Feature

Seeing is believing: make sure your website and social media strategies are smart, engaging, informative, and visually appealing

December 1, 2018

Perhaps your company relies on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity and steers clear of social media. Maybe your marketing efforts emphasize trade shows and real-world connections, quite successfully, rather than online communications. But you did just update your website … five years ago. Things have changed. Now your customers all have a phone in their hands, …

News

Autometrix makes personnel changes

December 1, 2018

Autometrix has made staffing changes to better serve its customers. Jonathan Palmer was named CEO and will carry on the family ownership of the company. Truy Pham was named director of global sales and will oversee international distributors and provide ongoing guidance to the automation specialists. The company has dedicated key automation consultants to regional …

Case Studies

Light-filtering awnings enhance a view

December 1, 2018

It’s all about the view when your apartment is located in the town of Teramo on the slopes of Italy’s Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines range. Panoramic ceiling-to-floor windows installed in each room take advantage of the landscape. There’s only one problem: All that spectacular scenery and light also comes with the …

Case Studies

Tropical greenhouse housed under ETFE dome

December 1, 2018

Imagine entering a tropical utopia where the weather is always a perfect 82 degrees and a beautiful setting of flowers, lush greenery, ponds, waterfalls, butterflies, birds and other creatures awaits. This environment isn’t just a dream. Plans are in development to build the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under a single dome in the Pas-de-Calais area …

Feature

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

December 1, 2018

Whether it’s a result of a booming economy, tighter immigration laws or an educational system gone astray, finding qualified job applicants has become increasingly more difficult for those in the specialty fabrics industry. How can small businesses compete for badly needed, qualified workers? Thanks to our unique tax laws, every business can afford to offer …

Feature

Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

December 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. …

Feature

A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

December 1, 2018

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

Press Release

IFAI Expo 2018 Delivers Valuable and Engaging Event!

November 13, 2018

Industrial Fabrics Association International Expo (IFAI Expo) offered a wide variety of exhibitors, events and education and was attended by more than 4,850 verified participants! DALLAS, TX— The 98th IFAI Expo attracted more than 4,350 verified registered participants from IFAI Expo and 500 scanned leads from CAMX to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for …

News

Shade market basics that deliver

November 9, 2018

The shade market keeps growing, according to Marc Shellshear, general manager of Value Vinyls Inc., and customers are more concerned than ever about preventing skin cancer. Shellshear was among the first presenters October 15 at IFAI’s 2018 Pre-Expo Conference in Dallas, Texas. Shellshear explained that there are three types of HDPE fabrics for shadecloth: tape/tape, …

News

Shade sails clinic

November 9, 2018

On October 17 at IFAI Expo 2018 in Dallas, Texas, Brydon Roe from Shade Sails Canada Inc., Revelstoke, British Columbia, led a shade sails campfire session where he shared his business’s top dos and don’ts for installing shade sails. When it comes to shade sail fabric options, Roe recommended polyester, Commercial95 (or a mid-grade shade …

Case Studies

Light-filtering awnings enhance a view

December 1, 2018

It’s all about the view when your apartment is located in the town of Teramo on the slopes of Italy’s Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines range. Panoramic ceiling-to-floor windows installed in each room take advantage of the landscape. There’s only one problem: All that spectacular scenery and light also comes with the …

Case Studies

Tropical greenhouse housed under ETFE dome

December 1, 2018

Imagine entering a tropical utopia where the weather is always a perfect 82 degrees and a beautiful setting of flowers, lush greenery, ponds, waterfalls, butterflies, birds and other creatures awaits. This environment isn’t just a dream. Plans are in development to build the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under a single dome in the Pas-de-Calais area …

Case Studies

Transparent, self-adhesive textile shades windows

November 1, 2018

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention—or in this case, it’s the father. Specifically, Philippe Lampe, owner of Lampe Textiles in Tielt, Belgium, was looking for a way to provide his son some privacy in his college room. Lampe’s son wanted curtains for his window, but he wasn’t allowed to attach anything …

Case Studies

Fabrics create comfortable shelters

November 1, 2018

A group of designers at Bora Architects, a Portland, Ore., firm, had an interesting idea they wanted to explore. The group considered the way in which modern American life, with all its comforts, creates a barrier to the natural world. Increasingly, the buildings we inhabit no longer reflect the regional climates in which they exist, …

Case Studies

Curtains for 3-D holograms at the Museum of Applied Art Cologne

November 1, 2018

The annual IMM Cologne International Interiors Show, held each January, offers a first peek at the trends in interior design for the coming year. More than 1,300 exhibitors from around the world display an exciting and diverse variety of furniture and designs. At the 2018 show, Stylepark AG, the Frankfurt-based online platform for architectural products, …

Case Studies

Finland’s glare-free West Port terminal

November 1, 2018

The Port of Helsinki, located on the Baltic Sea, is a bustling gateway from Finland to the rest of Europe. In 2017, 12.3 million passengers traveled through the harbor, making it Europe’s busiest. It’s also Finland’s top port for foreign trade, with 14.3 million tons of goods transported through the harbor in the same year. …

Case Studies

Breath/ng sculpture absorbs air pollution

October 1, 2018

Milan Design Week is the ultimate destination in the world of design. The city is transformed into a showcase for hundreds of artists, designers and brands to present their creative best. For this year’s show held in April, the organizers challenged the industry to incorporate innovation and sustainability into their offerings. Acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo …

Case Studies

Prototypes and progress: The problems of today are the products of tomorrow

September 1, 2018

  Good companies allocate time, energy, money and resources to the art of product development. Why? Because the products of tomorrow can’t be developed without working through the problems of today. Whether you’re doing product research and development for your own products or you’ve been hired by a customer to conduct the work, there’s a …

Case Studies

Preventing workplace sexual harassment requires proactive actions

August 1, 2018

Far too often, the process of making bad and/or unethical choices begins with a simple, almost thoughtless decision. How do I know this? Well, I’ve seen it happen far too often. Harassment is not a sexy subject, and ethics are more than words. “The times they are a changing,” and that’s more than just song …

Case Studies

Acoustical fabric updates arts facility in Toronto

March 1, 2018

Built more than 20 years ago, the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ underused main theater needed updating. The solution involved reducing the overall size and upgrading the systems to create a more efficient facility. Designers of the retrofit, Diamond Schmitt Architects, brought Eventscape into the project to engineer, fabricate and install over 3,000 sq. ft. …

Expo News

2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

The Fabric Structures Association (FSA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Fabric Structures Student Design Competition awards. The winners were announced at IFAI Expo 2018, held Oct. 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. First Place Rafael Dias Simoes, Kevin Barthelmebs and Fabien Burgeat from ENSAVT University won …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

Expo News

2018 International Achievement Award Winners Announced

October 17, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded this year’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, announced at the awards breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at IFAI Expo 2018. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention …

Expo News

Sharpen your competitive edge

October 17, 2018

Asking yourself one simple question can help make your business a magnet for new customers, says marketing professional Madeleine MacRae, owner of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting. “That question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’” In her Oct. 16 Expo session on distinguishing yourself in the marketplace, MacRae says answering this question is the key …

Expo News

Graphics for the small to medium fabricator

October 16, 2018

Bill McSpadden, owner of Capitol Awning, Richmond, Va., presented the education session “Graphics for the Small to Medium Fabricator—What I Wish I Knew” on October 15 at IFAI Expo 2018’s Pre-Expo Conference in Dallas, Texas. Sign permits and allowances are important factors to consider when it comes to graphics. While many businesses may want as …

Expo News

Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his …

Expo News

IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Expo News

Useful social media for companies of all sizes

October 15, 2018

Should you bother with social media? Most definitely yes, says Luke Gusman, marketing manager for Sta-Lok Inc., a longtime manufacturer of marine and architectural rigging hardware. Gusman says that no matter how large or small your company, there are five social media platforms that can increase engagement with your product or service and raise your …

Expo News

Successful multigenerational workplaces

October 15, 2018

This is the first time in history that five distinct generations are working in a single workplace, says J. Karl Sherrill Jr., a certified risk manager with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, in his 2018 Expo session “Leading Successful Teams in a Multigenerational Workplace.” “It’s a trend affecting every business,” says Sherrill. “You have people …

Feature

Seeing is believing: make sure your website and social media strategies are smart, engaging, informative, and visually appealing

December 1, 2018

Perhaps your company relies on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity and steers clear of social media. Maybe your marketing efforts emphasize trade shows and real-world connections, quite successfully, rather than online communications. But you did just update your website … five years ago. Things have changed. Now your customers all have a phone in their hands, …

Feature

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

December 1, 2018

Whether it’s a result of a booming economy, tighter immigration laws or an educational system gone astray, finding qualified job applicants has become increasingly more difficult for those in the specialty fabrics industry. How can small businesses compete for badly needed, qualified workers? Thanks to our unique tax laws, every business can afford to offer …

Feature

Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

December 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. …

Feature

A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

December 1, 2018

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

Feature

Strategies for how and when to grow your company

November 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 …

Feature

To sew or to seal: expanding the toolbox

November 1, 2018

To sew or to seal is a question that some fabricators have answered by gearing their offerings toward products that utilize either the former or the latter, but not both. While this kind of specialization can be a viable and lucrative strategy, expanding the toolbox to incorporate both sewing and sealing can often prove even …

Feature

Safety Components puts its business acumen to work for charity

November 1, 2018

Following the events of 9/11, Joey Underwood, senior vice president of Safety Components in Greenville, S.C., witnessed several neighborhood efforts to raise money for families of the fallen firefighters in New York City. “I remember driving past a bake sale and thinking, ‘We’re in that business—we should do something, too,” he says. Safety Components develops …

Feature

Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

November 1, 2018

“We have to be diverse and knowledgeable about the various types of products people are making in the industry,” says Taylor Bigley, co-owner and president of Awnings by Bigley & Hogshire, Hampton Roads, Va. “What’s in demand changes—the pendulum swings each way—and we have to react to it.” The roots of Awnings by Bigley & …

Feature

Harold Warner and Dynamic Air Shelters develop larger and tougher inflatable structures

October 1, 2018

“I love the word resilience,” says Harold Warner, majority owner and president of Dynamic Air Shelters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Whether you’re operating on a physical plane or a psychological plane, resilience enables you to deflect danger and harm. What our company has done is expand and elevate the state of inflatable resilience in response …

Industry News

European Spinning Group and Thai Acrylic partner to create outdoor yarn range

October 12, 2018

European Spinning Group (ESG) has partnered with Thai Acrylic Fibre Co. Ltd., to develop solution dyed acrylic yarns designed for outdoor applications. The yarn range is marketed under brand name ESG RA Outdoor powered by Durashine™ fibre. ESG is a specialty yarn producer for weaving and knitting fabrics for various markets and applications such as …

Industry News

Bally Ribbon Mills to display high-performance 3-D woven composites at CAMX 2018

October 8, 2018

Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), an industry leader in the design, development and manufacture of specialized engineered woven fabrics, has announced that it will showcase its high-quality, high-performance products at CAMX 2018, taking place October 15-18, 2018, in Dallas, Texas. BRM experts will be on hand in booth S49 to discuss the company’s 3-D woven joints, …

Industry News

IFAI announces new Textile Career Center

September 19, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced a new online career resource: the Textile Career Center. This new initiative will offer IFAI members, and the industry at large, an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections. For job seekers, the Textile Career Center will serve as a tool to find and apply …

Industry News

Joe Belli retires from Eide Industries

September 14, 2018

After a remarkable career of 37 years with Eide Industries Inc., based in Cerritos, Calif., Joe Belli has announced his retirement, effective September 6, 2018. Belli became part of the Eide team in 1981, ending as president of the company. From the start, he invested his time and abundant energy into building Eide Industries into …

Industry News

Mentor Meetings at IFAI Expo

September 6, 2018

Need confidential advice? IFAI is now offering a fully endorsed mentorship program at IFAI Expo 2018. Professional consultations are available by appointment during show floor hours. Book a 30-minute meeting with an impressive lineup of industry experts! This opportunity is open to all attendees and exhibitors and free with any registration type.   Why Seek Mentorship? Mentors become trusted advisers …

Industry News

Lambarena joins Rainier Industries

August 23, 2018

Stacey Lambarena has joined Rainier Industries as its new display business unit manager. Prior to joining Rainier, Lambarena was a sales plan and steer manager at IKEA. She traveled the world to attend and facilitate trainings related to every aspect of the business, from selling and marketing to products to leadership. Lambarena is tasked with …

Industry News

Value Vinyls launches improved website

August 20, 2018

Value Vinyls has announced the launch of an improved website. Customers will find industrial vinyl fabrics, architectural fabrics and shade cloth materials. In addition, the site is filled with tips, industry-related articles and 3D videos. The new website provides a streamlined approach to helping customers find information quickly with little navigation. More information is available …

Industry News

IFAI to host Women in Textiles Summit 2019, call for presentations open

August 8, 2018

IFAI will host its first ever Women in Textiles Summit on March 6-8, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Savannah in Savannah, Ga. The goal of the summit is to strengthen the advancement of women through an interactive forum that provides education, networking and dialogue about important issues affecting women in business. The summit will explore …

Company News

IFAI and BCH sign agreement

July 1, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced an agreement with Business Co-ordination House (BCH) to provide representation of IFAI in India. “We believe BCH is uniquely positioned to help IFAI expand the opportunities for our organization with the emerging Indian market for technical textiles,” said Mary Hennessy, past president and CEO of IFAI. “One …

Industry News

The Cutting Room

May 9, 2018

June 12, 2018 | Noon EST Free to IFAI Members/$79.00 for Nonmembers The presenters will cover four components used in a cutting room: digitizing, cutting, material handling and ROI. Learn what applications are best suited for full automation and how to implement them and increase your product volumes. Presenters Truy Pham Autometrix Inc. Truy “Tree” …