Characteristics and Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

Nonwoven fabric is one of the latest innovations in the world of fabrics. The characteristics and properties of Nonwoven Fabrics make it a great choice for industrial and commercial applications. Nonwoven fabric is as simple and old as other textile fabrics in the textile industry.

Generally, nonwoven fabrics were used only in protecting clothing and shelters. But, the nonwoven industry has grown unexpectedly in the last few years. Generally, nonwoven fabrics are popular in our life. However, do you know about the characteristics and properties of nonwoven fabrics? If you want to know about this topic, follow our guide, and you will get your answer and enjoy it.

What is Nonwoven Fabrics?

Nonwoven is one kind of fabric that is not prepared by weaving or knitting, or interlacing yarn. Usually, nonwoven commodities consist of one or more fiber coverings. And the nonwoven fabrics are porous and flexible. Nonwoven fabrics are bonded or felted together. And these fabrics are involved in fiber or filaments chemically, thermally, and mechanically.

Nonwoven Fabrics
Nonwoven Fabrics

The first thing to know about nonwoven fabrics is that they can be made from natural or synthetic fibers such as cotton, polyester, wool, nylon, or other materials like rayon and acetate. The manufacturing process starts with either carding or air-laying to create an even webbing material made up of short strands of fiber called a “web.” This web is then bonded together using heat and/or pressure at high speed through

A nonwoven fabric is made from fibers or filaments bonded together by physical or chemical means to form a continuous sheet. In general, three types of processes are employed in preparing Nonwoven fabrics:

  1. Wet-laid process, 
  2. Dry-laid process 
  3. and Thermoplastic Processes. 

The nonwoven material is made by thermoforming polymers into small strands known as fibers. These fibers can be created through spinning, melt blowing, electrospinning, etc. 

In other words, nonwoven fabrics are engineered fabrics that are generated directly from fibers, continuous filaments, or cut yarns. It is also separated from fibers of molten plastic or plastic film. Mainly nonwoven are planar structures. Nonwoven fabrics have various uses, especially as internal strengtheners and to support sewing in textile products. 

Nonwoven fabrics are widely used in various industries for many purposes. They have a variety of characteristics and properties, which make them ideal for different applications, depending on the requirements of the industry. Here, we will discuss some of these nonwoven fabric features. 

Non-woven fabric characteristics

The structure of the nonwoven fabric is varied from other textile structures. Some structural characteristics of nonwoven fabric are pointed out below:

  1. It consists of layers of fibrous webs or single fibers rather than of yarns.
  2. The thickness and weight of the nonwoven fabrics are generally not uniform.
  3. The nonwoven is highly porous and penetrable.
  4. It is anisotropic inside the structure itself. Because of the alignment of the fibers and the disposition of the binder points of the fibers.

The range of characteristics of the nonwoven fabric is extensive. The important characteristics of nonwoven fabrics are pointed out below: 

  • The presence of nonwoven fabrics may be paper-like or felt-like.
  • They can be made into molded shapes.
  • Nonwoven fabrics may be opaque or translucent.
  • May be as thin as tissue paper or too much thicker.
  • The nonwoven fabric also may be rigid, hard, or broad with little flexibility.
  • The porosity of the nonwoven fabric may range from low tear. And the burst strength of this fabric is very highly extensible.
  • Manufactured by sewing, gluing, or heat bonding.
  • Have outstanding laundering ability, whereas other fabrics have none.
  • Some of the nonwoven fabric may be dry-cleaned.

Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

Nonwoven Fabrics
Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

A few properties of nonwoven fabrics are: 

  1. Filtering
  2. Absorbency
  3. Bacterial barrier
  4. Cushioning
  5. Liquid repellency
  6. Flame retardant
  7. Softness
  8. Resilience
  9. Strength
  10. Sterility
  11. Stretch 
  12. Washability 

Some general properties of nonwoven fabrics are: 

  1. Nonwoven fabrics are not particularly robust.
  2. Nonwoven fabrics can be made to the extent of weight.
  3. Nonwoven fabrics can be made to be soft and soluble with heat and act like the glue that is used for hemming.
  4. Nonwoven fabrics can easily bobble from on the surface.
  5. Nonwoven fabrics may be softer when wet.
  6. Nonwoven fabrics can be made porous so that water can pass through.
  7. Nonwoven fabrics are inexpensive to produce.

Considering Properties 

Here are some considered properties of Nonwoven fabrics :

1. Breaking strength: The breaking strength of nonwoven fabrics gives 500N in the transversal direction. And in the longitudinal direction, it is 1200N.

2. Tear strength: The tearing strength of nonwoven fabrics is approximately double.

3. Fabric stretch: Presently invented nonwoven fabrics display extensibility in the cross-direction of fabric stretch of at least about 50%, and more first at least about 60%, with the initial recovery of at least about 85%-90%.

4.Abrasion resistance: Nonwoven fabrics have poor abrasion resistance because of their loose structure.

5. Fabric weight:  Nowadays, formulated nonwoven fabrics garments are 50% lighter than knitted fabrics.                                           

6. Air permeability: The nonwoven fabric is made of 100% fiber. That’s why it provides more air permeability. And it is also easy to keep the fabric dry and easy to clean. That’s why nonwoven fabrics provide good comfort to the human body. 

7. Thermal properties: Nonwoven fabric provides a decrease in thermal retention. So, when exposed to the heightened environmental temperature, the wearer would remain cooler and comfortable.

8. Moisture absorbance: Usually, the moisture absorbance properties primarily depend on the fibers used to produce the fabric. The nonwoven fabrics are delivered from hydrophobic fibers that can absorb less moisture.

Advantageous Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

Characteristics and Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics
Figure: Advantageous Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

Lightweight: Nonwoven fabrics are fabricated from polypropylene resin. So, their weight is only three-fifths of cotton’s weight. As a result, This fabric is soft with a good hand feeling.

Soft: The nonwoven fabrics are composed of fine fibers. So, the finished product is soft and comfortable.

Water-repellent: Polypropylene chips of nonwoven fabrics are non-absorbent. As a result, the water content is zero; that’s why the finished product is water-repellent.

Non-toxic and non-irritant: The nonwoven fabric verifies to the FDA food-grade raw material production. It does not have other chemical ingredients. So, it is safe, non-toxic, odorless, stable, and non-irritating. This property of nonwoven fabric makes it acceptable. As a result, it can produce various beauty products such as makeup cotton, wet wipes, facial masks, etc.

Antibacterial and anti-chemical agents: Polypropylene could be a blunt chemical substance. It can isolate bacteria and insects present in the liquid and protect nonwovens from decay. Besides, nonwoven fabrics have antibacterial and anti-corrosion properties. As a result, the finished products are water-repellent and not moldy. 

Good physical properties: Nonwoven fabrics are instantly formed by polypropylene spinning and heat-bonded. As a result, the strength of the nonwoven products is better than that of ordinary staple fiber products. 

Eco-friendly: In recent years, this property of a nonwoven fabric is widely used in different fields. However, we have to pay more and more attention to environmental safety. The chemical structure of polypropylene is weak. That’s why the molecular chain could break easily. And it can be degraded effectively to permeate the next environmental cycle in a non-toxic form.

Defective Properties of Nonwoven Fabrics

1. When nonwoven fabrics are compared with woven fabrics, it is poor strength and durability. 

2. Although it may be dry-cleaned yet, it cannot be cleaned like other common clothes.


In the nonwoven fabrics market, properties of nonwoven fabrics and their applications to medical devices have been increasingly gaining importance. Nonwoven textiles are haphazardly formed by entangling fibers without an underlying framework, as is found in wovens or knits (Fesler, 2002). These materials form an interlaying structure that can be used as a barrier material for many applications, such as drug delivery platforms and wound care dressings.

Nonwoven fabrics consist of open, randomly oriented fibrous networks created through the entanglement of continuous filaments and/or staple fibers. The term “nonwoven” originates from the fact.

So, according to present demand, nowadays, nonwovens have been improved and brought up to a grade which increases its use as apparels. Presently, the possible end-use application is unlimited. Due to the availability of fashionable nonwoven garments at a lower rate, the nonwoven fabrics could be a probable input in the areas of inner lining for warm garments, ties garments, head wears, and blankets. Besides, it also spread its application in a wide range of fields such as in the aerospace industry, agriculture, automobiles, construction, etc.

One day, this nonwoven fabric will prove to be an important step in improving the standard of living of people. Finally, it can be said that one day nonwoven fabrics will enrich the standard of living of human beings.

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