New retractable membrane for an open-air theater

October 1, 2017

The charming town of Tecklenburg, Germany, is home to the largest open-air musical theater in the country. Set against the backdrop of a medieval castle ruin, Freilichtbühne Tecklenburg e.V. stages operettas, musicals, concerts and other events. The 2,300-seat theater features a retractable canopy designed and installed 25 years ago by consulting engineers IPL, now formTL …

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Folded fabric roof for a French art gallery and winery

What could be more agreeable than a glass of French wine while viewing French art in the landscape of southern France, a landscape made famous by the 19th-century Impressionist/proto-Cubist painter Paul Cézanne? This conflux of ideal conditions melds perfectly in the recently completed Château La Coste Art Gallery, a new venue for viewing artworks while …

Lloyd Verduyn focuses on continuous improvement in products and processes at Verduyn Tarps

“As a company, we believe in the Japanese principle of Kaizen, which is the philosophy of continuous improvement,” says Lloyd Verduyn, president and owner of Verduyn Tarps, based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “For us, that extends beyond processes and personal efficiency to our products as well. We’re never finished making our tarp systems better. That …

Multifunctional fabrics and material innovations

What spurs innovation? Does the kernel of a new idea spring forth fully formed from the brow of a genius, or does it gestate over a long, arduous path involving sweat and heavy lifting? Maybe a bit of both, if you dig into the histories of new materials or processes. Often you will find that …

IIT Innovation Center uses inflatable ETFE

It’s only appropriate that the design for a building dedicated to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration should itself push the envelope on creativity. So it is with the new Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, currently under construction at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. The institute will be the new …

2017 Equipment Showcase

With technology taking over and automation ascendant, manufacturers are reinventing themselves and their operations to maximize efficiency, effectiveness, safety, reliability, productivity and profitability. The equipment they choose, especially when skilled labor is in short supply, doesn’t replace craftsmanship—it enhances it. We asked our equipment suppliers to tell us about the advantages of their latest innovations …

Eco-friendly antimicrobials and sustainable solutions

Antimicrobial properties are fast becoming a required treatment in textiles for applications that range from hospital drapes and linen to contract and domestic textiles as well as clothing. While offering protection from germs is a positive factor, there has been some disquiet concerning the environmental impact of antimicrobial treatments. In response, fiber and fabric manufacturers …

Natural wallpaper

Take two unique natural materials and put them together, and the result is a stunning tapestry of color for a new wallpaper collection. Omexco, a Belgian designer of high-end wallcoverings, has introduced the one-of-a-kind Rainbows collection, made by weaving recycled sari silk with strips of bakbak (bark of the banana tree). The deep colors of …

Disaster relief and rebuilding

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Floods. Fire. It’s only September 18 as I write this, and this month is already on the record books. And, according to today’s paper, the atmospheric parade just keeps on coming, Atlantic and Pacific: Maria. José. …

Smart bandage monitors wounds

When a patient has a chronic wound, tracking the healing process and regularly changing the dressing is important to recovery. Nurses and other caregivers must guard against bacteria that could cause infections as well as keep the skin from getting irritated. Researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich, Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), and University …

Karellis 11301 blackout fabric

The Karellis 11301 blackout fabric by Mermet® is available in a width of 300cm, one of the widest blackout fabrics on the market. The 100 percent opaque PVC-free coated polyester is an elegant and environmentally friendly option for internal blinds. The fabric blocks 100 percent of the light and UV rays, and offers excellent thermal …

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How to expand into new market segments without sacrificing core products

For many custom fabricators, diversification is the name of the game. Recognizing—and seizing—opportunities to venture into new market segments can mean the difference between staying in business or (perish the thought) going under. But companies can also become too diversified, to the point where potential clients don’t have a clear idea of what’s being made …

Seaman Corporation helps shelter families in need

When natural disasters strike, one of the most immediate needs is providing emergency shelter to affected communities. For more than 20 years, Seaman Corp. has partnered with disaster relief organizations to shelter families in need around the world. Seaman is currently evaluating the best ways to respond to recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas. However, …

AllergoProtect bedding

AllergoProtect is a trio of products—mattress topper, duvet and pillow—which hold 99.5 percent of dust mite allergens inside the filling and the cover, even when shaken. This means allergens are not breathed in and no longer cause allergic reactions. The German research group Hohenstein developed a negatively-charged textile finish that attracts the positively-charged allergens like …

Top Notch FR solution-dyed fabric

Marlen Textiles’ Top Notch FR® solution-dyed fabric is flame retardant, incorporating the industrial fabric industry’s first halogen-free flame-retardant system. The fabric is environmentally friendly, durable and soft, and can be used for many outdoor residential and commercial applications, including awnings, tents and canopies. In addition to lowering the risk of halogen exposure, Top Notch FR …

Mimaki USA TX300P-1800B direct-to-textile printer

Mimaki USA’s TX300P-1800B direct-to-textile printer features an advanced belt transport system to ensure stable feeding of stretchy and thin fabrics.The 74-inch-wide direct-to-fabric printer includes many features found in high-end direct-print models and is suitable for users creating samples or short-run pieces. It includes new print heads with a high gap setting that maintain accurate ink …

2017 OFPANZ Awards for Excellence winners

Thirteen projects were recognized as winners of the 2017 Awards for Excellence competition hosted by The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ). The Awards for Excellence offers OFPANZ members a chance to showcase their technical skills, design excellence and innovation to the industry. Entries are judged on appearance/workmanship, complexity, design/innovation, and functional and …

HarborTime Edge marine-grade fabric

HarborTime® Edge marine-grade fabric from Trivantage® is an innovative double-coated fabric powered by Perfecta Marine® technology, which keeps surfaces cooler and reduces interior temperatures. Made from acrylic-coated polyester, the fabric is suited for harsh environments with exceptional abrasion resistance and minimal shrinkage and stretch while remaining highly mildew- and UV-resistant as well as water-repellent. For …

Ultraleather Pearlized collection metallic fabrics

The metallic and pearlized color trend expands with seven new colors in the Ultraleather® Pearlized collection from Ultrafabrics®. An addition to its signature Ultrafabrics collections, the Ultraleather Pearlized line highlights a classic natural grain with a subtle luminescence that provides a hint of luxury and refinement. Recommended for everything from restaurants and lounge areas to …

Pavilion brightens Amsterdam Light Festival

During the dark days of winter, the Amsterdam Light Festival brightens the city with light-filled artwork created by architects and designers from around the world. There are two routes of artwork: Water Colors, the boat route; and Illuminade, the walking route. Last year’s theme was biomimicry: the imitation of natural phenomena for the purpose of …

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New IRS accounting method changes

The tax returns of many businesses in the specialty fabrics industry have been—and will most likely continue to be—extra thick. Thanks to newly issued “repair regulations,” tax return filings for last year included more work on “Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method” than usual. Fortunately, the IRS recently made it easier for small …