Built on core markets

While IFAI and its members lead the way in establishing new revenue streams for the specialty fabrics industry, the industry itself has been built on a few core markets—markets that continue to be the bread and butter of specialty fabrics businesses.

Figure 1

The tent rental industry has always been a provider of temporary shelter when permanent structures have been destroyed, are being renovated, or are simply not available. Here, a rough tent served as city hall for the founding of a new township in Canada in 1886. Photo from the Archives of Jones Tent & Awning Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Figure 2

C.J. Hoigaard, founder of Hoigaard’s Custom Canvas and a charter member of the National Tent & Awning Association, offset slow months by taking custom orders, like the one for this horse cover. Custom textile manufacturers still supplement their revenue by taking one-off custom orders outside their core markets.

Figure 3

For the celebration of Iran’s 2,500th anniversary, 50 luxury tents were constructed among the ruins of the ancient capital of Persepolis to house delegates from around the world.

Figure 4

The Hard Rock Café in New York was modeled after a Memphis truck stop, and the awning over the front door is actually the tail end of a 1957 Cadillac Biarritz.

Figure 5

Tent designer Bill Moss’ freeform “para-wing” became part of the “station-wagon living” movement popular in the 1950s and was featured in Ford Motor Co.’s Ford Times.

Jessica Bies is a freelance writer based in St. Peter, Minn.
Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.