Awards

Enter now: IFAI’s International Achievement Awards

May 13, 2021

After a year away, the International Achievement Awards (IAA) return for the 75th anniversary of recognizing the best projects across the specialty fabrics industry. The awards are an opportunity for you to showcase your technical skills and talents to the entire industry. The International Achievement Awards is an annual competition that recognizes and promotes awareness …

Industry News

U.S. FWS expands public access to hunting and fishing

May 13, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposal for new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities for game species across 2.1 million acres at 90 national wildlife refuges and on the lands of one national fish hatchery. This proposed rule would open or expand 939 opportunities for hunting or sport fishing (an …

Industry News

Biden administration 30 x 30 plan balances conservation and access

May 12, 2021

The Biden Administration outlined its vision to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, commonly known as the “30 by 30 Initiative.” As reported on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website, the administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” report is a ten-year conservation plan that focuses on expanding collaborative conservation efforts, …

Division News

Call for candidates for IFAI Board positions

May 11, 2021

The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is looking for individuals with strong leadership skills to fill the following IFAI Board positions: •1st Vice Chairman: 2-year term (the individual elected to this position will be the “Chairman-elect” and shall automatically become Chairman of the Board at the completion of the incoming …

Expo News

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021

May 10, 2021

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021. IFAI Expo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the show this November, and you won’t want to miss it! After a long hiatus of in-person events, this year’s show is the perfect place to reconnect with your industry. Register now to get the Early Bird rate! Early Bird rates end …

Company News

Morbern named one of Canada’s best managed companies for second year

May 10, 2021

Cornwall, Ontario-based Morbern, manufacturer of upholstery vinyls for marine, health care, commercial interiors, RV and automotive applications, has been named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the second year in a row. Established in 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies organization remains one of the world’s leading business awards programs recognizing companies for innovative, …

Industry News

New boat sales remain elevated in 2021

May 7, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that retail unit sales of new powerboats in February 2021 were up 34% compared to the same time period last year, according to its New Powerboat Registrations Report. Data shows total new boat sales are averaging 31,000 units sold monthly since the summer of 2020, on a seasonally-adjusted …

Industry News

Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force finalizes recommendations

May 6, 2021

After a year of deliberations and public input, the 21-member Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force has finalized recommendations to enhance outdoor recreation in Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Explore Minnesota Executive Director John Edman charged the Task Force to consider (1) how to bring measured growth, increased and equitable …

Conference

2022 MFA Conference call for speakers, shop tour locations

May 5, 2021

Organizers of the 2022 Marine Fabricators Conference, which will be held Jan. 13-15, 2022, at Wild Dunes Charleston’s Island Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C., are looking for speakers and shop tour locations. Speaker proposals must be free of commercial content, and conference organizers are especially interested in educational sessions that provide hands-on demonstrations covering topics …

Company News

Funk joins Herculite

May 3, 2021

Herculite Products Inc., an innovator and manufacturer of high performance and custom fabrics, has hired Pamela Funk as manager of human resources. Funk brings a wealth of human resource management experience to Herculite. Most recently she served as director of human resources for United Fiber and Data in York. Prior to that, she spent 16 …

Expo News

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021

May 10, 2021

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021. IFAI Expo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the show this November, and you won’t want to miss it! After a long hiatus of in-person events, this year’s show is the perfect place to reconnect with your industry. Register now to get the Early Bird rate! Early Bird rates end …

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. …

Feature

Tools of the Trade: Marine fabricators share their favorites

May 1, 2021

We asked marine fabricators to tell us about the “must-have” tools in their shop. The variety and creativity of submissions we received told us what we already knew—fabricators are a resourceful and innovative lot! By Cathy Broberg Hercules 1575 foam cutter with Bosch blade “A good quality foam cutter makes shop life so much easier,” …

Feature

Managing difficult clients

May 1, 2021

Marine fabricators discuss their best forms of defense By Michelle Miron Most businesses have encountered these people at least once: impossible-to-please customers who make life miserable for everyone who has to work with them. Maybe they are disrespectful to you and your employees. Maybe they demand price breaks where none are due. Or perhaps they …

Feature

2021 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2021

High-quality products to help you create durable, attractive and successful projects. For this feature, we asked our contributors to send us information about their high-performing products. The product information was submitted by the participating manufacturers and suppliers by the established deadline. The products are organized into three categories: Fabric, Film, & Foam; Equipment, Tools & …

Feature

Does co-entrepreneurship lead to more divorce?

April 1, 2021

By Michelle Miron Are divorce rates higher among couples that co-own a business? Consider the 24/7 togetherness, the disagreements over business decisions, the juggling of work and family, and the worries over the bottom line. How could that not translate into marital strife? Chandler and Charlene Clark, co-owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, Va., say …

Feature

2021 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2021

Sponsored by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), the Fabrication Excellence Awards contest is designed to recognize excellence in marine fabrication. The entries are judged by a panel of certified marine professionals. Awards of Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Awards are given in each category. The MFA recognizes two Awards of Distinction, chosen from the Award of …

Feature Members only content

Husband and wife teams

March 1, 2021

A Juggling Act That Impacts the Bottom Line By Michelle Miron If you’ve ever contemplated running a company with your spouse, you may wonder how it might work to juggle the complications of a relationship with the day-to-day logistics of a business.  Can business disagreements lead to spats over household management? Do family dynamics worm …

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 Members only content

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 …

Industry News

U.S. FWS expands public access to hunting and fishing

May 13, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposal for new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities for game species across 2.1 million acres at 90 national wildlife refuges and on the lands of one national fish hatchery. This proposed rule would open or expand 939 opportunities for hunting or sport fishing (an …

Industry News

Biden administration 30 x 30 plan balances conservation and access

May 12, 2021

The Biden Administration outlined its vision to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, commonly known as the “30 by 30 Initiative.” As reported on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website, the administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” report is a ten-year conservation plan that focuses on expanding collaborative conservation efforts, …

Division News

Call for candidates for IFAI Board positions

May 11, 2021

The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is looking for individuals with strong leadership skills to fill the following IFAI Board positions: •1st Vice Chairman: 2-year term (the individual elected to this position will be the “Chairman-elect” and shall automatically become Chairman of the Board at the completion of the incoming …

Company News

Morbern named one of Canada’s best managed companies for second year

May 10, 2021

Cornwall, Ontario-based Morbern, manufacturer of upholstery vinyls for marine, health care, commercial interiors, RV and automotive applications, has been named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the second year in a row. Established in 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies organization remains one of the world’s leading business awards programs recognizing companies for innovative, …

Industry News

New boat sales remain elevated in 2021

May 7, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that retail unit sales of new powerboats in February 2021 were up 34% compared to the same time period last year, according to its New Powerboat Registrations Report. Data shows total new boat sales are averaging 31,000 units sold monthly since the summer of 2020, on a seasonally-adjusted …

Industry News

Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force finalizes recommendations

May 6, 2021

After a year of deliberations and public input, the 21-member Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force has finalized recommendations to enhance outdoor recreation in Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Explore Minnesota Executive Director John Edman charged the Task Force to consider (1) how to bring measured growth, increased and equitable …

Events

Award recipients recognized during advocacy summit

April 29, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) hosted its annual advocacy summit, the American Boating Congress (ABC) April 21-22. The two-day virtual event brought together nearly 400 participants and recreational boating advocates, who heard from keynote speakers Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and White House Senior Policy Advisor Cedric Richmond. NMMA presented three awards during the event: …

Industry News

Canadian luxury tax proposed

April 28, 2021

Canadian news outlets are reporting that a proposed federal budget set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2022, includes a tax on luxury items, such as boats that retail for more than CAD250,000 ($200,000), according to the Trade Only Today online news site. If approved, the budget document cited by CTV News projects a CAD604 …

Events

Exhibit opportunities in the 2021 ICAST Marine Accessories Pavilion, July 20-23

April 22, 2021

ICAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, will return as an in-person event July 20-23, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Exhibition opportunities are available in the Marine Accessories Pavilion (MAP) to get in front of buyers, dealers and distributors seeking the newest and most innovative marine aftermarket accessories and components. The Marine Accessories Pavilion is located …

Events

METSTRADE 2021 plans taking shape

April 16, 2021

With in-person events expected to go ahead later this year, METSTRADE 2021 will return with an in-person event November 16-18 in Amsterdam. The METSTRADE show is the world’s largest trade exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international leisure marine industry. Organized by RAI Amsterdam in association with ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry …

Fabric & Film

Horizon marine upholstery collection expands

April 5, 2021

Sunbrella® announces two new colorways for Horizon™, the brand’s signature marine vinyl fabric that offers industry-leading protection against microbial pinking. Capriccio Salt is a clean and crisp shade that provides a versatile base to coordinate against any palette, from neutrals to brights to warm and cool tones. Capriccio Pacific Blue is a bright and sophisticated …

Products

Weather-resistant,antimicrobial upholstery

March 1, 2021

Sol-Out® has launched a new collection of 100% acrylic antimicrobial outdoor upholstery fabrics that combine two specialty fibers: Durashine™, a high-performance solution-dyed acrylic fiber that provides excellent colorfastness and UV resistance; and Amicor™, which provides permanent antimicrobial qualities by incorporating additives into the core of the fiber. Color brilliancy, durability and microbial protection suitable for …

Products

New marine vinyl, cooler seating

March 1, 2021

Utilizing a change in the pigment, OMNOVA’s CoolComfort™ technology allows heat and light to reflect more optimally off of seating upholstery, creating up to a 15-degree F cooler seating experience. This technology can be added as an upgrade to the company’s broad portfolio of marine and transportation vinyl upholstery including Beacon, the newest addition to …

Products

Next-gen marine and awning fabric

March 1, 2021

Available in three different product categories; SolarShade, SolarShade FR, and SolarShade Plus FR offer breathability, high water repellency, mildew resistance, and outstanding strength and durability. Crafted from advanced staple fiber and spun 100% solution-dyed polyester yarns, these products provide exceptional value at their price point, and after being tried and tested in the field, have …

Products

Tougher threads

March 1, 2021

Sunguard+ UVR bonded polyester thread goes through a state-of-the-art twisting, bonding and dying process to ensure the highest quality of colorfastness and performance. It provides protection against cleaning chemicals, UV rays and seam leakage. It is resistant to mold, mildew, chlorine and bromine. Added nanotechnology prolongs the life of the thread outdoors and helps meet …

Products

Triple-layer protection

March 1, 2021

TRIO® by Sattler has applications for furniture, boat and car covers with a durable top coat of 100% solution-dyed acrylic, a middle construction of a microporous breathable waterproof membrane and a bottom layer of soft knit tricot headliner that won’t scratch or damage the covered surface. Available in six popular colors, it is water, oil …

Products

Speedier digital patterning

March 1, 2021

ExactFlat’s new Scan to Pattern product bundle makes digital patterning faster, easier and more accurate using a simple workflow process to scan in 3D, convert the scan to a 3D CAD model and turn the 3D CAD model into a finished 2D flat pattern file in minutes. The bundle includes a 3D Scanner with 0.1 …

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 …

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 …