Making it easy: the benefits of keder

March 1, 2019

Hidden within aluminum extrusions, shaping both simple tents and extravagant clearspans, lies the years-old invention that continues to help advance the success and technology of the tent industry today: keder, a bead or core that attaches to a fabric panel and then slides into a corresponding track in a frame. “Keder makes a joint, essentially, …

Fabricators and boat owners have a world of choices in windows

February 1, 2019

When it comes to choosing their windows, most boat owners don’t want to make it too complicated—they want a quality product that will last at a reasonable price. As fabricators know, however, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, according to Zach Grant, marketing manager at Sailrite®, a distributor of marine fabrics and supplies for …

Advances in smart medical textiles

A series of novel developments in medical textiles see smart textiles coupled with smart design to deliver benefits to both patients and medical professionals. With the medical textile market predicted to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.23 percent during the period 2018–2022, the industry is positioning itself to meet this demand. …

Taking the lead: women in the tent rental industry

January 1, 2019

When Sarah Crews, director of sales and marketing for Miami, Fla.-based Economy Tent International (ETI), started going to outdoor trade shows 13 years ago, she didn’t see many women attending the events. Tent rental companies headed by women were even scarcer. But over the years that situation has changed, says Crews (formerly Lapping). “As the …

Growing interest in using natural “smart” fibers

Since the industrial revolution, textiles have transitioned from natural fibers of cotton, wool, silk and linen to textiles created from petroleum products and reconstituted wood pulp. Today’s synthetic fibers are stronger, cheaper to manufacture, and have proven easily adaptable to a wide range of technical, performance and smart textiles, to the benefit of modern life. …

New smart fabrics and protective gear innovations keep first responders safer

December 1, 2018

First responders—from firefighters to law enforcement to emergency medical services technicians—need to be ready to handle any situation they encounter, and they need the appropriate gear to respond quickly to emergencies. Responders draw on their experience to make sound decisions in the chaos of a crime or accident scene, or in the heat of a …

Early adopters affect product development

November 1, 2018

IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & Textiles™” that exists to support those who innovate in the smart textile industry by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director Ben Cooper says, “About 30–40 percent of the [textile] industry has a warm-to-hot interest in innovation—new processes, …

A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

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, …