The Natural Fiber Installers Certification (NFIC) hosted a grand opening February 15 to 17 at its new training facility located in Jasper, Georgia. A three-day class on natural fiber carpet is being held with numerous tool raffles and food supplied for all 13 students, six trainers and special guests.
P.J. Arthur, founder, NFIC, along with NFIC certified trainers Danny Sherman, Jonathan Varden, Dan Churchill, Roland Thompson and Nate Hall led the students through various steps in the carpet installation process, including seam sealing, hand-sewing techniques and pattern matching.
Supporting Arthur and NFIC was Tom Carr, sales agent, Bloomsburg Carpet. Arthur credits the founding of NFIC to his long-standing relationship with Bloomsburg Carpet mill. The mill was built in 1976 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
“P.J. has been able to educate quality installers which is really critical to us,” said Carr. As for the new installers entering the flooring industry, Carr feels that quality training is “very critical because you have to keep [the education] going. Training the experienced installers is just as critical.”
According to Arthur, his involvement with Bloomsburg began with a flooring inspection in California. This led to a lengthy career that sent Arthur all over the U.S. and Canada working as a consultant for Bloomsburg.
“It is because of [Bloomsburg] that I started NFIC,” said Arthur. “Going out and looking at these jobs where guys had problems—they were good installers. They’d just never been taught the techniques that you need to know in order to work with these products.”
His goal with founding NFIC was to help rectify the issues that installers were dealing with that ultimately impacted Bloomsburg and other manufacturers involved in the natural fiber carpet industry. According to Arthur, when he began in the industry, tufted synthetics did not exist. However, when the synthetics entered the market, he watched the woven products take a downturn and with it, the need for “craftsmen.”
“We need to bring [the craftsmen title] back,” said Arthur. “We were called craftsmen back then. That’s why I have on my business card ‘Old world craftsmanship meets today’s technology.’ Being involved with CFI as well—that’s the new world. I represent the old world.”
Arthur feels that quality is key to the craftsmen moniker. His goal is to instill quality into the craftsmen that NFIC trains.
“We extend that same quality through their hands that Bloomsburg puts into their carpet,” said Arthur. “The quality is next to none.”
It is important to note that Arthur started the training by showcasing a video produced in the Bloomsburg mill. It walks viewers through the woven carpet process from start to finish. Arthur shares that the equipment used in the mill was purchased by Henry Ford in 1931 to create carpet for use in his automobiles. He struggled to make it work properly, so Bloomsburg purchased it and has been using it successfully ever since. That equipment is still in use today to produce the high-end, high-quality carpets that Bloomsburg is known for.
Wolff Tools’ Danny Sherman and vice president of marketing for NFIC was on site to assist in training. According to Sherman, his role is to help promote the goals set forth by NFIC which are to create awareness surrounding natural fiber products.
“Installers really need to understand the product—the deconstruction, reconstruction—the proper tooling to utilize on this product,” said Sherman. “It’s not your typical carpet where you’re going at it, cutting on the top, cutting on the bottom, seaming it, putting it down then stretching it. It’s a whole different world.”
Sherman stresses the importance of understanding the differences in carpet constructions when it comes to the natural products versus synthetics. In addition to proper technique, students learn how to choose the correct adhesives, pad and tools.
Taylor Adhesives is one of NFIC’s sponsors, providing the proper adhesives for the students to practice with during the hands-on portion of the training.
Representing QEP/Roberts, Leslie Del Pozo, VP marketing content & communications, supplied an arsenal of tools and equipment specifically for the three-day event. Additionally, a raffle was held each day where students took home everything from complete Roberts’ tool kits to carpet stretchers to knee kickers.
According to Del Pozo, it is important for QEP/Roberts to support education and training from the ground level up. This support ensures that flooring installers are not only educated on the product that they are installing but also the tools they use.
“Installers have been using our tools for a while now, we just need to double-down on our support of them,” said Del Pozo. “A lot of installers have Roberts Tools in their toolbox from the very beginning of their career, and we want to keep it that way.”
Del Pozo has been with QEP/Roberts for 25 years and admits she is fully “invested in the Roberts brand and the industry as a whole. We want to support the training. We want to support the future of the industry, and without the training events, there is no future.”
For more information, visit nficnet.com.
Report Abusive Comment