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Monthly Archives: May 2010

17 05, 2010

Thinking about Employee Longevity

By |May 17th, 2010|Company, Sew What Team|0 Comments

I was reading an article recently regarding the effect of high employee turnover on a company – including loss of productivity, quality, and profitability.  Did you know that it can cost a third (or more) of an entry level employee’s annual salary to hire and train a new employee, and even more to replace a mid-level employee?  Not to mention the (unseen) costs that can occur in terms of quality of service or goods produced, customer satisfaction, and so much more that may occur when a company has high, frequent turnover in staff.

I am really proud that we have such low turnover – I just figured out that the average amount of time that our current employees have been here is nearly five years!  How many companies can say that nowadays, with people moving from job to job? 

I think that employee longevity has been one of the keys to the success and continued growth of Sew What?  Our employees have been here for awhile, they know their jobs, and that shows in the quality of our products and our service.

12 05, 2010

May Anniversaries

By |May 12th, 2010|Company, Sew What Team|0 Comments

This month we have three anniversaries, for a combined total of nineteen years at Sew What?

It really is a source of pride to have so many long-term staff members – they are one of our greatest assets!

Sara, Sewing Machine Operator – 7 years

Raul, Shipping & Receiving Coordinator – 7 years

Roberto, Sewing Machine Operator – 5 years

10 05, 2010

Does IFR mean it is “more flame retardant” than FR?

By |May 10th, 2010|Fabrics, Flame Retardancy|2 Comments

I have posted a number of times on the issue of flame retardancy of stage curtains, in part because it is one of my areas of expertise (though I still have a lot to learn) but mostly because I find that it is not only an important topic, but also an area about which there are many misconceptions.

Last June, for example, I posted about the differences between IFR, FR,  NFR and other related terms.  The primary difference between FR and IFR is the method in which a fabric is made flame retardant.  Either it is made flame retardant in the fiber stage (IFR) or it is made flame retardant after weaving (FR). 

Occasionally, we have clients who request an IFR fabric because they believe that it is “more” flame retardant than an FR fabric.  For example, they will state that, because the drapery will be near pyrotechnics on a rock show stage, they prefer to use an IFR fabric.

The reality, though, is that a brand new IFR fabric is neither more nor less flame retardant than a brand new FR fabric, and vice versa.  Both fabric have been tested and certified to meet specific flame retardancy standards, such as NFPA 701 and California’s Title 19. 

Now, there is a difference in longevity of flame retardancy between IFR and FR.  Typically, an IFR fabric will remain flame retardant for the life of the fabric (regardless of whether it is laundered, dry-cleaned, etc).  However, an FR fabric will eventually lose its flame retardancy (usually due to laundering, repeated dry cleaning, or extended exposure to high humidity conditions).  Once it is retreated, though, it again is “equal” to the IFR fabric in terms of flame retardancy.

And remember, there are instances in which a drape made from a flame retardant fabric will lose its flame retardant properties.  One way is if dust is allowed to accummulate on the surface of the drape.  Did you know that dust (as it is composed primarily of organic matter) is flammable?  In such a case, it doesn’t matter if the drape is made of IFR fabric or FR fabric – if there is a layer of dust on the surface, the drape might not be flame retardant.

So, when choosing the fabric for stage curtains, there are many factors that are important to consider – budget, longevity, cleaning options, durability, and much more.  But choosing IFR over FR because it seems “more flame retardant” should not be one of the factors.

Questions on Fire Retardancy? See our whitepaper, “Five Common Misconceptions About Flame Retardancy”.

Questions on IFR vs FR Fabrics? See our whitepaper, Does “IFR” Mean it’s More Flame Retardant than “FR”?

7 05, 2010

Sew What? Star of the Month – May 2010

By |May 7th, 2010|Authors, Sew What Team|0 Comments

Meet Esther, Sewing Machine Operator

Esther has been with Sew What? for 9 years

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?  I would go to Rome.  It’s one place in the world I admire but have never been.

Who is your favorite recording artist?  José José.

Do you have a special talent?  Scrapbooking.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  I like comedy.

What is your favorite memory from Sew What?  When Megan told me I was hired!

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?  I recently worked on a large colorful yellow digital piece that was oval and had lots of grommets.  It wasn’t difficult, but we had to be precise to make sure we got it right.

5 05, 2010

Digitals for Brooks & Dunn

By |May 5th, 2010|Digital Printing, News, Projects|2 Comments

Back in 2008, we were excited to be selected by Randy “Baja” Fletcher, tour manager for country music superstar duo Brooks & Dunn, to provide a digitally printed wide-format backdrop for the tour. 

Obviously, the result was successful, because Baja came back to Megan in February 2010 and asked Sew What? to print and manufacture new backdrops for Brooks & Dunn’s “Last Rodeo” 2010 farewell tour.

The project included several different digital backdrops, with artwork provided by graphic artist Mike Swinford and printing and sewing done by Sew What?  Mike’s images really are amazing – I especially love the Cowgirl images:

It is so gratifying to have clients such as Brooks & Dunn return to Sew What? for tour after tour, and to have the opportunity to work with such gorgeous artwork. The tour kicked off on April 29th, and I am pleased to say that the backdrops look great, as evidenced by the photos!  Want to know more about this project?  Check out this article for more information and photos.