Japanese-inspired fabrics

July 1, 2017

The Azuma textile collection, from KnollTextiles, is inspired by the balance and harmony found in Japanese design philosophy and culture. The four upholstery fabrics in the collection, Kabuki, Sashiko, Zen Wave and Kaya, celebrate bold graphic forms and simple, subtle beauty. The fabric designs include striking geometric elements, vivid colors, subtle embroidered patterns, wave motifs …

Coats Epic Metallic thread

Coats Epic Metallic thread is a specially developed metallised sewing thread consisting of a metallised yarn twisted together with a durable polyester core spun thread. The thread is especially suitable for decorative stitching on denim wear, apparel and leather goods that have not been treated with tannins. The metallic elements are available in gold, silver …

Soggy-free foam

The Bellbloc fabric liner system improves the performance of fabrics in upholstery applications by protecting foam inserts from the elements, extending the useful life of foam cushions. Developed specifically for the outdoor, hospitality, contract, long-term care and residential markets, the innovative liner is engineered to resist moisture, mold and mildew while reducing foam compression in …

Compact sewing table

The Merrow® Helmsman Table is designed to be easy to assemble, lightweight and durable. The narrowest table on the market, it features an adjustable-height frame seated atop locking wheels. Ergonomically friendly and highly transportable, it can be adjusted for any location or environment and can be used with an air, clutch or servo motor. The …

Professional printing

Next-generation SureColor S-series 64-inch S40670, S60670 and S80670 high-performance, roll-to-roll eco-solvent printers are the first large-format signage printers powered by Epson’s PrecisionCore printhead technology, for printing of photographic quality images for the signage, vehicle graphics and fine art reproduction markets. The new line incorporates the fourth-generation Epson Ultrachrome GS3 solvent ink, designed to reduce ink …

The graphic edge

Fisher Textiles, a supplier of fabrics for digital printing, has introduced DD 4444 Domination®, a new fabric for frontlit Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) applications that is specially treated for UV-curable, direct and transfer sublimation printing. DD 4444 Domination is very stable with a gorgeous sheen that can also be used for banners, exhibit graphics, photographic …

Business school, and NASCAR

September 1, 2016

The industry, past, present and future: IFAI Expo is the annual event where industry leaders, innovators and market makers connect. Next month in Charlotte, the heart of the U.S. textile industry, you’ll join with more than 5,000 attendees and 375 exhibitors for an industry education in specialty fabrics and fabrication, shade and weather protection and advanced …

Connecting with students

March 1, 2016

Opportunities for the next generation. As businesses and industries transition and evolve, more professionals recognize the importance of continually connecting with the college and university students who may be interested in learning more about the specialty fabrics industry. Just ask Stephanie Cizinsky, marketing manager at Glen Raven Inc., Glen Raven, N.C. She explains that a wealth …

Of tents and integrity

January 1, 2016

Gary Feuerborn, vice president of All Seasons Event Rental, Kansas City, Kan., began working with the owners of the company in 1982 as a way to work his way through college. After graduation, he went into business with his cousin, but in 1997, he returned as general manager to All Seasons—which manufactures party tents, rental …

Our readers speak

November 1, 2015

In honor of Specialty Fabrics Review‘s first 100 years, we asked our readers for thoughts on the magazine to help us continue its successes into the next 100 years: topics covered that hold the most long-term and lasting significance for the industry, and what the Review’s most meaningful role has been to the industry. I …

Prevailing wage

December 1, 2011

Compiled by textile professionals I’m in California and need to know what the prevailing wage is for awning installation. Can you advise me? Prevailing wage is something that is used in bidding on public works-related projects, to make sure the wage you’re paying your staff is comparable to what the majority of workers doing similar …

Women- or minority-owned businesses

Compiled by textile professionals We’re applying for a grant and need to show how many women/minority owned businesses there are in the sewn products industry. Can you tell us where to look for that information? Special programs or consideration are sometimes given to companies that are women- or minority-owned. The U.S. Census Bureau does a …

Animal products in materials

Compiled by textile professionals We’re being asked by our client to certify that the filters we make for them don’t contain any animal products. We use an unfinished woven cotton fabric that we source from India. Would there be any animal products in that type of fabric? A fabric that is sold as unfinished, or …

Federal labor law and OSHA posters

November 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case Where can we get copies of Federal labor law and OSHA posters? Businesses in the USA are required to post information for employees on federal labor law and safety issues. You have three options for obtaining posters. First, you can simply print them from a government site and use as is. …

Scissor arms for awnings

Compiled by Juli Case We have a customer who wants us to replace an old retractable awning system with something similar. The problem is that their old system has scissor arms and projects 13 feet. Any idea of who might have this? Scissor arms are a style more popular in Europe than in the U.S., …

Title 19 certification for fabric

Compiled by Juli Case How do I get my fabric certified to Title 19? Title 19 is the flammability document for the state of California, although it’s referenced by other parts of the U.S. as well. The certification process is managed through the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM). The process as it is now is …

Acoustically reflective fabric

Compiled by Juli Case We’ve got a job where we’ve been asked to use a fabric that is acoustically reflective. What kind of material is that? Sound waves tend to bounce around an open space. A hanging fabric, such as a banner or fabric sculpture, can disrupt or even absorb that wave; fabric is more …

Complying with OAE, IAF or IACC

October 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case We’ve been asked by a customer in Ecuador if our products comply with OAE, IAF or IACC. How do we find out if they do? OAE stands for the Ecuadorian Accreditation Organization. According to the OAE website, they are the entity in Ecuador that is responsible for insuring that the products, …

Biodegradable tarp material

Compiled by Juli Case My customer is looking for biodegradable tarp material. Is there such a thing? Tarps are typically intended to withstand the elements, so biodegradability isn’t a particularly sought-after characteristic. Cotton is a natural material, so cotton tarps would be biodegradable, but we’re not aware of any synthetics that are specifically made for …

Long-arm sewing machines

Compiled by Juli Case We need a long-arm sewing machine, one with a double needle and a walking foot and puller. Ideally, we’d like to be able to rent the equipment for a week or two, to make sure it can do what we need it to do. Any suggestions? Long-arm sewing machines, especially with …

Asphalt tarp material

September 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case What’s the best type of material to use to make an asphalt tarp? The fabric you use is generally a matter of preference. We’ve seen cotton, vinyl coated and the polyolefins (polypropylene or polyethylene) being used for this application. Asphalt is, of course, delivered hot. The advantage to cotton is that …

Marketing ‘green’ claims

Compiled by Juli Case I use some recycled materials in my products. Where can I go to find out the right terminology to use with my customers? Although it’s great that you’re using recycled material, you’re right to be cautious about how you divulge that information to your customers. Unfortunately, there are some companies that …

UBL fabric

Compiled by Juli Case We’re working on a bid for an orthopedic device and the spec sheet calls for an UBL fabric. What’s that? We’re guessing that it’s probably referring to an “unbroken loop” fabric, which is a part of a hook-and-loop fastening system. Unbroken means that the fabric has a pile that’s been left …

Classifying the flammability of textiles

Compiled by Juli Case My fire marshal wants to know if the interior awning I’m installing is Class A. The fabric is certified to NFPA 701; does that mean it’s Class A? Using Classes A thru C is how the International Building Code (IBC) classifies the flammability of textiles in some applications. It’s based on …

Mold/mildew on fabric rolls

August 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case We go through a lot of cotton canvas per month, and the rolls typically come with a protective plastic packaging. During the last year and a half, when we’ve opened some of the rolls, we’ve found mold/mildew half a dozen times. We’ve checked our storage area and there are no signs …

Getting a CRRC rating

Compiled by Juli Case How can I get my material a CRRC rating? The CRRC stands for the Cool Roof Rating Council; they administer a rating program in which companies may label roof surface products with radiative property values. A product’s placement on the directory does not mean that the product is “cool” as defined …

CPAI-84 and ANSI 4950

Compiled by Juli Case Is CPAI-84 equivalent to ANSI 4950? CPAI-84, which originated with the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), is designed to assess flame-retardant materials used in camping tents. ANSI 4950 is the responsibility of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is intended to evaluate welding pads, blankets and curtains that are used …

U.S. military specification MIL-PRF-20696

July 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case We’re looking for a small quantity of fabric to MIL-PRF-20696, Type II, Class 1. We need it in the color 36231 and we’d really like to only buy one roll. Any idea where we can get it? MIL-PRF-20696 is a U.S. military specification that describes waterproof and weather-resistant fabric. Type II …

Rexine material

Compiled by Juli Case What is a ‘rexine’ fabric? A rexine is an artificial leather material. Originally, Rexine was the registered trade name of a particular brand of artificial leather fabric that originated in Europe. In the same way that some brand names come to refer to a general product category (think Xerox for copy …

M1 FR specification

Compiled by Juli Case We have an FR certificate that states the fabric meets M1. What cert is that? We’re guessing that, if M1 is the only FR specification certification that your fabric has, that it originates in Europe. M1 is a classification that comes from NF P92-503, a French flammability specification written by AFNOR. …

Riviera fabric

Compiled by Juli Case I use Riviera fabric—can either side be used as its face? Riviera is a vinyl composite fabric produced by Herculite Products Inc. for the marine industry. We went to them with your question and were told that, yes, it is important to install the fabric correctly. Riviera is designed to have …

Vadney Clips

Compiled by Juli Case Where can I get Vadney Clips? A Vadney Clip is a piece of hardware used in the marine canvas industry. It’s made of plastic and folds in half to fit in a boat windshield, and also has an insert for a screw stud for snap-on covers. We found it at the …

“Made in the U.S.A.” labels

June 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case I make bags out of a cotton fabric that isn’t made in the U.S. anymore. I sew the bags in the U.S., though, and am wondering if I can label them as “Made in the U.S.A.”? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the entity in the U.S. that enforces country of …

Clear vinyl that meets FAR25-853

Compiled by Juli Case I need clear vinyl, 20-40 mil, that meets the flammability requirement FAR25-853. I’m not familiar with that spec; where can I get material that passes it? We’re used to seeing clear vinyl being used in marine and tent windows and were confused at first as to why FAR25-853 would be a …

Getting fabric approved to California’s Title 19

Compiled by Juli Case I’m bringing my tents into the U.S. and am having my fabrics tested at an independent lab to get California certification. The lab is asking me if I need the material tested to Test 1 or Test 2. Which should I use, and do I really have to send the fabric …

Adler 167 sewing machine manual

May 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case I bought an Adler 167 sewing machine at an auction. Where can I get the instruction manual? Probably the best place to start is with the machine’s manufacturer, which in this case is Durkopp Adler. In the download section of the website, the company has the instruction manuals available as PDF …

Flammability specifications

Compiled by Juli Case I’m making some fabric structures that are being used in a camp for kids, and the local inspector is asking if the fabric meets ICC. I tried to tell him that ICC is the group that writes the International Building Code, but he says I should know what the flammability of …

Finding wooden furniture frames for upholstery

Compiled by Juli Case I’m getting back into the upholstery business and am having a hard time finding wooden furniture frames. I’m looking for the complete frame, but unassembled. Where can I get them? We found unassembled wooden furniture frames at Frank Chervan Inc. We were told by their representatives that they can either ship …

Energy impact of awnings

Compiled by Juli Case How do I prove to my customers that having awnings gives savings on energy costs? In 2007, IFAI’s Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) commissioned a study by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) on awnings and residential buildings. The study looked at the energy impact of awnings …

Applying for a grant

April 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case We’re applying for a grant, and we need to show how many women/minority owned businesses there are in the sewn products industry. Where should we look for that information? Special programs or consideration are sometimes given to companies that are women- or minority-owned. The U.S. Census Bureau does a survey of …

Gripper fabric

Compiled by Juli Case We’re looking for a fabric called Narraganset. It looks like the gripper fabrics that you see on the palms of gloves, except that it’s in colors—red, orange and yellow. Any idea where it comes from? We’re familiar with the type of fabric you describe, which is usually a rubber-coated material with …

The Vinyl Institute

Compiled by Juli Case What is the Vinyl Institute? The Vinyl Institute is a trade association that represents the vinyl industry, including manufacturers of vinyl and its related chemical components. The organization produces educational materials and represent vinyl plastics manufacturers in issues such as the safety of the levels of lead in children’s products. SOURCE …

Fabric temperature range

Compiled by Juli Case I’m having a hard time figuring out how far from the fabric the lights on my rental tents need to be hung. The fabric the tents are made from is certified to the California State Fire Marshal requirements, but the people I’ve talked to in their office tell me that doesn’t …

R value

March 1, 2011

Compiled by Juli Case What is R value? R value has to do with a material’s resistance to heat flow and is most often referenced with relation to insulation, although it is also used with some interior fabric applications such as draperies and carpet. R value is the ratio of the thickness of a material …

CPAI-84 for fabrics

Compiled by Juli Case My customer, a national retailer, is telling me to have the tents I produce for them tested to CPAI-84. Isn’t that for fabric? CPAI-84, titled “A Specification for Flame-Resistant Materials Used in Camping Tentage,” was written by IFAI when our name was the Canvas Products Association International. You’re absolutely correct in …

Camouflage goes high tech

Compiled by Juli Case We’ve heard that there’s a camo pattern newer than MARPAT. What can you tell us about it? It used to be that camouflage came in a limited range of patterns: woodlands for forested terrain and desert for drier climes. Like so much else in the world, however, camouflage has gone high …

U.S. Forest Service specifications

Compiled by Juli Case We’re interested in supplying fire hoses to the U.S. Forest Service and have been told that USDA 5100-187 is the specification to meet. Where do we get a copy of it? We contacted the Forest Service and found that their San Dimos Technology and Development Center is the office that handles …

Bontex fiberboard products

Compiled by Juli Case We’re making a luggage-type bag and our client is requesting that we use a fabric stiffener called Bontex. What is this and where can we get it? Bontex is the name of both the company and the product. Bontex makes a family of fiberboard products, one of which is also called …

Xuron split ring pliers

Compiled by Juli Case We are looking for Xuron split ring pliers for our tent supply kits. Any idea where to find it? We traced the Xuron split ring pliers to the Xuron Corp. They told us that the split ring pliers are mostly used in the jewelry industry to attach small rings. An example …

Defining freeze cloth

Compiled by Juli Case What is freeze cloth? Freeze cloth is defined more by a purpose than by a particular material. It’s a term used for fabric that’s put over vulnerable plants when a frost is expected. We’ve seen a range of materials used for this purpose, including knit shade cloth and needlepunched nonwoven materials. …