Part 1: State of the Industry 2017

May 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 constrained by changes in unemployment …

An emphasis on strengths

Chris Ritsema leads his company, Canvas Innovations, by building a strong culture for employee success. My vision has always been to grow a company that empowers its employees,” says Chris Ritsema, owner of Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich. “I want to give people a reason to stay here and build their careers—and to do that …

Lectra names Viala EVP

Lectra, a world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, has appointed CFO Jérôme Viala to the role of executive vice president for the group. Since becoming CFO in 1994 and a member of the executive committee, Viala has progressively taken on more responsibilities, and is …

Groz-Beckert purchases Ferd. Schmetz Group

Groz-Beckert recently purchased the Ferd. Schmetz Group, based in Aachen, Germany. The Ferd. Schmetz Group is a long-established producer of industrial sewing machine needles and has an estimated 700 employees worldwide. The acquisition includes the production sites in Germany, Switzerland and India as well as the global distribution network. With this acquisition, the Groz-Beckert Group …

Serge Ferrari North America welcomes new regional sales manager

Julie Bui has joined Serge Ferrari North America as the regional sales manager. Bui will handle sales and service of Serge Ferrari products in the states of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Bui brings extensive sales and service experience to the company. She most recently worked as a field sales …

Walmart awards textiles grants

Walmart has awarded $3 million in U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grants to six universities. The schools will split the grant money to work on a variety of projects involving innovations in domestic textile manufacturing. It is the third and final round of grants for the fund, which has provided a total of $10 million since …

Phifer Indoor/Outdoor Fabrics

GeoBella® Indoor/Outdoor Performance Fabrics has introduced a new line of colors. Burnt Orange, Spruce, Mushroom, Slate and Chambray are the newest introductions to the line. Chic and functional, these plush 100 percent recyclable fabrics are suitable for any area of the home. www.phifer.com

Byron Yonce joins J. Ennis Fabrics

J. Ennis Fabrics has announced that Byron Yonce has joined its sales team. Yonce comes to J. Ennis Fabrics with more than 25 years of industry experience, especially within the specialty fabrics industry. He has previously served as a member on various boards, most notably as president of the Midwest Fabric Products Association, chair of …

Turn Button & Curtain Fastener Cutters

C.S. Osborne manufactures the original cutting pliers used to install turn buttons and curtain fasteners in marine canvas. These time-saving tools make all jobs faster and easier. Made in the USA with heavy-gauge steel, hardened castings and stainless steel rivets. www.csosborne.com

Seaman names sales manager

Seaman Corp., Wooster, Ohio, announced that Dan Weisenberger has joined Seaman Industrial Products as sales manager for the southern region of the U.S. Weisenberger was previously a district sales manager for Saint-Gobain Coated Fabrics, and he brings more than two decades of polymer and technical textile sales knowledge to the Seaman position.