Feature

Covering climate change

August 1, 2021

Broiling summers, harsh winters, drought, fires, hurricanes—climate change is making life harder, more fraught and dangerous for people across the globe. While political leaders and governments argue over policies and regulations, the specialty fabrics industry is stepping up to devise products to help mitigate the affects of a changing climate. Here we highlight companies whose …

Case Studies

Opening up the classroom

August 1, 2021

For schools, the challenge of delivering quality learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic has generated numerous approaches to creating safe environments. Transformit Inc. was asked by the Portland, Maine, school district to provide quotes for dozens of outdoor classrooms. “The CARES Act had provided the township with a budget to work with, and they needed …

Case Studies

SLO Architecture’s ‘Turntable’ contemplates Camden’s history and future

August 1, 2021

One of the many enduring reminders of the coronavirus pandemic is the sight of used, discarded masks littering public spaces. Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of New York City’s SLO Architecture have taken on the idea of unearthing the discarded in “Turntable,” a public installation at Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden, N.J., that turns …

Feature

2021 State of the Industry

August 1, 2021

The full 2021 State of the Industry report will be available for purchase later this year at the IFAI e-store, www.IFAI.com/estore. The full report takes a deep dive into business types and market segments. Introduction to the research This research highlights findings from more than 300 members of the industrial fabrics community who shared information …

News

PFEIFER Structures launches new website

August 1, 2021

Starting this month, fabritecstructures.com officially becomes pfeifer-structures.com, the new website for the global PFEIFER Structures brand. The change of website is an important milestone of FabriTec’s incorporation into PFEIFER Structures, the global partner for innovative lightweight structures. Previous visitors of the fabritecstructures.com website will find pfeifer-structures.com has a familiar interface with key additions that include …

Markets

Top trade challenges and opportunities in 2021

August 1, 2021

The list of trade issues facing Washington policy makers in 2021 is long and complex. How these issues will be addressed affects a range of industries, and the textile industry is no exception. With member companies driving innovation in materials essential to health care, advanced technologies and national security, the industry is likely to feel …

IFAI news

IFAI 2021 State of the Industry report now available for purchase

July 21, 2021

The 2021 State of the Industry report from Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now available for sale at IFAI’s e-store. IFAI members may purchase the report for $79, a $300 discount off the non-member price. Read a summary of the report here, and purchase the full report here. IFAI conducts research annually among its …

Industry News

Global technical textile market outlook

July 9, 2021

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global technical textile market is expected to grow at CAGR of 8.0% within the forecast period of 2021 to 2029. The demand for textiles is increasing and consumers are expecting higher quality textiles with sustainable properties. These textiles are known for their superior characteristics over their traditional equivalents …

Events

Messe Stuttgart’s Sun Shading Expo North America moves co-location debut with IFAI Expo to 2022

July 7, 2021

Messe Stuttgart announced that its new U.S.-based show Sun Shading Expo North America will not be held in 2021 as a separate trade show but will instead contribute its expertise in internal and external sun shading systems at IFAI Expo 2021 in the form of expert talks, open discussions and more. IFAI Expo 2021 will still take place …

Case Studies

Food for life

July 1, 2021

As with many food-related companies, the North County Food Bank in Vista, Calif., has had a need to utilize its parking lot due to COVID-19 restrictions. The food bank serves between 200–300 families per day, and the operation was forced out of the building. Volunteers serve a constant line of cars from 9 a.m. to …

Case Studies

SLO Architecture’s ‘Turntable’ contemplates Camden’s history and future

August 1, 2021

One of the many enduring reminders of the coronavirus pandemic is the sight of used, discarded masks littering public spaces. Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of New York City’s SLO Architecture have taken on the idea of unearthing the discarded in “Turntable,” a public installation at Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden, N.J., that turns …

Case Studies

Opening up the classroom

August 1, 2021

For schools, the challenge of delivering quality learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic has generated numerous approaches to creating safe environments. Transformit Inc. was asked by the Portland, Maine, school district to provide quotes for dozens of outdoor classrooms. “The CARES Act had provided the township with a budget to work with, and they needed …

Case Studies

Food for life

July 1, 2021

As with many food-related companies, the North County Food Bank in Vista, Calif., has had a need to utilize its parking lot due to COVID-19 restrictions. The food bank serves between 200–300 families per day, and the operation was forced out of the building. Volunteers serve a constant line of cars from 9 a.m. to …

Case Studies

Portable solar ‘clouds’ designed for remote locations

July 1, 2021

An architecture and planning studio based in the U.K. has proposed an “ephemeral station” that could provide remote communities and other locations with energy, water and shelter. The project by OF. Studio, designed for the state of Nevada, takes its inspiration from the banyan tree and hot air balloons. Under the “clouds,” a steel frame …

Case Studies

Finding the great pumpkin

June 1, 2021

Carlsbad Strawberry Co., located along the Pacific Coast south of Los Angeles, Calif., has been growing strawberries for four generations. Since the 1950s, the “pick-your-own” produce company has prospered as it actively engaged with local schools, churches and nonprofits. One tradition enjoyed by the locals for decades stems from a secondary crop that brings people …

Case Studies

Creating ‘The Canyon’

June 1, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the new terminal complex at the Salt Lake City International Airport, a specially commissioned public art installation involved architectural fabric. The visually stunning fabric sculpture “The Canyon” by public artist Gordon Huether was accomplished by a dedicated team of fabric engineers and fabricators who interpreted the artist’s vision. The scope of the …

Case Studies

Rolling out the sidewalk

May 1, 2021

The Montana Brewing Co., located on the ground floor in the defunct Montana Power Co. building, was one of the first small-scale brewpubs to appear when such facilities sprung up across the country. As the first brewing company in Billings, Mont., it staked out a claim on the main thoroughfare in the historic district of …

Case Studies

Macon City Auditorium repair includes a roofing membrane system

April 1, 2021

A few years shy of its 100th birthday, the Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Ga., is getting a makeover, starting with a new roofing membrane system. The Classical-style structure, surrounded on three sides with limestone Doric columns, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has hosted the likes of the Allman Brothers and …

Case Studies

Opportunities in fabric graphics

April 1, 2021

The market for fabric graphics continues to evolve, with new challenges presented by everything from COVID-19 to the changing workplace. Innovative companies, though, can find opportunities as they work to position themselves for the post-pandemic rebound. There’s no question the economic downturn caused by the pandemic affected almost everyone working in the industry, says Geoff …

Case Studies

Pvilion and Rensselaer developing robotics to manufacture rapidly deployable structures

April 1, 2021

When tents are needed immediately—for disaster response, a public health crisis or a military action—time is of the essence. A new research effort led by a robotics team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and Pvilion, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based manufacturer of rapidly deployable structures, including solar fabric structures, aims to improve the manufacturing process …

Events

Messe Stuttgart’s Sun Shading Expo North America moves co-location debut with IFAI Expo to 2022

July 7, 2021

Messe Stuttgart announced that its new U.S.-based show Sun Shading Expo North America will not be held in 2021 as a separate trade show but will instead contribute its expertise in internal and external sun shading systems at IFAI Expo 2021 in the form of expert talks, open discussions and more. IFAI Expo 2021 will still take place …

Expo News

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021

May 10, 2021

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021. IFAI Expo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the show this November, and you won’t want to miss it! After a long hiatus of in-person events, this year’s show is the perfect place to reconnect with your industry. Register now to get the Early Bird rate! Early Bird rates end …

Expo News

Get stand-out awnings with digital printing

December 1, 2020

With today’s digital printing options, there’s no reason for an awning client to be limited to colors and patterns in a book or traditional customization methods, according to Andrew Medley, regional sales manager for Trivantage. “Digital printing offers unlimited capabilities, and it is a solution to providing the customer exactly what they want—personalized messaging, the …

Expo News

Welding technology for your business

December 1, 2020

During IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, Jeff Sponseller, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Miller Weldmaster, led a campfire session titled “How to Select the Correct Welding Technology for Your Business.” “Essentially a good weld means that the fabric will tear before the weld does,” says Sponseller. Many types of different materials can be …

Expo News

Guidance offered in commercial insurance market

December 1, 2020

Wildfires, hurricanes, a pandemic and civil unrest have wreaked plenty of chaos on the commercial insurance market in 2020. Steve Christenson, with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, offered guidance to business owners Nov. 9 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. “The business insurance market has been going through several changes this year,” says Christenson, with U.S. …

Expo News

The inside scoop on shade, lighting and acoustics

December 1, 2020

In the 2020 IFAI Virtual Expo presentation, “The Inside Scoop on Shade, Lighting and Acoustics,” Cynthia Thompson, MFA, president and founder of Transformit in Gorham, Maine, wowed conference participants with a slideshow of her company’s projects that highlight the stunning possibilities of interior fabric architecture. Thompson said many different markets can make use of permanent …

Expo News

How to make your business attractive to a buyer

December 1, 2020

Thinking about selling your business—either to an outside party or the next generation? Then it’s time to start considering how your equipment and processes fit into your succession plan. Jonathan Palmer, the second-generation owner and CEO of equipment supplier Autometrix, and Autometrix director of global sales Truy Pham, led an educational session at IFAI Virtual …

Expo News

Standard for active illumination developed in Europe

November 16, 2020

In a session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, “Smart Textiles Standardization, Active Illumination,” Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert Hohenstein Group, explained the new standard for active illumination that will soon be implemented in European Union countries.  Organizations worked together to develop the standards. It is notable, he said that both textile and electronics industries …

Expo News

Rapid prototyping = faster market launch

November 16, 2020

A presentation at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, titled, “Rapid Prototyping and Textile Product Development” urged attendees to use “sticks and glue … whatever method you have to get your idea out there.” The presenter, Dr. Andre West, director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE), Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, may not have meant …

Expo News

The larger issues in respiratory protection

November 12, 2020

Dr. Bryran Ormond, assistant professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State explained respiratory protection in an “Ask an Expert” session with Jing Liang, Medical PPE Consulting LLC. Dr. Ormand has typically worked in the area of chemical and biological protective equipment, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, began to focus on respiratory protection generally, …

Feature

Covering climate change

August 1, 2021

Broiling summers, harsh winters, drought, fires, hurricanes—climate change is making life harder, more fraught and dangerous for people across the globe. While political leaders and governments argue over policies and regulations, the specialty fabrics industry is stepping up to devise products to help mitigate the affects of a changing climate. Here we highlight companies whose …

Feature

2021 State of the Industry

August 1, 2021

The full 2021 State of the Industry report will be available for purchase later this year at the IFAI e-store, www.IFAI.com/estore. The full report takes a deep dive into business types and market segments. Introduction to the research This research highlights findings from more than 300 members of the industrial fabrics community who shared information …

Feature Members only content

Up against a wall

July 1, 2021

Wallpaper has been around for centuries—since the 16th century to be exact. In its earliest iterations, wallpaper was printed on paper in monochrome black ink, and color soon followed with the introduction of polychrome block printing. Eventually, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, vinyl wallpaper took the industry by storm because it was cheap, easy to …

Feature

Donato Fraioli continues ASATI’s tradition of innovation

July 1, 2021

The news headlines were alarming. Just before Christmas 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that a case of deadly mad cow disease had been reported in Washington state.  Halfway across the country, animal disease scientists working in Ames, Iowa, faced a double whammy. Not only were they needing to fast-track research related to mad …

Feature Members only content

Putting the art in fabric architecture

June 1, 2021

A successful work of public art today should not be treated as an object sitting in the environment; rather it should be interpreted as the environment. —James Wines, American artist and architect James Wines is known as a provocative artist who creates building-sized installations that some would say are more architecture than art. Indeed, he …

Feature Members only content

Mobile exhibition glows with Sattler membrane fabric

June 1, 2021

From its forests to its flag, the state of Styria fulfills its reputation as the “green heart of Austria.” Now, a glowing green pavilion is helping tell the region’s story.  Examining the past, present and future of Styria, the “Showing Styria” exhibition is presented in three museums in the city of Graz and a mobile …

Feature Members only content

Digital revolution transforms fabric structures

May 1, 2021

New software and computer-driven fabrication speed production and improve accuracy. by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA While CNC (computer numerical control) and 3D digitally driven fabrication have been trumpeted in the design and construction press over the past 10 to 15 years, another revolution has been quietly growing within the architectural fabrics industry. Using computer digital …

Feature

Scott Sutherland: Ready for anything

May 1, 2021

In the summer of 2020, Scott Sutherland was elated with record-shattering sales, but he was also in a situation he had never imagined: out of aluminum, out of fabric, out of nearly every component used to make tents. The pandemic roller coaster had sent the event tent industry from a bust to a boom, with …

Feature Members only content

Fabricators pivot, persevere and prosper

April 1, 2021

COVID-19 made an abrupt entrance in 2020, catching almost everyone off guard. It quickly became clear that waiting it out wasn’t an option for most businesses. Many pivoted, looked for opportunities and took calculated risks to keep their employees working and the bottom line healthy during what has proved to be a challenging, unpredictable and, …

Feature Members only content

A ‘mixed bag’ for U.S. textile manufacturing

April 1, 2021

The year 2020 was not a particularly good period to assess the health of the U.S. textile manufacturing industry—or, for that matter, many other types of industries. But industry participants report that the optimism manufacturers felt at the beginning of the year was still there at the end, despite the havoc wreaked by the pandemic.  …

Industry News

Global technical textile market outlook

July 9, 2021

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global technical textile market is expected to grow at CAGR of 8.0% within the forecast period of 2021 to 2029. The demand for textiles is increasing and consumers are expecting higher quality textiles with sustainable properties. These textiles are known for their superior characteristics over their traditional equivalents …

Industry News

WVU Davis College unveils Amy A. Bircher Textiles Laboratory

April 19, 2021

A gift to the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will provide fashion, dress and merchandising students with enhanced educational opportunities in textile science. To strengthen textile science and curriculum, Amy Bircher, a WVU alumna and founder and CEO of MMI Textiles Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, donated more than $200,000 …

Industry News

Alpha Tubular Motors to host free motorization solutions webinar March 3

February 24, 2021

Alpha Tubular Motors will host a free webinar on Wednesday, March 3, that will focus on the advantages and offerings of intuitive motorization solutions for awnings, roller shutters and roller shades. The webinar “Alpha 101: The Alpha Advantage,” set for 4:30 p.m. EST, will be led by Alpha Tubular Motors CEO David Fezer, who will …

Industry News

Brown and Manning call for Biden to prioritize American manufacturers and bolster domestic PPE

January 29, 2021

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) wrote to President Biden calling on the Administration to prioritize purchasing fully made in America Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), according to Textile World in a January 24 article.  The lawmakers outline four steps the Administration can take now to ensure our frontline workers have products needed …

Industry News

Industry and union coalition outlines PPE recommendations to Biden and Congress

January 29, 2021

 A broad coalition of industry organizations and labor unions, representing a broad spectrum of manufacturers and workers who stepped up to make essential PPE and other products throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sent a letter today to President Biden and congressional leaders outlining recommendations on specific policy initiatives that must be adopted to re-establish a permanent …

Industry News

A primer on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

January 1, 2021

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) offers lots of attractive benefits: studies have shown that ESOPs improve productivity, increase sales and improve return on assets, plus they offer great tax advantages. But more than any of these attributes, an ESOP offers the owner of a company peace of mind and an enduring legacy. “Many times, …

Industry News

Meet the Newly Elected and Re-elected 2021 IFAI Board of Directors

January 1, 2021

Each year, Industrial Fabrics Association International’s (IFAI) Leadership Development Committee follows a detailed process outlined in our bylaws for electing board members. It is IFAI’s pleasure to announce the newly elected and re-elected individuals who were chosen to serve on the 2021 IFAI Board of Directors. Newly Elected Directors Jennifer Fennell, Polo Custom ProductsJennifer Fennell …

Industry News

Sign up now for the 2021 Fabric Architecture Specifier’s Guide

January 1, 2021

The 2021 Fabric Architecture Specifier’s Guide is a one-stop guide for architects, designers and fabricators. This guide features the versatility and reliability of fabric, whether your focus is on awnings and canopies or air, tent and tensile structures. The guide highlights products, services, supplier directories and detailed specifier guides. Make sure you are part of the 2021 …

Industry News

Take IFAI’s survey: COVID-19’s Business Impact in 2020

December 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as one of the most challenging and unprecedented periods ever for the specialty, technical and engineered textile industries. As 2020 comes to a close, Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) would like your help in understanding how businesses in our industries were affected by the events of this year and …

Awards

2020 Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients announced

November 12, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is very fortunate to have so many volunteers who give of themselves selflessly, helping every day by serving on different boards, task forces and committees. These volunteers judge competitions, provide education and impassioned leadership to others day-in and day-out. To acknowledge their service, IFAI developed a program in 2012 called …