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Technical Textiles & Nonwovens

What are Technical Textiles ?

Technical Textiles are value-added textile products that provide added functionality and applications other than regular fiber-to-fashion supply chain products. These technical textiles encompass high performance fibers, yarns, woven, knitted, nonwoven, braided and composite structures.

Are Nonwovens Technical Textiles?

Most of the nonwovens are technical textiles as they have not yet penetrated into the apparel sector. Nonwovens are predominantly disposable and semi durable goods.

All nonwovens are technical textiles but all technical textiles are not nonwovens

What are Nonwovens?

As the name indicates nonwovens are not woven fabrics. Cost effective process as it skips intermediary processes such as spinning, weave preparation and weaving.

Fiber Fabric without weaving

High speed and productivity compared to conventional/woven processes.

General Definition of Nonwoven Fabrics

Nonwoven fabrics are flat structures mainly defined as sheets or webs made by bonding and entangling fibers or filaments by mechanical, thermal or chemical means.

Major Nonwoven Technologies

Needlepunching Thermalbonding

Spunbonding Meltblowing Spunlacing/hydroentanglement

Nonwoven Technologies

Spunbond Synthetic Meltblown Synthetic Needlepunching Versatile (natural and synthetic) Hydroentangling Versatile (natural and synthetic)

Typical Applications of Nonwovens

Technical applications Hospital fabrics Surgical gowns Face masks Geo textiles Consumer and industrial wipes Upholstery paddings Military decontamination wipes Inner liners of protective fabrics Automotive headliners Automotive trunkliners Acoustic and thermal insulation materials

Technology and End-use Applications

Spunbonding surgical gowns, diaper cover stocks Meltbowning barriers, filters and face masks Needlepunching Geotextiles, automotive fabrics Thermalbonding upholstering, cussion pads Hydroentangling wipes

Needlepunching Technology

Contoured Needleboard Technology

Width: 1.2 mts.

Contoured Needle Zone

Nonwoven Line
Opening fine beating and tuft reduction

Hopper Feeder

Double Cylinder Card

Web forming removal of tufts; parallel orientation

Cross Lapper

Web formation - high loft, layered webs

H1 Needle Loom

Web consolidation Interlocking of fibers

Meltblown Process

Spunbonding Process

Major Machinery Makers

Spunbond/Meltblow Reifenhauser, Germany Hydroentangling Fleissner, Germany. Reiter Perfoject, Switzerland Needlepunching Dilo, Germany Saurer, Switzerland.
Fehrer nonwoven operations have been acquired recently by Saurer group

NSC (Asselin + Thibeu), France

Global Nonwovens Outlook

Worldwide Production By Region

(millions of tonnes)

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
0.1 0.3


R. Of World Mid. East South America Asia Pacific





2.0 1.2 2.3 1.7 1.3 1.2 2002 1.5 2007 1.8 2012
NAFTA Europe - 27

1 0

0.8 0.8 0.9 1997

Source: INDA Estimates, Ian Butler, INTC-2008

Nonwoven Growth By Region

(%, based upon tonnes)

World China NAFTA Europe (27) Japan Mid East Other Asia Pacific

2007-2012 1997-2007 0 5 10 15 20

Source: INDA Estimates, Ian Butler, INTC-2008

Nonwoven Consumption Per Capita

India Russia S. Africa Brazil South America China Mexico Turkey Saudi Arabia Malaysia Japan Australia Europe -27 NAFTA Korea Taiwan

Emerging Markets Early Development Markets

Developed Markets
High export volumes

Source: INDA Estimates, Ian Butler, INTC-2008

Nonwoven Consumption Rises as GDP Per Capita Increases *

4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2

Trend line
Taiwan Europe NAFTA


Czech Rep. Brazil India, 2012

China now

1.5 1 0.5 0 $0

India now






Source: INDA Estimates, Ian Butler, INTC-2008

* PPP in US$ equivalents

Agrotextiles (Few Examples)

What are Agrotextiles ?

Agricultural Textiles are used for Increasing yield, quality and safeguarding agricultural products. Agrotextiles are basically technical textiles that have specialty applications in agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry & forestry. Agricultural Textiles find applications right from sowing to harvesting. They offer new insight on solving the problems faced by agricultural industry. Various technical textiles such as woven, nonwoven, knitted, nets and coated textiles are used as agrotextiles.

Applications of Agrotextiles
Sunscreening (shade cloth) Frost Covering Harvesting Wind protection Landscape covering Bird protection Insect protection Turf protection Irrigation Drainage Aquaculture Insulation Horticulture Animal Husbandary

Agro Shade Cloths

Shade cloth/Shade Netting These are sunscreens and provide necessary protection to the plants against: Excessive heat, Burning of the crops due to direct sunshine and UV damage. Range of shade percentages are: 25%, 35%, 50%, 75% and 90%


Knitted or woven polyethylene fabrics.

Should not rot or become brittle & should avoid mildew formation

Frost Covering
Adverse Effects of Frost
Frost can kill the seeds and adversely affect the ariel portion of the plant. Frost makes the plant loose its moisture and dry out.

Frost Covering
Minimizes moisture and heat loss. Keeps the plant warm and healthy.
Nonwoven fabrics are preferred for Frost Covers: Lightweight, breathable and those which dry quickly are used. These fabrics should provide open spaces for crop treatments.


Examples: Nonwoven spunbonded mesh fabric and nonwoven UV resistant polypropylene fleece.


Harvesting Aides
Harvesting nets are used to collect the fruits falling from a tree. This helps to keep the cost of cultivation low by eliminating additional labor associated with harvesting.


Harvesting nets are predominantly grip structures which can be developed using warp knitting technology.

Windshields are used to protect the crops from high velocity wind damage. These can also be used to control the temperature by hindering cooling due to the wind. These are installed perpendicular to the direction of the wind to reduce the wind speed. These Prevent: Breaking of branches, Early falling of the fruits and Damage to the leaves and flowers.
Examples: Woven and knitted UV stabilized windshields using high density polyethylene monofilaments.



Landscape Covers
These are used for weed control and prevent penetration of thin roots of weeds.

In addition they also maintain optimal soil temperatures for rapid plant growth.


Examples: Biodegradable needlepunched nonwovens and coated fabrics

Pesticide Protective Clothing

Pesticide Protective Materials

Three layered Chemical Protective Fabric: Patent Pending