Shade around the world: custom canopy projects

January 1, 2021

Wherever the sun shines, people need shade. These recent canopy projects from around the world fulfill that mission with inspired design and expert execution.  by Jeff Moravec Custom canopy projects can present unique challenges to their creators, but that’s a reason many designers, fabricators and installers enjoy them. These projects give them a chance to …

Fabric-covered classrooms earn OFPANZ Supreme Award

New Zealand’s Green School describes its campus as “a place for inspired learning,” and now three fabric-covered pod-like classrooms are inspiring students as well.  Fabric Structures Ltd. of Whangarei, New Zealand, supplied a membrane solution for the structures, earning the Supreme Award in the 2020 Awards of Excellence from the Outdoor Fabric Products Association of …

Sustainable Sunbrella collections

RETWEED is the first sustainable line of performance textiles from Sunbrella® and uses up to 93 percent recycled content. This mid-century modern and vintage tweed-inspired collection, created in partnership with Richard Frinier, has the textural appearance of hand-loomed textiles where no two rolls are alike. The new Balance collection of woven fabrics fuses modern and …

Technology and market demand usher in a new age in ballistics protection

Once confined to the military and law enforcement, body armor sales are growing in new markets.  by Debra Cobb The market for ballistic protective clothing has traditionally functioned as a small slice of the military and law enforcement protective markets. Today, however, demand for such apparel is growing at an unprecedented rate across the globe, …

Columbia introduces ‘heat magnet’ textile to the outdoors market

Columbia Sportswear has launched its new Omni-Heat™ Black Dot technology, described as “the outdoor industry’s first external thermal shield built to protect from the cold” in a company press release. The new textile features thousands of multilayered black dots that act as a “heat magnet,” capturing solar heat and trapping warmth. Combined with the brand’s …

Closing the gaps in the textile supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased textile supply chain pressures, requiring companies to adopt creative strategies to keep materials and products moving.  by Pamela Mills-Senn With many moving parts, the textile supply chain requires hiccup-free involvement from entities up and down the line to ensure it functions properly. But with something so complex, the chain is …

Big Span Structures completes parking garage façade with eye-catching details

Capital Crescent Trail users in Bethesda, Md., are enjoying an aesthetically pleasing facade of digitally printed blue sky and bird silhouettes, designed and installed by Big Span Structures as part of a parking garage expansion project. In addition to the eye-catching view in place of an otherwise typical concrete parking garage system, the 11,000-square-foot facade …

How to be an efficiency champion at your specialty fabrics business

Nine steps every business can take, from organizing more to doing less.  by Laurie F. Junker No business owner wants to waste time and money, have frustrated employees, and risk customer relationships with mistakes and delays. But the truth is that all of these things happen when businesses operate less efficiently than they could be.  …

Army, Texas A&M develop self-healing material

The U.S. Army and Texas A&M University researchers have developed a new material that can autonomously heal in air and underwater. The 3D-printable and stimuli-responsive polymeric material is expected to enable massive reconfigurability in future military platforms, according to Dr. Frank Gardea, an aerospace engineer and principal investigator of this work for the U.S. Army’s …

Researcher: Biobased products can produce luminescent textiles

A researcher at the University of Borås in Sweden has established that luminescent textiles can be created by using a bioluminescent reaction system. In discussing the results of her research, released in her doctoral thesis, “Luminescent Textiles Using Biobased Products: A Bioinspired Approach,” Sweta Iyer said, “Bioluminescence phenomena in nature and their reaction mechanisms have …