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 …

IFAI’s 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

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, …

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 …

Customer service is king

Strategic service makes your company memorable.  By Randy Westlund We live in a constantly connected culture of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now—with no delays. Between instant messaging, next-day delivery and online services available 24/7, the marketplace is catering to these demands. Some revealing statistics show how much …

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. …

Student winners: Textile Structures for New Building 2019

A student competition for textile structures highlights the Techtextil show—and presages new building technologies. by Marie O’Mahony The Techtextil student competition is now in its fifteenth year, sponsored by Brussels-based TensiNet, which has provided €8,000 in prize money for the winning submissions. In his opening remarks at the show, Professor Stefan Schäfer, chair of the …