Creating a welcoming workplace to retain employees

January 1, 2018

To prevent employee turnover, create a workplace that provides continuous learning, competitive pay and benefits and open-minded management. Like many industries that rely on skilled workers, the specialty fabrics industry is facing a shortage of qualified personnel. As manufacturers and fabricators develop recruitment efforts to attract the next-generation workforce, management must simultaneously find strategies to …

Protect and conserve potable water

December 1, 2017

If you’ve had a glass of clean water today, you can likely thank a fabric-based product. Engineered fabrics, membranes and geosynthetics perform behind-the-scenes work to ensure that communities have access to adequate potable water and clean waterways. Creative fabric uses also hold promise in delivering clean water in emerging markets—a meteoric task considering that 783 …

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Finding solutions: teamwork and initiative

Research shows that cross-functional collaboration can improve the ability to solve complex problems, deliver higher quality products and services faster, and boost customer satisfaction. To see these kinds of results means building a team that listens to customers and works across departments to find solutions. At Cooley Group, president and CEO Dan Dwight emphasizes the …

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

September 1, 2017

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 …

Does “Made in the USA” matter in the sewn-goods industry?

August 30, 2017

A 2015 survey by Consumer Reports indicates that nearly 8 in 10 American consumers would rather buy a product made in United States than an imported one—and 60 percent of them would be willing to pay 10 percent more for it. But the sewn-goods industry faces critical questions about the “Made in the USA” label: …

Designing with natural decor brings tented events to life

July 1, 2017

According to the color gurus at Pantone®, Greenery—the Pantone Color of the Year 2017—emblematizes our intrinsic desire to restore, revitalize and reconnect. Pantone calls the naturally neutral shade “symbolic of new beginnings”—a description appropriate to the thousands of weddings and other social events that occur under tents every year. “Green is a happy color,” says …

Building the best teams and the best practices to put innovation to work

June 1, 2017

By building the best teams, improving continuously and putting the customer first—always—companies that put innovation to work keep customers coming back. When Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, introduced the iPhone in 2007, his name became synonymous with innovation—a business practice and marketing advantage that isn’t particular to any one industry. Nor is it …

Building a better company

May 17, 2017

For years, salespeople have chanted the “ABC” refrain of “Always be closing.” For pioneering companies, ABC could stand for “Always be changing.” The ability to adapt to, and stay ahead of, shifting conditions can help position an organization as an innovator—and a success. South Africa–based Gelvenor Textiles recognized the need to become nimble as circumstances …

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Shade with character

March 1, 2017

Fabricators bring together innovative and classic elements to protect their boating customers from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether permanent or removable, shading on boats has a big job to fulfill: protecting the crew and passengers from the sun while creating a comfortable environment. And boat owners are becoming more knowledgeable about the health dangers that …

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A steel-framed fabric building shelters, protects and stores

September 1, 2016

With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, agriculture must overcome myriad demands required to feed so many people. A mineral known as potash provides a critical piece in solving this puzzle. Created during the evaporation of ancient seabeds, potash is most widely used as potassium fertilizer. “Potassium is one of the …