Chapter 1: What Is Non-woven Fabric?
Polypropylene, a non-woven fabric
You might have come across the word “non-woven fabric” and wondered what is non-woven fabric.
What is non-woven fabric made of? Non-woven fabric is any product made from thermoplastic polymer polypropylene. Next to polyethene, polypropylene is the second most commonly used plastic worldwide.
An American Corporation Phillips Petroleum developed polypropylene plastic in 1951. This product was birthed as a result of the failed attempt of deriving gasoline from propylene.
It was gradually discovered that polypropylene is a type of plastic that can be made into fabric.
Polypropylene fabric is a non-woven textile, that is, the fabric is made directly from the raw material without spinning or weaving.
Therefore, non-woven fabrics are sheet or web structures bonded together by an entangled filament mechanically or chemically.
China is the largest manufacturer and supplier of non-woven fabrics. Other world producers of non-woven fabrics are the United States, Italy, France, Mexico, Belgium, Netherland and Pakistan.
Chapter 2: Non-woven Fabric Classification
2.1, Types of non-woven fabric
Spun-lace non-woven fabric- Spun-lace non-woven is made by spraying high-pressure fine water onto multiple layers of fibre to reinforce them.
Meltblown non-woven fabric- A fibre-like structure is added to a web or hot powder melt adhesive reinforcing the material. It is then heated, melted and cooled to form a cloth.
Wet non-woven fabric- Wet non-woven fibre material is placed in a liquid medium and opened into a single fibre while mixing different fibre raw materials, thereby making the fibre suspension slurry.
Spun-bond non-woven fabric- After the polymer is extruded and stretched to form a continuous filament, the web is passed via chemical bonding, thermal bonding or mechanical reinforcing.
2.2, Properties of non-woven fabric
- Soft non-woven are made from fine fibres, making the final product soft and comfortable.
- Lightweight- Non-woven are made with polypropylene, which is three-fifths of the weight of cotton, thereby, making the non-woven fabric pleasant to touch and feel.
- Water-resistant- Polypropylene chips are water-resistant and non-absorbent.
- Breathable- Air can easily pass through the fabric, therefore, making it easy to wash and dry.
- Non-toxic and hypoallergenic- Non-woven fabric does not have an odour and is non-irritating to the skin, therefore, making it a safe fabric for different uses. Therefore it is ideal for making surgical masks, and wet wipes among hygienic products.
- Excellent physical properties- Non-woven fabrics are made from polypropylene and bonded together. Non-woven fabrics have higher strength than some other fabrics.
- Anti-bacterial and anti-chemical agent- Non-woven material can prevent microorganisms which may prevent the material from eroding.
- Eco-friendly- One of the main reasons for using this fabric is that it helps conserve the environment as it can be reused multiple times when made into products.
Chapter 3: Uses of Non-woven Fabric
Due to the numerous properties of the non-woven fabric, it is used in many industries. Non-woven fabric use spans the medical, sanitary, geotextile and commercial industries.
3.1, Sanitary and hygiene
Non-woven fabric is used in infant diapers, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, facial wipes, hand and body wipes, feminine hygiene wipes, medicated wipes and adult incontinence products.
The technology employed in making or the process of making non-woven fabric used for sanitary and hygiene products are air laid, spun lace and air-laid.
Non-woven fabric is used for making surgical gowns, medical drapes and covers, scrubs for medical procedures, surgical masks, disposable caps, bandages, wound dressings, cold/hot packs, and so on.
The technology involved in producing non-woven fabric for medical use is dry-laid, spunlace, meltblown and spunbound.
Non-woven fabrics are used in fuel oil, air-filtering systems, mineral refinery processing, pharmaceutical industries and laboratories, etc. It is also used as a cartridge and bag filter in food processing plants.
Non-woven fabric is used for foundation stabilisers, it helps prevent erosion, is useful in water flow systems, is used to protect geomembranes, frost protection, mulching in agriculture, used to create water barriers in canals and ponds, asphalt overlay, and so on. The non-woven fabric used in geotextile is produced by dry-laid, needle-punched and spun-laid technologies.
3.5, Product packaging and promotional item
Non-woven fabric is used for making shopping bags, product packaging bags, dust bags and promotional bags. Non-woven fabric is durable and reusable, hence, it is used in shopping bags.
Consumer products like shoes, bags, and purses are wrapped in non-woven dust bags so as to prevent dust and moisture from destroying expensive products.
Some businesses use non-woven bags to package and present their products to customers. Non-woven bags are lightweight and presentable for this purpose The non-woven bags for this purpose can be customised for brand awareness.
Chapter 4: How Non-woven Bags Are Ideal for Brand Promotion
A product’s packaging will not be overlooked irrespective of the product quality itself. An excellent way to give your brand recognition is to invest in durable and stylish packaging bags.
Using customised non-woven bags attracts customer attention, builds a positive perspective about your business and compels prospective customers to buy your products.
Many popular brands around the world make use of this opportunity, you should not be left out! Not only does your brand become easily identified but it also plays a crucial role in expanding the reach of your brand.
Benefits of using nonwoven bags
Are non-woven polypropylene bags washable like cotton material? Non-woven bags are recyclable, durable, washable, and lightweight, just like cotton. The following are the ways in which reusable non-woven bags are beneficial.
- Cost saving- Non-woven bags are reusable, especially for shopping. Rather than using plastic bags that are mostly used once, non-woven bags are recommended as they can be used repeatedly.
- Saves resources- Non-woven bags are made from crude oil and natural gases. If reusable bags are used, it would reduce renewable energy used. It will also reduce the amount communities spend on regular clean-up.
- Are non-woven bags eco-friendly? This may be the question in many people’s minds as consumers are beginning to realise the importance of a green planet. Although non-woven bags are not biodegradable, they are reusable and prevent the environment from excessive waste.
- Non-woven bags are durable and are useful for product packaging, gift packaging for weddings and birthdays, jewellery; garment, shopping, etc.
This article has explained the basics of non-woven fabric- Now you know what non-woven fabric is, what it is made of, its properties and the benefits you can derive from using non-woven fabric.
We mentioned how non-woven fabric is used in industries like medical, sanitary products, geotextiles, engineering, and product packaging.
If you run any business or service, a reusable non-woven bag is a cost-effective way to present your product while at the same time, creating brand awareness.