Sewing tips and tricks

October 15, 2018

One of the trickiest things facing the sewing industry is finding qualified workers. Many new employees may be unfamiliar with the basics of sewing machine operation, says Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham Lake, Minn. In her IFAI Expo session “Sewing Tips and Tricks,” Roberts points out that many young people didn’t grow …

Shade market basics that deliver

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, …

Best business practices for working with engineers

September 29, 2017

Mike Sullaway, principal engineer, president and owner of Sullaway Engineering Inc. in San Diego, Calif., presented a campfire session “Working with Engineers” at IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Throughout the presentation, Sullaway offered tips and advice on the best ways to go about working on a project with an engineer. How to find …

First annual Greater Good Award given to Scott Massey of Awning Cleaning Industries

Scott Massey, owner of Awning Cleaning Industries, was awarded the first annual Greater Good Award at the IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Massey’s business is based in New Haven, Conn. The Greater Good Award focuses on an IFAI member company that does good business—and strives to be a good neighbor, good citizen, and …

Manufacturing for Good Booth volunteers sew bags for Raintree Children and Family Services

Christine Gerard (left), IFAI division supervisor, and Whitney Armentor (right), Raintree Development Coordinator, are pictured at IFAI Expo 2017 in the Manufacturing for Good Booth. Several companies contributed supplies, equipment and labor to sew 70 large tote bags for young people who receive services at Raintree Children and Family Services. Raintree is a nonprofit that …

How to inspire the next generation

A critical issue in the textile industry is how to attract and inspire the next generation. North Carolina State University in Raleigh may have an answer: develop student/industry partnerships that solve real-life open-ended problems. During a presentation at EXPO, co-directors Jesse S. Jur and Russell E. Gorga, from the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and …

Sewing a quality product depends on asking lots of questions

September 28, 2017

Getting a contract sewing job is great, but making sure a customer’s needs align with one’s business capabilities is a key consideration. “Company fit” is all important, according to Chad Miller, director of contracting at American National Manufacturing. American National Manufacturing was started by Miller’s father in the 1970s. What began as a water bed …

2017 Student Design Challenge Winners: Fabric Structures

The Fabric Structures Association (FSA), a division of IFAI, announced the winners of the 2017 Fabric Structures Student Design Challenge at IFAI Expo in New Orleans on Sept. 28. First Place: Ahmad Nouraldeen, from Anhalt Hochschule, took the top prize for his project “Tenso Refugee Shelter,” a non-permanent structure to be used as a weather-protected …

Tips for navigating social media madness

“Post with a purpose,” says Sam Armijos of Fabric Architect LLC. “Understand that you’ll be wasting someone else’s time if you don’t have a purpose for posting.” Armijos presented a campfire session on “Social Media Madness” during IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Armijos shared some tips and tricks to help navigate social media …

2017 Student Design Challenge Winners: Awnings and Canopies

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), a division of IFAI, announced the winners of the 2017 Awning and Canopy Student Design Challenge at IFAI Expo in New Orleans on Sept. 28. First Place: Gabriel Ramon Galeano Carcamo, from Anhalt University in Germany, won the top prize for his project “Eternal Sailboat,” a retractable shading structure. …