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Tips for making the right product decisions

November 5th, 2020 / By: / Expo News

A Trivantage-sponsored education session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 called “Making the Right Product Decisions” was filled with detailed information about product choices and installation tips to help fabricators successfully create shade projects in commercial, vertical, shade sail, upholstery and marine applications. The session gave participants an in-depth survey of the company’s shade products and the specific conditions in which a fabricator would choose one product over another.

Trivantage presenters Brian Holian, Paul Ricciuti, Ron Paratore and Katelyn Bell emphasized the importance of asking detailed questions during the initial phase of each project to determine the site conditions and the correct textiles to use based on clients’ needs. “Ask clients how they are going to use the project,” says Paratore. “Is it a permanent installation? Seasonal? How about color? Pattern? Design? What about local codes, water repellency and fire retardance?” Paratore says the answers to these and other questions will help a fabricator determine which textile and attachment method to use.

Presenters discussed retractable awning shade projects, lateral arm awnings, high-tech controllers and welding options for vertical shade projects. The discussion of shade sails included which fabrics to use based on the size of the sails, thread recommendations, warranties and tricks to make mounting the sails easier and more secure.

The session ended with a discussion of marine projects including shade flys, tops and covers, and upholstery. Katelyn Bell reminded participants that Sunbrella® is a solution-dyed product that will not bleed onto upholstery. “Sunbrella is also bleach cleanable,” says Bell. “But be wary of using bleach near seams, especially if the thread used is not PTFE.” Bell discussed the differences among marine vinyls in terms of textures, finishes and embossing. She finished her presentation with some advice on preventing wrinkles during marine upholstery fabrication. “Use a four-way stretch product, and try steam or a dry heat gun, depending on the material you use.” Wrinkles are tough to prevent, she said. “Creating an upholstery project without wrinkles really points to a fabricator who has a lot of skill.”