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 …

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Digital printing: New fabrics, inks and printers are expanding graphic applications, indoors and out

June 16, 2016

Advances in technology are making custom graphics easier, more affordable and much more impressive. Fabric printing has come a long way from the days when vinyl banners were the norm in signage and screen-printed T-shirts were the gold standard in custom apparel. “Advancements in digital printing technology have made it easy to print photorealistic images …

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Digital fabric printing responding to technical and creative demands

June 1, 2016

As applications respond, the digital fabric printing industry is responding to the technical and creative demands of customers. Digital printing on fabrics has revolutionized a number of markets: trade show exhibits, event marketing, home décor, activewear, retail branding, architectural signage, outdoor advertising and others. “Demand for printed fabrics and textiles continues to grow, and the …

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Soaking up the sun

May 1, 2016

Solar-powered Techstyle Haus demonstrates the aesthetic and functional benefits of state-of-the-art fabric architecture. When the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe issued a call for attractive, energy-efficient homes powered by the sun, one team of design students tapped the potential of fabric architecture. The competition submission, known as Techstyle Haus, brought together 50 students from Rhode Island …

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Reaching for the stars

November 1, 2015

Tectoniks pioneers inflatable technology in developing high-value asset protection for Lockheed Martin U.K. To help provide environmental protection to its high-value assets, aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin U.K. needed a robust, portable and retractable structure that met specific and rigorous functional and technical requirements—and everything had to be accomplished in a compressed timeframe. After …

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Printed, practical and appealing

June 1, 2015

Fabric graphics projects enhance public spaces thanks to their aesthetic, acoustic and eco-friendly properties. When 114 million viewers tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015, they partook in a visual feast of fast-moving plays, dazzling electronic displays and big-screen graphics. TV viewers and fans in attendance at University of Phoenix Stadium …

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Building relationships

November 1, 2014

Working with the military requires patience, agility and a thorough understanding of government processes—and shifting markets. In July, the Senate appropriations committee passed a 2015 base defense budget of $549.3 billion and another $59.7 billion to fund overseas contingency operation. While the numbers appear staggering, they mark a drop of about $20 billion in each …

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Primer for printing

January 1, 2014

Digital printing on textiles expands client lists and adds new dimensions to product innovation. For the Brooklyn Plantology garden center in New York, Capitol Awning Co. of Jamaica, N.Y., created a custom awning that showcased a logo, text and a leafy design that captured the essence of the space. The shop printed the imagery directly …

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The development of new and improved equipment

July 1, 2011

Key factors driving the development—and sales—of new equipment for specialty fabrics manufacturers. Whether fabricators are finishing an awning or designing a banner, they have to choose from a plethora of equipment to get the job done. Representatives from four major equipment manufacturing categories for specialty fabrics—welding, sewing, cutting and printing—share their insights on key trends …

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Digital graphics let tents stand out in the crowd

November 1, 2010

Printing beautiful graphics and advertising messages let your customers’ tents stand out in a sea of white structures. Businesses competing for the attention of consumers do everything possible to distinguish themselves. As such, everyone from NASCAR sponsors to farmers market vendors can benefit from the branding afforded by printing custom graphics on tents. “Printed tents …

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New fabrics for digital printing

Through technology and innovation, textile manufacturers meet the growing needs of suppliers and end users with versatile fabric offerings. By Holly O’Dell The growth of digital textile printing is evident in the number of fabrics that manufacturers have released in the last year. The push for new fabrics reflects a combination of feedback from end-product …

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Museums and fine art provide unique graphics application

September 1, 2008

Museums are fast discovering the benefits of fabric use in their facilities. Although these institutions often use fabric for signage or wayfinding, designers are also finding innovative ways to incorporate textiles into their exhibits. The same applies to those who are reproducing works of fine art. Manufacturers are consistently creating new and improved canvas-type materials …

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Developing sustainable products and practices

June 1, 2008

From magazine articles to seminars to trade show floors, the topic of sustainability has worked its way into business consciousness. And most manufacturers and distributors are starting to realize that implementing a few green elements here and there is not enough. Is it possible for a business to be a responsible steward of both the …

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Working with textured fabric creates new printing partnerships

May 1, 2008

Printing on textured fabrics has introduced a world of new applications. Thanks to the ability to print on non-smooth surfaces with the end result of bright, unified colors and sharp, high-resolution graphics, industries such as exhibition, retail, film, interior design, and fine art reproduction are benefiting from this market segment. What once was a standard …

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Multi-year event contracts

March 1, 2008

Because tent rental companies cater to a fluid and unpredictable industry, they value services and practices that can bring stability to their business. One such element that provides security and peace of mind is the multi-year contract. While they certainly aren’t foolproof, multi-year contracts offer plenty of advantages. One significant benefit of the multi-year contract—which …

Distributor reuses, recycles and increases profit

January 1, 1970

The Hammock Source implemented sustainable practices long before it was fashionable to do so.Since forming in the 1970s, The Hammock Source in Greenville, N.C., has always made recycling and reuse a priority. Little did the company know that someday, its simple business practices would be en vogue. “It was the culture that the company came …

Reusing and recycling printed tents

Because of the expense, most end users of custom printed tents plan to use the structures for multiple events. “Many are transported around the country to various events, while others are used as more semipermanent structures at stadiums or parks for advertising and shelter,” says Jay Hoesli, graphics division manager for Anchor Industries. But what …

Tech specs of new fabrics

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Malibu Canvas GF Composition: 100% polyester Technical specs: 10.5 oz./sq. yd., acrylic coated Printers/inks: Solvent, eco-solvent, UV curable Uses: Giclee art reproduction, retail stores (in-store graphics and front windows) AC Canvas Semi-gloss Composition: 65% polyester, 35% cotton Technical specs: 11 oz./sq. yd., coating is polished to semi-gloss sheen Printers/inks: Solvent, eco-solvent, …