The base fiber used to create a nonwoven fabric is extremely important. The choice is dependent on a variety of factors, including the final use of the nonwoven fabric, the overall cost factor and demands on the fabric during any additional processing. Your nonwoven manufacturing partner will be able to inform you of all the special properties of each type of fiber and will work with you to determine the appropriate fiber needed for your projects.
Here we will highlight some (but not nearly all) fibers that may be used to develop the best nonwoven fabric for your products.
Cotton: Cotton is often used as a blending agent with man-made fibers to product soft, absorbent nonwoven fabrics with nice bulk and bonding properties. Cotton blends are often used in medical and disposable products.
Acetate: Acetate is relatively low-priced and has a variety of properties that are appealing for nonwoven fabrics, including: thermo plasticity, mildew resistant, and low moisture absorption. This makes acetate a good choice for any dry-processed nonwoven fabrics where overall strength is not important.
Rayon: Rayon is a versatile, fairly low-cost fiber with a range of deniers that is used for nonwoven fabrics when added softness, high bulk and absorbency are important.
Polyamides and polyester: These are an extremely popular choice for nonwoven fabrics due to their controllable, superior properties over many other fiber choices. They tend to have uniformity in length and strength and are often relatively free from impurities. They also have exceptional resistance to flexing, abrasion and chemicals.
Acrylics: Although, comparatively, acrylics are higher priced than many other fibers, they are often used in furniture and automotive cushioning because of their high bulk, resistance to moisture and chemicals and washability.
Other fibers: A variety of other fibers are used for specialized products, including glass, ceramic, thermoplastic vinyl resin and more. Your nonwoven manufacturing partner will let you know if any of these fibers would be useful to develop your end-use product.
There are many fibers used to develop nonwoven fabrics along with variety of bonding agents and methods to get the appropriate characteristics needed for your nonwoven fabrics. The best way to figure out which fiber to use is to talk with your nonwoven manufacturer about exactly what you need from your nonwoven fabric when incorporated into your final product.
Blog image courtesy renjith krishnan/freedigitalphotos.net