The winners of the 2019 Senken Synthetic Fibre Awards and the Senken Natural Fibre Special Prize were recently decided by the Senken Shimbun newspaper. The Senken Synthetic Fibre Awards are in their 50th year and recognizes exceptional materials, technological developments, marketing campaigns and more, with the purpose of promoting a thriving synthetic fibre industry. This is the sixth year of the Senken Natural Fibre Special Prize promoting the development of the natural fibre sector. Sixteen materials, technologies and productions were selected in nine categories according to the three elements of innovation, topicality and achievement.

The Grand Prix, the highest honor, went to Lamous®, the artificial suede from Asahi Kasei. In the past, the company had been forced to take one of its two assembly lines out of service due to difficult business conditions, but it has now made a spectacular return to growth. The base material is recycled polyester, with pioneering eco-responsible aspects such as use of water-impregnated polyurethane, which are found in products from car seats to luxury brand items. Given the strong demand from car seat makers, a third production line was built last year and is running at full capacity. The business continues to expand including the establishment of new plant.

The winning materials for each award are as follows.