The Technical Center

Textile Resource for Specialty Fabrics and Product Innovation
   July 17, 2024  Facebook Twitter

Showcasing New Evolutionary
and Revolutionary Developments

By Kathlyn Swantko


The Functional Fabric Fair’s Fall ’23 trade show in Portland completed a successful run with an increase in both exhibitor and attendance participation. This premier trade and sourcing event, powered by Performance Days, is the exclusive US trade show dedicated to high performance functional fabrics. The fall edition, held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, November 1-2, featured over 265 suppliers, marking the largest in its 4-year US history. The event showcased the latest in textile development trends for the outdoor market, and unveiled groundbreaking textile innovations for Autumn/Winter 2025.

“Our events stand out as a meticulously curated trade show, where exhibitors undergo stringent vetting to ensure the highest quality resources for our attendees,” stated Steve McCullough, the Event Director of Functional Fabric Fair. “We were very proud to introduce more top exhibiting companies into the Functional Fabric Fair ecosystem. Our event embodies the principles of sustainability and community collaboration, making it the go-to sourcing fair for functional fabrics, accessories and so much more.”

Under the theme of "Evolution and Revolution: From Membranes to the Carbon Story," the Functional Fabric Fair offered cutting-edge insights. Two notable new additions were the Innovation Sphere and the Footwear Forum, accompanied by a robust conference program featuring distinguished experts and networking opportunities.

Arieal View
The crowd at Functional Fabric Fair Fall 2023

Innovation Sphere: This specialty area was a new addition to the show this season, and served as dynamic hub where previously unseen and innovative advancements became evident and highlighted in a focused way to generate interest for show attendees. Renowned industry players, such as Bemis Associates, Concept III, Dimension-Polyant, Mitsui & Company, Phoenix Innovative Materials Inc., and Polycore, LLC (to name a few) showcased their innovations at the Fall 2023 event.

Footwear Forum: The Footwear Forum was another new show addition that highlighted leading footwear suppliers that showcased top-performing footwear textiles and accessories. Products were carefully selected, covering essential areas in the footwear industry.

Main Stage Events: The educational conference programming included 17 expert-led sessions from topics ranging on trends in colors and materials to sustainability, business developments and more. Some notable sessions included: “Sustainable Myths and Realities: Making Sense from a Whole Lot of Noise”, presented by Kevin Myette of Bluesign Technologies AG; “Unseen: Discover What Lies Beneath to Emerge Colorfully Optimistic for AW 2024/2025”, presented by Tannese Williams of Pantone, and a panel with brand and legal leaders discussing “Waterproofing – Development Claims and Legal Issues”.

Footwear Arena and Trend Forums

"The quality and curation of our conference programs are unmatched, bringing the textile community together at the only North American fabric-focused event, where industry professionals gather to advance their knowledge,” explained McCullough.

As the global hub for textile innovation and sustainability, Functional Fabric Fair remains dedicated to environmentally conscious practices partnering with meeting centers that are dedicated to minimaxing waste and boosting efficiencies. In a significant stride towards a greener future, all exhibitor booths and other elements of the fair were constructed from 100% recycled materials, resulting in a 0% carbon footprint for the show floor. This commitment to eco-friendly initiatives exemplifies a resounding call to action for the entire industry.

Functional Fabric Fair, powered by PERFORMANCE DAYS®, continues to be a driving force in the textile industry, connecting visionaries, brands, and suppliers to pave the way for a sustainable and innovative future.

Outdoor Innovators Spotlight celebrated decades of innovation in the outdoor industry, exploring the evolution of waterproofing and membranes for outdoor clothing and gear.

Performance Forum showcased the top performing fabrics and textiles in the active and outdoor apparel industry, hand-selected for 13 categories by the FFF jury. Participants had the opportunity to sample products and request swatches by scanning a QR code through FFF’s digital platform, the Loop. showcased the top performing fabrics and textiles in the active and outdoor apparel industry, hand-selected for 13 categories by the FFF jury. Participants had the opportunity to sample products and request swatches by scanning a QR code through FFF’s digital platform, the Loop.

Struktur Lounge, sponsored by the Struktur Society, provided a collaborative and safe space for creative show attendance minds to share forward-thinking ideas. A highlight for the Fall 2023 Struktur Lounge featured industry panel events on Day-1 and Day-2 to “Re-energize the Textile Industry for the Future” through TheTextileGateway program, sponsored by FabricLink Network(FLN).

Upcoming US Functional Fabric Fair Spring 2024 will be held April 17- 18, in Portland; Functional Fabric Fair Summer 2024 will be held July 16-17 in New York; and Functional Fabric Fair Fall 2024 will be held November 20-21 in Portland.



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