Fabricators Conference and Showcase

April 24-25, 2023
Manufacturing Solutions Center II
Conover, NC

Fabricators involved in industrial textile markets are encouraged to participate in this conference focused on workforce development, training, and featuring hands-on demos. Enjoy networking with fabricators and suppliers.

To be eligible to attend the tour you must be a fabricator working in the industry.*

Key event take-aways:
• Access to a US center developed to support businesses in fabric design innovation
• Experience the try before you buy—Better Practices Cut and Sew Automated Equipment Line
• Tour that includes a PPE/Textile Resource Lab, knitting machines and textile testing
• Training from experts on Rhino3D CAD, Sewing Automation Technology, and Textile Education

All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Monday, April 24

Shop Tour
Visit Sattler Outdura, located in a historic textile mill built in 1904. Attendees will have the opportunity to see fabrics constructed in the warping department, tour of the weave room and get a brief session on design, sampling and marketing materials.

1 pm: Shuttle Departs Manufacturing Solutions Center II: 301 Conover Station Southeast, Conover, NC 28613
1:35 pm: Tour Sattler USA
3:20 pm: Arrives at Manufacturing Solutions Center II
3:30–5 pm: Reception and networking at Manufacturing Solutions Center II

Tuesday, April 25

9:00–9:30 am
Coffee and Conversation
Start your day off with your fellow industry contacts over coffee.  

9:30–11:00 am
Tour of the Manufacturing Solutions Center
Tour by Jeff Neuville, Manufacturing Solutions Center
Participate in a tour of both Manufacturing Solutions Center facilities. The Manufacturing Solution Center assists manufacturers with product development services on Lonati knitting machines, hosts an on-site business incubator and operates an ISO 17025 Accredited testing lab. While the new MSC II facility features a Fabric Formation Lab equipped with Santoni knitting machines, a Better Practices Cut and Sew line with automated equipment (open to companies who want to try out equipment before they buy it), Structural Engineering Department which includes structural testing and 3D printing, and a PPE/Textile Resource Lab dedicated to helping brands and manufacturers source domestic materials.

11:00 am–Noon
Exhibitor Showcase
Connect with industry suppliers on new and existing products in this tabletop exhibit.

Noon­­–12:45 pm
Lunch is provided.


12:45-2:55 pm
An Overview of Rhino3D in Marine Canvas Followed by a Hands-on Demonstration

Presented by Adam Penner, AP Consulting and Technical Services
In the first section of this session, we will cover what is Rhino3D and an overview of how it is being used in the Marine Canvas industry. Other industries will benefit from this presentation focused on computer skills and techniques that can be applied to any canvas structure. We will also investigate some of the operational business challenges and successes that companies had during their implementation of digital processes. The session will then split and we will do a hands-on demonstration of a simple patterning project. Learn:
1) What is Rhino-3D
2) How is the marine canvas utilizing Rhino3D and associated technologies
3) Hands-on Demo: Participants will leave with some hands-on experience in using Rhino3D

12:45-1:45 pm
Sewing Machine Mechanics’ Training on Basic Single-Needle Lockstitch Walking Foot Machines
Presented by Frank Henderson, Henderson Sewing Machine
Understanding the Single Needle Lockstitch Walking Foot main features including the tension, check spring, hook timing, correct needle, walking foot stroke, lubrication and maintenance.

1:55-2:55 pm
The Last Mile… Sewing, Technology and Automation
Presented by Frank Henderson, Henderson Sewing Machine
Sewing of textile products becomes the last mile of the textile vertical supply chain. In today’s world, where inflation is at a 40-year high, and the geopolitical unrest across the world, textile sustainability becomes important. How will these and other factors impact our workforce and training needs with regards to sewing?  What is the current state of automation and technology within our industry?

3:00-4:00 pm
Industrial Education and Training
Presented by Tanya Wade, Manufacturing Solutions Center at CVCC and Carolina Textile District
Looking for skilled labor professionals? Finding them is almost impossible these days, but there are opportunities out there that can help introduce inexperienced people to the industry and help train them in specific fields. Join us for a discussion on available textile education and training programs that may benefit your existing employees and help train new hires. Learn about opportunities for:
• Industrial Sewing Training
• STOLL M1 Program Training
• Textile Classes and Certifications

3:00-4:00 pm
How to Develop Skilled and Efficient Sewers Internal Training
Moderator: Derek Robinson, Fabric Tattoo
Panelists: Bill Ackerley, Bearse USA, Nichole Holroyd, COO, Spiritus Systems Company, Inc., Shane Cossette, TRS Industries Inc.
Learn and discuss methods with production team leaders on how to transform unskilled new employees into productive contributors for your company.

4:05-4:40 pm
Roundtable Discussions
Let’s cover hot topics, supply chain, global sourcing, hiring and retention and more!

*Schedule subject to change.