Non wovenfabrics are sheets or networks of fibres, bound or tangled together via mechanic, thermal or chemical means. As opposed to traditional materials, such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk; non-woven fabrics do not necessitate weaving or knitting during
production. This means there is no time or energy spent spinning the individual fibres into yarn. Instead, they can be produced quickly and efficiently, all the while preserving very high standards of quality, softness and resilience. The binding process usually occurs through the pressing of fibres together with an adhesive, chemical binder, heat, ultrasonic pattern bonding, water combination and/or by interlocking the fibres with serrated needles. This technological development for the fabric industry is often applied in either flat sheet form or thicker slices for various purposes, including to absorb or repel liquids, resist against wear, to add a quality of stretchiness or softness, to increase comfort or strength, and to prevent the spread of flames or bacteria, especially in sterile and single-use products.
Non woven fibres have many uses. According to the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, these can range from paper products like tags, envelopes and labels; to bathroom essentials such as sanitary or anti-bacterial wipes, diapers, adult incontinence prevention and feminine hygiene products; to medical solutions that include bandages, caps, face masks and surgical scrubs and gowns; to filters for water, coffee, tea, gas/oil, vacuums and HEPA air filters; to consumer products through padding, packaging, insulation, carpeting, upholstery, disposable towels, fabric dryer sheets, earphone protection covers and disposable textiles; to construction and petrochemical industry uses in manufacturing insulation, wall coverings, civil engineering and roofing materials.
Industries and consumers tend to favor non woven fabrics for their ease of customization, cost, attractiveness, durability, ventilation, weight, disinfectant-carrying and filtration capacity, ecological awareness (because they do not harm animals or the Earth during production, unlike traditional fibres, and can always be recycled), and because they ensure hygiene with each use. However, due to the fact that they often cannot be washed or reused, non woven fabrics necessitate the proper disposal facilities to treat and then recycle their fibres. Depending on their manufacturing process and intended use, they can also be thinner and therefore less durable than other products that are destined for reuse, but this attribute of course accompanies their affordable production and distribution.