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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 …