Equipment purchasing: price and value

July 18th

Today’s advanced sewing equipment offers a host of cost- and labor-saving advantages. In addition to energy-efficient motors, the machines incorporate sophisticated features like auto back-tacking, under-thread trimming devices and (shown here) parachute line cord feed—hot cut, fold, place and sew. Photo: Henderson Sewing Machine Co. ROI is still an important factor in buying decisions, but...

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The age of automation

December 1st

Coleman’s sewing automation innovations have allowed the Sauk Rapids, Minn., plant to win back the business of manufacturing recreational flotation devices. The plant won the bids on its ability to compete on cost vs. quality and on-time delivery to meet consumer demands. Photo: The Coleman Co. Inc. Sewn or sealed, automation is trending as U.S....

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In the commercial upholstery market, is small beautiful?

September 7th

Smaller upholstery shops can offer personal service as well as repair and long-term maintenance. “When we’re designing these pieces, we’re trying to build it for not only durability so that it doesn’t get damaged, but so that if it does get damaged, we’re able to repair it relatively easily without disrupting their business all that...

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Room for inspiration

August 1st

The Hardwear Group fabrics from Designtex use solution-dyed nylon in the warp, engineered to be durable, resilient and easy to clean, suitable for seating applications in hardworking, 24/7 environments from health care to cafeterias, airports, theaters and indoor stadiums. Photo: Designtex The commercial upholstery market is becoming increasingly performance oriented, with noticeable growth in health...

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Automatic upholstery

March 1st

Giving cars a winning look. The best meals are cooked from scratch, the wildest adventures take place off the map, and some of the most impressive auto upholstery restoration projects are done without a template. Two entries in the upholstery category of the 2014 International Achievement Awards were just such projects, transforming torn, tattered and...

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First do no harm

August 1st

Performance upholstery fabrics need not come with a steep environmental cost. New fabrics, blends and treatments are making sustainability an affordable option. By Sigrid Tornquist On an even playing field, when faced with a choice between an environmentally friendly upholstery fabric versus a toxic one, would anyone ever choose the toxic one? And when faced...

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Foam and flammability

August 1st

The foam used in upholstered furniture can be another environmental concern if it’s treated with flame retardants. Until recently, the only way to meet the flammability requirements of the California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 117 was to use flame-retardant treated foam. “The problem with that is that flame retardants are not molecularly bonded...

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Bottom line: evaluating comfort

November 1st

Recall your last marathon all-day, all-night drive—and the aftermath. Remember the aching back and neck, headache, sweating torso and ice-cold feet, the feeling of other-worldliness? The symptoms of uncomfortable vehicle seats include decreased concentration and tiredness that can lead to accidents. The Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, has developed test methods for assessing the physiological comfort...

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Discarded chairs molt into ‘Hybreeds’

October 1st

An industrial designer in London, England, admits to having close personal relationships with chairs. “Not every chair speaks to me,” says Charlotte Kingsnorth. “There are special characters. Sometimes I will find beautiful chairs just dumped on the side of the road with a missing spindle or worn upholstery. I can’t resist bringing them back to...

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Indoor/outdoor, high-performance cushion and sling fabrics from Phifer Inc.

August 12th

Featuring on-trend color combinations and designs in furniture fabrics—from solids and stripes to florals in traditional and contemporary weaves—Phifer’s chic, durable furniture fabrics can easily transition from an outdoor room to interior living spaces. GeoBella™ is Phifer’s unique line of high-end, performance indoor/outdoor cushion fabrics made of 100 percent olefin yarns recycled from post-industrial waste....

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