Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 25

robotic cutting machine and several
medium and heavy industrial machines.
"Fortunately, our machines were all
designed for decades of functionality with
routine maintenance, and we're really
happy with the longevity and functionality
of the equipment," Rhody says. "We
upgrade technology as necessary and would
like the equipment used on this side of the
business to be more reliable and durable."
That said, Rhody notes that there's
been a steady push for new and innovative
technology in the tech field; improvements
include memory, computing speed,
access, miniaturization and specific
forms of robustness or durability, like
waterproofing technology and less brittle,
friable glass for touch screens.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
COVID-19 has illuminated the importance
of manufacturers, especially custom sewing
manufacturers. "Perhaps people may begin
to put more value into trade skills, such
as sewing, and be more open to working
in manufacturing settings," Faris says.
"I also believe the need and desire for
U.S.-made products is going to drastically
increase, and quickly. Corporations will
start sourcing from U.S. manufacturers for
quality and efficiency, rather than going
overseas for a better price."
Auer predicts increased automation in
sewing processes. "But the dexterity of a
human hand combined with our eyesight
still beats a robot today," Auer says. "The
sewing robots of tomorrow will need the
flexibility to take on a variety of tasks
before they can make a significant impact
on our industry. There are thousands of
people across the globe who sit down at
a sewing machine every day, and it's not
likely to change very soon."
Maura Keller is a freelance writer based
in Plymouth, Minn.

WANT MORE? WE HAVE IT!

Search "custom manufacturing" at
www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com

AIRTEX REACTS TO MARKET CHANGES

T

he Airtex Group, Minneapolis, Minn., is a custom textile manufacturer
that designs and manufactures products ranging from high-end linen
draperies, pillows, throws, soft-sided furniture and bags, including backpacks
and computer sleeves under its own brand, Acme Made.
Historically, Airtex generates about 50 percent of its revenue from its
Minneapolis factory, and the rest is produced by partners primarily in Cambodia,
Vietnam, India and Taiwan.
The markets that Airtex serves were changing even prior to the global
pandemic. According to Michael Noer, president of Airtex, prior to the pandemic,
the trends they were seeing included personalized products, consumers'
higher awareness and appreciation for recycled and upcycled products and
the willingness to pay for U.S.-made products.
"Now, we expect those trends to strengthen, especially the desire to
understand where the products come from, and based on feedback from our
customers, a preference for U.S.-made goods," Noer says.
The company boasts three key markets
including private label retail, business to business
(B2B) customers and the Acme Made brand.
The private label retail business includes soft
furniture, window, bags, pillows and throws.
The B2B business includes industries such as
medical, automotive, aeronautics, outdoor gear,
manufacturing and now, not surprisingly, personal
protective equipment (PPE).
To help meet the need for face
The biggest challenges Airtex faces now include
masks during the COVID-19
addressing the massive demand for PPE gear,
pandemic, Acme Made is
manufacturing seamed face
prioritizing goals and sticking to the company's
masks made from upcycled
core values by balancing doing good with continscrap fabric at its Minneapolis,
ued growth.
Minn., factory. Photo: The
"I believe that the renewed interest in U.S.
Airtex Group.
manufacturing will provide a platform for growth,"
Noer says. "Whether specific to PPE gear, fast-to-market customized products,
understanding the source of raw materials-and therefore sustainability-or
just that, philosophically, people are asking more about what can be done in
the U.S. specific to the textile industry, that could lead to consolidation in the
industry to address higher demand and the need to be more efficient."
TOP: Acme Made | The Airtex Group specializes in designing and manufacturing pillows
and poufs using exclusive prints and artwork, embellishments and a variety of edging and
piping styles and textiles for both indoor and outdoor use. Photo: The Airtex Group.

www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 25

0720RV_p20-25.indd 25

6/19/20 11:03 AM


http://www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com http://www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 8
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 9
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 10
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 11
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 12
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 13
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 14
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 15
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 16
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 21
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 22
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 23
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 31
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 32
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 33
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 34
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 35
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 36
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 37
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 38
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 39
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 40
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 41
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 42
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 43
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 44
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 45
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 46
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 47
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 48
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 5
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-september-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-buyers-guide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-april-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-buyers-guide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0121RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1220RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1120RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1020RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0920RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0820RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0720RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0620RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/RVBG20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0520RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0420RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0320RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0220RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0120RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1219RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1119RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1019RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0919RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0819RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0719RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0619RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/RVBG19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0519RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0419RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0319RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0219RV_Feb
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0119RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1218RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1118RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/1018RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0918RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0818RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0718RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0618RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0518RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/RVBG18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0418RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0318RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0218RV
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/0118RV
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com