.I., overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean House is an iconic New England seaside resort. Because of its location amidst sand, sea and wind, Ocean House turned to New Haven …

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Win/win success through teamwork

September 1, 2013

Andrea Lampson and her husband Mark join with employees to retool a struggling business into a solid and vibrant enterprise. By Sigrid Tornquist “I remember the first time I walked onto the production floor and thought: ‘Oh, my.’ There was no water cooler, no refrigerator and no air conditioning,” says Andrea Lampson, executive vice president …

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New tools, old school

A long-term family business embraces new methods to set the stage for future growth. By Jarrett Schechner Awning Works Inc. serves customers throughout our home state of Florida and nationwide. We recently expanded into general contracting with a new start-up firm called ABuilt Inc. Using today’s tools to build on a strong company background has …

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Weathering report: long-lasting synthetics

August 1, 2013

New technology can create more resilient, longer-lasting synthetic fibers. By Larry Campbell Synthetic turf has evolved dramatically since garnering mainstream attention for its use in the Houston Astrodome in the 1960s. Once used almost exclusively on playing fields, turf is truly changing the game in all types of applications ranging from golf courses and playgrounds …

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Cost-effective sun control with Solair Comfort awnings

Solair® Comfort retractable awning features a sleek, modern style and enhanced functionality, redesigned to offer improved shade solutions for outdoor spaces. The Comfort awning allows construction professionals to increase a home’s useable square footage, while enhancing comfort and energy conservation. It features a simplified pitch adjustment, a space-saving H bracket design and arms that help …

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New video explains energy advantages of fabric awnings and solar shades

May 17, 2013

Saving money, enhancing curb appeal and reducing your carbon footprint are just a few benefits to retrofitting homes with awnings, according to a new video released by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA). The animation provides a simple overview of how awnings benefit homeowners. The video features a discussion of PAMA’s recent nation-wide, 50-city energy …

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SheerWeave fabrics recognized in 2013 WCMA awards competition

May 7, 2013

Phifer Inc. has been recognized by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) for best new technical innovation in the green products—sustainability category for its SheerWeave® Style 4000 series sun control fabrics made with Dow Ecolibrium™ bio-based plasticizers. Sheerweave fabrics incorporate a sustainable, plant-based plasticizer while maintaining the same performance, look and feel of standard SheerWeave …

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Shade sails got you covered

May 1, 2013

Shade sails on New York City’s Pier 5 park project add visual appeal and sun protection. By Barb Ernster The growing rate of skin cancer, now the most common form of cancer in the United States, and rising summer temperatures have Americans looking for shade and protection from the heat and sun. This has created …

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Improved noise reduction with SheerWeave

SheerWeave® BASIC 3%, Style 2500 and Performance + Style 2500 interior sun control fabrics show beneficial performance ratings of 50-60 percent as measured by the Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) for their ability to absorb sound, and they’re infused with Microban® antimicrobial protection. Suitable for many types of window treatments including roller and roman shades, they …

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Extra wide, less waste with Ennis 1974

Ennis 1974, a PVC-coated polyester with acrylic finish, is designed to withstand extreme environments for commercial awnings, tents, canopies, tension and inflatable structures. In addition to thermal insulation, superior chemical aging resistance, fire resistance, UV and gamma radiation stability, and excellent properties in tension and deflection, it also offers soundproofing. A highly weldable product, it …

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Excellent dirt resistance with STAM 6002

STAM 6002, made by Serge Ferrari and available from Keyston Bros., offers a textured surface with an acrylic-looking topcoat. It is flexible for easy handling and installation and for creating textile structures. The PVDF matte surface coating ensures excellent dirt resistance and maintenance and offers a more natural look for franchises, communities or residences that …

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Fabrics that resist the elements

Eclipse laminated and reinforced PVC can be configured with a variety of treatments and is available in a variety of embossed finishes to suit the market and end use. For static tarpaulins, sporting goods, such as landing mats, fumigation covers, tents and awnings. Sentinel coated and reinforced PVC is customizable to suit your market and …

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Olympic spinning athletes ride under world-class screen

The London 2012 Olympic Games gave Great Britain a chance to celebrate with the world. Now a tensile fabric specialist, Base Structures, Bristol, England, has permission to display an Olympic portfolio with temporary Olympic structures developed from 2009 to the opening day in 2012. The company earned £4.4 million for developing four major venues, including …

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Building an education at the Solar Shading Academy

April 1, 2013

The Finnish Solar Shading Academy was established to enhance knowledge and professionalism in the industry. By Petri Rokkanen The Finnish Solar Shading Association (Aurinkosuojaus ry) was originally established as an organization at the end of the 1960s. In 1980 the group became an association only for Finnish manufacturers in the solar shading industry. At the …