Preventing permastink goes beyond antimicrobial solutions

September 1, 2017

It’s everywhere and it’s not attractive. Permastink—the unpleasant smell that won’t wash out of textile products—has become a topic of conversation for consumers and brands alike. Polyester and other synthetic fibers are the materials of choice for the active performance and athleisure styles consumers now wear throughout the day. Unfortunately, these synthetic fibers are perceived …

Heavy-duty marine zipper

LENZIP has a brand new zipper for the marine canvas, outdoor gear and portable (temporary) shelter markets: the LENZIP No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper is larger than the industry standard No. 10, but smaller than Lenzip’s BIGZIP® No. 15 gauge. The new No. 12 gauge is available with 316 stainless steel sliders in auto …

Charity-driven live manufacturing to debut at Expo 2017

For four days every year, IFAI Expo offers industry members the opportunity to share trade secrets and take advantage of educational opportunities, product demonstrations and certification options. A new addition this year is Manufacturing for Good. The live manufacturing experience demonstrates the making of a duffel bag from start to finish, with a philanthropic twist: …

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Museum of Modern Art fabric exhibition in 1956

In 1956, all of New York City’s art world was abuzz about a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It wasn’t the retrospective about the French Impressionist painter Henri Matisse, whose works were newly arrived in New York from Paris (a show that originated at the French National Museum of Modern Art), …

Walk-in installation offers perspectives on light, pattern and texture

Europe’s biggest international lighting exhibition is Euroluce, held in Milan in conjunction with Salone del Mobile Milano (the Milan Furniture Fair). At Euroluce 2017 last April, 485 exhibitors displayed the latest in indoor, outdoor and industrial lighting products, including many innovative, cutting-edge designs. The Italian lighting company Leucos created a dramatic rendition of their own …

Invisible netting

The new 26-foot-wide Nebula™ net from Rose Brand Inc. provides a high gain, see-through projection surface that’s virtually undetectable to an audience. Projected objects seem to float in midair or appear out of nowhere. The Nebula net can be used for stunning visual effects such as layered projections for concerts, dramatic reveals for corporate events …

The Ocean Cleanup foundation plans to rid oceans of plastic

In the Pacific Ocean, there is an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of plastic and other debris that doesn’t biodegrade. Estimated to be between the size of the state of Texas and the continental United States twice over, the patch is held in place by ocean currents.    Boyan Slat, …

Community service

Vision is dandy, but sustainable company excellence comes from a huge stable of able managers. ~Tom Peters September is IFAI Expo month, and this year’s programs, events and exhibits are focused more than ever on making the workmanship surpass the materials—even the amazing materials on the show floor in New Orleans. It’s an education in …

Fibers and fabrics play a starring role in the effort to harvest kinetic energy

Back in the day, a telephone was expected to perform a limited number of functions: alert you when someone was trying to reach you and connect you to those you were trying to reach. Technology advanced and phones became more portable. The same sort of process is happening to fabrics and fibers. The possibility of …

Tougher shears

Wolff Industries’ Premium KAI series multipurpose shears are made from high-quality Japanese steel. With steel throughout the handles, the soft Santoprene insert cushions the user’s hands for increased comfort. The shears are made from A-8 High Carbon stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness rating of approximately 60, one of the hardest and smoothest available. These …

T-shirt monitors respiratory rate

Researchers at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada, have developed a technology that could help people who suffer from respiratory conditions including asthma, sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They created a smart T-shirt that monitors a person’s respiratory rate in real time. Best of all, it uses an antenna sewn into the shirt …

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From machines to humans: Boost the productivity of your business

Improving productivity depends on a combination of efficient employees, equipment and processes. Driving improvement in all these areas involves examining the current practices in place and making adjustments to systems, employee training, technology, equipment and tools. From small tweaks in communication processes to large technology improvements, companies are using many techniques to boost productivity. Tecsew …

Elissa Decker’s fabric expertise helps Moss Inc. build global growth

The properties of any fabric will be determined by the combined characteristics of its fiber, yarn, construction method, and dyeing and finishing processes,” says Elissa Decker, senior manager of materials, Moss Inc., Chicago, Ill. “It’s such an exciting time to work in the industry, because there’s a lot of performance that you can build into …

Flame-retardant reflective tapes

The Coats Signal line of premium fire-resistant and flame-retardant retro reflective tapes are designed for maximum heat and flame protection, for great visibility and resistance to extreme conditions. When illuminated by a light source, the reflective tapes provide enhanced visibility at nighttime, during difficult weather conditions, as well as in low light for protective clothing …

Shadow strength

Enduratex has introduced Overshadow, its first combination TPO fabric with a PU topskin and a new offering in its earth-friendly Puretex collection. The high-performance fabric with applications in the contract and hospitality markets has UV-stabilized pigments that last a minimum of 300 hours, an abrasion resistance on the Wyzenbeek of 100,000 cycles #10 Cotton Duck, …

Project explores form and movement in architecture

Can one visualize the wind? That was one of the ideas explored by Estudio Invasivo or Invasive Study, a Chilean design studio that studies the cardinal logic of architecture and its pedagogical dialogues. The project, Archetypical Sessions, placed architectural elements in different settings to explore how people interacted with the different scenarios. Participants were asked …

The efficiencies and versatility of advanced and automated equipment are helping bring back the U.S. sewing industry

When U.S. textile jobs started to leave en masse for China and other cheap-labor countries in the 1990s, an entire industry scrambled to pick up the pieces. Companies that survived the upheaval frequently shared one common trait: adaptability. Some contract sewers courted niche non-apparel product makers, while others invested in equipment to become leaders in …

Eco-friendly sponge soaks up oil spills

There are many challenges to cleaning up oil spills. Consider the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. A portion of the millions of gallons of oil that escaped drifted through the ocean rather than rising to the surface. Because it did not rise to the top, the oil could not …

Awning upgrades

Herculite’s NATURA® awning fabric has new features including surface improvements that reduce crazing and make the appearance of the face and reverse of the fabric virtually identical. The new proprietary core-stabilized system reduces edge curl, inhibits seam leakage and offers excellent dimensional stability. The new NATURA now features 10 designer colors and a softer hand …

Silk fiber implant helps restore hearing

As many as 330 million people worldwide suffer from Chronic Middle Ear Disease, a debilitating condition that is the most common cause of perforated eardrums. It can cause hearing loss and great pain when there is damage to the eardrum and mastoid bone. A team of scientists at the Ear Science Institute Australia and the …

Information please: Automated reporting paves the way to productivity

In addition to reviewing in-house monthly profit and loss statements, The Dize Co., an awnings fabricator in Winston Salem, N.C., monitors information gathered by an independent, web-based company. “I can go online and see what we installed the week before and what we have in the pipeline for the next four to six weeks,” president/CEO …

Lumen illuminates courtyard at The Museum of Modern Art PS1

For the last 18 years, the Young Architects Program at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in Manhattan has sponsored a design competition for emerging architects. The challenge was to develop a creative design for a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade, seating and water. Guidelines regarding environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling, …

Exosuit assists Lowe’s employees

Working the floor of a big-box store requires heavy lifting and moving bulky products around. Employees are at risk for muscle fatigue from repetitive motion or even injury from improper lifting techniques. The home improvement giant Lowe’s has developed technology to offer employees support. Lowe’s Innovation Labs worked in partnership with a team at Virginia …

Go with the flow: Relocating a business opens the door to efficient shop layouts

After 85 years in a historical, four-story building, Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co. moved to a newer, one-story building. The Cleveland-based company took advantage of the relocation to design its new floor layout with workflow in mind. The move also allowed Ohio Awning to invest in a cutting machine, which it didn’t have space for …

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Smart documentation is key to selling your business

No matter where in the world we run our businesses, we aspire to be successful, profitable and happy. We have either started the business from nothing, purchased an existing enterprise or taken the reins of the family business. Often, we begin with limited skills, have minimal formal industry training and largely “learn by our mistakes.” …

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Smart building systems with textiles

The Canadian Printable, Flexible, Wearable Electronics Symposium (CPES2017) was held on the outskirts of Toronto in May this year. Buildings, and smart buildings in particular, were a hot topic both in presentations and in the poster exhibition that accompanied the three-day event. Ronald Zimmer, president and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) set …