The exhibit experience

December 1, 2021

It remains a fact that it’s still too soon to know when life and work will truly get back to normal. An optimistic spring and summer in 2021 turned into an uncertain fall as the COVID-19 pandemic moved into its fourth phase. Nowhere is this more evident than the trade show sector. With the industry …

Hoover Architectural Products blends fabric, metal

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” contains a lot of truth, but there’s also a risk of stagnation if a company doesn’t adapt to changing times. When the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, Matt Carroll knew it was time for his family’s fabric-awning business to stretch its capabilities.  “We had served residential customers …

Decoding standards, regulation and certification

With sustainability increasingly on consumers’ minds, textile end product manufacturers (EPMs) are tasked with ensuring that the eco-friendly claims they make about their products and production processes are valid. This can prove challenging, as can staying on top of industry-changing regulations and standards, especially for EPMs that sell their products globally. But standards-development organizations and …

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Relocating your business

November 1, 2021

Growing the business is an objective for nearly every owner, but with this comes a sometimes unanticipated consequence—outgrowing the facility’s space, making a move the only logical recourse. Consider American Tent LLC. Currently housed in Green Bay, Wis., the commercial and party tent manufacturer has been operating in a 35,000-square-foot space since opening in 2014, …

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In the market for new markets

The advantages of diversification are well-known. Serving multiple markets can help a business grow, and when one market experiences a downturn, other markets can help prop up a company. According to the 2021 State of the Industry report published by Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), more than half (56 percent) of specialty fabrics businesses plan …

Glenn Russell & Wayne Heflin: Strength in Simplicity

In 1984, Wayne Heflin and Glenn Russell met in a hallway of a U.S. handbag manufacturer. A seasoned professional within the fashion industry, Russell was the company’s financial controller. Heflin, a Vietnam veteran who entered the leather goods and fashion arena after his service ended, had recently established a fashion belt line for the company, …

Avenue of opportunity: Streetscapes

October 1, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up tens of thousands of public gathering spaces by forcing proprietors to move their services outdoors and onto sidewalks and street fronts. While it is unclear how long these outdoor public sheltered spaces will remain in place, reports across the U.S. indicate that people (and businesses that have expanded outside) …

Parking structure punctuates Miami skyline

Big Span Structures LLC, a provider of concept-to-completion solutions for signature lightweight tensile membrane structures, has completed a new tensile membrane shading structure on the top deck of the parking garage of the Care Resource Community Health Centers facility in Midtown Miami, Fla.  The tensioned membrane structure features approximately 13,500 square feet of PTFE-coated mesh …

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Shade sails find a place in the sun

September 1, 2021

For something that’s been around for thousands of years—as far back as the Roman Colosseum, if not longer—shade sails in North America have a reputation as “the new kid on the block.” While using tensioned sails to provide shade for both commercial and residential structures has been a function of fabrication shops in North America …

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Birdair installs tensile roof retrofit

Custom membrane provider Birdair Inc. has brought a modern look to a shopping mall in Lancaster, Pa., with the installation of a retrofitted Tensotherm™ translucent insulated tensioned membrane system. The three-layer Tensotherm roof replaced a single-layer tensile membrane roof Birdair installed at the Park City Center mall in 1988. Tensotherm’s three layers include an outer …