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What are the properties of nonwoven fabrics?

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Quick Answer

Nonwoven fabrics are absorbent, resilient, repellent to liquid, soft and stretchable. Other properties include durability, flame resistance, washability and elasticity. Manufacturers choose raw materials and apply finishing treatments to achieve specific properties for the fabrics.

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Full Answer

Nonwoven fabrics are engineered fabrics created from fibers, continuous filaments or cut yarns. They are bonded together using various methods except weaving and knitting. Wetlaid webs that consist of at least 50 percent of manmade fibers are considered nonwovens. Composite structures containing at least 50 percent of nonwoven material are also nonwoven fabrics.

Nonwoven fabrics are used as the sole material or combined with other materials to manufacture various products, including clothes, health care fabrics, home furnishings, hygiene products and construction products. Some nonwovens are designed for single use, whereas others are made to last for a long period.

Nonwoven fabrics feature numerous properties, such as cushioning, filtering, sterility and bacterial barrier. They are also antistatic, biodegradable, conductive, and resistant to crease and abrasion. They can imitate the look, strength and texture of woven fabrics, and they can be extremely thick.

Nonwovens deliver excellent results when used in a broad range of applications because of their specific functions. Manufacturers combine different properties to produce fabrics suited for particular jobs. Some of the processes typically used to achieve the properties of nonwovens include printing, embossing, molding and laminating.

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