Resources

Attract younger workers to the trades

May 1, 2020

Tech and training are sparking interest. by Jeff Moravec There’s a simple, well-known and significant problem in the fabrication business: too much work, not enough workers. “Fabricators have more business than they can handle,” says Russ Griffin, co-owner of Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC in Port Clinton, Ohio. “The downside is that customers aren’t getting service …

Case Studies

Revitalizing area culture with a cozy NOOK

May 1, 2020

In the city of Taitung in Taiwan, there is a lot of history around an old train station, abandoned for more than a decade. At one time, it was central to the region’s growth. Recently, city leaders wanted to revitalize the area by creating an inviting cultural space.  They commissioned Portuguese creative studio FAHR 021.3®, …

News

Disaster shelter design competition tests engineering students

May 1, 2020

John Brown University’s disaster shelter contest challenges students to develop and demonstrate solutions for emergency scenarios. By Holly Eamon Global economic losses from natural disasters topped $232 billion last year, rounding out a decade that cost the world nearly $3 trillion, according to the 2019 Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight Annual Report published by global …

Feature

Promoting shade in the marketplace and happiness in the workplace

May 1, 2020

For Patrick Howe and Wholesale Shade, high-quality custom shade sails are the product of a happy and efficient workplace. by Jill C. Lafferty My day consists of making sure my employees are happy. That’s my number one job,” says Patrick Howe, owner of Wholesale Shade™, a private label shade sail manufacturer based in San Marcos, …

Feature

Innovative fabric facades

May 1, 2020

Changing the look and function of architecture for a sustainable future.  by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA Architects are fond of describing their buildings in the metaphoric terms of the human body. The supporting structure is often referred to as the skeleton that holds it up; the enclosure (or envelope) is the skin that protects the …

Feature

Outdoor lifestyles of the rich and famous

May 1, 2020

Villa Sarbonne, a Bel Air mega mansion, was designed with no detail left unattended. The 25,000-square-foot home boasts nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a movie theater, hair salon, spa and even a car elevator that rises seamlessly from underground to deliver the auto of choice for the day.  Builder Ardie Tavangarian, of Arya Group Inc., known …

Case Studies

Mood art at the Microsoft Research Center

May 1, 2020

An art installation that smiles back Walk into the atrium of Building 99, a Microsoft Research center in Redmond, Wash., and you can’t miss the two-story architectural installation. Depending on your mood, it greets you with different levels of color and light. The structure is named Ada in honor of Ada Lovelace, a gifted 19th …

Industry News

Textile Roofs 2020 postponed to October

April 28, 2020

The 25th anniversary of the International Workshop on Design and Practical Realization of Architectural Membrane Structures—Textile Roofs 2020—has been postponed because of the COVID-19 crisis. The new dates are Oct. 8-10, 2020, and the location, Archenhold Observatory in Berlin, Germany, remains the same. This year’s event is programmed to combine its traditional workshop and educational formats …

Company News

Seaman Corp. names Jeff Swartz chief executive officer

April 21, 2020

Seaman Corporation, a family-owned business headquartered in Wooster, Ohio, has announced that its board of directors has selected Jeff Swartz as its new chief executive officer. Swartz will replace John Crum, who is retiring after 18 years at Seaman, including the last five as CEO. Swartz is a veteran of the building products industry, having …

Feature

From Bauhaus to your house

April 1, 2020

The Bauhaus was an art school founded in Germany in 1919 with a vision to reunite fine art and functional design in an increasingly industrialized world. Many female artists who attended the school were disappointed to find that the options available to them were the weaving shed and ceramics studio. However, many of these artists …

Case Studies

Revitalizing area culture with a cozy NOOK

May 1, 2020

In the city of Taitung in Taiwan, there is a lot of history around an old train station, abandoned for more than a decade. At one time, it was central to the region’s growth. Recently, city leaders wanted to revitalize the area by creating an inviting cultural space.  They commissioned Portuguese creative studio FAHR 021.3®, …

Case Studies

Mood art at the Microsoft Research Center

May 1, 2020

An art installation that smiles back Walk into the atrium of Building 99, a Microsoft Research center in Redmond, Wash., and you can’t miss the two-story architectural installation. Depending on your mood, it greets you with different levels of color and light. The structure is named Ada in honor of Ada Lovelace, a gifted 19th …

Case Studies

Over View: a 3D fabric ceiling

March 1, 2020

Walk into the central lobby of MuseumLab, an experiential learning center for older children created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and look up. While you may think you’re looking at a historic leaded glass ceiling, you’re actually viewing a textile reproduction of the original 19th century ceiling that was removed years ago.   The …

Case Studies

A fort for the record books

February 1, 2020

Remember as a kid the fun of building a fort with your friends? The folks at Time4Sleep, a U.K.-based bed and bedroom furniture retailer, channeled those good memories when they decided to build a record-breaking fort made out of blankets. The Time4Sleep team chose Millennium Square in Leeds, U.K., for the location of the project. …

Case Studies

The Eco Pavilion at Wonderfruit 2018

October 1, 2019

While the U.S. has Burning Man and Coachella, Thailand has Wonderfruit, a pioneering festival that attracts more than 10,000 people to the lush hills west of Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand. Held in December, the four-day event attracts international music acts and celebrates the arts, sustainability and social responsibility with immersive experiences, workshops, talks, …

Case Studies

Enhancing corporate culture with fabricated space

October 1, 2019

Capital One Corporation had a vision for their new Canadian headquarters in Toronto’s financial district: a design to enhance the company’s collaborative culture and be attractive to young tech talent. The financial services organization worked with IBI Group, a Toronto-based architecture and design firm, to create an interior design for the existing five-floor office space. …

Case Studies

Memories and history in thread and paper

August 1, 2019

Berlin’s historic museum Gropius Bau was recently the setting for a distinctly modern exhibition. “And Berlin Will Always Need You. Art, Craft and Concept Made in Berlin” ran from March to June 2019 and featured commissioned works that explored crafts and handmade processes in Berlin’s contemporary art scene.  The artists showcased works that engaged with …

Case Studies

Laminated fabric for distinctive building design

August 1, 2019

The Horw Secondary School located in Lucerne, Switzerland, was ready for a facelift. Built in the 1970s, the dated building needed to join the modern world, including meeting the requirements of Minergie, the Swiss sustainable building standard, as well as improving its overall appeal. One key to meeting the sustainable building standards was to reduce …

Case Studies

Sustainable infrastructure and construction textiles

July 1, 2019

Infrastructure and construction textiles succeed with a focus on sustainable alternatives. By Seshadri Ramkumar and Marie O’Mahony  Today’s advanced textiles offer new forms for use in infrastructure projects and in building design and construction. These “hidden” textiles may be found in small-scale applications such as home furnishings as well as in huge projects such as …

Case Studies

Chic retractable roofing

July 1, 2019

The trendy London restaurant Chotto Matte recently opened its first U.S. outpost in Miami Beach, Fla. Specializing in Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, the restaurant has a cool, modern aesthetic that combines an urban Tokyo vibe with the South Florida tropics. Colorful murals created by local street artists splash across the walls and contrast with the graphic …

Company News

IFAI president responds to Coronavirus, adjusts upcoming events

March 17, 2020

As concern over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows, I want all IFAI members to know we are closely monitoring developments and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We will follow their recommendations to keep our employees, their families and our members healthy and safe. With this in …

Awards

IFAI’s 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

October 8, 2019

At this year’s annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, recognizing members who generously gave of their time to serve on different boards, task forces and committees, judged competitions and provided education and leadership to others in the industry. This year’s winners: Amy Bircher, president, MMI Textiles Inc. Jonathan Chakales, …

Expo News

2019 Chairman’s Award winner: Scott Campbell, Rainier Industries

October 8, 2019

The Chairman’s Award (originally, the President’s Award) is an honor bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given, and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. At IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI chairman Steve …

Expo News

Designing with shade cloth for human protection

October 4, 2019

Australia has a very high rate of skin cancer, so it’s not surprising that the country has led the world in the development of shade cloth, Chris Nolan told attendees of a shade cloth educational session at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. “Even in the temperate areas where most people live, we have an …

Expo News

Award breakfast transforms into a networking event

October 4, 2019

Keynote speaker Thom Singer hosted IFAI’s annual award ceremony October 3 at Expo 2019, continuing his message to “see people.” As Expo exhibitors and attendees entered the breakfast event, Singer encouraged people to separate from familiar colleagues and sit with new people. This year’s award ceremony was infused with an additional goal—that of networking with …

Expo News

Puerto Rico pups steal hearts at IFAI Expo 2019

October 3, 2019

Amid the latest fabrics, equipment, technology and services for the specialty fabrics industry, Lorenzo, Lilo, Lolo, and Lulo stole hearts, and, according to some dog lovers—the show—at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. For this Expo, the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando came together to promote two great causes. …

Expo News

Follow the right steps to successfully bid on military contracts

October 2, 2019

The U.S. government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world, and there are enough opportunities available for everyone to participate in military contract bidding, if you follow the right steps, according to Jennifer Fennell, CPM, director of procurement for Polo Custom Products, Topeka, Kan.  Fennell and Jeff Papalia, textiles program manager …

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 …

Feature

Promoting shade in the marketplace and happiness in the workplace

May 1, 2020

For Patrick Howe and Wholesale Shade, high-quality custom shade sails are the product of a happy and efficient workplace. by Jill C. Lafferty My day consists of making sure my employees are happy. That’s my number one job,” says Patrick Howe, owner of Wholesale Shade™, a private label shade sail manufacturer based in San Marcos, …

Feature

Innovative fabric facades

May 1, 2020

Changing the look and function of architecture for a sustainable future.  by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA Architects are fond of describing their buildings in the metaphoric terms of the human body. The supporting structure is often referred to as the skeleton that holds it up; the enclosure (or envelope) is the skin that protects the …

Feature

Outdoor lifestyles of the rich and famous

May 1, 2020

Villa Sarbonne, a Bel Air mega mansion, was designed with no detail left unattended. The 25,000-square-foot home boasts nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a movie theater, hair salon, spa and even a car elevator that rises seamlessly from underground to deliver the auto of choice for the day.  Builder Ardie Tavangarian, of Arya Group Inc., known …

Feature

From Bauhaus to your house

April 1, 2020

The Bauhaus was an art school founded in Germany in 1919 with a vision to reunite fine art and functional design in an increasingly industrialized world. Many female artists who attended the school were disappointed to find that the options available to them were the weaving shed and ceramics studio. However, many of these artists …

Feature

Fun and funky fabric murals

April 1, 2020

The latest outpost of the cool, contemporary London restaurant Chotto Matte opened last year in Toronto, Ont., Canada. Known for Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, the restaurant offers a playful dining experience with luxury bento boxes, signature cocktails, a robata grill and a sushi bar. The colorful, immersive interior of Chotto Matte is also part of the …

Feature

The wide (format) world of sports

April 1, 2020

When it comes to printing fabrics, the wide world of sports is beginning to live up to its name. By Jeff Moravec In sports, it’s always about competition—and revenue. As sports teams have established new revenue streams (such as sponsorships that require stadium advertising) and worked to enhance the game-day experience for fans with splashy …

Feature

Textiles and Lifestyle

March 1, 2020

Textiles have become more responsive, providing health and wellness benefits while creating worlds of possibilities for manufacturers and users alike.  by Pamela Mills-Senn It wasn’t long ago that the demands placed on textiles were relatively straightforward. Whether apparel, furnishings, car seats, bedding, medical fabrics or others, textiles were tasked with meeting a generally standard set …

Feature

Retractables: part of the shade package

March 1, 2020

There has been growth in the U.S. market for retractable awnings, but today they’re part of a wide range of shade products designed to offer comfort, color, convenience, style and protection from insects as well as weather. by Laurie Junker The awning industry had been anticipating a boom in retractables for a long time. Scouring …

Awards

Stunning shade

March 1, 2020

Exterior Shades and Screens, International Achievement Awards 2019 Award of Excellence   The client wanted an eye-catching element to provide protection from the sun and to establish a shady destination area. These shade panels span the area between two buildings and create a comfortable and attractive protected area for shoppers at this high-end shopping center. The …

Awards

Artful camouflage

March 1, 2020

Exterior Shades and Screens, International Achievement Awards 2019 Outstanding Achievement  As part of the renovation of the outdoor Muny Theatre (St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre), the client wanted to hide the enormous stage speakers from the audience. Two large mesh panels, each 10 feet 10 inches by 34 feet 6 inches, were installed behind cables to …

Industry News

Textile Roofs 2020 postponed to October

April 28, 2020

The 25th anniversary of the International Workshop on Design and Practical Realization of Architectural Membrane Structures—Textile Roofs 2020—has been postponed because of the COVID-19 crisis. The new dates are Oct. 8-10, 2020, and the location, Archenhold Observatory in Berlin, Germany, remains the same. This year’s event is programmed to combine its traditional workshop and educational formats …

Industry News

Serge Ferrari, Miami Corporation announce distribution partnership

March 3, 2020

Serge Ferrari North America (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Miami Corporation (Cincinnati, Ohio) have announced a distribution partnership. Miami Corporation, a distributor for the marine, awning and automotive industries, has added Serge Ferrari’s upholstery fabric line to its product offerings. Serge Ferrari’s Stamskin® One and Stamskin® One Allure are currently stocked and available in 24 colors, …

Industry News

En-Fold® provides all-weather solution at new Pier 17 restaurant

December 2, 2019

Pier 17 is a massive 300,000 square foot building at the waterfront along the East River in New York City. Encompassing retail, entertainment, architectural features and seasonal attractions, the area is intended to further the transformation of the Seaport district into a true destination. The new cocktail bar, R17, is located on the building’s rooftop …

Expo News

2019 Chairman’s Award winner: Scott Campbell, Rainier Industries

October 8, 2019

The Chairman’s Award (originally, the President’s Award) is an honor bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given, and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. At IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI chairman Steve …

Industry News

New leadership for IFAI

October 2, 2019

Each year, the Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) follows a detailed process outlined in association bylaws for electing new board members. As recently announced at IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo in Orlando, the following individuals have been chosen to serve on the IFAI board of directors: Ron Houle, president …

Industry News

Ulrich Tombuelt hired as CEO of Sattler Corp.

July 31, 2019

Sattler Corp. of Hudson, N.C., has hired Ulrich Tombuelt as its new CEO. Tombuelt has many years of executive management experience in the textile industry in the U.S. and in Europe. Sattler Corp., a division of The Sattler Group, Austria, is known for its high-tech fabrics.

Industry News

Bally Ribbon Mills Announces E-WEBBINGS® E-textile Product Base

July 29, 2019

Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), an industry leader in the design, development, and manufacture of highly specialized engineered woven fabrics, announces its proprietary E-WEBBINGS® e-textile product base, specifically designed to serve as a customizable base for a wide range of smart textile applications within the Internet of Things (IoT). These smart textiles are made from a …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2019 exhibitor Early Bird deadline is March 30

March 13, 2019

Exhibitors: Book your IFAI Expo 2019 booth by March 30 to take advantage of the Early Bird discount. Don’t be left out! IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabric trade event in the Americas. Each year, more than 5,000 high-level decision makers, industry insiders and qualified buyers meet in an unrivaled face-to-face environment, where networking …

Industry News

Ennis Fabrics is committed to community support—from the top down

March 1, 2019

Ennis Fabrics in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has a history that’s steeped in community support. James Ennis Sr. launched Ennis Fabrics in 1972 with a goal to provide better industrial fabrics and service. From a modest 2,500 square-foot warehouse, the company steadily grew, and today it sells 9,000 products from a state-of-the-art office and warehouse that …

Industry News

Recasens expands distribution network

March 1, 2019

Recasens, a manufacturer of performance fabric for sun protection, textile architecture, screens, decoration and marine use, has added Industrial Solutions Inc. (IIS) as its newest U.S.-based master distributor. The new partnership will provide greater access to the Recasens line of European-designed fabrics for fabricators and designers in the awning, marine and decor industries. “The RECacril …