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 Imagination and inspiration are the driving forces behind innovation. What starts as a great idea isn’t innovation unless transformed into action. The ability to inspire others is vital to innovation. The drive for improvement; the willingness to challenge the normal; the passion and belief in what you are doing – these are the characteristics of great innovators.

The IFF Innovation Award encourages companies around the globe to weave tomorrow's ideas into the fabrics of today. IFF wants to share your story, from innovative concept to inspired product. Enter your project today and begin receiving the recognition you deserve for your boundless imagination. Winners will be featured at this year's IFAI Expo in Dallas, Texas, visible to thousands of members of the fabric industry.

We want these companies and their stories to inspire others in the specialty fabrics industry and to act as catalysts for the next great innovation.

Innovation is the heart of creating a specialty fabrics industry that will transform the 21st century.

Entries will open again in Spring of 2020.



The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) offers Innovation Awards in six categories, with one top overall prize. Entries will be evaluated by a jury of experts who serve in the specialty fabrics industry. This panel will select the winners of the IFF Innovation Award.


  • Fabrics, fibers and films
  • Chemicals, coatings and compounds
  • Hardware, findings and accessories
  • Equipment and tools
  • Services to manufacturers
  • End Product

All entries should address and meet the criteria specified below:

  • Innovation distinctive from other products currently manufactured or processes currently is use
  • Benefit to the specialty fabrics industry or consumer
  • Practicality
  • Cost-effectiveness

Entries must meet the following qualifications to be considered for an award:

  • Product or process must be available for the market
  • Final development of product or process must have been after 2016
  • Product or process must not have been entered in any previous IFF Innovation Award contest or in any other competition


  1. How would you describe your product or process?  Provide a brief (120 words or less) description, emphasizing what makes this product innovative.
  2. What is the name of the entry? (brand name or generic)
  3. What is the function of the entry? What are the distinctive features and benefits that set your entry apart?
  4. Is there is a patent on your entry?  If so, please indicate patent number(s) and expiration date(s).
  5. How widespread are commercial adoptions for this entry today? What do you expect of this product in the next 3 to 5 years?  Longer term future?
  6. What is the main strength of your entry with respect to the following criteria?
  • Innovation distinctive from other products currently manufactured or processes currently in use
  • Benefit to the specialty fabrics industry or consumer
  • Practicality
  • Cost-effectiveness
  1. List materials used and supplier of each.


Videos of the top entries from each category will play on a screen in the lobby of IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo. 


$500 for IFAI Members; $1,000 for non-members

To purchase an entry, please click here.

Contact Haylee Bartley for questions at +1 651 225 6984 or

Interested in joining IFAI? Visit for more information or click the side button to join.

2018 Innovation Award Winner: UltraTech International, Inc. 
W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is a company based in Newark, DE. who has been committed to innovation. It was awarded a $5,000 prize for GORE-TEX PYRAD® which is a revolutionary, new technology fabric that offers weather protection utilizing a waterproof, windproof, and breathable GORE-TEX® membrane combined with enhanced protection from flash-fire incidents. This technology offers a unique blend of flame resistance, thermal insulation, and thermal stability. Products made with GORE-TEX® PYRAD® fabric are also light weight, fast drying, abrasion resistant, and available in various colors and print patterns.

GORE-TEX PYRAD® is designed to offer maximum protection, comfort, and durability. GORE-TEX PYRAD® Laminate is currently utilized in workwear for oil and gas workers as well as electrical utility linemen.  The technology originated in military tent applications, eventually making its way to wider use in FR Shell / Outerwear technology for warfighters.  The technology is seeing expanded use on a global level, particularly in military uniforms overseas.

Help the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) recognize the best of the specialty fabrics industry innovators. Sponsor this year's Innovation Award! Contact Haylee Bartley

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The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) is the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of the industrial fabrics industry,
dedicated to education and research in specialty fabrics. 

Industrial Fabrics Foundation

Linden Wicklund, Managing Director

1801 County Rd B West

Roseville MN  55113   USA

Phone:  +1 651 225 6920  Fax:  +1 651 631 9334