Growth Path

February 1, 2022  |  Features

Like many textile entrepreneurs, Amy Bircher got her start in the industry in a family business—even as she blazed her own path.  “I got into the textile industry because my family owned a dyeing and finishing facility of wide fabric, broad-woven fabrics in the Carolinas,” Bircher says. In 19…
Finding balance

February 1, 2022  |  Features

There’s always challenges to running a successful business—keeping a step ahead of the competition, anticipating the changing needs of the customer, paying attention to the financials. But the past two years have posed difficulties that, being largely unprecedented, were nearly impossible to ant…
New textile solutions for thermal management

January 1, 2022  |  Features

Life on Earth—as we know it—would not be viable without managing the temperature levels of our personal climates, our environments and the perishable materials we use. Textiles play an important role in these efforts. As we watch our planet’s climate change, the textile industry is stepping up…
The ethical dilemma of ransomware attacks

January 1, 2022  |  Features

The recent proliferation of well-publicized cyberattacks has revealed ransomware to be a serious national security threat. Still largely hidden from public view, however, are the attacks on small businesses, including many within the industrial, specialty and advanced textile industry, that don’t …
Biolumen Lab

January 1, 2022  |  Features

It may look like an alien life form, but Biolumen Lab is indeed a classroom—an inflatable, cell-based one at that—for secondary school students to experience a week of science-based learning, generating curiosity and­ promoting science as a potential career path. “Biolumen Lab is an experienc…
The exhibit experience

December 1, 2021  |  Features

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 industr…
Hoover Architectural Products blends fabric, metal

December 1, 2021  |  Features

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 capabilitie…
Decoding standards, regulation and certification

December 1, 2021  |  Features

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…
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Relocating your business

November 1, 2021  |  Features

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 manufact…
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In the market for new markets

November 1, 2021  |  Features

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 (IFA…