Get your glamp on

January 1, 2020

Traditional camping isn’t for everyone; some people prefer a more glamorous way to experience the outdoors. For these folks, glamping offers a way to enjoy nature without any mess, fuss or inconvenience.   by Pamela Mills-Senn Sure, there are some folks who enjoy the pup tent/sleeping bag approach to camping. But others don’t see why spending …

The fabrics of modern food production

December 1, 2019

Textile products for the agricultural market help to protect livestock and grain, improve yields, and make a farmer’s job a little easier and more profitable. by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby Call them the unsung heroes of modern food production.Today’s durable agricultural fabrics combat wind, sun, mud, moisture and other threats, helping farmers protect their grain and …

Finders, keepers: long-term customer loyalty

Attracting customers in the market for shade products is one thing; retaining them for future business is another. Managing both objectives requires establishing connections that are meaningful and lasting.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A quick Google search on “connecting with customers” reveals all sorts of advice, usually in the form of the “seven best ways,” or the …

Power Grab: Smarter, stronger and more powerful textiles

Today’s textiles are stronger, smarter and more powerful than ever, delivering an array of functionalities that open up a world of opportunities for industries across the board.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A determined effort is underway to devise highly functional fabrics and textile-based products. Examples of powerful innovations run the gamut from electrically conducting materials to …

New board chair Kathy Schaefer: meeting industry challenges

New IFAI board chair Kathy Schaefer shares her vision for an organization that helps its members navigate a changing industry landscape. by Jill C. Lafferty I walk into IFAI Expo every year and say, ‘Wow. What’s new?’ There’s always something really ingenious,” says Kathy Schaefer, IFM, chief operating officer of Glawe Awnings and Tents, Fairborn, Ohio. …

2019 International Achievement Award winners announced

November 1, 2019

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 Thursday, Oct. 3 at IFAI Expo 2019. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Orange County Convention Center …

Quiet Critters

2019 IAA Award of Excellence The eight 5-foot by 8-foot sound-absorbing “Acoustical FireFlys” that float above the Patten Free Library teen area allow a lively range of programming to take place, including films and maker workshops, without disturbing other library patrons. The new teen area has a distinctive high ceiling and a curved outer wall …

Cloud Ceiling

2019 IAA Outstanding Achievement Award The client wanted to create a more enclosed luxury retail space while retaining a view of the iconic domed roof of the O2 London, one of the largest tensile fabric structures in the U.K. The result was a stunning suspended ceiling system made of 256 fabric fins set 1250 mm …

Making a mark in the community

October 1, 2019

At Presco, charitable giving, community support and energy conservation are a passion. By Paul Johnson In 1942, Robert “Earl” McMackin founded Precision Specialties Company, which made specific tools for geological and oil exploration. When working in the oil fields, Earl and his son, Edwin, recognized an opportunity to design and develop better materials for roll …

Common mistakes cost more than you think

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …