Advanced Textiles Division membership growing

September 28, 2017

The Advanced Textiles Division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) held an open meeting Tuesday at IFAI Expo. The division leadership announced that it is the fastest growing division at IFAI and has increased to 219 members – a significant jump in just the last year, said incoming chairman, Amit Kapoor. He credited the …

2017 IFF Innovation Award winner announced at IFAI Expo

The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) has announced the winner of the 2017 Innovation Award: UltraTech International Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., won this year in the category of “Chemicals, Coatings and Compounds” with the EverShield® C6 water-based fabric treatment. The company was awarded a prize of $5,000. EverShield was developed under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) …

This year’s Show Stopper winners

All the best from New Orleans: Thursday morning at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The sixth annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services and …

2017 International Achievement Award winners announced at IFAI Expo

This year’s winners in IFAI’s global International Achievement Awards (IAA) competition, recognizing design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, were announced on Sept. 28 at the organization’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2017 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. For more than 70 years, IAA has acknowledged innovation and excellence in design …

Keeping employees engaged

According to Barry Adams, President of Peach Tree Awnings in Norcross, Ga., “The reason people separate from their company is because they feel their contribution is not valued and they feel what they do isn’t making a difference.” Adams’ session, “How to Keep Talented Employees Engaged,” presented at IFAI Expo 2017, focused on ways to …

Ooblecks and smart textiles

September 27, 2017

What is an “oobleck”—and what does it have to do with smart textiles? According to children’s author Dr. Seuss, an oobleck is a mysterious sticky substance which threatened the kingdom in his 1949 book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. But as smart textile engineer, Connie Huffa of Fabdesigns told her audience at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference …

Biomimicry inspires medical textiles

With much of the discussion of smart textiles focusing on e-textiles at present, it is good to be reminded that there are innovative developments emerging in non-digital yarns also. MedTextra is a filtration and health-giving yarn that uses a unique moisturizing process to deliver active ingredients to the body based on biomimicry principles. The brainchild …

Expo panel discusses diversification

A panel of three successful company leaders illuminated the keynote luncheon September 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. The theme of the panel was “Path of Diversification,” featuring Meredith Boyd, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.; Ben Cooper, IoClothes; and John Neely, Berry Global. The panelists shared ideas on how their companies leverage regionalization in the U.S. Cooper mentioned …

Cutting room automation makes sense for many

If automating your cutting room seems either too expensive or too difficult, you may want to think again. Panelists of the IFAI EXPO session on “Optimizing Your Cutting Room” gave a long list of potential benefits for why you might want to consider using an automated cutter. “Everyone’s ROI is slightly different,” says Thomas Carlson, …

Choosing the right sewing machine

Among the many sewing machines options for your shop, how do you choose? The panelists at the EXPO presentation “Selecting a Sewing Machine for Your Application,” agree that nearly any project can at least be partially fabricated using a single-needle walking foot machine. “But for wide material for tents, awnings, covers, sails and the like,” …