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The main event for Australian manufactures and suppliers to the specialised textiles industry FABRIC • MACHINERY • COMPONENTS • ACCESSORIES • SERVICES To book your booth/s visit the SpecTex15 page on the Specialised Textiles website, email or phone (03) 9521 2114



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Five tips to make internet banking safer.

STA NEWS Report from STA president, David Burton.






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D&R Tarpaulins’ makeover. The gas regulations for caravan annexes demystified. SME business confidence rises, according to Sensis. VCGA’s 86th annual Golf Day




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DESIGN The Lodge Hotel, Adelaide.


TECHNOLOGY Bob Cahill reports on Hiraoka’s groundbreaking new membrane fabric.


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EVENTS Upcoming events for the specialised textiles industry, locally and internationally.

SPECIAL FEATURE Docklands Pavilion in Sydney.

HVG Fabrics’ Mike Fisher on the evolution of shadecloth.




MEMBER PROFILE South Australia’s Tim SeymourSmith and Weathersafe.

The history of shade sails in Australia.


BUSINESS Adam Lunn from Mills Oakley Lawyers explains why he doesn’t believe litigation costs enough…



INDUSTRY TRAINING Kerrie Clarke on training options and Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA). Glenn Barlow and James Formosa report on their involvement with MSA’s Macarthur Industry Engagement – Work Inspiration program.

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The Siena is the folding arm awning at the cutting edge. It provides greater stability through increased spring tension and 8 link stainless steel chain for greater arm strength. European designed with customer adjustable pitch control.

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Welcome to the Summer issue of Connections


ummer in Australia can only mean one thing. It’s time to move outside. This is the season when we head for the great outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and convivial activities it invites. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this in Queensland, the Northern Territory or northern Western Australia, where the southern concept of four seasons may be utterly alien to you…) Accordingly, this issue of Connections is concentrating on outdoor manifestations of the specialised textiles industry. We’re looking at shade sails, outdoor recreation and print media. One fabulous example of the latter is the US-inspired banner that has proven to be such a striking element of a hotel refurbishment in Adelaide (page 18), while we also focus on the impressive and innovative work in the area of marquees and pop-up venues by Queensland-based company, Moreton Hire (page 40). On page 44, we bring you a report on the Docklands Pavilion, a huge temporary venue in Sydney’s Darling Harbour that is filling the gap between the closure of the city’s Convention Centre and the opening of the new International Convention Centre. And turning heads in the meantime. This issue’s Industry Training section is twofold, beginning with an article on the current state of training in the industry and the work of Manufacturing Skills Australia (page 48), and moving on to a report about one of the organisation’s most recent new initiatives, the Macarthur Industry Engagement – Work Inspiration program, from STA board member Glenn Barlow and ABC Products’ James Formosa. And there’s also a timely Member Profile (page 54), in which the ever forward-looking Tim Seymour-Smith explains why his company Weathersafe, the largest provider of outdoor shade structures in South Australia, will continue to evolve and stay one step ahead of the fluctuating economy. Last, but by no means least, next year marks the STA’s 75th anniversary and so we’ve decided to start marking that momentous event a little early with a step back in time. Starting on page 36 is the first part of a history of canvas in Australia. How many parts eventuate will to an extent depend on you, our esteemed readers, and the response we receive to this first instalment. So get reading and let us know what you think about the story so far, what we’ve left out and what you think remains to be covered in future issues. I hope you find something here to edify, inspire and educate you, but as always, if there’s something else you’d like to see in your magazine, drop us a line and let us know.

Editorial Contributions by the STA Editorial committee ASSOCIATION MANAGER Ana Drougas MARKETING & EVENTS COORDINATOR Kiah Struck EDITOR Madeleine Swain Design ART DIRECTOR Keely Atkins PRODUCTION MANAGER Sonia Salera


Connections magazine is published on behalf of the Specialised Textiles Association Inc by Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529 142 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205 Tel: 03 9948 4900 / Fax 03 9948 4999 Printing Docklands Press Pty Ltd Cover image Docklands Pavillion, Sydney


Madeleine Swain Editor

NEXT ISSUE OF CONNECTIONS In the Autumn issue of Connections, we’re intending to focus on the mechanical, in our automation and technology edition of the magazine. The issue will cover equipment, machinery and components. For textiles, we’ll be featuring motor trims, transport and related tarpaulins, as well as agriculture. And just for something a little bit different, we’ll also have a spotlight on furnishing and upholstery in the specialised textiles industry. If you have ideas and suggestions for possible content in future issues of the magazine, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know. You can contact the STA on 03 9521 2114 or visit Or you can contact the editor directly at We look forward to hearing from you.


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Specialised Textiles Association 201/22 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda Vic 3182 Tel: 03 9521 2114 / Fax: 03 9521 2116 Email: All unsolicited material should be addressed to the attention of the editor at the address above. Material will only be returned if a postage prepaid self-addressed envelope is supplied. Niche Media Pty Ltd accepts no liability for loss or damage of unsolicited material. Connections is a publication of Niche Media Pty Ltd, ABN 13 064 613 529, 142 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205 Australia, tel +613 9948 4900, fax +613 9948 4999. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, internet, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. The opinions and material published in this publication are not necessarily endorsed by the editor, publisher or Niche Media Pty Ltd, unless where specifically stated.

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President’s report


ummer is upon us and I am sure we are all keen for a busy season ahead, and I wish you all the best in this regard. I feel the confidence is starting to return to our industry and that we should all start to see some increased sales over the summer period. I have just recently returned from another trip overseas, this time to visit the IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International) Expo, which was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year. Expos or tradeshows are very important to our industry; they are where new innovative products and technology are showcased. Also, for many they are where you decide on what new equipment should be purchased for your business. The key shows are held mainly in Europe, Asia and the US, and can be annual or biennial depending on the actual shows. This year, the IFAI once again had most companies displaying their products, but more and more companies are looking for markets with the need for more specialised products. Textiles are becoming more advanced each year. Our relationship with the IFAI has been built over many years and is as strong today as ever. I met with Mary Hennessy, who is IFAI’s president/chief executive officer, and Steve Schiffman, who is the organisation’s publisher/ director of sales, to discuss our ongoing commitment to working together and continuing our relationship. We discussed some of the common issues both associations are facing and what strategies are being explored to overcome these issues. The IFAI faces the same questions as us about their expo: should it be held each year or biennially? How do you get more attendees and how do you attract more exhibitors? One thing is for sure: everyone who goes to these shows is keen to learn more and more. Tradeshows are still the best place to satisfy your thirst for knowledge and learning. Another pleasing sight was the number of Australian companies that had won awards in the International Achievement Awards. This was a great effort from all involved. We may not have the same size markets, but we sure can do some amazing work. Member Sessions have been a great way for us all to network and for the STA’s Council of Management to hear what members need from the association. We have successfully changed our forum this year and also the locations for some of our recent member meetings. We have held meetings at fabricators’ workshops, suppliers’ warehouses and some new clubs – and these have been great meetings. We have also engaged the service of speakers from Leap Performance, which has allowed us to have some guest speakers present at the meetings. With all of this happening, we have seen an increase in numbers at our sessions. We will continue with these changes next year; therefore, I encourage all of our members to pop along to these meetings. They are your meetings, designed for you as a platform to gain information on many topics. Finally, I’d like to wish you all a wonderful festive season. Enjoy the company of family and friends, relax and take the time to recharge the batteries. Next year is looking to be a fantastic one. David Burton – President


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UV 12 YEAARNT Y* R WAR s & Co n dition


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UPDATE FROM THE SPECIALISED TEXTILES ASSOCIATION OFFICE Brought to you by: Ana Drougas, association manager and Kiah Struck, marketing and events coordinator

As the year draws to a close, we would like to share with you some of the projects we have undertaken in the Specialised Textiles Association office over the last few months.

SPECTEX15 Once the conference in the Hunter Valley was EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE 27-29 JUNE done and dusted, we dived straight into the planning and rebranding of the 2015 Expo. From a name change to SpecTex15 and redeveloping the sponsorship packages, we had plenty on the go. By August, we had secured the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and accommodation, as well as the venues for the Awards Dinner and Theme Dinner, which we will be excited to share with you early in the New Year. Now that sponsors have been secured and booths are filling up fast, we are in the process of creating what is turning out to be a very full program. Our goal is to make SpecTex15 bigger and better than ever, with workshops taking place on the tradeshow floor, speaker sessions from domestic and international industry experts, and an exciting and varied partner program. And, yes, there will be a footy match at the MCG on Saturday afternoon! Another big news item that will evolve next year is the announcement that OFPANZ (Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand) will be joining us in Melbourne next year and combining its annual conference with SpecTex15. This is a big move for OFPANZ and we value the organisation’s support. We cannot wait to welcome our Kiwi colleagues to our 75th anniversary festivities. MELBOURNE CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE

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WEBSITE Over the years, our website has become quite cumbersome and limiting in terms of functionality. We are very excited to announce we are in the process of developing a brand new website that will not only look different, it will be much easier to navigate and will come with great new features, such as video and member profiles. STA members will continue to have exclusive access to memberonly resources, as well as continue to appear in the member directory. We will be sharing our new website with members, industry and consumers by mid-December – so jump on to and take a look.

ACCREDITATION In this edition of Connections you will find a member directory starting on page 25, which not only provides a glimpse of member businesses, but also highlights our newly accredited members. We began researching the Business Accreditation program quite some time ago and it has been a long journey so far. We have certainly come to appreciate the term ‘good things take time’. The objective of business accreditation is to ensure businesses in the industry are operating as bona fide businesses in order to give their customers confidence in the products and services they purchase from them. Business Accreditation is open to STA members only and applications can be made online via our website.

MEMBER SESSIONS Since the format and timing change for member sessions was implemented this year (where we now hold a member meeting each month in a different state and have recently introduced guest speakers), attendance has increase by 50 percent from 2013 – which has been great to see. We hope to continue growing this number in 2015 and, as such, are always open to suggestions from members as to what they would like to get out of these meetings – so please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your ideas. The member meetings will commence again next year with the first scheduled for 28 March 2015 in Perth. While our member sessions are tailored for our members, we are always happy to welcome ‘non members’ as well. So, if you have been curious to find out a little more about the STA and meet others who do what you do – then take a look at our website for a member session near you and register online.


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COMMITTEES/FOCUS GROUPS Two new committees have been formed this year, the Historical Committee, which is dedicate to collecting information and memorabilia from the Association’s history to commemorate our 75th anniversary next year, and the Training Committee, which is responsible for ensuring ongoing quality improvement of all components of education, training and assessment within our industry. The Training and Education Committee met for the first time only a few weeks ago and is in the process of collating information relating to available industry training, while being actively involved

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in the review process of the Certificate III in Textile Fabrication. Read more about the state of industry training on page 48. The Historical Committee is made up of a group of members from varied backgrounds and involvement. The task that this committee has taken on is not a small one. To put 75 years of history together in less than eight months is a mammoth task. They cannot do this on their own, so when they knock on your door for information, samples, photos or collectables, please offer your assistance. The Fabric Structures Committee (FSC) is one of our most active committees and always has several projects on the go at one time. The fabric structures area of our industry has grown very quickly and continues to do so, and it is important that we as an industry are up-to-date with the latest information in this area. The FSC has produced various resources to assist installers and fabricators of fabric structures as well as consumers. All resources are available electronically via our website under the menu item: resources. The Marine Fabricator Division members are gearing up to attend an international marine fabricator conference in Oakland in the US in mid-January, where they will meet other marine fabricators, attend site tours and learn from others that do what they do. Following several successful and very informative workshops and networking events in 2014, they are now working on doing the same plus a little more in 2015. If this is your industry area, keep a look out on our website for dates and event information for the next ‘Marine Fabricator Division School of Excellence’ in a location near you.

Presentation of the Woman of the Year Award at the STA’s Hunter Valley Conference. Left to right: Carman Goldblatt, Connie Hellyar, Beatrice Moonen (winner), Clare Corban.

The Women in Textiles committee has had a very successful year with the introduction of the Woman of the Year Award and raising awareness, as well as funds, for the Ovarian Cancer charity. Their work is now only just beginning with the development of a program that will highlight the achievements of women in the specialised textiles industry. We will be able to share more with you on this in the New Year as it starts to evolve. This is just a small glimpse of what we have been involved in this year… So much more is taking place and will continue to take place in 2015 for the STA. So, as we look forward to another 12 months of activity in an ever-evolving industry, we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.





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Blind & Awning

Register Unit 3/99 West Burleigh Road F 1800 022 199online to attend: Burleigh Heads, QLD 4220

Shade Sail

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ince 1977, Queensland-based fabricator D&R Tarpaulins has called its 970-square metre factory in the Brisbane suburb of Hemmant, home. Due to the acquisition of Copelands and Pickers 18 months ago and the growth of D&R Tarpaulins over the past seven years, there was a need for parent company D&R Group to expand and future-proof the two businesses. D&R Tarpaulins was in a fortunate position in that it had options within the site to grow and had spent the previous 12 months removing a tenant, relocating another shed to a different position on the site and, therefore, making the room to expand its large shed. This redevelopment is now 95 percent complete, with just the finishing touches to go and has resulted in three separate sheds totalling approximately 2800 square metres. On top of this D&R has approximately a further 2800 square metres of concrete hardstand, which gives it ample space for now and the future… the immediate future at the very least.


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Two of the sheds have specific functions, with Shed 2 being the Liner Shed, where there is 80 metres of floor space for the welding of the company’s large dam and pond liners. Shed 3 is the HF Welding Shed where Copelands and Pickers is able to maintain cleanliness and weld sensitive fabrics in a clean and controlled environment. This is of vital importance for a wholesale fabricator to the shade and membrane industry. Shed 1 is still the main shed and houses general fabrication and also the design office where the company designs, plot and cuts using its 3.8-metre wide Pathfinder plotter/cutter. D&R Group director, Greg Barnett is very satisfied with the all of the recent changes and improvements. “With the completion of the redevelopment, I believe we have a facility that rivals the best in our industry. Backed by the best team in the industry and with state-of-the-art machinery, we are in a great position to assist our clients in all aspects of fabrication,” he says.

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GAS REGULATIONS FOR CARAVAN ANNEXES There has been confusion in the industry recently about gas appliance regulations in caravan annexes and now the Queensland Government has issued a paper shedding some light on the topic.


n August, the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines issued a paper clarifying requirements and answering some frequent questions. The information is to ensure annexe areas are compliant to the Australian standards in the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004. These standards were put in place to combat the danger of exposure to potentially deadly carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless and highly poisonous gas. Even low levels of exposure are highly toxic, especially in enclosed areas As the Queensland Government’s guidelines note, the regulations actually go right back to 1992, but there has still been confusion. It’s clear that gas appliance flue terminals need to be located outdoors, so that the products of combustion are dispersed safely. But what are the rules when an external

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awning or annexe is affixed to the caravan or recreational vehicle? The regulations state that in such instances, the area becomes a covered area, and thus liable to comply with AS/ NZS5601, the Australian standard for gas installations. Flue terminals are required for gas appliances considered to be ‘unattended appliances’; i.e. those that turn on or off automatically using thermostats and timers etc. This is as opposed to ‘attended appliances’ like barbecues, stoves and portable heaters, which are only turned on when being used. John Bartlett from CE Bartlett has studied the regulations and explains the key points in simple terms. “If the flue for an internal gas appliance is on the same side that the caravan annexe is being fitted, then the area where the flue is must have a minimum of two sides permanently open; otherwise, it is treated

as an indoor area and does not comply with the regulation,” says Bartlett. The only other consideration depends on where the flue is situated exactly. “If it is towards the front of the van, you could fully enclose the rear section of the annexe, leaving the flue in the front section, which is an awning, with just the roof and the front wall of the rear section,” explains Bartlett. “This also applies to the use of indoor gas appliances such as gas stoves etc, inside an annexe.” These regulations also relate to the use of outdoor appliances such as a barbecue. To use a barbecue inside an annexe, the sides of the annexe must be opened to provide adequate ventilation.” For further information visit:


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THE VCGA’S ANNUAL GOLF DAY In September, the Victorian Canvas Goods Association enjoyed its 86th Annual Golf Day at the Victoria Golf Club in Cheltenham, Victoria. Brendan Hall reports on the day.

S SME BUSINESS CONFIDENCE HAS RISEN ABOVE 50 PERCENT AFTER DROPPING LAST QUARTER SMEs’ confidence about the year ahead has risen to 53 percent after a drop to 47 percent in June, according to the September 2014 Sensis Business Index. Michelle Herbison reports.

eptember rolls around and so does the annual Golf Day for the oldest canvas association still in existence. The Victorian Canvas Goods Association has a long tradition that has over the years seen many of the industry legends from Victoria and interstate pass through. The event – coordinated this year by Tony Bond of Radins – always draws industry leaders from across the country. It’s a chance to play at the stunning Victoria Golf course and network with friends and business associates. In these days of rapid change, it is nice to reflect on the past and simply chew the fat about the industry. Interstate guests included Jim and James Kelman from Wax Converters Textiles in the Hunter Valley, and Ron Gottlieb from Ricky Richards. Some of the local guys included Des Tebb from Tebbs Canvas Products, Tony Cassar and Joe Munafo from Victory Curtains and Blinds, Geoff Turner and Brendan Hogan from Contract Blinds, Keith Bartlett and Murray Park from Bartlett Blinds in Ballarat, along with Gary Smith from Campbell and Heeps… just to name a few of the 40-plus who attended. It was a great event with Peter McArthur taking the honours for the fabricators after a count-back with Murray Park from Bartlett’s on 39 points. Tony Bond won the day for the suppliers on 39 points. Overall winner was Peter McArthur from Coordinated.


upport for the Federal Government rose slightly but remains weak – 24 percent of SMEs (small and mediumsized enterprises) believe its policies are supportive of small business and 29 percent believe they work against the interests of the sector. The Government’s aims to reduce debt and red tape, and boost the economy have contributed to a slight increase in support. But SMEs believe the Government is focused more on big business, is too bureaucratic and that its policies are affecting consumer spending. State and territory governments are experiencing similar sentiments – 22 percent of SMEs believe their respective governments are working against small businesses. Tasmania is the only state or territory in which perception about the state of the Australian economy is positive, while everywhere else it is neutral or negative. This quarter, SMEs are more likely than in the previous quarter to be expecting business boosts including increases in sales, employment, wages, prices, profitability and capital expenditure.


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WHY DO I NEED BUSINESS ACCREDITATION? Give customers confidence in the products and services they buy from accredited members

Encourage improvement innovation and best practise

Discourage unqualified practitioners operating in our industry and giving it a bad name

Business Accreditation is an exclusive benefit of STA membership Members can apply now by completing the online application form in the member area of the STA website

Manufacturers, installers and suppliers. Together, we’re covering Australia.




For more information about Business Accreditation visit the STA website or contact the STA office – email or phone (03) 9521 2114. Specialised Textiles Association Inc • ABN 83 594 171 330 • Registration Number A0010895W


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ONE MAN’S VIEW Mike Fisher, business development manager – Shade Structures at HVG Fabrics, looks at the evolution of shadecloth.


owadays it’s easy to take knitted HDPE fabric for granted. Generically called ‘shadecloth’, high-density polyethylene is just part of the textile landscape. How quickly one forgets that less than 40 years ago, shadecloth was simply a means to an end, an agricultural solution to protect horticultural products from sun damage. Its relatively recent history has seen a transition from crop protection to people protection and there is now a greater awareness of how it can protect people from the harmful effects of UV (ultraviolet) radiation. With this growing market awareness come greater opportunities for manufacturers, and thus the variety and depth of options from manufacturers globally are clearly evident in the supply chain. With options from South Africa, China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, it’s easy to wonder what should one look for in a shadecloth? Given its primary role is to provide shade and shelter, a good place to


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start would be high shade factors. With melanoma killing more people each year than the national road toll, UV protection surely is a key component in any consideration. High UVR (ultraviolet radiation) block values offer extended ‘outdoor’ time for you and the children while the sun is shining. It’s well-known that knitted shadecloth is made from the aforementioned HDPE. Being an inert plastic, it already enjoys good protection from mould and mildew, but it is susceptible to fire. Ideally, you don’t want your shadecloth catching fire and becoming the fuel source for a major fire. There are a number of FR (flame retardancy) standards around the world, but one that has gained wide acceptance is the California State Fire Marshal approval rating. This approval rating is a reliable guide as to the behaviour of your shadecloth in a fire. The other critical factor worth paying attention to is fabric strength. Shade structure principles are all based around quantifiable strength factors

and thus higher-strength fabrics impact on structural fabrication. Flexibility in structure design and larger structures with greater unsupported fabric spans, are both benefits of higher-strength fabrics. Shadecloth fabrics have certainly come a long way in 40 years, but who doesn’t want peace of mind? As with any product, there is always the possibility, however remote, of some fundamental problem leading to a performance failure. So a manufacturer’s warranty is key. Like all warranties, it is not only important to look at its duration, but also to read and understand the full terms and conditions that come with it. Be sure you know what you’re covered for and what that means in the event of a failure. While the above is a guide worth considering, endless other factors can determine the client’s ultimate choice of shadecloth fabric and this article has not considered any of the aesthetic qualities of shadecloth, realising ultimately that such issues remain ‘in the eye of the beholder’.

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21/10/2014 4:46 pm

18 DESIGN Mildura Soundshell.

BLACKTOP BANNER A trip to Vegas in August 2014 gave Independent Pub Group (IPG) chief executive officer GREG MAITLAND some unexpected inspiration when it came to refurbishing an Adelaide hotel.


s part of its $4 million renovation, The Lodge Hotel (which was first built in 1967 and was formerly known as The Brahma Lodge) received an eye-catching double-storey entry banner seemingly at odds with its North Adelaide location. And it completely transforms the bland brick wall behind it. The image is an evocative one of a two-lane blacktop stretching off away from the camera into the desert, with red rocky outcrops and scrub by the side of the road. It’s Paris, Texas, Easy Rider and Lost Highway… all rolled into one mysterious and memorable shot. In the top right hand corner it simply says ‘Est 1967’ and ‘The Lodge Hotel’ in old-fashioned cursive script. And in front of the banner is a rocky and sandy display with an assortment of desert grasses and plants scattered around. On launch night of the refurbishment, 19 September 2014, the banner was so popular that many in the crowd elected to be photographed in front of it. And


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the interest has continued ever since, with lots of people taking photographs of themselves standing in front of the image. “It’s been quite the talk of the locals,” says IPG’s project manager, Felicia Seidel. So how did Maitland pull off his big idea? First, he sourced the picture from Bigstock Photo, the royalty-free image site. This was then passed over to IPG’s sign-maker, Scott Brandon at Magik Monkey, who designed the banner, printed it and hung it up. Brandon was assisted in the installation by BGE Displays in Thebarton, South Australia. It took Magik Monkey just two days to make the banner, using 440gsm outdoor banner vinyl. In order to transfer the image onto the vinyl, Mimaki Eco Solvent was used. Solvent inks are not water-based and use the solvent as the carrier fluid. The finished product is 8000 by 6200 millimetres and it cost around $4000. But Maitland is not one to rest on his laurels. In order to keep the décor fresh, the plan is that the image will be changed

four times a year. And he already has more images lined up and ready to go. The innovative decoration is not confined to the outside of The Lodge, either. Inside, the bistro’s makeover includes a picture of the Las Vegas skyline printed around the walls. This image was sourced and purchased from a photographer in Las Vegas and it was printed by Pickawall, a company based in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, Victoria, which specialises in removable wallpaper and murals. All in all, the refurbishment has been a resounding success for IPG. As Maitland told the Spice website, “The Lodge has now become the destination of choice in the north, whether it be for after work drinks, Saturday night outings or lazy Sunday sessions, and prides itself on being a venue where people can wine and dine in a comfortable, laid-back ambience.” A Vegas ambience that is… C

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20 TECHNOLOGY Mildura Soundshell.

HIRAOKA INNOVATES WITH PVDF FILM LAYER Hiraoka director BOB CAHILL explains the superior dirt and weathering resistance of the company’s latest membrane fabric.


iraoka produces a range of architectural membrane fabrics. A new addition to this range is a series of materials with an improved dirt resistance layer. Most architectural membrane fabrics have a lacquer of PVDF (poly vinylidene fluoride). This lacquer provides very good dirt and weathering resistance. To significantly improve on this, Hiraoka has now produced materials that use a PVDF film laminated to the surface of the PVC. The film thickness is approximately five times the thickness

surface treatment, such as abrasion of the surface to ensure a suitable weld. This is a significant advantage over some other surface treatments, where extra labour is required to prepare the fabric surface prior to welding. Hiraoka now offers this surface finish as an option on its range of architectural membrane fabrics. In addition, it has combined this coating technology with a fibreglass base cloth to provide very high tensile strength, fire resistance and excellent UV resistance. C

of standard lacquer systems. This gives a substantial boost to the dirt and weathering resistance of a membrane fabric. The result is a structure that maintains its new, clean appearance for significantly longer than other fabrics. The thicker film layer is also more resistant to the ongoing abrasion from dust particles, which occurs throughout the life of a membrane structure. One special feature of this PVDF film finish is the suitability for welding. This material does not need any special





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Manufacturers, installers and suppliers. Together, we’re covering Australia.

BECOME A MEMBER Learn, share and network with other passionate individuals in the industry at events held around the country.


Increase your exposer by being listed on our comprehensive member and product directory. Educate and inform others in the industry through our association magazine, Connections.



Differentiate yourself from non-members not only by being a STA member but also by applying for Business Accreditation, an exclusive benefit to STA members. Be acknowledged for your great work by entering your projects into the STA Awards for Excellence.

These benefits and many more are on offer when you become a STA member


To trial the full STA experience up till the 31st March 2015, sign up now to receive this special rate. Q Q

1-5 employees $170 Q 6-15 employees $285 16 or more employees $385

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST If you wish to become a member, fill out the online application form on our website or mail, email or fax this expression of interest form to the STA office. Company Name Name of Business Owner Address Phone


Specialised Textiles Association Inc • ABN 83 594 171 330 • Registration Number A0010895W

STA Membership Advert (Oct14) indd 1 41382_2_STA FP_3.indd 2

Specialised Textiles Association Inc. Suite 201, 22 St Kilda Road St Kilda Victoria 3182 Phone 03 9521 2114 Fax 03 9521 2116


30/10/2014 11:18 am 3/11/14 8:28 AM



Times have changed for SMEs in all manner of respects, not the least of which is the way they do their banking. But are there any pitfalls to be aware of when processing your income and outgoings electronically? ANTHONY CARUANA investigates.


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isiting the bank for everyday tasks such as withdrawing cash, making deposits and paying bills is a relic of the past. Online payments are common and we can easily manage several bank accounts, transfer money to debtors and look after the company finances with just a few mouse clicks. We are well and truly in the era of internet banking. How do you make online banking safe? Online banking brings financial services to the palm of your hand so they can be accessed from almost any place at any time.

Here are our five tips for safer online banking:

1. DON’T SHARE ACCESS BETWEEN MULTIPLE PEOPLE Within many businesses, there are often several people who have authority to access the corporate accounts. Ensuring that each person has their own password means you can keep tabs on who is doing what and follow up any problems. It also means individuals don’t have to share passwords. So, if one person leaves the business, you only have to

27/11/2014 2:31 pm


(a one-time code that’s generated by a special device called a token). Several Australian banks offer twofactor authentication. Often, they do this by sending a one-time code to a mobile phone. So, you need to enter both your password and the one-time code in order to access the online banking service. Although it’s not commonly offered to consumer banking customers, it’s a feature that business customers can access.

3. DON’T USE PUBLIC HOTSPOTS Public Wi-Fi hotspots may be convenient, but they are very insecure. It’s trivially easy for a motivated party to intercept wireless data while it’s in motion and then use that information for nefarious purposes. If you need to do mobile banking – don’t use a public hotspot. You’re better off using the hotspot functionality on your smartphone, as you can secure that and then take advantage of the cellular network’s built-in security. In short – consider any data you send and receive on a public hotspot to be available to anyone else who can connect to that hotspot. cancel their account, rather than tell everyone the new password. As a bonus, your auditors will prefer that everyone’s access is segregated, so that staff can only access the accounts they need.

2. LOOK FOR TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION Two-factor authentication (sometimes abbreviated to 2FA) requires that you enter two pieces of information to log in. It’s based on something you know (like a password) and something you have

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4. BANK IN PRIVATE Shoulder surfing is the act of sitting over someone’s shoulder and looking at what they’re doing. If you watch carefully and have a good memory, you can capture someone’s username and password as they type. Even if you’re using a private internet connection, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder and looking at what you type and what’s on the screen. Even if someone only has your username, they can lock your account (by entering the password incorrectly)

and then try to fool a call centre operator into resetting the password, so they have access to your accounts.

5. PHISHING SCAMS There are some very sophisticated phishing scams being perpetrated by data thieves. In a phishing scam, an email is sent to you that looks like it was sent by your bank. It will have the right logos, be written in banking language and have links to what looks like your bank’s website. Another form of phishing scam is to call you over the phone and ask you to provide account information to ‘assist’ you with some sort of mysterious, previously unknown to you, account problem. In reality, everything is fake and designed to get you to enter your username and password. This is captured by the bad guys who use the information to pillage your account. The solution is simple – never click a link in an email from a bank or provide account information over the phone. If you think the issue is real, go to your bank’s website directly (and not via an email link) or phone your bank’s call centre. No bank will ever ask you to reset your account password via email or over the phone. Internet banking is incredibly convenient, but it’s important to follow safe practices when using it. C Anthony Caruana is a freelance writer. With a background as a teacher, business analyst, IT manager and small business owner, he is passionate about getting the most out of technology. When he’s not writing about technology, he spends time writing about the business of freelancing at If you want to know more, just Google his name.


27/11/2014 2:31 pm


Glacier PVC products


icky Richards is excited to announce the launch of Glacier, the latest addition to our evergrowing PVC line. Glacier is a collection of clear PVC products manufactured in Japan to the highest standard for visual clarity. Incorporating clear and smoke tinted PVC options, these products are ideal for applications that require light transmission, weather protection and clear visibility. All products are UV treated and can be used both indoors and outdoors for


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temporary or permanent applications, including restaurant enclosures, patio blinds, temporary glazing, marquees, motor trimming and marine trimming. Available in the standard industry width of 137 centimetres, Glacier will be introduced in three gauges in clear (0.50mm, 0.75mm and 1.00mm). In addition, there will also be a 0.75mm, which is fire retardant. Clear FR is perfect for projects specifying that a fire retardant product should be used. To complement this range, ‘Smoke’ a tinted PVC, will also be available in

0.75mm and 1.00mm options. These are particularly ideal for café blind projects that require additional glare reduction combined with aesthetic appeal. Glacier clear PVC is now in stock and ready for shipment exclusively from Ricky Richards! For further information or samples of Glacier clear PVC, please contact the friendly Ricky Richards sales team on 02 9735 3333 or by email

21/11/2014 9:32 am













On the following pages, you’ll find a complete listing of all current members of the Specialised Textiles Association. They are listed alphabetically in three sections: Fabricators Suppliers International They are further subdivided into states. Fabricators: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Suppliers: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. The STA has also recently implemented an accreditation scheme and the first businesses to gain accreditation are marked accordingly.

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FABRICATORS NEW SOUTH WALES A1 MARINE TRIM 02 4871 2773 A1 Marine Trim specialises in boat covers, canopies, biminies and all aspects of trailer boat upholstery and repairs.

ABACUS SHADE STRUCTURES 02 4735 4800 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator; tarpaulins and screens – manufacturer and installer.



02 9601 1800 E H Brett is a family business continually owned and operated for over 130 years. Its operations centre on the design, manufacture and hire of a range of products – from camper trailers, tarpaulins, covers and canopies to shade structures, sails, blinds and awnings – even enormous helibanners flown round the world. Utilising the latest in CAD technology, it uses canvas, PVC and shadecloth through to the lightest banner fabrics to craft the right solution for its customers’ various needs.

02 6925 7805 Tarpaulins, fabric structures, truck side curtains, blinds and awnings, caravan and camping, marine trimming, motor trimming, flags and banners, liners and covers.

02 9625 6933 ABC Products is an established industrial fabrics company offering first class service and superior quality products. Its reputation comes from over 30 years of satisfying installers’ needs and providing solutions on time and within budget. It is the expert in fabrication and wholesaling of industrial type fabrics, and works together with the installer to devise the material best suited, and then fabricates to the installer’s specifications.

BETTA CANVAS PRODUCTS 02 6299 1786 Fabric structures/shade sails – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings.

02 6674 4466 Custom architectural fabric structures – design, fabrication and installation.

FINE LINES MARINE UPHOLSTERY AND SHIPWRIGHT SERVICES 0424 567 757 Based in Warriewood on the Northern Beaches, specialising in custom made cushions for the boat, around the home and garden, covers, clears and canopies, upholstery, repairs, cover cleaning & waterproofing, covering trailer boats, ski boats and any boat located in Pittwater.

HNS CANVAS 02 6332 1140 Trailer hire, various sizes available.

BOATIQUE 02 8411 2525 Designs and manufactures custom-made boat covers, sail covers, boom tents, mooring covers, flybridge clears and enclosures, carpet and marine upholstery. Boatique also specialises in custom-made biminis and dodgers from start to finish, including design and fabrication of stainless frames.

CREATIVE CANVAS 02 9979 6477 Blinds and awnings, fabric structures – installer and fabricator, industrial and umbrellas.

D & L CANVAS Canvas and synthetic fabric products. 02 4982 7772

DELTA MARINE 02 9327 4274 Delta Marine provides extensive experience in marine trimming and upholstery, including covers, clears, carpets, upholstery and custom foam work. Its on-site trimmers are Specialised Textiles Association members and use cutting edge design, fabrication and materials, including Sunbrella and Stamoid to produce the best results for your boat.


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02 9649 2334 Supreme fabricator of all kinds of industrial and specialised textiles and associated products.




ILLAWARRA BLINDS & AWNINGS 02 9553 8999 Illawarra Blinds and Awnings has been shading people from the harsh Australian sun since 1947. The first thing you will notice at Illawarra is the attention to detail, then the quality workmanship and expert installation. It strives for the highest quality components and products available, and believes in the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” So, if you’re a person who demands quality, you should look no further.

KNIGHT’S UPHOLSTERY/AUSTARPS 02 6792 1883 The business commenced in 1961 and was initially doing furniture repairs and vehicle upholstery; the main work now is manufacturing truck tarps, bunker tarps and shade products. Austarps always prefers to use high quality Australian fabrics and components, along with competent staff, to ensure each customer gets a professional job.

02 9955 2563 Installer and fabricator – textile fabricator of fabric structures, shade sails, tensile membrane structures, canvas goods, contract welding, staging and event fabrics, flags and banners, tarpaulins and marine trimming.

PET TRADING PTY LTD (AKA BELL CANVAS) 02 9832 2200 Canvas wholesaler and manufacturer.

POOLSAVERS 02 9756 1977 A quality manufacturer of pool liners, and a premium supplier of pool covers and accessories.

SB MARINE TRIMMING 02 9979 2325 A family owned and run business manufacturing custom-made boat covers for yachts and powerboats of all sizes.

SHADE TO ORDER PTY LTD 02 4942 5793 Shade To Order has been in business since 1979, is 100 percent Australian owned and operated. It specialises in state-of-the-art, custom-designed weatherproof shade structures. Its architectural designs provide a stylish and elegant alternative for outdoor shade and shelter structures, engineered to stand the test of time.

WARATAH CANVAS & CO PTY LTD 02 4967 6474 Supplier of Newcastle’s best range of canvas and vinyl products.

WINDSOR PRODUCTS PTY LTD 02 4956 6133 Locally owned and operated for almost 70 years, Windsor offers industry-leading designs of blinds, awnings and shutters. Providing made to measure high-quality products at competitive prices, Windsor has gained a reputation of delivering products and services.

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QUEENSLAND ABGAL LINERS & COVERS 07 3803 9000 Pool liners and covers, tank liners, shade sails (fabricators only), dam liners, inflatable products and thermal covers.

ADAMS SHADES 07 4926 0200 Fabricator/installer shade sails, structures etc – car parks, bistros, commercial and residential shades.



07 5580 4800 Custom boat upholstery, mesh enclosures, shade awnings, flybridge clear enclosures, polycarbonate, flybridge clear enclosures, Plexiglas, bimini tops, canopies, storm covers, all over covers, yacht dodgers, ute tonneau covers, custom outdoor furniture upholstery, ziptrack blinds, Sunbrella and plastic extruded track supplier. All custom made.

07 5546 1700 Specialises in stainless steel and aluminium welding, plus upholstery and marine trimming.


07 4946 1125 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator; marine trimming, sailmaker, motor trimming, blinds and awnings, flags and banners.

07 5546 1333 Creator and supplier of a wide range of marine related products. Biminis, canopies, front clears, side clears, storm covers, mesh shade covers… the list goes on. The company’s seating solutions cover lounges, individual seating and other innovative designs.




07 5598 2622 Blinds and awnings, caravan and camping. Services include welding, sewing and cutting.

AUSSIE TRAVELLER PTY LTD 07 3284 3284 Manufacturer of quality awnings and anexes.

BEEHIVE VINYL PRODUCTS PTY LTD 07 4779 9600 Fabricator and installer of fabric structures: marine and motor trimming, liners and covers, tarpaulins, caravan and camping, blinds and awnings, tarpaulins, truck side curtains, flags and banners.

C EDE PTY LIMITED 07 4771 5185 Est. 1915, fourth-generation family business. Manufacturer of shade sails, canvas and synthetic products, including external blinds and aluminium awnings. Its retail section sells hardware, flags and flag poles, rope and cordage, rubber extrusions, ship chandlery etc.

COASTAL COVERINGS 07 4057 4749 Coastal Coverings specialises in all upholstery, including marine and automotive, and only uses environmentally friendly, quality products. It works with a range of clients, from domestic and residential to commercial resorts, nightclubs and hotels.

COL’S VINYL AND CANVAS GOODS 07 4061 3606 Supplier of shade sails, sun safety UV protection, vinyl membrane structures, commercial and domestic, Vogue pool umbrellas, wind-rated and engineered.

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07 3393 3477 D&R Group is made up of D&R Tarpaulins and Copelands and Pickers. Both businesses operate totally independently as manufacturers of canvas and PVC products, as well as wholesale shade sail and membrane fabricators. Combined, the two businesses have over 100 years’ experience and, coupled with the latest designing and plotting equipment and vastly experienced teams, they are perfectly positioned to meet the needs of their customers.

FABRIC SOLUTIONS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 07 3807 0200 A leading provider of custom design, fabrication and installation of liquid containment solutions, including dam and tank liners, secondary containment etc, architectural fabrication and fabric products.

H-LINE STRUCTURES AUSTRALIA 07 5445 1300 A leading supplier of quality European and German made Hoecker UK compatible structures and specialised industrial cleaning machinery.

HORIZON SAIL STRUCTURES PTY LTD 07 5563 1433 Design, manufacture and installation of shade and membrane structures.

MAKMAX AUSTRALIA 07 3633 5900 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator providing design and engineering services.



07 4634 2166 Australian manufacturer of quality canvas, PVC and poly products, including tarpaulins, liners and shade products. Servicing the agricultural, horticultural and resource sectors for 30 years.

07 3209 4728 Supplier of high quality, affordable canvas products, including ute tonneaus, boat covers, swags, custom-made bags and camper trailer tops.



07 3396 4328 A specialist in all aspects of marine trimming, canvas and upholstery, as well as stainless steel and aluminium framing fabrication.t

07 3862 9221 Ozrig works with steel structures and tensile membranes throughout Australasia, the Middle East and Africa. It is a specialist in the field of rigging, steel erection, chemical anchor systems, high tensile membranes and shade structures.

EAST COAST SHADES 1300 786 742 East Coast Shades has been operating in Queensland for 18 years, specialising in shade and membrane structures. It designs, supplies and installs waterproof PVC membrane and shade knit structures for the commercial and domestic sectors. East Coast Shades offers alternative design solutions. It has a solution for all your shade needs, drop down blinds, umbrellas, shade sails and waterproof PVC shade sails.

PARADISE PVC WELDING PTY LTD 07 3209 9733 Paradise PVC Welding has been manufacturing in Queensland for 20 years, specialising in a wide variety of products, including outdoor cushions, boat seats, bimini tops, ambulance and hospital mattresses, body bags and many other products. As an added service, it can offer pattern cutting with its Pathfinder cutting machine from customers’ own material supplied.


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07 4051 3290 Installer and fabricator of fabric structures, blinds and awnings. Supplier of accessories, welding, sewing and cutting equipment.

07 3396 9245 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings.

08 8245 4800 If you have a shade project, let Weathersafe manage it from design to completion. Its comprehensive range of architectural shade solutions and highly professional and experienced staff allows it to tailor design solutions that fit all needs.

TOM’S TARPS PTY LTD PORT DOUGLAS SAILMAKERS PTY LTD 07 4041 1488 Recognised as one of Australia’s leading manufacturers and installers of sail structures, ranging from small domestic projects to large scale commercial contracts. It has offices located throughout Queensland, including Cairns, Port Douglas and Townsville, allowing it to cover these locations as well as all areas inbetween.

R B M INDUSTRIAL BAGS PTY LTD 07 4162 5734 RBM Bags ships its industrial tool and equipment bags, pouches, covers, shade sails and tarpaulins to every state and territory in Australia as well as PNG.

ROCKLEA CANVAS 07 3277 2845 Supplier of welding, sewing and cutting equipment, accessories, fabric and repair services. Also provides tarpaulins and truck side curtains.

SAIL STRUCTURES 07 4041 1488 Multi award-winning, North Queensland owned with over 25 years in the industry. As one of Australia’s leading manufacturers and installers of shade sails and tensile membrane fabric structures, it uses the latest cutting edge technology, guaranteeing the customer a finished product that is fit for purpose, visually appealing, QBCC compliant and cyclone rated if required.

SKYSPAN SHADE 07 3804 6288 Fabric structures, commercial umbrellas – installer and fabricator providing design and engineering services.

STANFAST 07 4121 2591 Wholesale fabricator of shade sail covers and PVC tension membrane structures.

SUNRAZE SHADE & BLINDS 07 5443 3881 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings.


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07 4671 2634 Offering custom-made tarps and repaired in PVC, poly, canvas or shade mesh, ranging from cotton grain, to storage, transport and camping. Also motor trimming/upholstery, cargo nets, and all types of repairs.

WORMALD CANVAS 08 8288 7788 Caravan and camping, blinds and awnings, flags and banners, as well as contract cutting.

TOOWOOMBA SHADE AND CANVAS 07 4633 1338 Specialising in blinds and awnings, shade structures – installer and fabricator.

TOTAL SHADE SOLUTIONS 07 3889 7200 Based in Brendale, North Brisbane, Total Shade Solutions is an experienced and innovative shade solution company. It custom designs, manufactures and installs shade sails, blinds, awnings, canopies, shutters and other shade solutions across south-east Queensland, having also completed projects Australia-wide.

VECTOR SHADE STRUCTURES PTY LTD 0450 977 622 Offers highly specialised services and products in one-off designs of shade sails, commercial shade structures and solar solutions.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA MARTIN CANVAS PRODUCTS 08 8269 2600 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings, flags and banners, tarpaulins.

SHADEFORM SAILS PTY LTD 08 8354 2116 Design, manufacture and installation of custom made membranes and sail shade structures.

TASMANIA NG UPHOLSTERY 03 6425 3840 Motor trimming, tarpaulins, blinds and awnings, marine trimming, caravan and camping, liners and covers, flags and banners, truck side curtains, fabric structures – installer and fabricator.

ROLLINS CANVAS & PARTY HIRE 03 6267 1112 Has an extensive range of marquees and stalls for hire, together with seating, tables, cutlery, crockery, glassware, spit roasts, barbecues, hotboxes and gas fired heating equipment. Also manufactures made-to-measure canopies, plus custom designs stalls for exhibition and sales applications.

STEVE WALKER SAILS PTY LTD 03 6442 3641 Steve Walker Sails designs and manufactures custom products including yacht sails for all types of yachts (sailing dinghies, racing and cruising keel yachts), accessories for power boats (clear screens, spray dodgers, covers etc), architectural shade sails (residences, schools, public precincts etc) and agricultural and industrial products (tarpaulins, covers, repairs etc).


08 8340 2622 Manufacturers of Venetian blinds, vertical drapes, canvas awnings, all canvas goods, caravan annexes and DB swags.

03 9537 3677 Custom designed covers for yachts and motor boats. All aspects of interior and exterior upholstery and carpet. Rigid and flexible fly bridge enclosures. Dock coverings and docking protection.



08 8349 5633 Fabricator and supplier of pool liners, winter pool covers, solar pool blankets, pool blanket rollers, spa covers, tank liners, pond liners and welded plastics.

03 9775 1171 Fabric structures (fabrication only); design and metal manufacturing of umbrellas, shade structures and awnings.


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Image courtesy of: Aerosail Engineered Fabric Structures


Engineered fabrics for extraordinary tensile architecture structures

FR580 FR580 offers architects, engineers and manufacturers a coated fabric designed specifically for use on short span, shaped tensile architectural creations, permanent and temporary tensioned structures, tents, awnings, sun shading, umbrellas and retractable roofs.

FR700 . FR900 . FR1000 Mehler Texnologies membrane VALMEX MEHATOP F1 is a multi layer composite material with special densely woven, low-wick yarns in the base fabric. The surface lacquering is an improved PVDF top coat, TiO2 Nano-titanium reinforced, finishing the material with a double top coated protective and refining effect.

Proven performance under Australian conditions for more than 35 years. Specialised fabric structure creates a product that is stable, fully weldable and easy to fabricate. Pioneers of special PVDF lacquering techniques, now synonymous with long term cleanability and added long term UV protection.

ti d 14 i dd 1 41425_2 Shann Group FP.indd 2

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1300 300 260 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator.

03 9794 9595 Fleximake is a leading Australian manufacturer of flexible products made from specialised textiles and plastics for liquid storage and inflatable applications. Fleximake is at the forefront of creative solutions using modern materials and manufacturing techniques to provide quality products.

03 9764 2166 Marine trimming and design specialist, using the best technology and materials available and always coming up with new and improved designs.

BUNDOORA BOAT UPHOLSTERY 03 9465 3441 From bimini tops made for the hard core fisherman to boat covers made for all types and makes of fishing boat, the range of products and services available at Bundoora Boat Upholstery is impressive and unmatched in the industry.

C E BARTLETT 03 5339 3103 Based in Ballarat Victoria, C E Bartlett continues to lead the way in the custom design and fabrication of products made using industrial textiles. Established in 1956 by Cliff Bartlett, the business remains family owned, operating from four purpose-built facilities comprising 8000 square metres of production space. The continual growth of the Bartlett business is based on a total commitment to service and quality, along with an ongoing re-investment in new technologies.

CAMPBELL & HEEPS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD 03 9880 2500 Campbell and Heeps is a family owned business that specialises in the fabricating of external window coverings, such as folding arm awnings, auto sunblinds and geared awnings, as well as motorised awnings, canopies and fixed frame awnings, with no job being too big or too small. It also fabricates internal roller blinds and Hollands. Its standard is a medium to high quality product using branded product, along with service complementing its product range.

CANVAS BARN 0409 435 516 Marine trimming – bimini curtains, storm covers, interiors, seats and cushions.

CLARK SHADE SAILS 03 9587 5802 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings.

CANVAS N SHADES 03 9438 5065 Canvas products manufacturing and repairs, outdoor awnings and blinds, ute and trailer canopies, tonneaus, covers, caravan and camper trailer annexes and repairs, shade sails.


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G C SUTHERLAND 03 9555 3040 Australian owned business manufacturer and fabricator of canvas goods and PVC products.

HARDBACK INDUSTRIES 03 9770 8055 Leading manufacturer of exterior awnings and blinds, Australia-wide.

HORIZON SAILMAKERS 03 9598 4666 Australia’s foremost independent sail maker. Racing and cruising sails, architectural shade sails and membranes, tension structures, pool covers, architectural rigging, furling and sail handling systems, contract computerised design, contract cutting and manufacturing, repairs and alterations, fabric welding.

MURPHY’S TARP SERVICE 03 5032 1171 Tarpaulins, truck side curtains, caravan and camping, flags and banners, blinds and awnings, fabric structures – fabricator only.

OASIS TENSION STRUCTURES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 03 9588 1444 Oasis is an Australian owned, internationally acclaimed leader in architectural fabric structure design and construction.

PATCH’S CANVAS MANUFACTURING PTY LTD 03 5442 3211 Liners and covers, tarpaulins, caravan and camping, truck side curtains, flags and banners, blinds and awnings, ute and boat covers, as well as supplying fabrics and contract welding sewing services.

PENINSULA MARINE COVERS 03 5977 3399 Jason Avard is the owner/operator of Peninsula Marine Covers – specialising in the manufacture of boat covers and marine interiors for power cruisers, yachts and trailer boats. Based at Yaringa Marina and servicing most Melbourne and Peninsula marinas.

SKYE PARK RUGS 03 5940 9484 Supplier of all types of equestrian rugs and extras.

STRUCTUREFLEX PACIFIC 03 8796 5400 Design, engineering and fabrication of tensile sembranes, sails, umbrellas and fabric structures – wholesale only.

SUNSOFT SHADECLOTH SYSTEMS AUS PTY LTD 0411 108 544 Registered builder, designer and installer of shade structures (waterproof and non), umbrellas, clear café blinds and folding arm awnings.

TEBBS CANVAS PRODUCTS PTY LTD 03 9793 2044 Manufacturer of RV awning walls and annexes for RVs, SWCs, Pebbleguards, pop-top tent sections and caravan flyovers. Supplier to the caravan industry.

UNDERCOVER BLINDS, AWNINGS AND SHADE SYSTEMS 03 9775 1726 Undercover Blinds is a small retail/wholesale company specialising in external shade and weather protection products. It manufactures wholesale – folding arm awnings and canopies (Dutch hoods, French, wedge convex etc). It has a supply and installation service to selected firms (companies must qualify for installation service), 50 years-plus combined industry experience. Manufacturing to a standard not a price!

YARRA SHADE CO 03 9676 2476 Yarra Shade provides quality protection from the harsh Melbourne Sun with weather resistance and anti-corrosion outdoor shade sails and awnings for your residence, commercial property or local community buildings. It custom designs sails, umbrellas, shade structures, fixed and folding arm awnings.

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08 9071 7733 Manufacturer of canvas and synthetic fabric products.

08 9405 4310 Supreme Shades has been providing Western Australia with shade solutions for more than 19 years, and today is one of the largest manufacturers of shade sails for the Western Australian domestic and commercial markets. It has built a strong and reliable production business and is further developing its business through development projects and cutting edge structural designs.

08 9353 2550 Manufacturer of specialised industrial textile products, providing coverage, protection and safety products to Australia for over 40 years. Specialises in tailored solutions, made to measure for industrial and domestic applications.

ALLSTRUCT BLINDS AND SHADE SAILS 08 9402 8776 Allstruct Outdoors custom designs and manufactures products to fit almost any area requiring protection. It has an extensive understanding of building and engineering specifications. It offers free quoting and advice on the product that would best suit your needs. Low overheads, competitive pricing and quality assured.

BDM LEATHER AND CANVAS PTY LTD 08 9528 7055 BDM Leather and Canvas is one of Australia’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of canvas and PVC industrial tool bags, backpacks, pouches, as well as dust excluders, tarpaulins, shadecloth, machine covers, factory curtains etc. Included in its range are some outdoor shade products for domestic applications. Leather goods include riggers’ belts and frogs and specialist items for industry. Check the website and online shop.

BEE JAYS CANVAS CO 08 9451 8484 Perth owned and operated, Bee Jays Canvas Co produces all types of tarpaulin covers for various sectors, such as road transport, rural and general industries.

BRYSON CANVAS PRODUCTS 08 9581 7760 Bryson fabricates an extensive range of custom made marine products, including marine upholstery, canopies, biminis, clear curtains, storm sheets, travel and storage covers. It also offers a full repair service for these and many other items. Its fully equipped mobile workshop enables it to carry out work on-site when required.

COASTAL CANVAS 08 9964 3361 Locally owned and operated, Coastal Canvas offers a wide range of motor and marine trimming products.

CRUMPS CANVAS 08 9841 3866 Supplier of canvas and synthetic fabric products – no canvas or PVC job is too big or small at Crumps Canvas.

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EXCLUSIVE DESIGN UPHOLSTERY 08 9314 6882 Reupholstery, repairs and restoration, based in O’Connor WA.

KEN STONE MOTOR TRIMMERS 08 9841 6688 Motor trimming, tarpaulins, caravan and camping, marine trimming, blinds and awnings, liners and covers, truck side curtains, flags and banners, fabric structures – installer and fabricator.

TROPICAL UPHOLSTERY 08 9192 2243 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator: motor trimming, tarpaulins, blinds and awnings, marine trimming, liners and covers, caravan and camping, flags and banners, truck side curtains and upholstery.

KENLOW (1982) PTY LTD 08 9459 2533 Blinds and awnings, caravan and camping, tarpaulins, liners anc covers, fabric structures – installer and fabricator.

MORLEY CANVAS 08 9375 9500 Offers a range of canvas products and services. From toolbags to swags, caravan annexes, al fresco blinds and retractable arm awnings, canvas – PVC or shadecloth related mining applications – Morley can supply or repair anything canvas, PVC poly or shadecloth/mesh.

WEATHERSAFE WA 08 9725 4433 WeatherSafe WA, your complete outdoor weather protection expert. Products include: alfresco and patio blinds, outdoor awnings, shade sails and shade structures, Bali huts, motor vehicle and marine covers, trucking, agricultural and mining tarpaulins and covers.


ONE SHADE SAILS 0433 975 066 One Shade Sails designs, fabricates and installs shade sails and shade structures.

02 9450 0800 Supplier of automated cutting systems for all roll fabrics and composites, software packages for trimming, CAD, nesting, blinds and awnings, design and much more.

PRESTIGE MARINE TRIMMERS 08 9303 9536 Specialising in all aspects of marine trimming, including canopies, biminis, clears, marine carpet, cushions and upholstery. Offering an on-site service to all marinas and yacht clubs from South Fremantle to Two Rocks ,as well as carrying out work on trailer boats in the Wangara workshop.

ARCUS WIRE GROUP PTY LTD 02 9666 5900 Arcus Wire Group has been stocking and distributing high quality wire rope in Australia and New Zealand for over 50 years, and is now a leading supplier in Asia and South Africa.

BAINBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD SAIL CITY 1300 304 360 Fabric structures – installer and fabricator.

SHADE SOLUTIONS 0418 958 607 Designs, manufactures and installs shade sails for the architectural, commercial and residential markets, using premium quality materials and components sourced from the world’s leading manufacturers.

02 9938 1788 National distributor of speciality products to marine, recreational and construction markets, including outdoor furniture fabric upholsters, awning suppliers, marine cover makers, sail makers, ship and boat builders, flag and banner makers, architects, and chandlers.

BMS GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 02 9316 5188 BMS Group is a 100 percent Australian owned company that has supplied manufacturers with superior vinyl and stationery components since 1983.


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02 9634 7599 Buz is the complete computer solution for retail, wholesale and manufacturing of custom-made products in a hosted (cloud) environment. Functions include: leads, tablet quoting, web ordering, cutting sheet printing, bill of materials, stock control, production control, order tracking utilising barcoding, installation scheduling, and banking, including credit card and PayPal payments.

02 9669 3333 Nolan.UDA is a national supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. Its comprehensive product range provides solutions for almost any application. Nolan.UDA prides itself on its core business principles of integrity, innovation and value for money. Its goal is to work with its valued customers to create successful partnerships.

02 9217 4601 TAFE NSW can meet your training needs. Whether it be motor and marine trimming, sail making or textile fabricating, we can offer a training solution that meets your needs. Call anytime to discuss how it can best help you.

CARR AUSTRALIA 02 9636 9525 Supplier of automatic eyelet machines, eyelets, PVC etc. Also supplies fabrics.

ONELINK AGENCIES 0404 086 158 Representing Tenara Sewing Thread, Wax Converters Textiles, Miami Stainless, Rainbow Shade and Limited Paskal & ICL products

PLASTRAL PTY LTD COATS AUSTRALIAN PTY LTD 02 9838 5200 Supplier of all types of sewing threads and accessories.

02 9695 3200 Plastral is the Australian agent and service centre for Leister hot air hand held welders and automatic overlap and tape welders for industrial fabrics.



02 9645 2500 Supplies welding, sewing and cutting equipment, pneumatic and electronic components, as well as service and spare parts support.

02 9723 9141 Business coaching/advising and complete conference and event management.

GLEN RAVEN 02 9974 4393 Introduced in 1961, Sunbrella revolutionised the way the world thinks about how beautiful fabrics look, feel and perform. The Sunbrella brand is the leading premium fabric choice for awning, marine and furniture manufacturers, offering legendary durability, fade resistance and ease of cleaning. Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured and marketed by Glen Raven, a 132-year-old family-owned company based in North Carolina with operations worldwide.

GOODEARL AND BAILEY PTY LTD 02 9316 1300 Goodearl and Bailey is a wholesale institution. EST 1886, supplier of indoor|outdoor textile fabrics.


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WAX CONVERTERS TEXTILES PTY LTD 02 9709 4052 Supplier of fabric.

WEATHERMAX 02 9997 4099 Contender Sailcloth Pty Ltd is the Australian distributor for Weathermax Outdoor Performance Fabric. After successfully making Weathermax a household name in the marine industry, it is now focusing its marketing energy towards the nonmarine outdoor fabric industry.


02 9735 3333 Supplier of industrial and commercial textiles.


ROPE & CABLE 02 9907 6233 Established in 1978, Beehive Vinyl Products designs, fabricates and installs custom vinyl, canvas and shade cloth products. Its capabilities include motor and marine trimming, a large line of tool bag products, tool backpacks, shade sails, tension membranes, dam, tank and secondary containment liners, stockpile covers, tarpaulins, dust curtains, side curtains, heavy industrial covers, mining canvas and vinyl products, truck and trailer curtains and covers, safety bag and other products for the consumer, agriculture, mining, heavy industry, defence and other commercial customers.

07 3889 6677 Envirosmart produces a range of environmentally friendly spill control products and chemicals, and water treatment technology.

HAMLINS ACCESSORIES & LABELS 07 3865 8611 Supplies accessories such as labels, thread, zips, Velcro eyelets, studs webbing, scissors and fabric.

HVG FABRICS 1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors, including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture.

THE SHANN GROUP 02 9832 7000 Premium supplier of industrial fabric, textiles and accessories to the following industries: canvas, marine, furniture, blind, curtain, print media, bedding, automotive, footwear and clothing.

INNOVA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD 03 9551 8722 National distributor of performance engineered textiles for diverse fabricator markets.



02 9638 0744 Supplier of motors, controls and sensors for internal and external window coverings.

1800 551 556 Design and engineering of shade structures, shade sails and tensile membranes.

INNOVA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD 03 9551 8722 National distributor of performance engineered textiles for diverse fabricator markets.

02 9804 1146 Innovative, unique design of coupling that transforms the installation of waterproof shade by allowing two pipes to be joined at any angle.


HVG FABRICS 1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture.


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MIAMI STAINLESS 1800 022 122 Supplier of stainless steel hardware, wire rope, tools, fastenings, brackets and accessories specifically for the shade sail and associated industries.

NOLAN.UDA QLD 07 3387 8500 / NTH QLD 08 8984 4999 Nolan.UDA is a national supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. Its comprehensive product range provides solutions for almost any application. Nolan.UDA prides itself on its core business principles of integrity, innovation and value for money. Its goal is to work with its valued customers to create successful partnerships.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA HVG FABRICS 1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors, including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture.

ICL (SA) PTY LTD 08 8352 9400 Dohmo Channel-IT, Channel X and supplier of blind and awning components and Keyway. Distributor of shade-mesh, shadecloth, clear and solid PVC, awning canvas, proof canvas and acrylics.


07 3245 5607 Australian manufacturer of fabrics.

03 9551 8722 National distributor of performance engineered textiles for diverse fabricator markets.




07 3245 6756 Supplier of fabric and stainless steel fittings and wire ropes.

QUEENSLAND WHOLESALE CANVAS 07 3856 5888 Supplier of canvas, PVC, awning mesh, awning components, threads, zips, Velcro and all accessories.

RADINS PTY LTD 07 3865 1666 A leading supplier and wholesaler of industrial fabrics and hardware, supplying canvas for awnings, annexes and tents, PVC, polythene and mesh fabric to industry manufacturers.

RAINBOW SHADE PRODUCTS PTY LTD 07 5580 5366 Supplier of quality shade fabrics including Z16, DRiZ, eXtreme 32 and the Serge-Ferrari range of PVCs.

THE SHANN GROUP 07 3808 7277 Premium supplier of industrial fabric, textiles and accessories to the following industries: canvas, marine, furniture, blind, curtain, print media, bedding, automotive, footwear and clothing.

WINDOWARE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 07 3299 3788 Wholesale supplier of awnings, blinds, curtain tracks etc, with offices and warehouses Australia-wide.

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ELIZABETH MACHINES CO 03 8671 0000 Supplier of industrial sewing machines, Lightning cutting machines and Miller Weldmaster welding machines. Â Also supplies manual and automatic webbing cutters, automatic pattern sewing machines and automatic eyelet machines.

EYELETS SUPPLY COMPANY 03 9558 5400 Manufacturer and suppliers of eyelets, grommets, snap fasteners and automatic eyeleting equipment.

FRANK MARINE PTY LTD 03 9758 5829 Frank Marine is a Melbourne-based wholesale distributor of quality stainless steel 316 canopy fittings, shade sail hardware and balustrade fittings, such as stainless steel 316 shackles, swage terminals, turnbuckles, D rings, round rings, wire ropes and chains etc. Lower prices with better quality.

08 8260 1055 Nolan.UDA is a national supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. Its comprehensive product range provides solutions for almost any application.




08 8277 7733 Premium supplier of industrial fabric, textiles and accessories to the following industries: canvas, marine, furniture, blind, curtain, print media, bedding, automotive, footwear and clothing.

STAYPUT FASTENERS AUSTRALIA 08 8555 4258 Supplier of nylon composite, nickel plated and stainless steel fasteners for the industrial fabric trade.

03 9518 3333 Manufacturer and supplier of industrial fabrics including Polyfabrics, PVC, shadecloth and specialised fabrics.

1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors, including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture.



03 8795 7322 Compound manufacturer of various textile materials and high molecular synthetic resin materials, manufacturing and sales of compound process fabric products, and related businesses.



1300 813 322 Becker Australia is one of the leading suppliers in the automation of sun protection in Australia.

BRADMILL OUTDOOR FABRICS 03 9368 2222 Manufacturer of coated, HT dyed, proofed fabrics for industrial and consumer fabrics.

DEFAB 03 9305 3988 A wholly Australian family owned and operated textile, weaving, coating, proofing and distribution business with national support.

03 9318 0988 Supplier of fabric, external components, awning systems and motors to the internal and external blinds and awning industry.

INNOVA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD 03 9551 8722 National distributor of performance engineered textiles for diverse fabricator markets.

KELMATT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 03 9763 8522 Manufacturer and supplier of industrial textile products Australia-wide: advertising banners, tennis court screens, pool covers etc.


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MEHLER TEXNOLOGIES 03 8804 1353 One of the leading international companies on the market for coated fabrics. It produces and distributes annually more than 50 million square metres of materials under the brand names VALMEX®, POLYMAR® and AIRTEX®, utilising more than 60 years of development and production experience, and ongoing research and development to improve existing compound materials and open new application areas.

NOLAN.UDA 03 9545 5588 Nolan.UDA is a national supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. Its comprehensive product range provides solutions for almost any application. Nolan.UDA prides itself on its core business principles of integrity, innovation and value for money. Its goal is to work with its valued customers to create successful partnerships.

OPTION MARINE PRODUCTS 03 9763 3166 Marine trimming supplier.

PASKAL PTY LTD 03 9588 8800 Wholesaler of industrial fabrics and accessories to the canvas and boat, motor trimming, shade sail, saddlery, horse rugs and awning producers, as well as a wide variety of fabric converters.

PATHFINDER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 03 9338 3471 Manufacturer of CAD/CAM technology servicing any apparel, composite, furniture, technical textiles and automotive industries involved in cutting flexible and semi-rigid materials.

POLYFAB AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 03 9770 8480 Supplier of shadecloth and other industrial fabrics – worldwide.

POLYWELD PTY LTD 03 9305 3337 Manufacturer and innovator since 1968, specialising in coated fabric products, truck curtains and hardware, Tenacitex Extreme Tenacity Textile webbing used in Tenacitex load restraint curtains and flat pack vinyl/Colorbond steel tanks. Agents in all Australian states and the UK.

RADINS PTY LTD 03 9551 6000 An importer and national distributor of quality fabrics for external and internal window furnishings, marine and motor trimming, shade sails, proofed canvas and PVC, horse rug canvas, hardware and


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accessories. Top international and local brands include VistaRange, Dickson Orchestra, Sunbrella, Brella, Bradmill and Hunter Douglas. Offers a cut length service and full rolls to the trade.

RMIT UNIVERSITY 03 9925 9182 Textile fabrication training and textile testing services.

SEWING PERFECTION MACHINE CO 03 9742 5854 Provides welding, sewing and cutting equipment, accessories/components and services such as PFAFF welding and sewing machine sales, service and parts.

SHANN AUSTRALIA 03 8480 0800 Premium supplier of industrial fabric, textiles and accessories to the following industries: canvas, marine, furniture, blind, curtain, print media, bedding, automotive, footwear and clothing.

SIGMATEC PTY LTD 03 9363 3036 Keder rope, PE – Woven Fabric, also metalised, PP – Non Woven Moisture Barrier, HDPE – geomembrane, hook and loop with adhesives.

WILSON FABRICS PTY LTD 1300 656 100 Wilson Fabrics, established in 1926, is Australian owned and offers an extensive collection of Australian made fabrics. Wilson Fabrics’ specialisation lies in designing and developing an exciting range of innovative decorative and functional quality outdoor awnings, internal blinds and drapery, and fabrics for domestic and commercial purposes, inspired by global trends.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA AUSTECH WELDERS PTY LTD 0418 771 600 Supplies, services and repairs various welding machines and industrial sewing machines.

HVG FABRICS 1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors, including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture.

INNOVA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD 03 9551 8722 National distributor of performance engineered textiles for diverse fabricator markets.

SUNSMART 03 9514 6419 SunSmart (Cancer Council Victoria) works with schools, early childhood centres, workplaces, health professionals, local government, sporting clubs and other organisations to promote a healthy approach to UV exposure. This work is underpinned by statewide media campaigns that communicate the SunSmart message.

TEX CONNEX PTY LTD 03 9702 3778 Supplier of Tenara Sewing Thread and architectural PVC fabrics and PVC coated mesh fabrics, as well as other specialised products.

VELCRO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD 03 9703 2466 Velcro Industries continues to be the premier manufacturer and innovator of hook and loop fasteners.

W L GORE & ASSOCIATES (AUS) PTY LTD 0403 601 844 Gore focuses on four main areas: electronics, fabrics, industrial and medical products. Its fabrics provide protection from the elements and its industrial division meets diverse contamination control and processing challenges.

NOLAN.UDA 08 9376 2666 Nolan.UDA is a national supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. Its comprehensive product range provides solutions for almost any application.

SHANN AUSTRALIA 08 9244 4433 Premium supplier of industrial fabric, textiles and accessories to the following industries: canvas, marine, furniture, blind, curtain, print media, bedding, automotive, footwear and clothing.


VALESHADE SDN BHD +604 262 0855

VOILE DU SUD +33 9 52 23 28 84

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The Full Cassette Siena puts its rivals in the shade

Full Cassette Siena


wning Systems Australia is a wholesale supplier of custommade speciality awning and blind kits, and componentry. All products are manufactured at the company’s Carrum Downs, Victoria premises, using high quality components with a range of mill and powdercoated options. While already well-known for its popular Siena Folding Arm Awning (FAA) and eZip Patio System Blind, Awnings Systems Australia is proud to announce its latest innovation, the Full Cassette Siena Folding Arm Awning. Now available, the Full Cassette Siena has all the features of the Siena FAA – including greater stability through increased spring tension – plus some unique benefits. What makes the Full Cassette Siena stand out is that the fabric is fully enclosed and thus protected from the

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Siena FAA


harsh Australian elements. The main cassette is formed in a U shape, with the arms fully enclosed. When retracted, it locks into a tight oval shape. Its arms feature a unique eight-link chain for optimum strength, arguably the strongest arms available in Australia. Awning Systems Australia national business manager, Simon Crook, says,

“The Full Cassette Siena is a compact, sleek, European designed awning. It launched at the start of October, the product has gained much interest and positive reviews with both fabricators and dealers.” Made from powder-coated aluminium, the Full Cassette Siena is available in your choice of Duralloy Dulux colours.


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HISTORY OF CANVAS IN AUSTRALIA Most in the industry will be aware that 2015 marks a significant milestone for the Specialised Textiles Association: its 75th anniversary. The STA has even set up a new Historical committee to investigate the industry’s past and here at Connections, we thought we’d take a little ramble down memory lane ourselves. In this we are indebted to the formidable research conducted by Graeme Gair, whose collection of Draft Review Papers from 1999 formed the bulk of the reference material thus far. Gair had a long and fruitful career in the canvas industry, working for the Gair Manufacturing Company, Davies Coop and Sunshine Australia, which later merged with Radins, while also serving on various committees and associations before his retirement in 1986.


he history of specialised textiles in the southern hemisphere naturally begins with the history of canvas production in the region. And this production was massively influenced by some significant historical events. There were the gold rushes, of course, and the two world wars. Without these momentous periods of change and disruption, the specialised textiles industry as we know it would have probably been something else altogether. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back a bit further… way, way back. The earliest signs of cotton production are thought to pre-date recorded history. Consider this extract from an address to the Tenth Canvas Convention in Adelaide in 1950 by Sir Robert Webster, managing director of Bradford Cotton Mills:


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“Records unearthed in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in the Industry Valley in India in 1926, indicate that cotton cultivation and manufacture existed as early as 3000 BC. The law books of manufacturing contain matter written as far back as 800 to 700 BC referring to cotton growing and processing.” It seems likely that the cotton plant was also indigenous to both North and South America with Columbus reporting seeing it in the Bahamas in 1492. Canvas evolved as “a coarse cloth of hemp or flax used for sails and tents” (Oxford English Dictionary definition), though it could also be woven from jute, ramie or wool/hair. Australia’s earliest uses of canvas were all about imports from the motherland, Great Britain. The Industrial Revolution included major upheavals in the textiles

industry, which leapt ahead with James Hargreaves’ invention of the Spinning Jenny in 1767, Richard Arkwright’s water frame in 1769 and Samuel Compton’s combination of the two into the spinning mule a decade later, plus the power loom from Edmund Cartwright in 1784. Subsequently, the great (or “dark and satanic”, according to William Blake) cotton mills began springing up during the so-called Age of Elegance. Manchester (and the rest of the county of Lancashire) was the hub of the industry and soon began exporting to the fledgling colony on the other side of the world. In particular, Australia’s gold rushes (from around 1850 onwards) saw a dramatic upsurge in the demand for canvas for tents and wagons etc. From 1800 to 1900, Australian canvas manufacturers were almost entirely

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A surviving Industrial Revolution era Lancashire cotton mill.


dependent upon this UK supply. The Great or First World War (1914 to 1918) resulted in Australia also accessing its raw materials from other sources – such as Japan and even the US. Up to and, indeed, beyond 1940 heavier textiles were sourced from such UK suppliers as Henry Hauston, Cox Brothers, Stanley Cotton Mills, William Ritchie and Sons, and Francis Webster. While local individuals and companies acting as agents for overseas weaving

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mills included the likes of W Watson, Alexander Paterson, George Fethers and Company and Birkmyre Australia. There were also middlemen involved such as the Flinders Lane Warehouses and Indent Agents in Melbourne. These warehouses were used by Australian manufacturers for back-up supplies if they ran short, though their importance declined after World War II. In the first half of the twentieth century, the speciality cloths, both


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Early Gair Evans product brochures.

imported and home-grown had myriad uses in Australia. A mixture of jute and flax was used for water and verandah bags, while canvas was also needed for such diverse uses as agricultural binder canvases, tram blinds, sandshoes, cricket pads and conveyor belts. Following World War I, however, the Australian Government stepped in, reacting to a widespread belief that Australia should become self-sufficient and no longer so dependent upon overseas suppliers of basic materials. Accordingly, the Government put in place tariff protections and other support systems. It was this that aided the likes of Bradford Cotton Mills to become established as a spinner and weaver of, initially, garments and then industrial textiles. Davies Coop and Actil were helped in a similar fashion in South Australia.


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It was World War II that really cemented this change – with the UK barely able to keep up with domestic demand and experiencing substantial losses of exports due to U-boat attacks. Unsurprisingly, as an enemy combatant, Japan also ceased to be a supplier and Australia simply had focus its efforts inwards. Flax began to be grown in Victoria and mills were set up with Commonwealth assistance. This was the beginning of the home-grown manufacturing of industrial textiles. By 1940 there were nine government backed flax mills in Australia’s southern states, as far afield as Hamilton, Ballarat, Colac and Lismore. The recovered flax fibre was then sent to James Miller and Company in Warrigal, which had received further government assistance to set up a spinning plant, producing thread and yarn. At the same time, Davies Coop and

Company had established a flax weaving shed in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, producing materials for fire hoses and canvas for the Victorian Railways. Apart from production of raw materials though, there were companies already established who became integral to the burgeoning industry. One such was John Robertson, alias Lewis C Grutzner, which was established in Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street in the early 1900s before moving to Richmond and developing as a dyeing and business (it also did dry cleaning). In the early 1930s, waterproofing was added to the repertoire with the acquisition of a Burnley Street waterproofing factory. Early customers included the motor trimming accessories firm R S Johnson, William Morgan, Camile de Stoop and a raft of names still familiar today, such as Gairs, Radins and Birkmyre. The advent of World War II saw demand soar and Grutzner took on three Italian prisoners of war to help keep up production. One of Grutzner’s most notable innovations followed the bombing of Darwin, when the Army was forced to rethink its practice of having white (and, thus, highly visible) tents. Grutzner suggested a treatment of potassium permanganate (aka Condy’s crystals) solution, which gave the canvas a dull brown colour. Another pioneer was Charles Hesse Senior, credited with the invention and development of the ‘automatic’ sun blind awning system. Hesse had his first patent granted in 1931, but struggled to make a commercial success of the invention during the Depression. He took his idea to England and Europe, but before he could capitalise on the significant interest he received there war broke out and he returned home to Footscray to put the factory on war production, delivering roller blackout blinds for hospitals and other municipal facilities. The family-owned business went on to have a long history, with a patent attorney once telling Hesse’s sons that out of all the patents he’d dealt with Hesse Senior’s awning patent was one of only two to stand the test of time (sadly, history doesn’t tell us what the other one was). In 1999, Graeme Gair put together his draft review papers in a commendable

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attempt to begin a detailed history of the canvas industry in Australia. In the papers he calls for further information on other pioneering companies, such as Millers, which he believed had a spinning mill in Warrigal, Victoria and a head office in Brunswick in the 1930s and 40s. Kinnears was another early supplier, as was Donaghys Industries, an early rope supplier moving to woven synthetic canvases in later years. Gair goes into great detail in his papers when covering the defence contracts during World War II, listing reams of suppliers of canvas ware, as well as orders for tents, flys, water buckets, wagon covers, camp beds, canvas baths and ambulance stretchers etc. One of the major players at the time was the aforementioned Davies Coop, which began as a manufacturer of knitted underwear. In 1930, it bought a spinning plant in Lancashire, so it could produce its own yarn. The success of this venture led to another spinning plant and a Victorian weaving mill, with further plants built in South Australia and New South Wales at the beginning of World War II, with weaving specifically designed for the canvas and duck (from Dutch doek, linen canvas) trade. With Government assistance, Davies Coop was well-placed to cater to the war’s demand for defence contract canvas, while also supplying ducks to the rubber industry for making tyres and conveyor belts etc. The rope and cordage manufacturer James Miller sponsored the fledgling Victorian flax growing industry and installed spinning equipment, working in conjunction with Davies Coop’s weaving mill. An even earlier pioneer in the industry was Birkmyre, which can trace its roots back to 1736 and the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was originally known as the Gourock Rope Work Company Limited (later Bridon). Its Australian history stretches back almost as far, with Birkmyre products apparently used as sails and rigging on Captain Cook’s Endeavour. An Australian branch of the firm was opened in Sydney shortly after Federation in 1902, with Melbourne and Brisbane branches following not long after. So popular were its products that ‘Birkmyre’ became a

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synonym for proofed canvas, in the way that ‘Hoover’ did for vacuum. Birkmyre didn’t begin manufacturing in Australia though until 1940, again as a response to the war effort, with making-up factories established in both Sydney and Melbourne. At the same time a number of smaller family companies were growing and flourishing – again, some of which still thrive. Adelaide had Flavel and Son, Sydney had the likes of Smith Copeland, E H Brett and Son, and Goodearls, Melbourne had Gairs, Evan Evans, and A Champion and Sons, while Relyan and Lanhams was one of the most notable firms in Brisbane. Bradford Cotton Mills also benefited from government assistance during the industry’s early years. From 1925, Bradford established a mill in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray where it could


handle spinning, weaving and finishing. By the time of the Depression, Bradford was offering cotton duck to the canvas industry in both loomstate and proofed finish, with defence contracts kicking in by 1940 leading to an increase in the weaving capacity and expansion of proofing at the Footscray facility. Another significant individual in the early years of the Australian industry was Thomas Evans, who arrived in Melbourne in 1852 and quickly saw a great future as a supplier of canvas products to the hordes streaming into the area with gold dust in their eyes and fever in their veins. By 1853, the 25-year-old had established his business in Great Bourke Street, and it prospered after his death, even though his descendants showed little interest. Another family – the Doughtons – took on the company and helped it thrive. The third in the line

of Doughtons, Thomas Evans Doughton was considered largely responsible for the formation of the first Victorian Canvas Goods Association. Maybe it has something to do with that particular Welsh name, because another early success story belonged to Evan Evans, who established his canvas business in Sydney Road, Melbourne in 1877. This firm also saw business boom during World War I, building several new facilities and beginning to waterproof cloth, using paraffin wax as the main waterproofing agent. Expansion continued during the 1920s and 30s, with another surge in production occurring during World War II. The two wars combined saw this one company produce over 600,000 canvas items for the Armed Forces. About 20 years after Evans, apprentice sail-maker John Gair struck out on his own, opening a general canvas company in Bourke Street, Melbourne in 1900, buying the business from John Buckham for the princely sum of £60 (including a £5 deposit). Like many others, Gair’s thrived during both world wars, but also during the Boer War (1899 to 1902), producing tents, tarpaulins, water bags and horse rugs for the Army. During World War II, it was unable to use the new factory and bulk store it had completed in 1938, but still did well producing everything from one-man tents to large hospital marquees. On the marine front, sail-maker Frank Radin transferred his family firm from Tasmania to Melbourne in 1922 in order to continue working on the Holymans fleet, which had also moved there. Radins quickly began providing sails for yachts and Victorian fishing vessels, before expanding into all types of canvas goods production at the end of World War II. C In part two of our history of canvas in Australia we’ll be covering some of the pioneering companies in other Australian states. And looking at how the industry progressed post World War II, with the advent of synthetic materials. Do you have any stories to tell? Images to share? Contact the editor at and tell all…


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BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK When it came to erecting a sleek corporate space for the Brisbane Festival last year, Moreton Hire discovered you can never go wrong with basic black.


oreton Hire is a Queensland event company that likes to mix it up a little with the marquees and pop-ups it provides. In recent times, its projects and applications have included strictly formal affairs, such as when it provided a contemporary curved-roof Arcum marquee for a February 2014 reception hosted by the then Governor-General the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC for


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G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors among others. The marquee was erected on the lawns of Admiralty House at Kirribilli, overlooking Sydney Harbour, and had an internal fitout referencing Commonwealth royal blue tones, with linen, furniture and florals completing the look. With a similar attention to quality and elegance, Moreton also erected an Arcum at a gala event at Fleet Steps on Sydney’s harbourside. The Arcum has become the marquee of choice for the company. “[It]

is the ultimate in space functionality and the curved roof combined with solid or glass walls offers a seamless front and tight finish,” says the Moreton’s commercial manager, Tim Coupland. At Fleet Steps the marquee played host to a 350-head dinner, which was the culmination of a week-long event that included a delegate conference, exhibition and harbour cruise. But it’s not all champagne and canapés for Moreton’s clients. Another recent contract saw it providing a smaller 10- by 10-metre pop-up space for air freshener brand, Air Wick, when a smaller black Arcum structure was heavily branded for the company’s open-fronted ‘Magical Family Photos’ space. “Our customers are always very interested in learning

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about how they can brand our marquees. Particularly for outdoor events. We facilitate all vinyl printing through our teams here,” says marketing manager Kate Kirkham. “Vinyl printing is extremely popular. Internally for the marquees, we are seeing a lot more interest in stretched fabric banners due to the flexibility these offer our customers. Not only in the vibrancy of print, but also in the various shapes and sizes that fabric allows us to print on. For example, a customer for a pop-up brand activation, can have a seamless wall, that

runs the full length of the tent, and fits into the tracking system. Previously, there would have been seams to achieve the height and width cost-effectively. The black marquee makes up part of our Arcum range. It is curved roof in design; that is something different from the conventional A-frame options in the market,” adds Kirkham. The most challenging and satisfying brief though was the very first use of the black Arcum marquee, which Moreton erected for the 2013 Brisbane Festival, a

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corporate hospitality space intended as a perfect location from which to watch the renowned Brisbane Festival lightshow. This was a stunning unveiling for the black marquee, prompting the Festival’s artistic director Noel Staunton to rave about its ‘wow factor’. “The customer wanted something unique,” explains Kirkham. “Brisbane Festival is about being out of the box. The initial brief was for a hot pink marquee to work in with the event branding; however, the organisers ended up choosing black for

its sleek night-time effect, and to not take away from the lightshow, which was the main event!” The marquee hosted the Santos GLNG lounge and was in situ for the duration of the three-week event from 7 to 28 September 2013. It included a bar and catering area, but also had an open balcony so as not to block the view of the light show and fireworks. It had a raised deck, stairs and was weighted down for safety. The installation was not without its difficulties, however. “There were significant

logistical challenges in installing the event, as the area is on quite a slant, in a public area, so our team installed overnight and, as with all of our installations, engineers were involved to ensure the safety for guests,” explains Kirkham. “All of our events work with a CAD (computer aided design) designer to lock in their floor plan… after multiple reviews, they settled on this set-up,” she adds. One of the best features of this particular marquee is its flexibility, according to Kirkham.

LET US HANDLE THE BIG JOBS BULK WELDING IS OUR SPECIALTY Why not stick to what you do best and leave the bulk sewing and welding (hot air, hot wedge, RF welding) to DDT. At our wholesale prices, you can improve your bottom line. Contact Max or Michael for a quotation


SIZE IS NO PROBLEM Darling Downs Tarpaulins are geared to cope with those very large jobs like green houses, shade houses, shade sails, dam liners and bulk storage covers.

Phone: 07 4634 2166 Fax: 07 4634 7725 Email: Web:

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“The beauty of the Arcum structure is the way in which it is extremely modular and flexible in its design. For Brisbane Festival, they utilised three structures set up alongside each other, to give the three-curved-roof effect. Conversely to this, customers can choose to have one continuous curved structure should they choose.” This flexibility extends to the materials used. “The Arcum marquee is simply the structure that we use to build the tent. We have various options of different vinyls we can use to clad the structure; however, white is generally preferable due to heat considerations. The marquee can include air-conditioning. For Brisbane Festival, this wasn’t required due to the open plan layout. We only recommend the black vinyl be used for evening events, as it can get too hot if air-conditioning is not included!” says Kirkham. C

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DESIGNER Fabric Structure Systems


FABRICATOR Alexander Pacific Group, Fabritecture

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Last year’s closure of the ageing Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre left a big hole in the city. But that gap has now been filled by an impressive temporary structure called the Dockside Pavilion.

Specifications of the fabric structure: SIZE: 20m wide x 84m long on 6.02m bay spacing ENGINEERING: Wind loading to AS1170 Region A TC 2 EXTERNAL CENTRE PEAK HEIGHT: 9.1m INTERNAL CENTRE PEAK HEIGHT: 8.0m EXTERNAL N/S END HOOD PEAK HEIGHT: 7.75m EXTERNAL MINIMUM PEAK HEIGHT: 6.6m INTERNAL MINIMUM PEAK HEIGHT: 5.5m FRAME: Steelwork with three-coat paint finish colour – white ROOF FABRIC: Ferrari 802S2 white PVC – translucent SOUTH GABLE: 50mm thick Bondor panels to a height of 4.9m with Ferrari PVC mesh cladding above this height for ventilation NORTH GABLE: Glass and aluminium framing up to a height of 4.9m with Ferrari PVC mesh cladding above for ventilation EASTERN SIDE: ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) clear panels. Undulating height range from 2.0m to 3.7m WESTERN SIDE: ETFE panels with a printed frit pattern that achieves a frost look and doesn’t allow clear vision into the structure

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f the awards ceremony at this year’s STA conference taught us anything, it’s that some great projects are subtle and blend into their environment, while others leap up and down and say, “Hey! Look at me! Aren’t I something?” The Dockside Pavilion on Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour would definitely fall into the latter category. For the sheer size of it if nothing else. Though you can add to that the lighting effects, which have been designed with the intention of being an attraction in their own right – making the Pavilion highly visible from all of the CBD’s main corporate

towers. Trumpeting its status as ‘Sydney’s largest floating venue’, the Pavilion can cater for up to 1440 seated visitors (100 tables of 12 people) and 2000 if they’re standing. If used as a theatre space with a small stage, it can accommodate 1800. An additional 500 guests can mill around on the adjoining promenade. The venue boasts 1470 square metres of floor space with ceilings stretching from 5.5 metres to eight metres at the highest point. It has floor-to-ceiling windows along the city side, enabling uninterrupted views of Darling Harbour and the Sydney

city skyline, while frosted glass along the promenade side ensures event privacy. The Pavilion was constructed following the closure of the 25-year-old Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in December 2013, as a stopgap facility to use for large events and conferences until the brand new International Convention Centre (ICC) opens. It was designed by Warwick Bell of Fabric Structure Systems in Auckland, New Zealand. Bell was selected following the success of The Cloud project – a 180-metre long structure produced for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Bat Mitzvah © Philip Carr


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Cloud, designed in collaboration with Simon Hakaraia, was an even more gargantuan achievement, constructed out of PVC and steel along the Auckland waterfront and capable of hosting 15,000 people. For the Dockside Pavilion, design engineering was completed and certified by Brisbane-based Wades Design Engineers (principal engineers Joseph Dean and Greg Thomas), while fabrication was courtesy of New South Wales-based Fabritecture (principal Jethro Jones). Bureau Veritas was appointed to complete a supplier technical assessment

to determine the capability of meeting Australian fabrication standards, including marine paint specifications. Both the pontoon and the structure were assembled in White Bay, Sydney, in five individual sections – in order to facilitate access into Cockle Bay by being towed under the Pyrmont Bridge. Only the fitting of the skin and the internal fitout took place in situ. The venue is now catering to business, public and community events, as well as private functions, and will do so until the ICC, which is anticipated to open in 2016, supersedes it. C


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TIME FOR TEXTILES ENTERPRISES TO TAKE THE LEAD IN SKILLS VET consultant KERRIE CLARKE investigates changes in the availability and format of training in the industry, and explains what small businesses need to do now in order to make sure they are still able to find and retain employees with the necessary skills.


ttracting and retaining workers who have the right skills is one of the highest priorities for manufacturing enterprises, with many finding unfilled vacancies are limiting their ability to compete. It presents a complex problem for enterprises and demands that they look at business practices, how their industry can attract potential employees and what training programs can effectively develop both new entrants as well as the workers they already have. Without doubt, all this takes time, a strained resource for most small businesses. But without industry engagement in workforce development, the options keep reducing and the problem doesn’t go away. Already employers have found some training programs are no longer available in their state. Training providers have found too


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few enrolments in national qualifications have made them unviable to offer; providers of many qualifications in the textiles industry must now be found interstate. The impact on employees (or potential employees) may well have been a little discouraging. Current training options for the textiles industry include a range of qualifications from Certificate II to Certificate IV and cover skills across production, fabrication, installation, material knowledge, technical textiles, industrial sewing, quality control, safety and a range of other work practices. They were developed in 2007 by Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA), the national body that develops and maintains national training packages for manufacturing, in collaboration with industry.

Since that time, there have been significant changes in the textiles industry. Some sectors have almost disappeared; others have significantly changed their practices. Impacts of globalisation across textiles, clothing and footwear have reshaped much of the industry and new technologies have changed the nature of some jobs altogether. At the same time, reform of the vocational, education and training (VET) system has been underway and changes are still being implemented. Funding of courses has become more market driven and allocations prioritised to areas of economic significance. Private registered training organisations (RTOs) now compete in the market for the same funding as public TAFEs, and enterprises are expected to take a more hands-on and strategic approach to training. Courses

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Australia’s shade solution for architectural design


t Ricky Richards we understand that only high performance fabrics should be used for architecturally designed projects, including those that are developed to protect people, horticulture and vehicles from harsh weather elements such as sun, wind and hail. As the market leader for strength, stability and performance, Monotec 370 Series commercial shadecloth is the perfect solution for shade sails and structures that will provide consistent protection from the harsh Australian conditions. Manufactured in Australia by ProKnit Industries, Monotec 370 Series is made using a true, 100 percent round monofilament HDPE yarn. This ensures that, after installation, the fabric retains its permanent shape and design for many years to come. Supported by the industry’s only 15-year manufacturer’s

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warranty, Monotec 370 Series has a high strength to weight ratio and exceeds the Australian Standards requirements for bursting and tensile strength. Monotec 370 Series is available in 14 vibrant colours and is supplied in widths of 3.25 metres and 6.5 metres. These wide widths will assist you with minimising unsightly seams and weak points in a sail, and also with reducing fabrication costs. In addition to this, the Monotec Series of shadecloth is also available in a fire retardant option. Monotec 370 Series FR has been engineered to pass the industry’s most stringent tests in Australia and around the world. Available in five colour options, Monotec 370 Series FR is supported by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. To complete the collection, we offer Monotec 210 Series, a medium duty

commercial shadecloth. This option was designed for applications where the heaviest duty shade is not a necessity (such as vehicle protection, pool shading and some horticultural environments), yet will still retain the strength and integrity that only Monotec Series shadecloths have. Available in seven colours, Monotec 210 Series is supported by a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty. Monotec Series shadecloth has been used in many award-winning projects, both in Australia and internationally, and is industry recognised as the strongest, highest performing shadecloth in the world. For further information or samples of Monotec 370 Series and Monotec 210 Series, please contact the friendly Ricky Richards sales team on 02 9735 3333 or by email


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that are not supported by industry are unlikely to survive in this new environment. The imperative for enterprises to engage in national training and participate in the development and maintenance of their industry training package has never been stronger. Industry expectations for skill outcomes are defined in training packages and it is industry involvement that ensures they are fit for purpose. Getting the skills, qualifications and progression pathways right has a significant impact on the training outcomes that are achieved and, in turn, a strong influence on what skills are available into the future. The TCF Training Package is now on the agenda for updating by MSA, and there are many ways that enterprises can get involved. Units of competency are currently being updated to strengthen assessment requirements. The revised units are available to review on the MSA website. Feedback is invited to ensure that the units reflect the needs of industry. Key goals for the project include establishing entry and exit pathways that encourage people to enter the industry and continue to develop their skills, and maintaining a national focus on training delivery in niche and thin market skills areas. A redevelopment of qualifications could also include new units of competency to fill identified skill gaps. To stay informed about this project, register your interest or review units, visit MSA’s website: Kerrie Clarke, director of Affinity@Work, has worked extensively with enterprises to identify skill needs, develop training packages and materials and advocate for skill development across the manufacturing industry. She has been instrumental in developments for the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package and is the author of many industry policy documents, including Manufacturing Skills Australia’s Environmental Scan report.


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GETTING THEM YOUNG, KEEPING THEM KEEN One of Manufacturing Skills Australia’s newest initiatives is the Macarthur Industry Engagement – Work Inspiration program. Over five days during July 2014, the MSA joined with a range of enterprises and associations to help students understand the careers that exist in the manufacturing industry. Naturally, this included the specialised textiles industry, with companies like ABC Products and Ricky Richards agreeing to participate.


lenn Barlow is the business manager at Nans Tarps and managing director at the conferencing and event management company Positive Resolutions. He has also been a board member of the Specialised Textiles Association for over five years. He explains how the STA became involved in the Work Inspiration program. “The Specialised Textiles Association works closely with Manufacturing Skills Australia on a regular basis, as they own the training packages that sit inside our industry. Approximately 18 months ago, MSA invited STA to be part of a pilot program originally designed by The Smith Family called ‘Work Inspiration’, all about introducing school-aged kids to career

opportunities that they may not have considered,” says Barlow. The program was based around five separate industries that would be explored at one stage over the weeklong program, with ABC Products Sydney being the chosen member representative company for the STA. After many meetings and much planning, the weeklong program launched in July 2014 with ABC Products being the first company in the week to be on display.” Barlow talks of the “constant battle” the industry faces to get young people interested in a career, and describes this new initiative as “part of ongoing endeavour to expose school-age kids to what we do”.

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“One of the lifebloods of any industry is keeping young people coming into it as a career choice, he says. “Sadly we, like many others industries, slip under the radar as a legitimate choice for many young school leavers.â€? Barlow’s role was to facilitate and organise the STA aspect of the program and this entailed attending around 10 meetings run by MSA beforehand to make sure the specialised textiles industry was represented in a positive light. Around 20 students were involved in this pilot program, sourced by the Macarthur Workplace Learning Program from three different high schools in Western Sydney. “Once the kids involved in the program had gone through the preparation and induction process, it was over to George and James Formosa to show off many aspects of our industry and career opportunities, which they did with absolute style,â€? says Barlow. “ABC Products is the pinnacle of what a company in our industry would want to be. Their supreme level of quality in every aspect is undeniable. Not to mention they are super people as well.â€? James Formosa says the company was more than happy to get involved. “Glenn asked if we were interested in doing a demonstration and tour of the factory for some young school leavers and to help the industry out. I said ‘sure thing’ as the exposure for the industry is always a fantastic thing‌ making people aware

of what they can do being creative in this industry,� he explains. “The involvement for us was to show the students what the industry was all about and how the manufacturing process takes place. Also the career path you could take in the industry – from being a machinist, operations manager or draftsman to an installer and business owner. David Burton from Ricky Richards gave the students an insight from the fabric supplier and how they source the materials required for the industry and explaining many different applications

where the materials are used, even in the day-to-day lives of the students. “We gave the students an in-depth tour of the facility at ABC Products, explaining many different types of machines used today and showing a range of products that are produced, apart from the standard shade sails.� The response was excellent, according to Formosa. “The students had some very good questions, especially about the career path and what were the opportunities in the industry,� he says. Barlow was also pleased with the way this inaugural program turned out. The feedback and questions asked by the students on the day was fabulous, with the kids genuinely interested in the activity in the factory. Feedback post the event has mainly been from others involved and has been super-positive,� he says, adding, “The surprise mainly came via just how interested the group of kids were in the industry. [I’m] not saying they or any will choose it straight off the bat, but it was great to see all the same.� He is also optimistic about the possibility of the program being an ongoing initiative. “The pilot program was designed so that individual industries would take the program up on their own into the future, so hopefully yes,� he says, adding that the benefits are for all parties involved. “As a national association, it is always great to gain positive exposure on behalf of our members and this was certainly no exception.� C PLASTIC WELDING

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MORALITY AND THE FAIR WORK ACT Litigation doesn’t cost enough, according to Adam Lunn, partner, Workplace Relations Employment and Safety at Mills Oakley Lawyers.


hile it may be one of our fundamental legislative instruments, the Fair Work Act could still be said to synonymous with the internal struggle between morality and cost. So far as we are concerned, long gone are the days of the Dickensian workhouse and the mace wielding beadle; and there are few employers who would genuinely question the morality of the advancements that have had such a positive effect on the rights of most employees and workers over the course of the past hundred or so years. By and large, the entitlements of the employee of the 21st century are indeed fairer than those enjoyed by young Mr Twist and his comrades. There are probably almost equally few employers who would, in good conscience, argue that a return to the funk of the workhouse would be morally justifiable or even economically desirable. However, given the persistence in some parts of the market of unscrupulous work practices, whether by design or through ignorance, we can fairly assume that, on the whole, there is general acceptance of the need for legislative intervention to preserve as reasonably as possible, if not enshrine, generally accepted modern concepts of employee rights and entitlements. Thus, we have the Fair Work Act, and indeed its predecessors, for better or worse. Regardless of one’s political persuasion, it is a reasonable assumption that in enacting legislation to regulate rights between employees and employers, it is usually the intention of our legislators to endeavour to achieve that elusive balance between the morality of ensuring there is no return to the workhouse against the cost to the employer and the economy of achieving the balance sought. There are, of course, a variety of views as to where the balance lies,


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but that is a matter for the electorate to determine from time to time. Taking a sideways step for a moment, it is a cornerstone of our legal system that, vexatious litigants aside, people are pretty much entitled to bring whatever claim (or defence), whether well-founded, ill-conceived, entirely spurious or even fictitious, that they may choose to bring, against whomever they choose – subject of course to the overriding governor that vengeance may be exacted by the other party in the form of a particularly nasty costs order if the position advanced was ill-conceived, entirely spurious or fictitious and, consequently, it might be said, devoid of morality.


How then do we reconcile the status of Fair Work Australia as a ‘no-costs’ jurisdiction? Well, on the one hand, it is somewhat mischievous to suggest that Fair Work Australia is entirely a ‘no-costs’ jurisdiction. Indeed, our legislators have incorporated a number of provisions in the Fair Work Act that permit the imposition of costs penalties upon litigants (and, indeed, their lawyers) in the event that a claim or a defence is (using loose terminology) ill-conceived, entirely spurious, fictitious or otherwise

Adam Lunn Partner Mills Oakley Lawyers

without merit or morality. (I might add that it is not without some trepidation that I have committed to paper on this topic, lest it may be seen as an invitation to their Honours to demonstrate a greater willingness to test the extent of their powers upon the author.) On the other hand though, the reality is that in Fair Work Australia it is only in quite limited circumstances that a costs order may be imposed. The irresistible juxtaposition goes something like this: the usual common law principle is that costs will be awarded against the unsuccessful party and a particularly nasty costs order will only be made in limited circumstances. In Fair Work Australia, a costs order will only be ordered if the circumstances are particularly nasty. So, while a party considering bringing a claim through the courts has a powerful incentive to consider the merits and morality of their claim, a party considering bringing a claim (or entering a defence) in Fair Work Australia is, for all intents and purposes, under no such imperative. Indeed, it may be argued that a ‘what the hell, we’ve got nothing to lose, let’s go for it’ imperative prevails. Now, for a very large number of matters, for a very large number of parties who have precious little means to prosecute a genuine claim in a costs jurisdiction, the no-costs approach is a very useful and indeed powerful, tool. It is almost always the case that there is a significant imbalance between the ability of respective parties to sustain litigation and in circumstances where the consequence of the litigation may be relatively insignificant to the party in whose hands power resides, a nocosts approach provides significant encouragement to that party to simply pay up and move on. This approach would, presumably, be acceptable to most parties (albeit begrudgingly for some)

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and acceptance might be enhanced if there could be a greater degree of comfort that costs orders would in fact be made in the case of particularly nasty circumstances. For the moment, let’s say that these matters are, by and large, the unfair dismissal matters and, for the balance of this note at least, let’s work on the assumption that there is probably no particular need to disturb the status quo on those claims (save perhaps to encourage their Honours to consider an occasional flexing of muscle against real miscreants). However, Fair Work Australia is increasingly being presented with matters in which the potential consequences for all parties are not insignificant and all manner of claims are being instituted by relatively pecunious parties, safe in the knowledge that, on the whole, it’s still a ‘what the hell, I’ve got nothing to lose’ jurisdiction. The General Protections provisions are a pretty good analysis of what most would regard as fairly fundamental workplace rights and there seems to have been a positive increase in general awareness (at least on the employee side) as a consequence of the introduction of

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the National Employment Standards and the General Protections provisions. While most of us in the game anticipated that the introduction of the adverse action regime would open the floodgates within a month or two of the introduction of the Fair Work Act, it ended up taking the better part of a year for the gears to be cranked. Perhaps that is because it took that long for awareness to develop and for the claims to filter through. Now though, there appears to be a preponderance of employees earning above the high income threshold (dismissed or wanting to ‘assert their rights’) whipping adverse action claims out of their back pocket alleging all manner of workplace rights and any number of adverse actions against those rights, real, fictitious, spurious, illconceived or occasionally immoral. This is all well and good; in a world in which the party concerned is first required to consider the merits of bringing a claim against the risk that there may be a price to pay that extends beyond the inconvenience to one’s self for doing so and in which the onus is upon that party to prove their case (which is not the case in adverse action claims). Indeed, it is

open to employers to take similar action, though in reality there are corporate governance principles that tend to work against this happening. In the practical absence of a costs penalty, there are no such principles governing the individual. So, employer and former employee march off to conciliation, ka-ching, conciliation fails and the parties head off to court, ka-ching, ka-ching. A gazillion in fees later, ka-ching, ka-ching, the decision goes one way or the other in court; but still, unless the circumstances are particularly nasty, no costs order. Where’s the fairness in that? For the employer who has had to defend a claim without merit? For the employee who has had to pursue to the ends of the earth a perfectly reasonable claim? The National Employment Standards and the General Protections provisions do, as mentioned above, provide a pretty good roadmap for employees and employers to follow in the continuing search for the balance between morality and cost. However, with the practical absence of costs consequences, does the Fair Work Act do its best to help the parties find that balance? Close, but no cigar. C


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Adelaide Oval Test Match.

OVER AND ABOVE A serious family illness meant Tim Seymour-Smith became managing director at Weathersafe earlier than even he could have expected, but overseeing the evolution and streamlining of this forward-thinking company has come naturally to him.


he Weathersafe story is one of evolution and adaptation. The firm, originally known as W A Young and Co, was established in the mid 1950s by Bill Young as, essentially, a canvas fabricator. The current managing director is Tim Seymour-Smith, whose involvement came through family ties. His mother and father, Jann and David acquired the company in 1978 and steered it towards shadecloth fabrication, and canvas and nursery products distribution, while also fostering a light engineering and steel fabrication component.


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With an accounting degree and work as both a tax agent and contract accountant behind him, Tim joined the family firm in 1994, looking after the accounts, but also spending a lot of time learning the business and visiting clients with his father. “In the late 90s we acquired a furniture manufacturing company, which involved a lot of time and energy and saw me take on a specific industry sales role for the first time in my career,” says Tim. He rose to the top position in the mid 2000s, following his father’s diagnosis of terminal kidney cancer. Unsurprisingly, David’s reaction to this devastating news

was to retire and focus on his health, a decision Tim was more than happy to support. “We were blessed that Dad made it through that very tough period, and is still with us today. He very much leaves me to my devices when it comes to the Weathersafe business, but he still represents Wax Converters Textiles in South Australia,” he says. Being ‘left to his devices’ means Tim has overseen another evolution for the company. “Since I have been the managing director of the company, I have gradually moved us away from steel manufacturing activities to focus solely

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above and below: Arkaba Hotel, Fullarton, SA. left: Tim and David Seymour-Smith.

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above: Adelaide Zoo. below: Pulteney Grammar School, SA.

on our shade and awning business,” he explains. He’s also been branching out personally, continuing studies in marketing and spending the last two years as the president of the South Australian branch of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. Weathersafe now has 14 full-time local staff and three in Manila. “We use subcontractors more nowadays for managing project highs and lows, rather than in-house staff, and I am developing a team in the Philippines to manage our design and development processes that up until now have been very costly,” explains Tim.


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The core company features general manager David Bumford, who has worked in the industry for 15 years, many of those in the US, operations manager Matt Sheehan, who joined Weathersafe last year from the playgrounds industry, financial controller Lyndall Feleppa, senior project manager Doug Johnson and showroom manager Amy Lewicki. It’s a tightknit crew, according to Tim. “We are all friends and respect each other,” he says. The company’s motto is ‘over and above’ – representing its product range and service levels. “We work hard to give our clients an experience that they

wouldn’t get in dealing with someone else,” says Tim. “We are always striving for continual improvement and meet weekly to assess how we are progressing.” Continuing the evolutionary theme, the whole company has recently shifted to a new location. “We have just moved to a new premises in (the inner Adelaide suburb of) Hindmarsh, where we have built a high-end showroom displaying awnings, umbrellas and retractable roof structures,” says Tim. “We had spent the past 20 years in our factory in Melrose Park; however, as we have moved away from many of our steel fabrication activities, we no longer required such a big space. The process of finding a tenant for the old premises and then relocating took around two years, but has been well worth it.” Memorable projects include large car park structures in Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln and Whyalla, portable shade sail structures for the South Australian Cricket Association and Clipsal 500 annual events, along with several large barrel vault structures to cover school basketball courts. One of the most unusual briefs the company has received was from a wellknown but as yet unnamed winery, which “wanted to create a series of collapsible

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below: Biomet, Wayville, SA. bottom: Tatachilla Lutheran College, SA.

umbrellas that were mounted on next to nothing about 30 metres in the air”. The idea was to have a “series of floating standard rain umbrellas over the top of a glass atrium… watch this space!” says Tim. Virtually all of the company’s contracts take place locally within South Australia, but Tim always has the future in his mind. “I’ve spent most of the past five years totally restructuring the activities of the business, having encountered some very difficult times when the economy flattened. I now monitor our profitability on a weekly basis, have invested in a full-time financial controller to oversee our business position, and I can make decisions very swiftly when required.” And with economic conditions still liable to change dramatically


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and unexpectedly, the evolution at Weathersafe won’t stop any time soon. “I am a little less industry focused nowadays and just look at trends and market opportunities that we, as a team at Weathersafe, can capitalise on,” says Tim. “That said, manufacturing activities are becoming more and more difficult – even with the slight devaluation of the dollar over the past 12 months – and so some fabricators will face tough decisions over the next few years with respect to their own businesses and the activities they pursue. I recently spent some time in China and was amazed at the level of

complexity and sophistication already existent in their membrane fabrication activities.” This explains why he sees further offshore activity as likely in the future, forecasting “a gradual movement toward more foreign manufactured goods, as quality improves”. But he’s confident that those willing to join Weathersafe in evolving and adapting shouldn’t lose heart. “Those companies that rapidly adapt to such trends will reap the benefits,” he concludes. C


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Upcoming events for the Specialised Textiles Industry

Carr Australia


Darling Downs


Eyelets Supply Company


Gale Pacific






HVG Fabrics


MFA NATIONAL CONVENTION 16 to 18 January 2015 Oakland Marriott City Center Oakland, California US Designed exclusively for marine fabricators, the event offers three full days of emerging industry technologies and best management and operating practices.

GEOSYNTHETICS 2015 CONFERENCE 15 to 18 February 2015 Oregon Convention Center Portland, Oregon US The 2015 Geosynthetics Conference will be co-located with the International Erosion Control Association’s (IECA) annual Environmental Connection Show. This biennial geosynthetics conference is a must-attend event for the geotechnical, civil and geoenvironmental communities.

R+T STUTTGART 24 to 28 February 2015 International Congress Centre, Stuttgart The 50th anniversary event at the Trade Fair Centre in Stuttgart, Germany will be a leading world trade fair for roller shutters, doors and sun protection systems.

STA MEMBER INFORMATION SESSIONS Perth – Tuesday 24 March 2015 Adelaide – Tuesday 28 April 2015 Open to all in the textiles industry (members and non-members). For registrations and further information go to:

TECHTEXTIL 4 to 7 May 2015 Fairground Frankfurt am Main, Germany International Trade Fair for technical textiles and nonwovens.

Miami Stainless


Plastral Pty Ltd


Ricky Richards


Shann Group


MARINE FABRICATOR WORKSHOP Monday 24 May 2015 Brisbane, Queensland A one-day hands-on workshop suitable for all marine trimmers/fabricators.

SPECTEX15 27 to 29 June 2015 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre An Australian trade exhibition and conference with educational programs and high-profile speakers, along with the traditional and innovative trade displays. Sponsor, exhibit, attend and celebrate 75 years in the making of an Australian association and industry. For further information phone 03 9521 2114 or go to:


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2-3, 15 + 21

Wilson Fabrics


27/11/2014 3:23 pm

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10/04/14 3:33 PM

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5/11/14 4:28 PM

Connections Summer 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Specialised Textiles Association

Connections Summer 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Specialised Textiles Association