Made in Eastern Iowa: Powers Athletic Manufacturing & "Get Her Covered" Hawkeye Windshield Covers
By Ashley Hinson, Anchor/Reporter
WATERLOO, Iowa - Powers Athletic Manufacturing in Waterloo has been knitting the threads for success for over a century. They started out making horse collars, dress shirts, and military products. In the late 1930’s, the company decided to knit for a niche…athletics.
"We're the first people who came out with the alternating striped shirt, which is today's officials' shirt," says Scott Klieman of Powers Athletics.
The company makes Uniforms for teams across the country, and around the world. The whole process starts with knitting specialty fabrics—in house. They’re designed to move along with athletes' bodies.
In one area of the plant, a machine whirs using 1600 needles, “knitting a medium weight stretch nylon fabric for baseball," Klieman says.
They knit the trim, cuffs, and ribbing too. Then they can design, cut, customize, and make any team's dream a reality-- at least in terms of how they look.
Powers makes uniforms for UNI, some for ISU, and of course, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
"The throwback Uniforms that Iowa wore was a sublimated design. So we have black and old gold side inserts, " Klieman says. So how do they do that type of design? A process called Sublimation.
"It's where you impregnate ink into fabric and you can create a lot of different design, colors," says Klieman. With the ability to do a variety of colors, shapes, and patterns, they can make any team a custom uniform for themed games, appearances, and more.
The fabric cutting process is very high tech. In some cases small pieces are cut with laser fine accuracy. Machines cut out the pieces to the uniform patterns exactly, so they waste as little fabric as they can. That's all done efficiently through computer design.
They then sew each uniform together by hand. All the different elements come together, delivered to the sewing crews in their factory by a computer system. It knows exactly what piece goes with what color of thread… even what lettering each jersey, shorts, or pants, needs next.
In addition to making uniforms for college teams across the country, they also make many high school team uniforms.
The Power of Powers Manufacturing: Customizing Uniforms for athletes across the country, and world, right here in Eastern Iowa.
And if you're dreading the winter windshield scraping season, an Iowa County inventor has created a product that will let you avoid it in “Hawkeye State Style”.
It's called "Get Her Covered".
"You don't have any hooks bungee cords or anything that's going to scratch your vehicle. So once you put it on, its locked in place," says inventor Galen Crozier. His patented invention is designed to keep the ice and snow off larger SUV's and Trucks.
The cover is made with a 600 Denier Cordura, a heavy duty fabric. It pockets around both windows and fits over the windshield. It stays put, so no one can steal it.
You also don’t have to be able to reach over the entire truck windshield to install it.
“I have a lady who is vertically challenged who likes it because she can't scrape her window," says Crozier. It protects against ice and snow in the Winter, but also keeps heat out in the Summer months.
Right now “Get Her Covered” covers are being sold through his website online (www.gethercovered.com). Crozier is in talks to partner with some retail locations. He's open to designing for other sports teams too.
"At Fry fest I had some Iowa State Fans who were interested," says Crozier. But for now, he's ready to cater to Hawkeye Fans looking for that perfect Holiday Tiger Hawk gift. He also sells a camouflage patterned cover in an even more rugged fabric.
“All of my products are 100 percent made in the USA. I'm very proud of that. That's not easy to do. So I appreciate any support I can get for that," he says.
In Waterloo, and Homestead, it's Made in Eastern Iowa.
If you have a business that's making things and employing people right here in Eastern Iowa, we want to know about it. Submit your information to ABC news (below) or TV-9's Ashley Hinson. We’ll work on compiling a list for our viewers who want to utilize products made in their own backyard. Email Ashley.Hinson@kcrg.com.
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