Market watch: The specialty fabrics industry responds to COVID-19

May 1st, 2020

By Elisa Bernick, Sammi Jones, Jill C. Lafferty,  Galynn Nordstrom, Rebecca J. Post and Janet Preus The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, with the textile industry playing a key role. Suppliers and end product manufacturers have pivoted at lightning speed to produce much-needed PPE for front-line medical workers. IFAI members are reaching […]

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Narrow fabrics’ widening reach

December 1st, 2017

Corporate administrators tend to base management decisions on the Pareto Principle (80 percent of business comes from 20 percent of the clientele). Textile engineer Connie Huffa argues that can be a shortsighted way of thinking. “Opportunities lie in the 20 percent—the business we all would have turned down 10 to 20 years ago,” says the […]

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Fewer, faster, finer

March 1st, 2017

How U.S. manufacturers can adapt to changing expectations of customers. Back in 2007, Trans-Tex LLC, based in Cranston, R.I., was struggling to survive. Management quickly concluded that the company, a dye sublimation heat transfer printer of narrow web fabric, could not compete against overseas competition by attacking their strengths. Those competitor strengths included manufacturing long […]

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IFAI Expo 2016: specialty fabrics programming

December 1st, 2016

A variety of educational choices drove the Specialty Fabrics Program schedule Oct. 18-21 at the IFAI 2016 Expo. Attendees enjoyed dozens of presentations and “campfire” sessions featuring experts on topics as diverse as training the next generation of skilled workers, understanding functional fabric design and beating offshore manufacturers. The exhibit hall showcased the latest in fabrics, […]

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Marketing in the digital age

November 1st, 2016

Technology has changed things,  but customer relationships are still paramount. Not long ago, business managers realized that the Internet would change everything,  especially marketing. With the click of a mouse, millions of potential customers could be reached. Although that revolution has come to pass and online platforms have matured, the takeaway for business owners is this: […]

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Winning the manufacturing war requires strategy

October 20th, 2016

Michael McKeldon Woody, CEO at Trans-Tex LLC, says that manufacturing tide is beginning to turn favorably to the U.S., but companies have to be ready to embrace customers who expect to “have it their way.” Woody presented the principles found in his book, American Dragon, Oct 19, at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. […]

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