Company News

Trivantage announces 100% renewable electricity milestone for its facilities

May 26, 2022

Trivantage®, a one-stop shop for fabrics, hardware, and accessories, has announced its use of 100% renewable electricity for its facilities. This achievement supports parent company Glen Raven’s global sustainability initiative. “This milestone represents our ongoing commitment to being industry leaders in reducing environmental impact,” says Steve Ellington, president of Trivantage. “We’re proud to power our …

Events

Call for speakers for IFAI’s Women in Textiles Summit now open

May 25, 2022

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will hold its Women in Textiles Summit 2023 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C. on March 1–3. The vision of the summit is to strengthen the advancement of women by providing an interactive forum that provides education, networking and dialogue about important issues affecting women in business …

Industry News

NMMA wraps up in-person American Boating Congress

May 24, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recently wrapped up a successful three-day advocacy event, the American Boating Congress (ABC), and welcomed more than 200 industry stakeholders to Washington, D.C. to drive the marine industry’s policy priorities forward. The event offered attendees the opportunity to hear from several boating champions on Capitol Hill, including Senators Todd …

Industry News

Industry joins to support grant application for marine job apprenticeships

May 19, 2022

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) rallied leadership from throughout the marine industry in its application for submission to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Apprenticeship Building America” grant program. Labeled “Building Out Apprenticed Trades (BOAT) Jobs,” MRAA’s application received written letters of support and recommendation from 26 marine industry organizations, including all of …

Industry News

Brunswick announces new BoatClass locations

May 18, 2022

Brunswick Corporation has announced new locations for BoatClass, an immersive on-water training program designed to teach boating safety and assist boaters in gaining confidence on the water. Launched in 2021 for new and seasoned boaters to receive world-class training and learn the necessary skills to make the most of their time on the water, BoatClass …

News

IFAI selects Advanced Textiles Association as new name

May 17, 2022

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will become the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) effective June 1. The name change was approved in April with 85.6 percent of association members casting their votes to do so. Association bylaws require the approval of two-thirds of those returning ballots. The results were audited by Clifton Larson Allen. “This …

News

Outlook® gives attendees exclusive insights to power informed decisions at the 2022 conference

May 17, 2022

Close to 100 attendees gathered at the Omni Homestead Resort (circa 1766) in Hot Springs, VA to engage, learn and connect with colleagues in the industry. A day and a half of informative business sessions, intermingled with several networking opportunities, were filled with knowledge and idea exchange as well as insights from various thought leaders …

Company News

Godfrey breaks ground on expansion

May 17, 2022

Godfrey Marine, a builder of pontoon boats and Hurricane deckboats, has broken ground on the expansion of its manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind. The new facilities include a 27,000-square-foot warehouse and an automation wing. The new warehouse space will enable a 30 percent increase in production, the company said in a statement. The automation capabilities …

Industry News

SkillsTrader partners with SkillsUSA

May 12, 2022

SkillsTrader and SkillsUSA have announced a partnership that will support workforce development. The agreement brings together SkillsTrader’s digital platform and SkillsUSA’s community of 333,527 students and educators from 53 states. Through this partnership, SkillsTrader will provide financial support for SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference, specifically, the Advisor’s Call to Action Breakfast, the Business Partner …

Industry News

Free Energy Optimization Toolkit available for download

May 11, 2022

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a free Energy Optimization Toolkit that manufacturers can download to reduce energy costs, improve sustainability and increase resilience, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. As marine manufacturers continue acting in their commitment to increase sustainability efforts and lessen impact on the environment, industry stakeholders are encouraged …

Events

Registration for IFAI Expo 2022 opens with early bird pricing

May 5, 2022

Registration is now open for IFAI Expo 2022, taking place October 12–14 with education happening from October 11–14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. IFAI Expo is known as the specialty textile industry’s flagship show for sourcing, networking and education. It’s an opportunity to join thousands of industry stakeholders and leaders who are …

Events

IFAI Expo 2022 speaker submissions due March 31

March 22, 2022

The deadline to submit speaker presentations for IFAI Expo 2022 in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 12–14, 2022, is March 31. Speaking at IFAI Expo gives individuals a chance to connect with a wide variety of attendees in diverse markets, share their expertise and boost their credibility. For more than a century, IFAI Expo has been …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2022 call for presentations

December 20, 2021

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is now accepting proposals for presentations at IFAI Expo 2022. IFAI Expo will take place Oct. 12-14, 2022, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., with education Oct. 11-14. IFAI is accepting proposals for 50-minute classroom sessions in several categories: Advanced Textiles Shade & Weather Protection Specialty Fabrics Marine …

Expo News

IFAI Expo: Shade sail dos and don’ts

November 3, 2021

Shade sails offer a great business opportunity for fabricators, but it’s important to keep some key “dos and don’ts” in mind. That was the message from Shazeebo owner and founder Patrick Howe during his presentation “Shade Sails Dos and Don’ts—A Deep Dive,” presented at the IFAI Expo in Nashville. There are several considerations for those …

Awards

IAA Awards deadline approaching

July 22, 2021

The deadline to submit a project for the 2021 International Achievement Awards (IAA) is July 30. The IAA awards recognize the best projects across the specialty fabrics industry. The awards are an opportunity to showcase your technical skills and talents to the entire industry. Awards are given in seven major categories and 42 subcategories and …

Events

Messe Stuttgart’s Sun Shading Expo North America moves co-location debut with IFAI Expo to 2022

July 7, 2021

Messe Stuttgart announced that its new U.S.-based show Sun Shading Expo North America will not be held in 2021 as a separate trade show but will instead contribute its expertise in internal and external sun shading systems at IFAI Expo 2021 in the form of expert talks, open discussions and more. IFAI Expo 2021 will still take place …

Expo News

Grants available to North Carolina small businesses to exhibit at IFAI Expo 2021

June 8, 2021

Eligible North Carolina small businesses can take advantage of a program allowing for reimbursement of booth expenses related to exhibiting at IFAI Expo 2021, Nov. 2–4, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced another round of funding for the North Carolina State Trade Expansion …

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 …

Events

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 …

Features

Spreading the word

May 1, 2022

What’s the best way to market your small fabrication shop? It comes down to one simple concept, “word of mouth.” It doesn’t matter whether your shop is in Arizona, New Hampshire or New Zealand, the approach doesn’t change—reputation is the most significant factor in growing a successful business. “What works is some guy talking to …

Features

Diving In

May 1, 2022

If a college friend hadn’t had extra space in a harborside building he was renting in downtown Bellingham, Greg Keeler may have never started up Bellingham, Wash.-based marine canvas company Oyster Creek Canvas Co. After earning a degree in environmental policy and assessment, the lifelong boating enthusiast had spent several years in a related desk …

Features

2022 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2022

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 & Miscellaneous; and Hardware and Findings. You can see the 2022 Premier …

Features Members only content

Women fabricators discuss working in a male-dominated industry

March 1, 2022

Business hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Katie Bradford of Custom Marine Canvas in Noank, Conn. Back in 1990, five years after starting her business, she lost out on a substantial sail-building order because the customer believed she’d be giving up her business to focus on her new marriage.  In another instance, a male customer …

Features Members only content

Should you take your upholstery skills to the surging RV market?

March 1, 2022

Diversification is a familiar concept to business owners—and for good reason. Expanding into market segments outside the core has saved many businesses during economic ups and downs, as well as shifts in market demands. But entering crossover markets that are closely connected to the “bread and butter” of a business comes with its own set …

Features

2022 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2022

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 …

Features

2022 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2022

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 …

Features Members only content

Showroom showdown

January 1, 2022

Whether it’s online or brick and mortar, a well-conceived product showroom can make a substantial difference in how customers perceive your company and its offerings. Strategic improvements in both can help your clients better understand their choices and smooth your way toward easier, more profitable orders.  Location, location, location When Greg Keeler first rented downtown …

Features Members only content

Regaining control over job scheduling

January 1, 2022

Moving projects out the door when promised is key to keeping customers happy and sanity intact but getting a handle on job scheduling can be tough. Although setting production priorities and communicating these to customers has always been important, this need has become even more urgent as shops continue to deal with staffing and supply …

Awards

MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline next week

October 22, 2021

From design excellence to quality workmanship, the MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards showcase projects representing the breadth of the industry from tops and covers to interior and exterior upholstery. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 30, 2021. Winners will be announced at the 2022 MFA Conference at Wild Dunes Charleston’s Island Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C., …

Industry News

NMMA wraps up in-person American Boating Congress

May 24, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recently wrapped up a successful three-day advocacy event, the American Boating Congress (ABC), and welcomed more than 200 industry stakeholders to Washington, D.C. to drive the marine industry’s policy priorities forward. The event offered attendees the opportunity to hear from several boating champions on Capitol Hill, including Senators Todd …

Industry News

Industry joins to support grant application for marine job apprenticeships

May 19, 2022

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) rallied leadership from throughout the marine industry in its application for submission to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Apprenticeship Building America” grant program. Labeled “Building Out Apprenticed Trades (BOAT) Jobs,” MRAA’s application received written letters of support and recommendation from 26 marine industry organizations, including all of …

Industry News

Brunswick announces new BoatClass locations

May 18, 2022

Brunswick Corporation has announced new locations for BoatClass, an immersive on-water training program designed to teach boating safety and assist boaters in gaining confidence on the water. Launched in 2021 for new and seasoned boaters to receive world-class training and learn the necessary skills to make the most of their time on the water, BoatClass …

Industry News

SkillsTrader partners with SkillsUSA

May 12, 2022

SkillsTrader and SkillsUSA have announced a partnership that will support workforce development. The agreement brings together SkillsTrader’s digital platform and SkillsUSA’s community of 333,527 students and educators from 53 states. Through this partnership, SkillsTrader will provide financial support for SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference, specifically, the Advisor’s Call to Action Breakfast, the Business Partner …

Industry News

Free Energy Optimization Toolkit available for download

May 11, 2022

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a free Energy Optimization Toolkit that manufacturers can download to reduce energy costs, improve sustainability and increase resilience, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. As marine manufacturers continue acting in their commitment to increase sustainability efforts and lessen impact on the environment, industry stakeholders are encouraged …

Industry News

Number of first-time boat buyers continued to climb in 2021

May 4, 2022

More than 415,000 first-time boat buyers of new and pre-owned boats entered the market in 2021, on par with 2020 and at levels the industry hasn’t seen since 2007, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Info-Link, a market intelligence firm serving the recreational boating industry. First-time boat buyers accounted for 34 percent …

Industry News

Exhibitor registration opens for MRAA Dealer Week 2022

April 28, 2022

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) is returning to Texas Dec. 5-8, 2022, to host its annual education event and celebrate MRAA’s 50th anniversary at the Austin Convention Center. The event is now accepting exhibitor registrations. Dealer Week offers an opportunity for manufacturers, suppliers and service providers to connect with the top dealerships …

Events

NMMA offers webinar on 2022 ABC advocacy

April 26, 2022

The 2022 American Boating Congress (ABC) is returning in-person to Washington, D.C. from May 11-13, 2022. Ahead of the industry’s advocacy event, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m. ET, to provide registrants and potential attendees an overview of what to expect at this year’s …

Industry News

Biden Administration announces temporary E15 gas sales

April 22, 2022

The Biden Administration announced it will ease restrictions on year-round sales of high-ethanol gasoline in an effort to curtail rising gas prices across the country. Reported recently by the Wall Street Journal, the announcement will allow for gas with 15 percent ethanol (E15) to be sold between June 1 and September 15. Typically, E15 sales …

Awards

Nominations open for 2022 Women Making Waves program

April 21, 2022

Boating Industry magazine is now accepting nominations for its 2022 Women Making Waves industry recognition program that honors women in the recreational boating industry who have made—and continue to make—great contributions to its success, propel its growth and lead their organizations and peers into the future. The 2022 Women Making Waves will be featured in …

Products

LED illuminating fabric

March 17, 2022

Kanvaslight® by Guardtex is an illuminating fabric that can be used in applications like bimini tops, seating, awnings and sunshades. The UL-certified technology allows textile structures to be used as a broad lighting surface. The two-component system, a light injector and an illuminating fabric, is designed so that no electricity is flowing through the fabric. …

Products

Vegan indoor/outdoor fabric

March 1, 2022

Ultrafabrics® has launched Coast, a vegan indoor/outdoor performance fabric for hospitality, residential and marine markets. The fabric is water-resistant in environments where both chlorinated and salt water are a danger to furniture. It features enhanced UV resistance and colorfastness to sunlight and remains cool to the touch even on the hottest summer days. With a …

Products

Performance-enhanced marine fabric

March 1, 2022

Armada, a durable, cost-effective line of coated marine fabrics has been further performance enhanced with the addition of Forbid SRT®, a proprietary topcoat by Enduratex. Adding the topcoat increases the performance value and longevity of its upholstery applications, which include marine, outdoor and general seating. Available in 40-yard rolls, 54” width and is 100 percent …

Products

Easier bimini deployment hardware

March 1, 2022

Accon Marine’s 415-TB Bimini Release hardware makes biminis and sunshades easier to deploy and stow. Built from polished 316 stainless steel, the low-profile surface-mount base installs with two #10 screws; a cutout isn’t needed. Unlike some marine shade solutions that require screws, pins or sewing hardware onto the webbing, the bimini-side of the two-piece fitting …

Products

Expanded colors for marine, awning acrylics

March 1, 2022

Recasens USA has introduced an expanded selection of colors for its RECacril 60” fabric collection. Favored in the marine industry for its exceptional color resistance to high salinity conditions, the expanded collection is made from the same solution-dyed acrylic fibers as the traditional 47” width and is used extensively for both marine and awning applications. …

Products

Kooler vinyl seating

March 1, 2022

Morbern’s Koolfab™ is a new built-in technology that keeps vinyl from heating to searing temperatures—even on dark colors, including black. Using built-in IR reflective technology to prevent the vinyl from reaching sizzling temperatures in the hot sun, it allows the vinyl to reflect the sun’s rays away instead of absorbing them, so the surface stays …

Products

Long-lasting durable

January 1, 2022

Docril N 60-inch fabric is designed for the manufacturing of nautical awnings, canopies and pergolas that endure wet climates, splashing and heavy rainfalls. Its special finish prevents the growth of microorganisms as well as fabric deterioration, extending its useful life and retaining its appearance for years. The fabrics remain colorfast, with a durable outdoor performance. …

Products

Carbon fiber shade poles

January 1, 2022

Carbiepoles, also known as Carbies, are telescoping, adjustable carbon fiber shade poles complete with line and high-grade sailing block. Available in black, will fit all rod holders and are adjustable from 68 to 88 inches. Very light, strong, durable and easy to store. For boats/marine (sandbar shades/sunshades) or home/patio (awnings/shade). Simple care and maintenance: just …

Products

High-performance vegan leather

January 1, 2022

Sileather®, a cruise ship and marine-grade high-performance vegan leather coated with 100 percent silicone, has launched the Capri collection, which is designed and formulated specifically for challenging marine environments. Offering excellent UV resistance and performance, the new collection includes 30 colors and three styles. This durable, eco-friendly marine vinyl alternative can be used for both …

Products

Pink stain-resistant value-priced vinyl

January 1, 2022

Morbern’s Voyager and Sandpiper vinyls for marine upholstery deliver high performance at a value price point, less than $10 a yard. Both employ Splash construction, a pink stain-resistant vinyl formulation, the gold standard in the marine industry. With UV protection, cold crack resistance and four-way stretch, they are designed for boat interiors and exteriors. Available …

Exterior and Cover

Pattern darting

May 1, 2022

Pattern darting is a useful technique to have in any marine fabricator’s toolbox. This article will provide an example of this technique using a series of forward enclosure panels that tuck under the windshield to a line of fasteners.  Pattern darting speeds patterning on the boat using a single piece of Tyvek®, heavy craft paper …

Interiors & Upholstery

Ultimate cushion design

May 1, 2022

At Interiors by Dawn, the ultimate cushion design—which provides increased drainage and airflow, reduced mold and mildew growth and longevity—is always evolving. This is not for every customer or project; we tailor and customize our cushions to fit each individual project. However, we make sure to discuss these options with customers so they understand what’s …

Exterior and Cover

Tools to make things easier

March 1, 2022

The Boatswain’s Locker in Jacksonville, Fla., was founded in 1961 by my father, Charles W. Bransford, as a shop specializing in custom boat canvas and sails. At that time, there was a lot of handwork that required many hours to complete a job. Since then, many time-saving and more productive methods and tools have been …

Interiors & Upholstery

New marine fabric selection techniques

March 1, 2022

We marine fabricators love fabrics. In fact, most of the conversations I have with customers start like this, “We love fabric. We have fabrics in every color under the rainbow. But our fabrics are special because they are marine grade.” And let’s be honest, fabric is the fun part of our job, right? The big …

Exterior and Cover

Pontoon enclosure process honed to perfection

September 1, 2021

By Michael Charpentier Here at Paul’s Custom Canvas Inc., we have seen our fair share of pontoon boats over the years. Some of the first were a few pieces of wood bolted to two pontoons with basic seating and a rail to keep you from falling in the water. They had a 75-horsepower motor that …

Interiors & Upholstery

Products and techniques for custom cushions

September 1, 2021

By Terri Madden and Alayna Wool What do you do when a customer requests something that is outside your realm of experience? How do you elevate your skills in order to work on the type of projects you love? How do you learn about new product offerings and materials from suppliers? By reading columns like …

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 …