The fabric connection

January 1, 2014

How hardware and fabric, combined in fabric structures, should be selected for good results. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA As any matchmaker will tell you, making the right connection can be the difference between a success that lasts, and a disaster that has long-lasting repercussions. This is especially true with tensile fabric structures where structure …

Awnings & canopies

April 1, 2009

For decades the choice of awning and canopy fabric was limited to cotton canvas. While cotton offers a great look and feel, it has performance limitations outdoors. Although traditional cotton duck, or canvas, is still used occasionally — especially when specifiers desire a traditional look — synthetics now dominate the market for residential and commercial …

Fabric structures

A fabric structure’s material selection, proper design, engineering, fabrication and installation all work together to ensure a sound structure. The material’s role in the structure’s performance makes the selection process especially important. This is particularly true with tensile and air-supported structures because their membranes, as well as their frames, carry the loads. Membrane materials Most …

Graphics applications

New applications of graphic elements are a species of fabric architecture that allows the most colorful and visual creativity. Environmental graphics fabricators constantly look for new ways to grab the eye or fill a space. The key to selecting the proper fabric is knowing the function a banner or graphic element is to perform. Other …

Definitions to know

Denier is an international system for measuring the weight (linear density) of fabric. Officially, it is the number of unit weights of 0.05g/ 450m length. It is a direct numbering system in which the lower numbers represent the finer sizes and the higher numbers the coarser sizes. In the U.S., the denier system is used …

Photocatalyst technology adds value to fabric

May 1, 2005

By Kikuko Tagawa The word “photocatalyst” may be unfamiliar to you, but it is mentioned frequently in Japan’s business media; it is now well known by most business people in Japan. Photocatalyst treatments are probably in your environment already. Do the mirrors on your car doors ever fog up? If not, the mirrors could be …

Basalt continuous filament could be the fiber of the future

July 1, 2004

BCF has distinct advantages over mineral fibers like carbon, ceramic and glass fibers. By Eddie Grosfield Spewed by erupting volcanoes millions of years ago, solidified lava—called basalt rock—turns out to be an excellent raw material for making effective fireproof fabrics and barriers, insulation materials, and reinforcement agents. Basalt continuous filament (BCF) is a fiber produced …

Japanese fabric companies attempt to develop substitute for PVC

March 1, 2003

 By Kikuko Tagawa Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is an extremely popular material used in a wide variety of applications, including construction, industrial fabrics, filtration, medical products, food wraps, toys, and many others. This inexpensive material combines strength and workability and excels in weatherability and chemical resistance. PVC appears to be the ideal material for many …

Spacer considerations

July 1, 2001

Manufactured in a wide range of forms, 3-D fabrics can be used for construction, soil retention or acoustic attenuation By Janet Cass Think of spacer fabric (also called 3-D fabric) as a sandwich, featuring two complementary slabs of fabric with a third layer tucked in between. The inner layer can take a variety of shapes, …

Revisiting vinyl-coated cotton

January 1, 2001

 By Janet Cass Some 50 years ago, vinyl-coated cotton was the trendy new awning fabric. Fast forward to today, though, and the awning market is dominated by acrylics and vinyl laminates. But just like a plant that flourishes in the shade of towering trees, vinyl-coated cotton still has strong roots in the awning industry, …