Want an Exciting and FUN Industry Event?
Well, you missed it!

Spectex15 is done and dusted.

Here’s a run down on the event, from the point of view of Aaron and Kym,

Canvas Barn Marine Trimming


As soon as the clock ticked over to 4pm on Monday 29 June, the doors closed, the high-vis clothing went on and the exhibition hall at The Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre became a work zone.
Let’s have a look back at the event, and a few standout moments for us from Spectex15.

First up. to set the scene… This is the Specialised Textiles Association’s 75th year. So the theme for the event revolved around that.

opening breakfast

Breakfast saw us laughing so hard we cried, with Jeff Green, comedian. Funny stuff. Coffee spurts…..To put you in the mood for the rest of Spectex15, here’s some of Jeff’s stuff.

$#%! Language warning!

The Marine Fabricators Division led the charge, with trademark hands-on workshops drawing the crowds. 2 workshops running side by side – no problem!

The speaker is mic’d up, (there’s a tricky word, I did have to google the spelling of that one) and the audience wears frequency controlled headsets to hear the speaker, but not the noise from the rest of the hall.

Mic'd up

Wow! That works really well!

Dave Elliott from David’s Custom Trimmers, and Neil Hancock from Aussie Boat Covers, once again led the audience in Bimini patterning, ably helped by Shane from SB Marine Trimming and Aaron Stroud from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming. These guys really know their stuff, and if you get the chance, be sure to get along to one of their workshops. They put the fabric in your hands, and guide you so you get the way it feels. They were on hand with Sunbrella by Glen Raven and Stamoid by Serge Ferrari so the participants could feel the differences between the way the two fabrics felt and worked on the job.


The fabulous (f)route POD was the centrepiece display in the Exhibition Hall, and visitors were always found sitting inside for a quiet moment, meeting and eating away from the hustle of the hall.

The POD is now packed and is heading off to Korea for the World Bamboo Congress in Sept.

Exhibition hall

Good luck to Giant Grass with their display over there in September, spreading the word of (f)route and Canvas Barn Marine Trimming further around the world is an added bonus!


Ever heard of the Southern 80 and Ski-racing? Ever heard of Rick Kelly?

Aaron, from  Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, and Michael from Aeronaut Automation worked together to use laser technology and CAD to demonstrate the future of patterning, using the amazing boat owned and raced by Rick Kelly. What a great boat to work on. It has a motor from Nascar, and you can feel the thunder just looking at it!

Rick Kelly boat
Laser is the way of the future and there’s a good chance apprentices at Holmesglen and SydneyTafe will be training with this technology in the near future.


Walking around the Exhibition Hall many companies were showcasing their products.

We stopped a good while at the Serge Ferrari stand, and were impressed with the new fabric “PURE” touted as the pollution solution. We are getting our hands on this in a hurry to use in East Gippsland. Which lucky customer will be the first to have it on their boat?

We were also impressed with their Batyline Lounge and Batyline Eden.They feel lovely and have great application in outdoor seating.

It was good to see Craig Zola, from Herculite again… and we told him that eating wombats would NOT be a good idea. Those crazy yanks!

We found Wilson Fabrics, and had a chat with them, and were happy to hear about their factory in Wangaratta. They are the 2nd largest employer in the town- great for rural Victoria!

Straight over to Nolan UDA, to check out Ziptrack, a new guided blind system. It’s the whole package. Colour coded framing, pelmet, and fabric to match all the Colorbond colours. Too easy. Works like a roller door, and can be left in any position. We KNOW we’ll be using and recommending this product!


Women in Textiles hosted a morning tea for the girls, and introduced us to the fabulous Kylie Bartlett, the WebCeleb, an absolute whizz at all the social media stuff.


A quick trip back to the hotel to get dolled up for the glamorous awards dinner, hosted by funnyman Paul McDermott.

Marine Trimmer Blokes

Marine Trimmer Girls

We look good, don’t we?

These things, while fancy, can sometimes get a bit tedious, but Paul kept the laughs coming and the evening flew by. (This isn’t from Spectex15, but it IS the real Paul McDermott!)

Canvas Barn Marine Trimming was proud to receive the Award for Excellence in Marine Trimming, Exterior.

Award for Excellence Marine Trimming Exterior 2015

Aaron received his award from industry legend Chris Nolan.

Shane Beashel from SB Marine Trimming, and Neil Hancock, from Aussie Boat Covers received Special Commendations for their entries. Dave Elliott, the master, from David’s Custom Trimmers received the Award for Excellence in Marine Trimming, Interior.

It’s easy to see why the workshops run by these guys all over the world are in such high demand!

Ron Gottlieb, from platinum event sponsor Ricky Richards, had us raising our glasses in memory of his beloved brother and company director Norman Gottlieb, who sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. RIP, Norman Gottlieb.

The Specialised Textiles Association proudly introduced their newest Life Member – Keith Bartlett. Way to go Keith!

Later, Canvas Barn Marine Trimming received the Award for Excellence in the category “General – Tents, Inflatables, and Fabric Art” for the (f)route POD.

Award for Excellence -General 2015

So at the end of the night, we came away with TWO Awards for Excellence , and we are stoked with that.

Canvas Barn Marine Trimming Trophies

Canvas Barn Marine Trimming receive National Award for Excellence

To top it off, “Connections”, industry magazine for the STA showcases POD on the front cover, and has a great article by Aaron inside, so run your eyes over that if you get the chance.

Connection 2015 Winter edition


The final event was held at Bobby McGee’s in the city. This was our last chance to let our hair down, put our dancing shoes on and boogie on down.

Bobby McGee’s has an old style decor, great choice for our 40’s themed dress up night.

Bobby McGees STA

We hit the dance floor with some classics like Nutbush, Time Warp .

Nutbush STA

Gregory from Serge Ferrari is a great dancer, and had the ladies spinning like tops on the dance floor.

Dominic Nolan from Nolan UDA gave us a great Karaoke rendition of Aussie classic “Working Class Man” Ana and Beatrice from STA sang “Tonight’s gonna be a good night”.

The newly formed “Ferraris”- Gregory LeFavre and Matt Glass from Serge Ferrari, obviously have more talent in their little fingers than the rest of us combined, raising their combined voices with Wonderwall. Goosebumps.

Round off the evening with an out of tune rendition of the Proclaimers 500 Miles by the rest of us and all these sleepy kids were ready for bed. Or more partying.


Spectex15 was a fabulous event. You know you are working with a great bunch of people, trimmers, suppliers, and organisers, when you can’t wait for next year’s event.

For more information, keep your eye on the STA website.

Cheers, Aaron and Kym, Canvas Barn Marine Trimming


About the author, Canvas Barn Marine Trimming

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