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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 Indianapolis, IN USA, 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.



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 2019
  • 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 Expo. 


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

To purchase an entry, please click here.

Contact Jill Newman for questions at +1 651 225 6953 or

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

2020 Innovation Award Winner: Propel LLC
Propel LLC was awarded a $5,000 prize for Propel LLC Smart Integrated Shirt which is US Navy funded smart shirt includes 3-patent pending innovations to monitor physiology of the wearer in a garment that looks and feels no different than any other first layer garment. It is important that a smart garment not be “noticed” by the wearer so that the data is not impacted by the change in awareness. This shirt is made with Propel’s proprietary electrically enabled yarn that looks, feels and behaves like a traditional yarn, but has the conductive elements needed for transmitting data and power. The shirt has solder-free textile connectors that are soft and flexible for wearer comfort and user-transparency.

2020 Honorable Mention Award: MMI Textiles 
MMI Textiles' EcoThriv™ is a made in the USA line of environmentally preferred performance fabrics. It was developed using some of the most responsible and innovative fibers and finishes on the market. So not only are these fabrics better for the environment - they also perform at a high level. This line of fabrics features low minimum orders – sold by the roll. 
The EcoThriv™ line was developed for those who desire high quality, made in the USA, environmentally preferred performance fabrics to use in their finished apparel products. End uses include: yoga bottoms, athletic wear, T-shirts, athleisure dresses, woven tops, knit shorts, outerwear, quarter zip jackets, and more. This line is made in the USA (one fabric is made using an imported yarn) using some of the most innovative and eco-friendly fibers and finishes on the market. Also, these fabrics are sold by the roll – no large minimum order.

To learn more about each of the winning projects, you can view a video that describes each project in depth. View the video here.

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

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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

Christine Gerard, Managing Director

1801 County Rd B West

Roseville MN  55113   USA

Phone:  +1 651 225 6926  Fax: +1 651 225 6933