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Up-to-date upholstery

April 1, 2019

The commercial upholstery market is always evolving and changing,” says Lori Roop, director of design for CF Stinson LLC, a textile manufacturer based in Rochester Hills, Mich. Yet, Roop adds, “it’s always the same.” A contradiction? Not really. “There is always a huge value placed on color and design,” explains Roop, who works out of …

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Extreme sports, tough textiles

March 1, 2019

Fabricators go to great lengths to make sure every piece of material they produce or distribute will be up to difficult tasks. But sometimes the task is so specialized—or so extreme—that production requires a truly exceptional level of care, expertise and, often, regulation. Products such as the ropes that firefighters use to rappel from helicopters …

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Fabricators and boat owners have a world of choices in windows

February 1, 2019

When it comes to choosing their windows, most boat owners don’t want to make it too complicated—they want a quality product that will last at a reasonable price. As fabricators know, however, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, according to Zach Grant, marketing manager at Sailrite®, a distributor of marine fabrics and supplies for …

Getting into fabric graphics means doing your homework

Ron Nissenbaum, CEO of Humphrys CoverSports in Philadelphia, Pa., has been in the business long enough—51 years to be precise—to have witnessed a few changes in the way fabricators use graphics. When Nissenbaum started at Humphrys, which itself is nearly 150 years old, graphics were a rarity on the tarps, sports field covers and other …

Working innovation: all successful companies innovate to grow, but each approach is unique

January 1, 2019

If there were a formula for writing a hit song, we could all do it. Efforts have certainly been made to figure out just what’s required to reach the top of the charts, but there simply isn’t a single defined path that can be taken to ensure musical success. In manufacturing, businesses that look to …

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Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

November 1, 2018

Everybody knows about inflatables. They’re the bouncy houses rented for kids’ birthday parties, or the big blow-up gorilla that the local car dealership uses to attract customers. The real growth in the use of inflatable technology, however, is in much more serious (and practical) applications—even if they aren’t nearly as visible to most of us. …

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Strategies for how and when to grow your company

October 1, 2018

They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. You’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears (and a few bucks) necessary to make your business a success. You’ve made your customers happy, and they’ve told their friends. There’s never been enough time in the day, but now … it’s getting tough to manage it all. It’s …

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group invests in American manufacturing

September 1, 2018

When it became obvious to Aurora Specialty Textiles Group (ASTG) that its 132-year-old facility in Aurora, Ill., was no longer adequate, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the company had given serious consideration to moving operations overseas. But that was not the case. “There might have been a split-second mention of Mexico, but only because …

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Recommended fabric cleaning products

It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do all the cleaning and maintenance,” says Marianne Iosso, vice president of Iosso® Products of …

O’Sullivan Films’ creek cleanup is the centerpiece of its community work

August 1, 2018

When employees at O’Sullivan Films work to improve the world around them, they don’t have to go any further than their headquarters in Winchester, Va. Winchester, part of the Shenandoah Valley located 75 miles west of Washington, D.C., is home to Abrams Creek, a stream that runs through O’Sullivan’s campus, which includes offices and a …