All Access Registration

Advanced Textiles Conference: 18 unique 50-minute sessions featuring tracks in e-textiles/wearable innovations, medical textile breakthroughs, and sustainability.

Also included in All Access Registration are all Expo Plus education (29 hours) and all campfires on the show floor (14+ hours).

All Access Registration includes all education listed below.



Expo Plus Registration

Expo Plus Registration includes classroom sessions touching on advanced textiles, specialty fabrics, shade/weather, marine fabricators topics (29 hours) and all campfires on the show floor (14+ hours).

Expo Plus Registration includes Expo Plus and campfires listed below but does not include the Advanced Textiles Conference.



Show Floor Only Registration

Check out the best of what the show floor has to offer: 300+ exhibitors across 4 pavilions, plus 14+ hours of campfire sessions!

Show Floor Only Registration does not include Advanced Textiles Conference or any classroom education.



More than 75 speakers will provide industry insight during IFAI Expo 2021. To view speakers and their bios, please click here.

Education Options

Monday, November 1


Michael Woody, CEO, Trans-Tex LLC
Christian Cowan, COO, University of Rhode Island Research Foundation & Exec. Director, 401 Tech Bridge
Mary Johnson, Manager, 401 Tech Bridge

This panel session will focus on how Rhode Island textile manufacturers collaborated with the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), government agencies, and the University of Rhode Island to create the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN).  RITIN’s goal is to close the skills gap faced by textile manufacturers, foster collaboration, and create business opportunities for its members.

RITIN was instrumental in the development of the 401 Tech Bridge, an advanced materials and technology center that also involves the US Navy and the Composites Alliance of Rhode Island.   401 Tech Bridge is now pursuing National Science Foundation funding for research into wearable healthcare devices, and building a collision space to foster research and development for the advanced manufacturing of textiles and composites.

1 - 1:50 pm Innovations in Wearables / E-Textiles Session 1 (Details coming soon!)

Dr. Jessica Gluck, Assistant Professor, Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State

Description Coming Soon!


Ben Mead, Managing Director, Hohenstein Institute America

Traditional dyeing and textile finishing is marked by impregnation of textiles with diluted dyestuffs or finishing chemicals and subsequent thermal fixation. This processing requires a lot of energy. The use of UV-curable dyeing liquors and finishing chemicals would significantly contribute to energy saving and new textile products. UV-curable inks for inkjet-printing and UV-curable finishing chemicals were developed.

It will be shown that these UV-curable inks and finishing chemicals provide excellent functionality, very soft hand and excellent fastness properties on different textile materials. In addition, UV-curing was also successfully applied in the curing of composite materials, which reduces energy consumption significantly and enables new products.


2 - 2:50 pm Innovations in Wearables / E-Textiles Session 2 (Details coming soon!)

Dr. Thomas Stegmaier, Head of Competence Center Texile Chemistry, Environment & Energy, DITF
Dr. Michael Doser, Head of Technology Center Biomedical Engineering, DITF

Smart textiles are creating a more active role for textiles in patient care with medical applications ranging from knitted textiles with adaptive compressions, to e-textiles with sensory and actuator properties.  This presentation provides an overview of the DITF contribution to research and development projects in this field. Current work includes the European ULIMPIA, a joint project focused on the integration of textile and foil-based sensors into a multilayer wound patch.  Key to work in the medical sector is the institute’s Biomedical Engineering technology centre, that is certified according to EN ISO 13485 for the development of medical devices.

Courtney O’Keefe, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Hologenix

Created in partnership with Kelheim Fibres, Celliant Viscose is an innovation that has been years in the making and offers a myriad of health and wellness benefits while meeting increasing consumer demand for more environmentally-friendly textiles.

Courtney O’Keefe, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Hologenix, inventors of Celliant, will share how Kelheim’s distinctive technology and Celliant’s functional additives create a unique fiber that provides full functionality without the need for any additional processing step – a new standard in the field of sustainable IR viscose fibers.

You’ll learn why brands have been anticipating a plant and mineral-based solution as an alternative to synthetic fibers, and how this viscose fiber capture and convert body heat into infrared, increasing local circulation and improving cellular oxygenation.


3:10 - 4 pm

Dr. George Sun, CEO and Founder, Nextiles, Inc.
John Peters, CBO, Nextiles, Inc.
Matt Evans, CFO, Nextiles, Inc.

Sewing is nearly a 2,000 year old technology, but has not seen the same pace of innovation as electronics and the broader technology industry. Chips have gotten smaller, but the form factor for wearables has stayed the same – wrapping, strapping or otherwise attaching electronics to our body has been sufficient, but left users with a limited experience. The future of textiles will be merged with electronics to create the most seamless form factor, resulting in a much better user experience for all.

An overview of actionable insights that attendees will gain:

  1. The future of electronics merged with textiles
  2. The power of sewing technology and why it’s ripe for innovation
  3. Why professional athletes are the perfect breeding ground for innovation in textiles
  4. Actionable data analytics that can be leveraged from smart fabric

Bud Weisbart, Vice President, A&R Tarpaulins, Inc.
Mark ComunaleM.D., Anesthesiologist,  Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Join this session to discover how the idea of PITU (Patient Isolation & Transportation Unit) came to be, its development and its purpose. Also, how PITU differs from other isolation units in the market.

We will be discussing what issues PITU addresses in relation to contagious diseases, medical facilities, medical staff and patients.

We will also touch upon PITUs value in the medical industry, especially for patients in hospitals and nursing homes who became infected with COVID-19, were isolated and denied visitation to prevent further spread.

In addition, photographs and videos will be shown to demonstrate the use of PITU in a hospital setting.

Sustainability Across the International Supply Chain (Details Coming Soon!)
4:10 - 5 pm

Clare King, President, Propel LLC

Session Description Coming Soon!

Alejandro Maupomé, Project Leader, CTT Group
Vincent Deregnaucourt, Project Leader, CTT Group
Justine Decaens, R&D Manager, CTT Group

Since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, face masks have become essential for everyone: medical teams, frontline workers, and the rest of the population. The shortage of medical grade masks has led to a diversity of solutions ranging from cloth masks to industrial cartridge masks. These masks are used in a plurality of environment, some high-risks such as hospitals, nursing homes and some with lower exposure risk such as grocery stores, offices or public transportation for instance. Therefore, the level of protection required can vary greatly.

Consequently, several standardised tests methods exist to evaluate the performance of face masks. The test protocols and the criteria of performance differs according to the type of masks. The slight variation of each protocols complexifies the understanding of the protection levels.

This presentation will focus on comparing test methods for measuring the PFE (Particle Filtration Efficiency) of masks and respirators.

Contrary to other performance parameters for masks and respirators, such as flammability or resistance to blood penetration for instance, PFE is the most universally tested parameter for all types of masks and respirators. PFE has thus become the single most important parameter to measure and report to assess the degree of protection offered by masks and respirators, for both medical and non-medical applications, just as breathability is the most important parameter to evaluate the degree of comfort of respiratory protection devices.

This presentation will compare PFE methods such as ASTM F2299, ASTM F3502, NIOSH 42 CFR 84, BNQ 1922-900, in order to help understanding the principles and pass/fail criteria behind each of these tests.


Michael Savarie, Sustainability Manager, Piana Nonwovens LLC
Daniela Leal, Sustainability Manager, Piana Nonwovens LLC

As the world pivots towards a circular economy, customers, designers, and manufacturers are reexamining the impacts of traditional materials throughout their lifecycles and supply chains. This shift towards circularity has driven innovation into the nonwovens industry and has opened up endless opportunities for material (re)utilization in new and existing markets.

Tuesday, November 2

10 - 10:50 am The Buy America Act in 2021: The US Supply Chain in the Wake of COVID-19
11 - 11:50am

Join us for an exciting panel of three unique IFAI member companies who will share their stories of navigating the pandemic and pivoting to the production of PPE.  This panel will address:

  • The decision making process: what prompted company leaders to make, in some cases, drastic changes to their businesses?
  • Physical changes necessary to retrofit equipment, production lines / processes, retrain employees, and more
  • Challenges in procurement of raw materials, and how the supply chain affected pivoting to PPE
  • Any challenges related to understanding testing / standards in PPE
  • The short and long term impacts on business models

Wednesday, November 3

9 - 9:50am Industry 4.0: Robotics in the Manufacturing of Textiles Part 1 (Details coming soon!)
10 - 10:50am Industry 4.0: Robotics in the Manufacturing of Textiles Part 2 (Details coming soon!)
11 - 11:50am

Ryan Gundling, CEO and Lead Engineer, Ryzing Technologies LLC

Compressed air has been used alongside industrial processes for well over a century. Used for many operations on the fabrication floor, air is the unsung hero of automation. As manufacturing continues to evolve many robotic structures now utilize air to their advantage and some use air to create their structure and to complete tasks. Inflatable robotic systems are being developed as an alternate approach to rigid robotics with great success for the right applications.

Attendees will leave with the knowledge to be able to:

  1. Explain soft, dynamic robotic systems
  2. Identify problem areas where inflatables may provide benefit
  3. Evaluate soft systems for technical capabilities
  4. Compare soft robotic systems
  5. Think critically about applications for dynamic inflatables

*IFAI Disclaimer: Although every reasonable effort is made to provide the speakers, topics, and sessions listed, some changes or substitutions may occur. Speakers and sessions are subject to cancellation or change up to and including the day the session(s) are scheduled to be held. Changes or cancellations are made at the discretion of IFAI and may be done without notifying attendees. If sessions are changed or cancelled no refunds should be expected. Agreement to attend IFAI Expo acknowledges acceptance of this provision.

Tuesday, November 2

10 - 10:50 am The Buy America Act in 2021: The US Supply Chain in the Wake of COVID-19(Advanced Textiles)

Timothy Akes, Representative for the Americas, MPanel Software Solutions LLC
Alan Stewart, Vice President, MPanel Software Solutions LLC

Understanding the forces involved and how they determine post and footer sizing. We will demonstrate how using modern and easy to use software, users can apply loads (simulating wind, rain & snow) to a shade structure to determine:

1. Sail Displacement (movement) to ensure adequate clearances around the structure

2. Post and connection point reactions to help engineer correct pole and footer sizing & locations

3. Cable tensions to help with selection of correct cable and fitting sizes

4. Fabric stresses to help with selection of the correct fabric strength and material

5. Gradient plots show if the fabric will pond with water/snow and help prevent it from happening


Dennis Rushing, Industrial Shadeports

Description Forthcoming!

11 - 11:50 AM

Join us for an exciting panel of three unique IFAI member companies who will share their stories of navigating the pandemic and pivoting to the production of PPE.  This panel will address:

  • The decision making process: what prompted company leaders to make, in some cases, drastic changes to their businesses?
  • Physical changes necessary to retrofit equipment, production lines / processes, retrain employees, and more
  • Challenges in procurement of raw materials, and how the supply chain affected pivoting to PPE
  • Any challenges related to understanding testing / standards in PPE
  • The short and long term impacts on business models

Patrick Howe, Owner and Founder of Shazeebo
Gregg Burrows, Sales Manager, Shazeebo
Robin DuBroy, Selling and Project Manager, Shazeebo

From the design phase to the final walkthrough we will cover the top ten do’s and don’ts regarding shade sails, and then dive a little deeper. This session will go beyond the basics to help you quickly identify and avoid pitfalls and traps that can delay a job or damage a sail. In addition, we’ll cover common maintenance and troubleshooting issues and how to solve them. Be sure to stick around until the end, we’ll have a hands-on component!

Dr. Kihong Ku, Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Marco Cimillo, Associate Professor, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

This session presents the design and development of an experimental double-skin envelope of a house for the Solar Decathlon China 2021 Competition. The 1,600 square feet building is in its final design stages and construction will be completed by September 2021 in the extremely cold climate of Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, China. The double-skin façade is composed of an engineered bamboo structural wall system that incorporates straw-clay insulation, and features green walls on the east, west and north, and a green roof on the north side of the house, enclosed by an outer membrane of ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) based membrane. The south double-skin facade encloses a solarium space taking advantage of passive solar gain, and a semi-transparent perovskite photovoltaics layer. The double-skin system provides a buffer space for fresh air circulation from the north to the south space providing for dynamic insulation. In the winter, this air is passively preheated within this buffer space before entering the building air handling unit. During the warmer summer, this buffer space is naturally ventilated for cooling.

This session will address the following questions:
(1) how can dynamic energy simulation based on computational fluid dynamics evaluate the overall performance of the system, to account for the characteristics of the different layers of the envelope, airflow rate, seasonal changes, internal set-point temperatures, and the effect of plants of the green wall and green roof within this double-skin space?
(2) how are energy performance, daylighting, and energy production optimized as a system?
(3) how is this information integrated into design development and construction documentation?

The session offers new insights into an integrated design process of an innovative double-skin façade system. It illustrates the complexity of this collaborative process of an international team of three universities involving faculty and students and various industry partnerships.

2 - 2:50 pm

Torey Heinz, Founder, Shopflow

Discover how using a digital job board to organize and display your work can help you streamline your shop and escape the chaos!

Proper scheduling allows you to focus your limited resources on the right thing at the right time to maximize throughput.

Charlene Clark, Signature Canvas Makers

Scaling your business is about capacity & capability.  It means setting the stage to enable & support growth in your business without negatively impacting it.

3 - 3:50 pm

James Auerbach, Vice President – Event Segment, American Rental Association

How did your sales team compare to the competition prior to the Covid-19 pandemic? How will it compare after when competition is at an all time high to capture new sales? Take a deep dive into the 4 imperative activities that elevate successful salespeople above the rest. Identify where your team is excelling … or struggling.  This interactive seminar will focus on real world examples from the Event Rental industry to illustrate the 4 crucial sales activities your team must excel at. Attendees will be encouraged to participate and provide examples during the presentation.

Seminar will focus on 4 main pillars that salespeople must excel at to outsell their competition:

1) Research: Methodical. High, Wide & Deep. Every day, every prospect, every customer, every interaction.

2) Scheduling: Easily the most challenging for salespeople at all skill levels. Top performing salespeople understand how important it is to maximize their valuable time through efficient and well-planned scheduling.

3) Presentation: Are your salespeople presenting with a plan, purpose, and effective pitch?  Do they regularly fail to ask for the most basic information like budget or additional add on options?

4) Follow Up:  The most neglected step that sets the great salespeople apart from the average performers. Why this action is so important will be a key discussion topic throughout the seminar.


Ron Houle, Pivot Step Consultants

Many companies in the textile industry have an interest in the Defense Budget, as they support products with the US Military as the end user. It is important to have the right perspective on trends, specifics regarding funded programs, and thought on future directions for the nation’s defense.

After this session, you will:

  • Have a better understanding of the DoD Budget for fiscal year 2022.
  • Know the trends in the execution of our nation’s defense strategy.
  • Have a better understanding of the budget for the US Army.
  • Be familiar with some specific programs of interest.
  • Know where to look for additional budget information.


Wednesday, November 3

9 - 9:50 AM Industry 4.0: Robotics in the Manufacturing of Textiles Part 1 (Details Coming Soon!) (Advanced Textiles)

Ben Mead, Managing Director, Hohenstein

The benefits to digital tools are proven: cost efficiency, sustainability, lower development time, easier approvals. With these new technologies come challenges, such as digitizing material parameters and adapting workflows for various software requirements. Digital or analog – designers must have fundamental fit and pattern knowledge to develop fit across a target group, based on their body shapes and likely movements. We’ll cover the fundamentals for successful translation of 3D designs into well-fitting products and realistic digital communications.

Donald Vavala, President, Vavala & Associates, Inc.
Nora McCafferty, Owner, Business Consultant, Maples & Associates LLC

Participants will learn tools & best practices to navigate the Department of Defenses’ Clothing & Textile selection and procurement process.  A complex process that can be very daunting at times.  This seminar will provide clarity to the process and a path to help guide you and your colleagues.

 Main Topics:

1) A complex Value Chain: Understanding the buying influences and review of the selection process

2) Buy American Story: History / Berry Amendment and Current effort to secure US supply chains for all products

3) Finding Business Opportunities: Where to find

4) Case Studies: A review of program examples that demonstrate how the process can work

5) Resourcing for Success: Keys to building your DoD C&T business and a dedicated resource

Marine Fabricators Session 1 (Details Coming Soon)
10 - 10:50 am Industry 4.0: Robotics in the Manufacturing of Textiles Part 2 (Details Coming Soon!) (Advanced Textiles)

Frank Henderson, CEO, Henderson Sewing Machine Co., Inc.

Industrial manufacturing of Textile Sewn Products has over the last two decades become a truly globalized operation enabled by dramatic changes in the global political and economic context in which this industry operates.

The changes in the global and economic contexts have been truly transformational.  The same cannot be said across the board for the sewn products manufacturing technology.  Textile production, technologies for core processes such as spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing have indeed seen significant developments enabling massive productivity gains over the last decades.  The same, however, does not hold true for Sewn Products manufacturers where the technological centerpiece of production – the sewing machine – has not witnessed any revolutionary changes since its invention in the mid 19th century. Why? And How Do we Change that?

There is a tremendous amount of speculation around what a post-pandemic world will look like—what will change and what will go back to normal. What is, at this point, beyond speculation is that the post-pandemic supply chain and manufacturing ecosystem will be vastly different. Let’s explore How?

Dr. Andre West, Director of Zeis Textiles Extension at Wilson College of Textiles
Zoe Newman, PhD Candidate, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State

Recently, with the interest in renewable resources, alternative plant fiber using non-traditional plants is being studied with the aim to isolate fibers from plant leaves or stems. More economic methods need to be found because the traditional techniques passed down through generations are labor-intensive, very time-consuming, and sometimes weather-dependent. As consumers look for alternative ways to incorporate sustainability in their lives, manufacturers and entrepreneurs are looking for ways to take our natural fibers into the 21st century and the mainstream of fashion; these are examples of what is happening around the world.

Whitney Carman, Owner, Even Keel Canvas

What is a fabricators purpose? Primarily function, followed by hopeful longevity. Not only does a skilled tradesman conceptualize a solution, but also one they hope that it will last. In order to fabricate well, we must endure through trial and error, and be willing to start over, we accept every project with steadfast guarantee that we will do what it takes to complete. Take notes on your mistakes, or take time to educate. How do you value yourself? What is two years experience worth? Is it worth more if you trained under a Master Craftsman? Perseverance is an essential skill, and if you want to succeed, know that there is more than one way, but it is crucial to protect your passion, your time and your priorities as well.

The first three essential skills of a successful tradesperson, whether he grows into a factory, or stays small in his garage:

1. Style and continuing education: attend webinars, seminars, collaborate, or make your own mistakes and learn from them.

2. Candor & Honesty: to show unwavering respect for everyone: clients and competition. Be the type of person even an enemy would respect, and the type of fabricator that can tell a client “no” and still have them refer and return, hoping one day they could work with you.

3. Value yourself appropriately, put a price on research & development if a client is unsure of what they want, charge what you are worth, not necessarily just the going rate, but never less.


11 - 11:50 am

Ryan Gundling, CEO and Lead Engineer, Ryzing Technologies LLC

Compressed air has been used alongside industrial processes for well over a century. Used for many operations on the fabrication floor, air is the unsung hero of automation. As manufacturing continues to evolve many robotic structures now utilize air to their advantage and some use air to create their structure and to complete tasks. Inflatable robotic systems are being developed as an alternate approach to rigid robotics with great success for the right applications.

Attendees will leave with the knowledge to be able to:

  1. Explain soft, dynamic robotic systems
  2. Identify problem areas where inflatables may provide benefit
  3. Evaluate soft systems for technical capabilities
  4. Compare soft robotic systems
  5. Think critically about applications for dynamic inflatables

Sara Beatty, President, Whitehaven Trade Advisors

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force July 1, 2020 and contains updated textile provisions. Come learn about how USMCA differs from NAFTA and hear how its implementation is progressing, including a review of the latest trade flows under the agreement.

Andrea Ferris, CEO, Intrinsic Advanced Materials
Jeff Mills, National Product Manager, Beaver Paper and Graphic Media Group, Inc.

Andrea is CEO of Intrinsic Advanced Materials and co-inventor of CiCLO bio-accelerant additive, a technology that enables synthetic fibers to biodegrade like natural fibers when they end up as pollutants in the environment. Her presentation aims to demystify the complex topic of biodegradable synthetics, including defining biodegradable, explaining how to test and measure biodegradability in various environments, and why biodegradation is a sustainable solution to combat fugitive plastic textile pollution.

Jeff will discuss what drew Beaver Paper to biodegradable synthetics, specific applications they’ve developed, and why they feel biodegradation is the most sustainable solution for synthetic industrial textiles.



Marine Fabricators Session 3 (Details Coming Soon)
2 - 2:50 pm

Jeff Sponseller, Executive Vice President, Miller Weldmaster
Brent Nussbaum, President, Miller Weldmaster

This presentation will focus on the experiences of a 100 employee family owned business at the start and through the pandemic.  The presentation will highlight a lot of things we got right and a lot things we got wrong.   This presentation will cover all aspects of our business.  How can you service a customer in another country?  Do I need to be in the building to do my job? Is anyone going to buy during the pandemic?   How can we get production done if our staff keeps intermittently missing days?

Chris Semonelli, President, Coated Technical Solutions

Whether it be IFAI committee involvement, local education improvement for high school students, improvements in the special needs system in your state, running for local town public service positions or participating in organized  programs such as the rotary or any other public advocacy, these involvements provide much more well roundedness and when combined with and in addition to the day to day grind of the work day and ultimately provide fuller life satisfaction and better success and on the job performance.


3 - 3:50 pm

Barbara Griffith, President, SCL Equipment Finance

Owning a business can be challenging.  From managing the business expenses to making sure you are operating to your company’s fullest potential.  With all the new opportunities in our market place having capital, and the right equipment is essential. Barbara will walk you through the different types of capital that a company can acquire and where to go to get the funding.

We will cover: working with your bank partner, working with an equipment finance company, SBA loans, A/R Financing, and working capital.

We will discuss capital for your equipment and the ROI for your new equipment purchase

Purchasing new manufacturing equipment can be a huge capital expense and a tough decision to make, but there are ways to plan and ensure it’s a good financial decision.  If it is a worthwhile purchase it will have a high Return on Investment (ROI) rate. ROI is a useful performance metric for evaluating overall savings or revenue increases due to a specific piece of equipment after all other costs have been accounted for.


Kingshuk Mukherjee, Founder & Director, Global Impex USA
Bob Gazich, Co-Director of Global Impex

This presentation will be answering the question: “How do you maximize the success of marketing towards influencers for your company?” Some of the steps that we will be covering are Process Formulation, Developing brand concept, Creating custom designs, Bringing ideas to life, Promoting and selling, Your company values, as well as a brief overview on influencer marketing growth statistics over the years.

Tuesday, November 2

10:30 - 10:55 am

Ron Ellis, Director of Product Management Automated Solutions, Gerber Technology

In the world of manufacturing products using industrial fabrics, having the right tools to effectively manage your product design and production is key to achieving healthy profitability.  Learn how a fully integrated, end-to-end solution can help you optimize processes throughout your entire value stream.

11 - 11:25 am

Brett Baird, Southern Regional Sales Manager, Trivantage

The demand for shade products has never been greater as increased sensitivity to the harm that UV can cause both to individual health and property is top of mind. This demand has created a variety of material options available to the A and D community and the consumer. The focus of this discussion will be on the fabric options of shade and the various benefits that fabric can provide versus other alternative materials. Color options, flexibility of design, overall cost, limitless branding options, energy savings and other advantages of fabric shade will all be addressed in this presentation.

11:30 - 11:55 am

Bill Sismour, Industrial Capabilities Program Team Lead, Defense Logistics Agency

Do you have supply chain constraints that impact your ability to get DLA-contracted supplies out the door? Do you have an idea how to increase efficiency, but not the resources? Maybe DLA’s Clothing & Textile Industrial Capabilities Program team can help remedy the issue. Discover what programs and tools we have available to assist our industrial base partners. Attendees will learn:

1. What is the purpose of the industrial capabilities program and how does it fit within an acquisition agency:

2. How does the program support industrial base vendors and suppliers;

3. Where in DLA do industrial capabilities programs reside;

4. What is the Warstopper Program;

5. How does the industrial capabilities program and the Warstopper Programs differ.

12 - 12:25 pm

Shaghayegh Arangdad, Research Assistant Professor, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University
Daniela Laura Rondinone, Graduate Researcher, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, severe shortages of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items have been experienced in hospitals and other healthcare providers throughout the US. Rapid increase in demand and the limited local production capacity of PPE had a significant impact on the supply chain network resulting in supply shortages and disruptions in distribution.

As a response to this critical situation, the textile and apparel sector responded rapidly. Companies started to produce masks, gowns, and nonwoven fabrics needed for N95 masks. Organizations provided technical support and important channels of communication to connect the supplies with demand. And academia provided innovative solutions by developing new PPE items and scaling up the production of key PPE components such as 3D printed parts and nonwoven filter materials.

This presentation intends to explain the circumstances that led to massive PPE shortages across the US; illustrate the main collaborative efforts from the industry, organizations, and academia; and reflect on the main strategies that could be implemented to prevent future PPE shortages during public health emergencies.

1 - 1:25 pm

Reinhold Schneider, Head of Team Color and Functional Printing, German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research

The printing quality in inkjet printing strongly depends on surface properties of textiles, ink properties as well as on the chemical pre-treatment of the textile. Numerous parameters such as porosity of the substrate, ink absorption, surface tension and wetting behavior as well as ink viscosity and affinity of the dyestuff strongly interact in terms of printing quality. In this presentation, the main influencing parameters on printing quality will be presented.  It will be shown, which kinds of pre-treatments help overcoming problems and how to select pre-treatment chemicals in order to obtain optimum printing results.

Bryndon Roe, CEO, Shade Sails Canada

Shade Sails Canada Know How

– Better understanding of material choices, which shade cloth to use, which not

– Posts and footings, what to use and how to do it

– Learn from the experts – we have made the mistakes

Learn how to build the quality structures that will help you grow your business.


1:30 - 1:55 pm

Brian LaPlante, Manager of Sustainability, YKK Global Marketing Group

As many brands and manufacturers work to reduce the environmental impact of their products to meet sustainability commitments, they often focus on their core materials and neglect trim components. This narrow focus ignores the contributions that sustainable trims can provide.

The range and variety of low impact fastening solutions continues to expand to help address the demands for higher product sustainability. This presentation covers these solutions and their contributions to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, and the energy and water usage in the production of brand’s products. Also covered will be the importance of new circular business models and the need to design for them.


2:30 - 2:55 pm

Amy Poole, Director, Dealer Network, Awnex, Inc.

You do not want to miss out on this Camp Fire session. You will absolutely love our presentation on aluminum architectural metal canopies. This will be a fun session as we provide you with all the benefits and advantages of using a pre-engineered, prefabricated extruded aluminum system.

Fabric awnings are beautiful and come in many styles and colors. An aluminum canopy will compliment a project and provide alternative solutions for shade protection. Many shopping centers today incorporate both fabric and aluminum canopies together adding architectural appeal while effectively managing heat and glare. A cost effective aluminum canopy is low maintenance and can withstand environmental elements.

We will review the ever-popular Sunshades, Aluminum Entry Canopies, beautifully designed walkway covers, and Patio covers which have become so popular today for social distancing.

By providing installation instructions, you will see that the process is like hanging a fabric awning. Our hanger rod canopies use a bolt-on “Z” bracket and can support projections up to 72″.

We will shop talk about selling features, designs, fabrication, and shipping.

3 - 3:25 pm

Kiarash Arangdad, Senior Principal Scientist-Innovation, Elevate Textiles/Burlington Fabrics

Protective clothing made of fluorinated water repellent fabrics has been studied as a potential human exposure source to poly/perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Therefore, it is advantageous to avoid fluorchemicals as topical finishes on protective uniforms including turnout gears. On the other hand, there are evidence that the virus could survive on different surfaces and various environmental conditions from 24 hours up to a few days. Thus, it is critical to explore effective measures such as protective uniforms, which can minimize contagion among healthcare professional and emergency responders.

In this study, multifunctional fabric is developed having a fabric material treated with an antiviral in combination with non-fluorinated durable water resistant chemistries. The combined properties not only hindered penetration of respiratory water droplets carrying the virus but also provides antiviral features.

3:30 - 3:55 pm

Frank Keohan, Senior Technology Manager, Bolger & O’Hearn, Inc.

The 2020 COVID 19 pandemic has dramatically altered the domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) market and associated industries.  Global demand for masks, medical gowns and other protective items has provided domestic textile manufacturers with new opportunities in the PPE field.  A 2021 federal government mandate for sourcing domestically produced PPE will also drive demand.

Bolger & O’Hearn, Inc., a manufacturer of textile chemicals was ready to lend its expertise to mill partners seeking to enter and expand in the PPE product supply chain.  Applying its experience in high-performance water repellent finishes for branded outerwear, barrier coating technology for rain protection and textile adhesives, Bolger & O’Hearn engaged with customers who had likewise pivoted their manufacturing focus to the production of PPE products.  The resulting collaboration produced several successful entries in the PPE supply chain.  These collaboration efforts as well as the overall PPE textile industry structure will be described in the session.

Attendees will learn the basics behind the different textiles and adhesives used in PPE fabrication, how masks and gowns are qualification tested, and how repellent finishes can be used to meet stringent medical-grade specifications.

Timothy Kellogg, Capital City Awning and PAMA Division Chairman

Did you know that IFAI’s Professional Awning Manufacturers Association introduced a web-based app that calculates the energy savings of awnings? The Energy Savings Calculator was designed to allow its users to input awning specifications to get the total dollars in energy savings from awning products. If you’re not familiar with the app, or just haven’t had a chance to try it, you’ll want to attend this campfire! We’ll present a technical explanation so you’ll understand the science behind it. Plus, you’ll learn how to navigate the software and how and why to use the app as a sales tool.

4 - 4:25 pm

Joe Koury, Manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International

Description Coming Soon!

Wednesday, November 3

10:30 - 10:55 am

Sandy Smith, Communications Consultant, International Sign Association
John Ingraham, Sr., Marketing Specialist, Canon Solutions America
Jodi Haugen, National DG Media & Application Specialist, Canon Solutions America
Jeff Sponseller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Miller Weldmaster
The use of fabric’s beautiful, bold textures and colors in signage is hotter than ever. But, what is its true potential? Come find out when the International Sign Association sits down with trendsetters in fabrics and signage to discuss why the market is so hot and predictions for what’s next.

11 - 11:25 am

Gregg Burrows, Sales Manager, Shazeebo
Robin DuBroy, Selling and Project Manager, Shazeebo
Patrick Howe, Owner/Founder, Shazeebo

There are a lot of great fabric options available to you, how do you choose the right fabric for the job? In this presentation, you’ll learn what makes shade sail fabric different from other types of fabric and how to identify the best fabric to use for each job you encounter.

11:30 - 11:55 am Campfire Session by Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) (Details Coming Soon!) (Advanced Textiles)
1 - 1:25 pm

Mar Ricketts, Principal and Founder, GuildWorks

We all see the impact modern society and business have in our lives and on the planet. What are we leaving behind for future generations? As business owners, we want to do what’s best, yet the day-to-day running of a business can be challenging.

  • How do we make a difference that is measurable, actionable, and sustainable?
  • What is Integrated Sustainability?
  • How to create a company ecosystem that supports sustainability efforts.
  • How to move your business towards being more sustainable.
  • Models to follow towards sustainability.
  • Small Steps add up and can make a big difference.
1:30 - 1:55 pm

Harry Centa, Senior Program Manager, PartnerShip

Saving money on shipping expenses for your business is more important than ever in this challenging economy.  You have options and decisions to make when it comes to shipping to receive the best value and savings.

PartnerShip, an IFAI endorsed member benefit provider that manages the IFAI Shipping Program, will be providing a free webinar that will demonstrate 5 key strategies to help businesses reduce shipping expenses. Here’s your chance to learn about your shipping options, and what can be done to lower your overall shipping expenses.


2 - 2:25 pm

Eric Petersen, Director of Sales & Marketing, Enduratex

Presented on behalf of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association

Antimicrobials are protective agents registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that may be added to everyday products, including durable coated fabrics, to (1) inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as mold and mildew that can stain surfaces, lead to their deterioration and cause odors, and (2) the growth of bacteria that could spread disease.

2:30 - 2:55 pm

Andrew Nasarczyk, Senior Manager, R+D, GALE Pacific

Attend this session to gain understanding of the complexities associated with the use of flame retardant shade cloth.  Learn about the market trends and regulations driving the demand for these fabrics and the various standards and certifications that can affect your projects.

3 - 3:25 pm

Ryan Gundling, CEO and Lead Engineer, Ryzing Technologies LLC
Patrick Sattler, Director of Engineering Services & Business Development, NDN Software

Modern technology has enabled engineers to analyze structures throughout the design phase. This analysis provides a baseline understanding of how a structure may perform in the real world. A critical process to developing workable products, effective analysis is an essential part of any resource-sensitive project.

Attendees will leave with the knowledge to be able to:

  1. Understand available tools for modeling textiles
  2. Evaluate models to improve their function
  3. Run simple analysis
  4. Assess models and analysis for improvement
  5. Understand when to use modeling versus physical testing


3:30 - 3:55 pm Campfire Session by National Council of Textile Organizations (Details Coming Soon!) (Advanced Textiles)

Thursday, November 4

11 - 11:25 am Campfire Session by NASA (Details Coming Soon!) (Advanced Textiles)
12:30 - 1 pm

Reinhold Schneider, Head of Team Colour and Functional Printing, DITF

Composites are not only lightweight but also highly resilient. Therefore, they are well established in engineering applications where components must withstand strong forces, e.g. in wind turbines, aircrafts and automotive.

So far, the monitoring of mechanical deformation and damage of composite materials is performed by established analytical methods: Strain gauges, optical or piezoelectric sensors are the most common techniques. But they all have in common that they measure deformations only unidirectional. Moreover, large areas outside of the measuring cell remain unconsidered.

A large-area sensitive sensor will be presented, which is simply generated by printing on the reinforcing textile. This sensor enables to determine mechanical deformations and damages of the entire component and it responds with a measurable electrical resistance to external tension or pressure. The influence of mechanical stress parameters (such as degree of deformation and bending speed) on the shape of the sensor signal will be outlined. It will be shown that even smallest deformations can be detected.