2018 IFF Greater Good Award winner: Service Thread

October 17th, 2018

Helping students prepare and plan for their futures is one of many areas of focus for Service Thread’s community service efforts. Here, the company hosts a manufacturing plant tour for 30 Carver Middle School student participants of the STEM program. Photo: Service Thread. Service Thread, based in Laurinburg, N.C., was awarded the 2018 Industrial Fabrics...

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Advanced textiles market research at Expo

October 17th, 2018

Jeff Rasmussen, IFAI market research director, presented a brief overview of the advanced textiles market at IFAI’s Expo 2018 in Dallas this week. His research reveals that steady growth should be expected at 8.8 percent for 2018 (the same as 2017). In his Advanced Textiles Market Update, Rasmussen pointed to the overlay between the smart...

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Fiber production trends outlined

October 17th, 2018

An update on fiber production did not reveal any big surprises, but it did provide some important details assessing the nature of the market today. In a “Campfire” session on the show floor, Darrell Collier, Tecnon OrbiChem, showed participants the growth trajectory and market dominance that polyester since it entered the textile market. Collier also...

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IFF 2018 Innovation Award Winner: W.L. Gore & Associates

October 17th, 2018

W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., Newark, Del., is the winner of the 2018 IFF Innovation Award. The company’s GORE-TEX® PYRAD® fabric won in the category of Fabrics, Fibers and Films. Photo: W.L. Gore & Associates. The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) has announced W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., Newark, Del., as the winner of the 2018...

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2018 International Achievement Award Winners Announced

October 17th, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded this year’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, announced at the awards breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at IFAI Expo 2018. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention...

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Sharpen your competitive edge

October 17th, 2018

Asking yourself one simple question can help make your business a magnet for new customers, says marketing professional Madeleine MacRae, owner of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting. “That question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’” In her Oct. 16 Expo session on distinguishing yourself in the marketplace, MacRae says answering this question is the key...

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Investing in green practices in the industrial fabrics industry

October 16th, 2018

On October 15 during IFAI Expo 2018’s Pre-Expo Conference in Dallas, Texas, a panel of three speakers presented an educational session on green practices in the industrial fabrics industry. Panel presenters included Ryan Derrick, business unit manager at Rainier Industries; Vince Hankins, director of industrial markets for Sunbrella; and Bimal Kad, president and CEO of...

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Graphics for the small to medium fabricator

October 16th, 2018

Bill McSpadden, owner of Capitol Awning, Richmond, Va., presented the education session “Graphics for the Small to Medium Fabricator—What I Wish I Knew” on October 15 at IFAI Expo 2018’s Pre-Expo Conference in Dallas, Texas. Sign permits and allowances are important factors to consider when it comes to graphics. While many businesses may want as...

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Ideas in need of tools—capitalizing on the Maker Movement

October 16th, 2018

On October 15 at IFAI Expo 2018’s Pre-Conference in Dallas, Texas, Jonathan Palmer, president and CEO of Autometrix Inc., Grass Valley, Calif., presented an educational session that explored the Maker Movement and how cut-and-sew companies can capitalize on the movement. According to Palmer, alternative crowd-funding platforms that are available today, such as Kickstarter, combined with...

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GlideWear finds new applications in reducing friction

October 16th, 2018

A variety of advanced textile products were discussed in sessions during IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15. Caroline Portoghese explained how her company’s product, called GlideWear, offers innovative skin protection by reducing friction and shear to prevent skin tears and blisters. The product has been used by athletes, burn patients wearing compression garments, in wheelchair components...

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Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16th, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his...

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IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16th, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in...

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Textile testing for comfort

October 16th, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and...

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Digital manufacturing transforms flat knitting

October 16th, 2018

Connie Huffa, president of Fabdesigns Inc., doesn’t see the 4.0 Industrial Revolution as a factor that hurts jobs. Rather, she explains, “Jobs are changing but not being eliminated.” Huffa, a textile engineer, discussed the how the textile industry, like other manufacturing businesses, is experiencing the fourth Industrial Revolution. Her presentation was part of the IFAI’s...

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Automation can boost companies’ competitive edge

October 16th, 2018

Frank Henderson, CEO of Henderson Sewing Machine Co. Inc., has some blunt advice: Automation is the future. Henderson addressed a group October 16 at the 2018 Expo Pre-Conference with an enthusiastic message of how the textile industry can move forward. “We live in a culture of consumption. The future belongs to those who are creative...

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