Wednesday, April 10, 2019

[ Jason Mills. ]

Jason Mills’ 1920-12 raschel knit fabric has found a niche in the golf simulator
screen market.
By Rachael S. Davis, Executive Editor.

Milltown, N.J-based Jason Mills LLC is a manufacturer of nylon and polyester
tricot and raschel knits as well as spacer mesh fabrics with a focus on industrial
fabrics, specialty textiles and technical textiles. The company has more than 100
established stock keeping units, and frequently engineers and develops materials
for specific customer needs.
Jason Mills offers one particular fabric in the recreational category — the
1920-12 — for the indoor golf simulator screen market. According to Michael
Lavroff, president, this market has grown exponentially over the past three to
five years as the use of the screens has expanded from public recreational
facilities and sporting goods places to hotels and homes in a golf fanatic’s
basement or garage.
There’s a lot of high-definition imagery and software involved with the simulator 
technology. Images are projected onto the fabric screen, and software calculates 
the distance of the ball and where it lands on the virtual fairway. The demands 
on the fabric used for the screen are significant — it needs to hold the image, 
drop the ball and not ricochet it back at the golfer, and also maintain its 
strength so the screen doesn’t break or tear as it takes repeated hits from the 
golf ball.
The market first emerged some eight to 10 years ago, and no one in the industry 
really knew what type of fabric would work best. Thoughts were that the screen 
should be firm because firmness equated with strength. However, firmer fabrics 
were loud when the ball hit and “the ball was coming back at the golfer like it 
had hit a trampoline,” Lavroff said. Companies also had trouble meeting the flame 
resistant (FR) requirements. Jason Mills’ solution at that time was a product 
named 1925-12 — a 12-gauge raschel knit made using a heavy 1,000 denier polyester 
But as technology advanced in the simulator market with higher definition imagery 
and improved ball-tracking mechanisms, higher demands were placed on the fabric. 
Jason Mills, anticipating that the market would soon require a different fabric, 
created its 1920-12 style. The fabric currently is not branded, but the 
company is debating naming the product “Iron Impact.” Designed as an 
ultrastrong, single-layer application that can be used without a rear 
impact screen. the fabric carries same weight and safety features as the 
company’s original 1925-12 fabric, but is tightly knit using more needles 
per inch of fabric and a finer denier yarn. This construction compresses 
more yarn into the same area to give a really nice tight fabric that is 
a great receptor for high definition imagery, but still maintains the 
necessary strength, according to Lavroff. 
The fabric is dyed white, and treated with a FR finish that passes 
the NFPA 701 large scale testing requirements
.Jason Mills’ 1920-12 rraschel knit fabric.
Jason Mills’ 1920-12
Raschel knit fabric,
One significant differentiator that sets Jason Mills apart from the competition
in this market is the ability to offer wider-width products. “All of our fabrics
for the golf screen end use are a minimum of 120 inches wide” Lavroff said. “Most
of our competitors can only go 60 inches wide and then the fabric has to be seamed
together. Our wider width fabric avoids the need for a seam across the center of the
finished screen.”
The company also has several other products in development for the screen market.
One is a spacer mesh with a tricot knit face and back. The cushioning between the
two layers deadens the sound and adds extra protection. The second new style is a
28-gauge raschel product that Lavroff thinks may be the most successful material
for the market yet.
Each golf simulator company has its own set of requirements and there is not a
one-size-fits-all product for the market. “This industry is so vast, and the
magic fabric for one company, is not the product another guy is looking for,”
said Lavroff. “But that points to an industry that is growing, and the key
here is to become the company that can provide the product lines that most
end users are looking for. We want to be the company to come to.”

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