Challenges and opportunities

October 23, 2017

Smart fabrics products may require novel textile substrates. Industry participants had many opportunities to listen to presentations by smart textiles experts and have informal discussions in “Campfire Sessions” on the show floor at IFAI Expo. Photo: Mark Skalny Photography A key takeaway from the Smart Fabrics Program and E-Textiles Workshop

Read More

The importance of size and fit

October 23, 2017

Garment makers are using new technologies to optimize comfort. The Hohenstein Institute has developed a volume-based pattern development based on 3D scans to optimize basic patterns for use in pattern-cutting. Photo: ©Hohenstein Gruppe With the growth of the wearable technology market, innovations in high-tech protective garments and a push by

Read More

The efficiencies and versatility of advanced and automated equipment are helping bring back the U.S. sewing industry

September 1, 2017

Contract sewing company CustomFab USA employs more than 250 skilled laborers who fabricate products for leading medical, military, sports and luggage companies. The company’s investment in computerized sewing equipment ensures consistent quality and delivery. Photo: CustomFab USA. When U.S. textile jobs started to leave en masse for China and other

Read More

Does “Made in the USA” matter in the sewn-goods industry?

August 30, 2017

A flexible approach to contract sewing has helped Jonco Industries, Milwaukee, Wis., navigate the decline of sewing manufacturing in the U.S. The company is currently manufacturing custom tool pouches and toolbox covers, school uniforms, hats, specialty backpacks, car seat covers and changing blankets. Photo: Jonco Industries Inc. A 2015 survey

Read More

High-Performance Sewing Machines

March 1, 2017

Every trade has its tools, and marine fabrication is no exception. A critically important tool of marine fabrication is the sewing machine. Regardless of the brand, a sewing machine has to be durable, reliable and easily maintained, because it is, after all, the workhorse of a productive shop. Purchasing a

Read More

Part 1: State of the Industry 2017

February 1, 2017

Despite some slowing of global GDP in 2016, growth of the U.S. and Canadian specialty fabrics industry is slow but steady, and markets like fabric structures, tent rental and manufacturing, fabric graphics and marine fabrication are outpacing national averages. The pace is expected to continue, but can also be somewhat

Read More

Air Apparent

January 1, 2017

Companies and event organizers use inflatables to grab public attention and promote their brands.  Although he now sells spaces in luxury subterranean survival shelters, Robert Vicino once focused his entrepreneurial spirit on loftier altitudes. He put a 90-foot King Kong on the Empire State Building and designed Otto the Autopilot

Read More

The future workforce

October 1, 2016

A Makers completed curriculum and a nationally registered apprenticeship program are in the final approval stages. The next generation of skilled sewers is in the works. Sewing instructor Angela Herrera teaches upholstery skills in Tarrant County College NW’s summer course, Career Exploration Camp. The course provides students entering 7th and

Read More

Getting the word out about fabric graphics

August 1, 2016

Interpreting the interior of a conch shell, the SeaShell from The Originators Design was a custom design and on-site build for an air freshener pop-up store. The structure utilized air-brushed stretch fabric and a lot of highly contorted PVC frame. Photo: SC Johnson & Son. Fabric graphics have become a

Read More