Conference

Women in Textiles Virtual Summit speaker line-up announced

February 25, 2021

The Women in Textiles Virtual Summit taking place the afternoon of Thursday, March 4, and the morning of Friday, March 5 has announced its speaker line-up for the event. The goal of the summit is to strengthen the advancement of women and men through an interactive forum that provides education, networking and dialogue about important …

Events

2021 Atlantic City Boat Show canceled

February 24, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has decided to cancel this year’s Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show. After exploring all avenues to move ahead with a 2021 event (originally postponed from Feb. to April 2021), and continuing to follow guidance from state/local authorities and the Atlantic City Convention Center, canceling the 2021 boat show …

Conference

Renewable energy sources are the future of the marine industry

February 23, 2021

In a highly informative and detailed education session during the IFAI Fabricators Conference & Showcase on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, John Martin, Ph. D., Appalachian State University, gave a presentation that examined the history, present day use and future of solar and wind energy in the marine industry. Through a combination of videos and slides, …

Conference

Employers face continued challenges creating employee pandemic policies

February 23, 2021

Kicking off the second day of the IFAI Fabricators Conference & Showcase on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, human resources expert, Chad Sorenson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, from Adaptive HR Solutions LLC, presented a session entitled “Employee Strategies in the midst of COVID-19.” Sorenson says that for the past year, employers have been forced to “make things up …

Conference

Improve scheduling in your shop with a digital job board

February 23, 2021

Torey Heinz, the founder of Shopflow productivity software for marine, canvas and upholstery shops, discussed the importance of shop scheduling during his presentation at the IFAI Fabricators Conference & Showcase on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Heinz introduced the idea of using a digital job board to organize and display jobs so that shop owners can …

Conference

MFA Virtual Series continues with awards, networking, shop tours and business smarts

February 22, 2021

The second session of the three-part Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Virtual Series took place Feb. 18 with attendees from across the U.S. and around the world. The central presentation, by Charlene Clark, Signature CanvasMakers, was called, “Scaling Your Business: Keys to Achieving Sustainable Growth.” Clark touched on the key elements needed to help effectively scale …

Industry News

Minnesota boat builders busy with surging interest

February 19, 2021

A recent Minnesota StarTribune newspaper article reports that major boat manufacturers in Minnesota are scrambling to expand their payrolls in response to surging demand for leisure boats during the pandemic. According to the article, Brunswick’s production facility in New York Mills, Minn., where Lund and Crestliner boats are built, has added 114 positions in the …

Industry News

2020 Outboard Engine Sales Trends Report available

February 18, 2021

The first section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2020 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, Outboard Engine Sales Trends, is now available. Outboard engine retail sales rose for the ninth consecutive year in 2020 to a total of 330,000 units, the highest annual sales volume in 20 years and up 18% compared to 2019. …

Industry News

Multiple states unveil efforts to reduce single-use plastic

February 17, 2021

State legislators from nine states–California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington–recently announced a coordinated effort to establish single-use packaging reductions by holding producers responsible for the end-of-life management of plastic packaging, according to reporting from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Each measure follows the extended producer responsibility (EPR) model initiative …

Industry News

Key federal conservation program strengthened

February 17, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Interior has taken steps to strengthen the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by revoking an order signed on November 9, 2020, that imposed restrictions to inhibit the availability of LWCF funding for federal land and water acquisitions. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been crucial to protecting public …

Conference

Call for IFAI Expo 2021 speakers, topic ideas

January 5, 2021

IFAI Expo 2021 organizers are looking for presentation topic ideas and interested speakers for Expo 2021, which will be held Nov. 1–4, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. Expo organizers are looking for speakers and topic ideas for 50-minute classroom education sessions and 25-minute campfire education sessions. Submissions are being accepted for …

Expo News

Standard for active illumination developed in Europe

November 16, 2020

In a session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, “Smart Textiles Standardization, Active Illumination,” Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert Hohenstein Group, explained the new standard for active illumination that will soon be implemented in European Union countries.  Organizations worked together to develop the standards. It is notable, he said that both textile and electronics industries …

Expo News

Rapid prototyping = faster market launch

November 16, 2020

A presentation at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, titled, “Rapid Prototyping and Textile Product Development” urged attendees to use “sticks and glue … whatever method you have to get your idea out there.” The presenter, Dr. Andre West, director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE), Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, may not have meant …

Expo News

Textile industry leaders call for policy changes to support U.S. production of PPE

November 13, 2020

The U.S. textile industry has stepped up to meet the demand for face masks, medical gowns, wipes and other products necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but it needs policy changes from Washington so that the U.S. is not caught off-guard again in a future crisis, according to association leaders speaking at Industrial Fabrics Association …

Expo News

The larger issues in respiratory protection

November 12, 2020

Dr. Bryran Ormond, assistant professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State explained respiratory protection in an “Ask an Expert” session with Jing Liang, Medical PPE Consulting LLC. Dr. Ormand has typically worked in the area of chemical and biological protective equipment, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, began to focus on respiratory protection generally, …

Expo News

Rodgers: Textiles are the “T” in STEM

November 11, 2020

How do you create a channel from research to application? How do you create a pathway toward understanding complex human problems across supply chains and market sectors? STEM—a curriculum based on teaching science, technology, engineering and math—has branched out from basic chemistry and biology and physics classes, into collaborative efforts, including textiles, according to Stephanie …

Expo News

Partnerships in smart textile products

November 11, 2020

The second week of IFAI’s Virtual Expo 2020 advanced textiles educational sessions began with a presentation that illustrated the importance of collaboration. “Smart textiles for healthcare and wellbeing: a collaborative approach” had three presenters speaking from different perspectives, but with one, unified message about reaching across geographical distance and areas of expertise to create successful …

Expo News

Welding technology for your business

November 11, 2020

During IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, Jeff Sponseller, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Miller Weldmaster, led a campfire session titled “How to Select the Correct Welding Technology for Your Business.” “Essentially a good weld means that the fabric will tear before the weld does,” says Sponseller. Many types of different materials can be …

Expo News

Guidance offered in commercial insurance market

November 10, 2020

Wildfires, hurricanes, a pandemic and civil unrest have wreaked plenty of chaos on the commercial insurance market in 2020. Steve Christenson, with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, offered guidance to business owners Nov. 9 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. “The business insurance market has been going through several changes this year,” says Christenson, with U.S. …

Expo News

How to make your business attractive to a buyer

November 6, 2020

Thinking about selling your business—either to an outside party or the next generation? Then it’s time to start considering how your equipment and processes fit into your succession plan. Jonathan Palmer, the second-generation owner and CEO of equipment supplier Autometrix, and Autometrix director of global sales Truy Pham, led an educational session at IFAI Virtual …

MFA Time Standards

2021 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2021

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark that shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change …

Feature

Finishing Touches

January 1, 2021

Materials and techniques for marine trimmings that improve form and function.  by Sigrid Tornquist It all matters. Fabric. Thread. Trimmings. They work together and depend upon each other. Skimp on one component and the whole project is compromised. For marine fabricators, trimmings are the critical details that refine and elevate a project. Read on for …

Industry News

Submission deadline extended for MFA Awards

November 27, 2020

The deadline to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award has been extended to Dec. 1, 2020. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a project. Fabrication Excellence …

Awards

Submission deadline extended for MFA Awards

November 17, 2020

The deadline to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award has been extended to Dec. 1, 2020. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a project. Fabrication Excellence …

Events

Submission deadline approaching for MFA Awards

October 20, 2020

With a submission deadline of Nov. 6, 2020, now is the time to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a …

Feature Members only content

Company values that increase a company’s value

September 1, 2020

Your shop can be loaded with employees having outstanding skills, but without a supportive, positive environment, low morale and turmoil can thwart all efforts to succeed.  by Pamela Mills-Senn Pre-pandemic, SewLong Custom Covers in Salt Lake City, Utah, focused on interior and exterior marine textiles and boat covers. But when the pandemic hit and the …

Feature Members only content

Shade Solution Evolution

September 1, 2020

Design tips for removable shade structures that bring value to clients and profit to fabricators. by Sigrid Tornquist Boat enthusiasts have always sought shade solutions. It’s a matter of survival and comfort. And it’s also a matter of aesthetics. It’s been 30 years since Mike Erickson, CEO and owner of Canvas Designers® Inc. in Riviera …

Exterior

Imagining new ways to create shade

August 31, 2020

Whitney Carman relies on lateral thinking and relationship building to create innovative shade solutions. By Sigrid Tornquist “I think one of the reasons my projects are unique has to do with the ability for lateral thinking, which means seeing a variety of solutions to a problem or uses for an object, and not necessarily just …

Feature Members only content

Digital determination

July 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leapsay there’s no other way to go.  By Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his first …

Feature Members only content

NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from three canvas companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. By Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

Events

2021 Atlantic City Boat Show canceled

February 24, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has decided to cancel this year’s Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show. After exploring all avenues to move ahead with a 2021 event (originally postponed from Feb. to April 2021), and continuing to follow guidance from state/local authorities and the Atlantic City Convention Center, canceling the 2021 boat show …

Industry News

2020 Outboard Engine Sales Trends Report available

February 18, 2021

The first section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2020 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, Outboard Engine Sales Trends, is now available. Outboard engine retail sales rose for the ninth consecutive year in 2020 to a total of 330,000 units, the highest annual sales volume in 20 years and up 18% compared to 2019. …

Industry News

Multiple states unveil efforts to reduce single-use plastic

February 17, 2021

State legislators from nine states–California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington–recently announced a coordinated effort to establish single-use packaging reductions by holding producers responsible for the end-of-life management of plastic packaging, according to reporting from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Each measure follows the extended producer responsibility (EPR) model initiative …

Industry News

Key federal conservation program strengthened

February 17, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Interior has taken steps to strengthen the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by revoking an order signed on November 9, 2020, that imposed restrictions to inhibit the availability of LWCF funding for federal land and water acquisitions. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been crucial to protecting public …

Industry News

NOAA and USM announce partnership on ocean study

February 11, 2021

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it has signed a 10-year agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to partner on ways to improve how uncrewed systems (UxS) are used to collect important ocean observation data and augment NOAA’s operational capabilities. UxS are sensor-equipped vehicles that operate autonomously or are remotely …

Industry News

Magazine article reviews COVID-19 impact on boating, other recreation

February 9, 2021

A recent article in the national lifestyle magazine/website, Men’s Journal, titled “Our Outdoor World, One Year into Covid,” covers the acceleration in the popularity of outdoor recreation, including boating, in the time of Covid-19. The article includes data and insights from the National Marine Manufacturers Association and looks back on learnings and trends from the …

COVID-19

NAM announces vaccine project

February 4, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and The Manufacturing Institute are launching the “This Is Our Shot” project, an initiative to educate the manufacturing community, affected families and their communities about the COVID-19 vaccine. The project is live at NAM.org/ThisIsOurShot, where NMMA members can access the latest resources, webinars and a public service announcement on …

Conference

MFA Virtual Series kicks off with awards, networking and survival lessons

February 2, 2021

The first session of the three-part Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Virtual Series took place Jan. 28 with more than 70 attendees from around the U.S. as well as international visitors from Australia, England and other countries. Discussion topics included an Emergency Preparedness Panel Discussion with Rob Kotwoski, Lake Shore Boat Top Co., Ron Paratore, Trivantage …

Conference

Women in Textiles Summit going virtual

February 1, 2021

Due to continuing concerns regarding the coronavirus and feedback from conference participants, IFAI has decided to transform the Women in Textiles Summit into a virtual event taking place the afternoon of Thursday, March 4, and the morning of Friday, March 5. The timing will mimic an in-person show, immersing attendees for several hours, allowing time …

Industry News

Brown and Manning call for Biden to prioritize American manufacturers and bolster domestic PPE

January 29, 2021

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) wrote to President Biden calling on the Administration to prioritize purchasing fully made in America Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), according to Textile World in a January 24 article.  The lawmakers outline four steps the Administration can take now to ensure our frontline workers have products needed …

Products

Clever upholstery designs

January 1, 2021

The Clever Collection from Knoll includes four upholstery styles, all durable to 100,000 double rubs and all celebrating the clever geometry of spider webs. Created with an innovative and proprietary process, In Step’s graphic pattern is a translation of dew drops balancing on a spider web. Tempest is a dimensional texture with a mixture of …

Products

Wider patterning fabric

January 1, 2021

Polyfab USA has added 4-meter-wide (157-inch-wide) rolls to its line of Patternpro™ Ultra Stable Patterning Fabric, a clear HDPE woven scrim that is coated on both sides. It is also available in 2-meter-wide (78.7-inch-wide) rolls, and has applications for marine canvas and awning patterning, with excellent stability and good “lay-flat” properties. The material resists wind …

Products

Quilted mattress panels

January 1, 2021

The Luxe Collection is a line of premium fibers for quilted mattress panels that enhance the feel of a sleep surface with a luxurious layer of support and a high-end silky texture that foam cannot achieve on its own. The collection includes Luxe Bliss, the lightest at 12.5 ounces per square yard (osy), Luxe Plush …

Products

Storage-friendly cover textile

January 1, 2021

Lightweight Stamoid® Smart 1 is 60 percent more collapsible than standard boat and equipment cover materials, making installation and removal of covers easier as well as taking up less storage space. With a silicone coating on one side, the surface is very slick making it difficult for dirt, debris and pollution to adhere. Suited for …

Products

High-value polyester

January 1, 2021

Entry-level outdoor fabric Atlantis is 100 percent solution-dyed polyester that offers value with all the features you expect from a quality outdoor fabric, including a durable, waterproof PU backing, mildew resistance and excellent colorfastness. With minimal shrinking or stretching, it offers a five-year warranty, up to 1,000 hours of UV resistance and is available in …

Accessories

Last chance to get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 25, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide will close on Sept. 28. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. This …

Accessories

Get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 14, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide is now open. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. This year’s Buyer’s …

Accessories

Get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 2, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide is now open. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. Current advertisers and …

Products

Recycled upholstery fabric

September 1, 2020

Tessutica’s new Greencare fabric line is a collection of 100% recycled and recyclable upholstery fabrics created from pellets that come from marine plastic waste. The fabrics are engineered with recycled yarns from regular post-consumer PET bottles from the oceans, landfills and upcycled cotton from garments and are certified under the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) label. …

Products

Classic look, high performance

September 1, 2020

The Stamskin® One allure collection of indoor/outdoor upholstery fabrics offers the same performance of its sister collection, Stamskin One, with a new finish: an understated leather-like grain suited to classic designs. The fabric pairs a supple, luxurious hand with abrasion resistance of more than 665,000 double rubs (ASTM D4157), inherent resistance to pink mold and …

Awards

Marine Fabricator wins publishing awards

November 12, 2019

The Minnesota Media and Publishing Association recognized Marine Fabricator magazine, led by senior editor Elisa Bernick, with a Bronze Award and a Silver Award in publishing excellence for how-to articles, “Seam finishing for marine cushions and covers” and “Zipper basics and helpful sewing techniques.” Both articles were written by Terri Madden, owner of Sand Sea …

Interiors & Upholstery

Window Treatment Trends

July 1, 2017

Interest in window coverings for marine applications has experienced a rebirth of sorts and more consumers, fabricators and designers are using innovative window treatment designs. When Krisha Plauché, owner of Onboard Interiors in Marblehead, Mass., is fabricating drapery for a stateroom, she often uses blackout applications, but Plauché has found that lining drapery with a …

In the Shop

Fresh updates for older vessels

January 1, 2017

Most interior fabrication projects occur on fixer-uppers. The vessel might be vintage or it might be less than ten years old. While I always welcome the challenge of doing a better design than the original, there is a fine line between aesthetics and practicality. After all, the boat needs to be both comfortable and secure …

How-To Articles

Constructing snow flies for the Alaskan climate

January 1, 2017

Our winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, can be cold or very cold with lots of snow or little snow; it all depends. One condition we don’t see often is wind. In my 26 years of living here, I can remember only one time when the wind blew and the snow flew. Most of our snow falls …

How-To Articles

Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

September 1, 2016

Over the years I have been asked to fabricate several unusual items. I never know if that item will be a one-hit wonder or will become a customer favorite. In most cases, I create prototypes that help me creatively solve design challenges. I charge a prototype fee of a few hundred dollars to develop and …

How-To Articles

Marine fabricators meet customers’ window wish lists

August 1, 2016

When making boat windows for customers, marine fabricators often have a specific set of requirements of their materials. “Our fabricators require a sheet that is easy to handle, durable and can be cut and sewn easily without fear of damaging the product,” says Lyle Shipley, product manager at O’Sullivan Films, Winchester, Va., for O’Sea and …

How-To Articles

Complex and compound frame bending

July 1, 2016

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I generally recommend …

Interiors & Upholstery

The art of project management on contour cushions

July 1, 2016

Marine fabricators are a unique group of craftspeople and business owners. Many of us are familiar with the notion that creative pursuits are right-brain activities, while math and logic are left-brain activities. As marine fabricators, we utilize the right sides of our brains for design solutions that meet customers’ aesthetic and practical expectations. At the …

Interiors & Upholstery

Restyled sleeping cabins

May 1, 2016

Interior sleeping cabins on a vessel have always been my favorite projects. I enjoy researching options and ultimately providing customers with tidy solutions that offer easy accessibility. Cabin spaces and mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. One of my clients claims to sleep 14 people on his 54-foot Bertram with only three interior cabins, …

How-To Articles

Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

March 1, 2016

These names are some of the descriptions for a process of suspending sail covers. I started making these Lazy Jack covers 20 years ago, as a progress/advance of the Lazy Jack rope system, designed to help flake a main sail as it is put away. The idea was to connect the rope to a sail …