Characteristics of Nonwoven Fabric | Uses and Specialty of Nonwoven Products

Last Updated on 23/12/2020

Characteristics of Nonwoven Fabric | Uses and Specialty of Nonwoven Products

Rofiquzzaman Raju
Fabric Technologist,
B.J.Group, Mawna, Gazipur


Nonwoven Fabric
Nonwoven fabrics are engineered fabrics created from fibers, continuous filaments or cut yarns. They are flexible, porous, products consisting of one or more fibre layers. The separate fibres may either be preferentially oriented in one direction or may be deposited in a random manner. Non-woven are bonded by chemical, thermal or mechanical processes into textile products. They are mainly planar structures.

Nonwoven Fabric
Fig: Nonwoven Fabrics

Characteristics of Nonwoven Fabric
The particular set of properties that a non-woven fabric may have is dependent upon the combination of factors in its production. The range of characteristics is wide.

  1. The appearance of non-woven fabrics may be paper like, felt like, or similar to that of woven fabrics.
  2. They may have a soft, resilient hand, or they may be hard, stiff, or broadly with little pliability.
  3. They may be as thin as thin as tissue paper or many times thicker.
  4. They also may be translucent or opaque.
  5. Their porosity may range from low tear and burst strength to very high tensile strength.
  6. They may be fabricated by gluing, heat bonding, or sewing.
  7. The drapability of this type of fabrics varies from good to none at all.
  8. Some fabrics have excellent launderability; others have none. Some may be dry-cleaned.

Nonwovens are engineered to provide particular properties suited to desired end uses. For example, diapers can be constructed of two different layers of nonwoven fabrics: an outer layer composed of a wetting-agent treated polyester that will permit rapid fluid penetration, but with minimal lateral wicking, and an inner layer of absorbent rayon. Thin, high-filtration nonwoven fabric for surgical masks can be composed of microdenier fibres; thick, fluffy, insulating nonwovens for ski jackets can also be made of microdenier fibres. Research continues in order to achieve or perhaps exceed certain properties of conventionally constructed cloth.

End Uses of Nonwoven Fabric
The use of non-woven products continues to expand. The many uses of nonwovens may be classified as disposables, durable consumer goods, and industrial materials. All these areas are making increasing use of this kind of merchandise because of its low cost and its suitability for many needs.

Disposable nonwovens are essentially made for one time use; but some, such as dust cloths, may be laundered and reused a few times.

General applications include personal hygiene products, such as diapers and sanitary napkins; medical products such as surgical gowns and drapes; surgical and industrial masks, bandages, wipes and towels; bibs and even costumes for special events. They have recent become popular for light weight ”fun” cloths that can be washed a number of times. Durable nonwovens have wide applications. Consumer durables include both household goods and home furnishings, such as for draperies, furniture upholstery, mattress padding, towels, table cloths, blankets and carpet backing and clothing and apparel, such as for caps, linings, interlinings, interfacings and the reinforcement of other fabrics. Many industrial uses include filters, insulation, packing materials, roadbed stabilization sheeting or road-building materials geo-textiles and roofing products.

Specialty Nonwoven Products:

Fusible Nonwovens: A fusible nonwoven fabric is any nonwoven fabric with a heat-activated adhesive resin coating. More than half of the interfacings used in apparel construction are fusibles. They are placed between garment layers to provide body, shape, support, additional strength, and foundation. Heat and pressure, applied for a specified time, activate the resin to bond the interfacing to the shell fabric.

Fusible interfacings have some disadvantages. They some times produce a stiff or boardy hand; differential shrinkage between the fabrics being joined may produce a rippled garment; and separation of the two fabric layers may occur when improperly applied interfacings are cleaned.

Other special nonwoven products are film fabrics, coated fabrics artificial suedes and leathers etc.

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