New England Morning

25.10.2013 § Leave a comment

I flew in to New York City by noon on Tuesday for ACT’s annual conference, which lasted til five, then went to a business dinner, and got up early the second morning for more ACT meetings til three when I immediately caught a train to Providence, RI. It was a hectic two days.

The second morning when I got up, it was already dawn, and as I looked out the window, the water and fall scenery drew me in and brought instant serenity to my mind. Seeing the quiet bay and horizontal road dotted with red foliage and a tall chimney, I said to myself, “Ah, this is New England.” A native New Englander might not have recognized why this was so New England, but as an outsider, I could pick up on the subtle, yet distinct differences that made this scenery unique.

New England Fall New England FallNew England Fall

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Sustainability Consciousness

18.10.2013 § Leave a comment

Sustainability awareness has prevailed for the last decade. Although actual results are hard to see and many people are still indifferent to the movement, people in general are behaving more carefully and improvements are being made. Agriculture’s IPM systems are one example of the shift.

In our textile industry’s new eco standard, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric (NSF/ANSI 336), natural fibers grown using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems can earn extra points. « Read the rest of this entry »

Is Fashion Art?

17.01.2013 § Leave a comment

In October 2011, at the ACT New York conference, I heard Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, present the subject “Is Fashion Art?” The presentation was very interesting and has gotten me thinking more on this subject every since. I think if anyone should be called an artist in the fashion field, Alexander McQueen would qualify. His work is definitely a statement of his self and his view.

I made these sketches on the same trip, I believe. I visited the Museum at the Fashion Institute, and they happened to have an exhibition with quite a sample of McQueen’s work. Suppose I make a fabric with all that hardware (buckles) dangling? What kind of response would it receive?

sketch of McQueen's work at FIT

NFPA 701: Description of Test Methods

20.03.2012 § 2 Comments

(No. 2 of 3) The flammability test we use for all of our drapery fabrics is the ACT performance guideline: NFPA 701. The standard actually includes two tests, one for draperies that weigh less than 21 oz./sq. yd (Test Method #1, the replacement for the original small scale test) and a second for draperies that weigh more than 21 oz./sq. yd or have some kind of backing (Test Method #2, the replacement for the original large scale test). « Read the rest of this entry »

NFPA 701: What is the Small Scale Test?

13.03.2012 § Leave a comment

(No. 1 of 3) When referring to drapery fire tests, we often hear people talk about the “vertical fire test” or “small scale”. The actual test code is NFPA 701. (NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Agency.) Since the test is done vertically, compared with, say, ASTM E-84 which is done with the fabric lying horizontally, NFPA 701 is nicknamed the vertical test.

The latest NFPA 701 version was updated in 2010, although its two test methods have hardly changed since 1996. We use NFPA 701 Test Method #1 for lightweight, single layer draperies. In this test, a hanging fabric is exposed to a 4” flame for 45 seconds; whether it passes depend on how much weight the fabric loses when it burns and whether any pieces that break off continue to burn. This second criterion is sometimes called drip burn. « Read the rest of this entry »

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