Case Studies

Eschenbach Group completes speedy construction of temporary structures overspeed skating rink

March 1, 2021

Olympic speed skating hopefuls in Germany will enjoy a modernized training facility once reconstruction is complete on a track in the state of Saxony. To keep construction on schedule through the winter, the state government reached out to Eschenbach Group of Bad Königshofen to supply an oval-shaped temporary structure solution to cover the track.  “In …

Feature

Managing remote workers

March 1, 2021

Ways for both managers and employees to reap the benefits of remote work. by Lin Grensing-Pophal In 2020 the world suddenly changed for all of us. Impacted by COVID-19, companies around the country and around the world found themselves forced to consider an option that many had formally eschewed—remote work. While remote work, aka telecommuting, …

Feature

Women on overcoming challenges and bringing innovation to the textile industry

March 1, 2021

Three noteworthy innovators drive the textile industry forward with imagination, tenacity and expertise.  Innovation and creativity in the world of textiles are always worthy of attention. But because the textile industry—like so many others—has been dominated by men, the contributions of women have often gone unnoticed. Women have always participated in and led the textile …

Case Studies

New Eisenhower Memorial features metal mesh tapestry

March 1, 2021

Despite delays, the new memorial makes a sweeping statement. by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA In May of 2020, the construction and installation of the memorial for General and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was finally finished. It was a process that took more than 15 years of internecine delays and objections put forth by pro- …

Feature

Pandemic demand drives shade market

March 1, 2021

Pent-up pandemic demand drives surprising economic growth and environmental innovation in the shade market. by Jeff Moravec  For many businesses, just keeping the doors open was a challenge in 2020. But for many shade fabricators and manufacturers, as the year progressed, the shade market heated up, and business became surprisingly good. Pandemic-related projects—including those related …

Case Studies

Playground prototype keeps kids cool and safe in Australia heat

March 1, 2021

Western Sydney University heat research has guided the refurbishmentof a playground in the Sydney, Australia, suburb of Cumberland, resultingin a first-of-its-kind UV Smart Cool Playground. The project brought together government, industry and research partners, including shade solutions manufacturer Alfresco Shade of Riverstone, Australia, and fabric supplier GALE Pacific, to address climate change and associated hotter …

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 …

Feature

Matthew Dickerson: Daring to succeed

February 1, 2021

Matthew Dickerson took a chance on shade sails and succeeded—by welcoming failure and hard work while chasing goals.   by Holly Eamon A 6-by-4-inch yellow paint chip sits in a shadow box on the office wall of Matthew Dickerson, president and CEO of Tenshon, a shade sail manufacturer in Mesa, Ariz. More than a conversation …

Feature

Closing the gaps in the textile supply chain

February 1, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased textile supply chain pressures, requiring companies to adopt creative strategies to keep materials and products moving.  by Pamela Mills-Senn With many moving parts, the textile supply chain requires hiccup-free involvement from entities up and down the line to ensure it functions properly. But with something so complex, the chain is …

Feature

Shade around the world: custom canopy projects

February 1, 2021

Wherever the sun shines, people need shade. These recent canopy projects from around the world fulfill that mission with inspired design and expert execution.  by Jeff Moravec Custom canopy projects can present unique challenges to their creators, but that’s a reason many designers, fabricators and installers enjoy them. These projects give them a chance to …

Case Studies

Eschenbach Group completes speedy construction of temporary structures overspeed skating rink

March 1, 2021

Olympic speed skating hopefuls in Germany will enjoy a modernized training facility once reconstruction is complete on a track in the state of Saxony. To keep construction on schedule through the winter, the state government reached out to Eschenbach Group of Bad Königshofen to supply an oval-shaped temporary structure solution to cover the track.  “In …

Case Studies

New Eisenhower Memorial features metal mesh tapestry

March 1, 2021

Despite delays, the new memorial makes a sweeping statement. by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA In May of 2020, the construction and installation of the memorial for General and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was finally finished. It was a process that took more than 15 years of internecine delays and objections put forth by pro- …

Case Studies

Playground prototype keeps kids cool and safe in Australia heat

March 1, 2021

Western Sydney University heat research has guided the refurbishmentof a playground in the Sydney, Australia, suburb of Cumberland, resultingin a first-of-its-kind UV Smart Cool Playground. The project brought together government, industry and research partners, including shade solutions manufacturer Alfresco Shade of Riverstone, Australia, and fabric supplier GALE Pacific, to address climate change and associated hotter …

Case Studies

Big Span Structures completes parking garage façade with eye-catching details

February 1, 2021

Capital Crescent Trail users in Bethesda, Md., are enjoying an aesthetically pleasing facade of digitally printed blue sky and bird silhouettes, designed and installed by Big Span Structures as part of a parking garage expansion project. In addition to the eye-catching view in place of an otherwise typical concrete parking garage system, the 11,000-square-foot facade …

Case Studies

Mesh structure evokes Atlanta’s tree canopy

January 1, 2021

Atlanta, Ga., is known as the “city in the forest” because of its abundance of trees. A mesh sculpture installed at the High Museum of Art in the summer of 2020 drew on Atlanta’s relationship with the natural world and bird migration with the goal of spurring conversations around biodiversity, extinction and cohabitation. The temporary …

Case Studies

Inside-out tent hosts summer cinema

January 1, 2021

During the self-isolation period of the 2020 pandemic, “it became clear that some films can only exist and be perceived in theaters,” according to Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, film program curator for Garage Screen, the summer film series hosted by the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia. Garage Screen’s summer pavilion, designed by Yerevan, Armenia-based architectural …

Case Studies

Netted sculpture billows above St. Petersburg pier

December 1, 2020

Artist Janet Echelman used 180 miles of twine and 1,662,528 knots to create the ethereal look of Bending Arc, the aerial sculpture commissioned for St. Pete Pier, a 26-acre destination on the waterfront in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Echelman is known internationally for monumental net sculpture installations. Bending Arc was designed to celebrate change as it …

Case Studies

Inflatable forest comes to life with human interaction

November 1, 2020

The Canopy, an inflatable installation that debuted in 2019 at the Light City festival in Baltimore, Md., is designed to bring people together for a greater good. At first glance, it is a forest of tree-like sculptures that are white in the daylight and aglow with neon colors at night. That’s where people come in. …

Case Studies

Roland-Garros gets a retractable roof with Serge Ferrari fabric

October 1, 2020

Like virtually every other major sporting event, the French Open postponed its 2020 tournament, with play now tentatively set to begin in late September. And when the world’s greatest tennis players set foot on the world’s most famous red clay, they’ll play regardless of weather, under a new retractable roof featuring a translucent, waterproof composite …

Case Studies

Big Span Structures completes covered walkway for Jacksonville transit users

October 1, 2020

An eye-catching pedestrian bridge with a tensile membrane roof is keeping Jacksonville, Fla., transit users protected from the elements. Jacksonville Transit Authority’s vision of a regional multimodal hub is coming to a reality with the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC). Located in the heart of the downtown LaVilla area, the JRTC will integrate key local, …

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, …

Expo News

Rodgers: Textiles are the “T” in STEM

November 11, 2020

How do you create a channel from research to application? How do you create a pathway toward understanding complex human problems across supply chains and market sectors? STEM—a curriculum based on teaching science, technology, engineering and math—has branched out from basic chemistry and biology and physics classes, into collaborative efforts, including textiles, according to Stephanie …

Expo News

Partnerships in smart textile products

November 11, 2020

The second week of IFAI’s Virtual Expo 2020 advanced textiles educational sessions began with a presentation that illustrated the importance of collaboration. “Smart textiles for healthcare and wellbeing: a collaborative approach” had three presenters speaking from different perspectives, but with one, unified message about reaching across geographical distance and areas of expertise to create successful …

Feature

Managing remote workers

March 1, 2021

Ways for both managers and employees to reap the benefits of remote work. by Lin Grensing-Pophal In 2020 the world suddenly changed for all of us. Impacted by COVID-19, companies around the country and around the world found themselves forced to consider an option that many had formally eschewed—remote work. While remote work, aka telecommuting, …

Feature

Women on overcoming challenges and bringing innovation to the textile industry

March 1, 2021

Three noteworthy innovators drive the textile industry forward with imagination, tenacity and expertise.  Innovation and creativity in the world of textiles are always worthy of attention. But because the textile industry—like so many others—has been dominated by men, the contributions of women have often gone unnoticed. Women have always participated in and led the textile …

Feature

Pandemic demand drives shade market

March 1, 2021

Pent-up pandemic demand drives surprising economic growth and environmental innovation in the shade market. by Jeff Moravec  For many businesses, just keeping the doors open was a challenge in 2020. But for many shade fabricators and manufacturers, as the year progressed, the shade market heated up, and business became surprisingly good. Pandemic-related projects—including those related …

Feature

Matthew Dickerson: Daring to succeed

February 1, 2021

Matthew Dickerson took a chance on shade sails and succeeded—by welcoming failure and hard work while chasing goals.   by Holly Eamon A 6-by-4-inch yellow paint chip sits in a shadow box on the office wall of Matthew Dickerson, president and CEO of Tenshon, a shade sail manufacturer in Mesa, Ariz. More than a conversation …

Feature

Closing the gaps in the textile supply chain

February 1, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased textile supply chain pressures, requiring companies to adopt creative strategies to keep materials and products moving.  by Pamela Mills-Senn With many moving parts, the textile supply chain requires hiccup-free involvement from entities up and down the line to ensure it functions properly. But with something so complex, the chain is …

Feature

Shade around the world: custom canopy projects

February 1, 2021

Wherever the sun shines, people need shade. These recent canopy projects from around the world fulfill that mission with inspired design and expert execution.  by Jeff Moravec Custom canopy projects can present unique challenges to their creators, but that’s a reason many designers, fabricators and installers enjoy them. These projects give them a chance to …

Feature

LA’s SoFi Stadium sets a new standardwith massive roof and video display

February 1, 2021

Featuring the world’s largest cable net roof and the world’s largest LED content playback system, SoFi Stadium, the new home for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, is “as majestic as it is revolutionary,” according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.  FabriTec Structures LLC, Dallas, Texas, was contracted in a design-assist role with the …

Feature

How to be an efficiency champion at your specialty fabrics business

February 1, 2021

Nine steps every business can take, from organizing more to doing less.  by Laurie F. Junker No business owner wants to waste time and money, have frustrated employees, and risk customer relationships with mistakes and delays. But the truth is that all of these things happen when businesses operate less efficiently than they could be.  …

Feature

Carolyn Hajek on staying small and strong

January 1, 2021

Pride City Awning & Canvas founder Carolyn Hajek has built her business on trust and loyalty. by Laurie F. Junker  The successful formula for Pride City Awning & Canvas is the application of a simple principle—treat customers, suppliers and employees with honesty, fairness and loyalty. It’s an approach that has kept the Pueblo, Colo.-based manufacturer …

Feature

The great escape: textile products for the outdoors

December 1, 2020

As more people embrace outdoor recreational activities during the pandemic, textiles and fabric products are in high demand.  by  Pamela Mills-Senn After months spent hunkered down at home because of the pandemic, people have become restive. They want to participate in life again, yet still follow social distancing guidelines. As a result, many people have …

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 …

Awards

2020 Honored Life Member Award Recipient announced

November 12, 2020

Honored Life Member status for Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is designed for individuals who have shown a commitment to the association. Honored Life Membership is bestowed by special request only, and at the discretion of the IFAI Board of Directors to candidates based on the following criteria: Meritorious or outstanding work accomplished for the …

Awards

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

November 12, 2020

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 …