What are nonwovens?

In general, nonwoven fabrics are broadly defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fiber or filaments (and by perforating films) mechanically, thermally, or chemically. They are flat, porous sheets that are made directly from separate fibers or from molten plastic or plastic film. They are not made by weaving or knitting and do not require converting the fibers to yarn.

Nonwovens may be limited-life, single-use or very durable fabrics. Nonwoven fabrics provide specific functions such as

  • absorbency
  • liquid repellency
  • resilience
  • stretch
  • softness
  • strength
  • flame retardancy
  • washability
  • cushioning
  • filtering
  • bacterial barriers
  • sterility.

These properties are often combined to create fabrics suited for specific jobs while achieving a good balance between product use-life and cost. They can mimic the appearance, texture and strength of a woven fabric, and can be as bulky as the thickest paddings.