What's non-woven fabric?
Non-woven fabric is a textile material made of fibers that are gathered together by mechanical, thermal or chemical procedures and that do not require the process to turn these fibers into thread, avoiding the weaving process. Fibers are normally placed on layers that are brought together by needles, adhesive materials or by heat.
When we talk about non-woven fabric, we talk about a truly resistant material that shows unique features such as water resistance, temperature resistance and it's not abrasive. Products made of non-woven fabric keep these features that will allow them to remain of great quality for a wide variety of practical applications (absorbing, fluid repelling, filtering, anti-bacterial, among others). Non-woven fabric can also be applied in the following products:
Bags: this material is great for reusable bags because of its resistance, making the lifespan of the bag great. This kind of product can help reduce the use of plastics and it is also a great support in marketing and brand communication.
Suitebags: the quality and resistance of this material, as well as its affordability, make suite-bags a best-seller among non-woven items. The fact that it offers ventilation, makes it a great option for storing clothes while keeping them in great condition.
Medical applications: the fact that non-woven fabric is affordable, makes it a great option for medical applications as single-use products are a constant and the features of these textiles are great for the medical environment.
Other applications for non-woven fabric are filters, geotextiles, carpet backing, insulation, acoustic insulation, bedding (pillows cushion and mattress covers), face masks, envelopes, disposable clothing, weather-resistant house wrap, cleaning wipes and potting material for plants.
Origins of non-woven fabric
Felt is the origin of non-woven fabric that goes as far as the 1930s. Felt was the first material that used wool fibers that would later be treated with heat or humidity. It is during the 1950s that the industry of non-woven fabric is born thanks to the development of technologies that enabled its mass production.
Nowadays, there are for main types of non-woven fabrics: staple, melt-blown, spunlaid, flash spun, and air-laid paper. The difference between them is the type of fiber used for their production and the process it goes through.
Benefits of non-woven fabric
Non-woven fabric can have an extense lifespan or can be designed for a single-use. It can be combined with other materials and used for multiple functions. It also offers a great cost-durability balance, which has made it very attractive for specialized industry because it can bring innovative, effective and even unexpected solutions to a great number of business challenges. It is also capable of incorporating different features from other materials and adapting to them, becoming a great alternative to face specific jobs and new market needs with a great investment-result ratio. Let's not forget that non-woven fabric is just a material and that the amount of products that can be created out of it is limitless.
What makes non-woven fabric so affordable?
It is simple, while other materials such as woven or knitted materials can be produced at a rate of 1-2 m/min, non-woven fabric can be produced at a rate of 100 m/min, this makes it amazingly more affordable helping companies become more profitable with the use of it.
But, what about the environment?
Non-woven fabric is commonly labeled as an eco-friendly material that's water-resistant, it breathes, it's flexible, it's non-combustible and it can discompose in periods of 8 years if placed indoors and only 90 days if placed outdoors. These discomposing times are great compared to the 10 to 1000 years plastic bags could take to discompose and 300 years that a totally degradable bag can take. It is also important to point out that non-woven bags can be used 2-3 times more than a regular plastic bag.
Is non-woven fabric an option for me?
Odds are, it is. No matter what industry you work for, non-woven fabric will have an application that will make things easier, better and most likely more affordable. From the medical industry to the restaurant industry, going through the hotel industry and even the retail industry, there is a place for non-woven fabric in pretty much every industry.
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