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The Trends: Closing the Loop with Responsible Performance

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Backpack materials is a growth area for functional fabrics.

The Performance Forum is considered a must-see at Functional Fabric Fair for finding inspiration from the latest and greatest materials. Made up of 293 fabrics and 30 accessories -- hand selected from a surge of product entries -- and organized by category, this year’s crop of stand out textiles showcased in the Forum provided FFF participants with plenty of trend and tech information and direction. Alexa Dehmel, who oversees the Performance Forum for FFF (and Performance Days) offered an insightful overview of what’s new and noteworthy for Winter 2023/24. Here’s a super-quick recap of her expert talk:

Baselayers: Lots of functionality based on the latest ingredient tech. Natural fibers as well as Graphene are notable.  

Midlayers: Loft is key. Solution-dyed methods are gaining. Knitting constructions to mitigate shedding is important.

Softshells: New looks emerge. Sherpas with water-repellency are featured.

Membranes: The 2025 ban on fluorocarbons is fast approaching. This is impacting development of next generation membranes.  100 percent recycled materials is an area to watch.

2 Layer: An exciting category. Functional, recycled, biodegradable materials set a new path.

Footwear & Bags: This is a debut category for the Performance Forum, and represents the importance of innovation happening in shoes and packs. Show-goers were pleased to see this new category, an area that many hope will expand at future FFF events. Bag materials previewed highlight circular, mono-materials and recycled fibers. Footwear materials shown included use of Tencel blends, recycled polyamide and recycled rubber.

Footwear debuts in Performance Forum.
The Performance Forum was a must-see area of the Functional Fabric Fair.

Next up for Functional Fabric Fair, powered by Performance Days, is the launch of a Spring edition taking place April 4-5, 2022 in Portland, at the Oregon Convention Center.

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Nov 22, 2021

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