Non-wovens are defined as fabric structures produced directly from fibers by bonding or entangling the fibers or filaments by mechanical, thermal or chemical means. Use of adhesive heat, fusion or entanglement of the fiber may be carried out. The input material for non-wovens are 1. Any fibers 2. Some kinds of Bonding Agent. 3. Any Auxiliary agent (added for special effects, e.g., surface texture, etc.)
Non-wovens may be categorized into 1. Durables2. Non-durables or Disposables 3. Semi-Durables.
Durables are those which are manufactured for intention of longer use, e.g., furnishing, carpets (Numdhas), carpet backing. Mostly nylon, polyester and rayon, etc., are used.
Disposables are those that are intended to use only for a limited application. Throw away after use. It should not be very expensive. Cost of manufacture and material in this case should not be too high, e.g., Diapers, Tissue paper, surgeons gloves, gowns, filters, etc. Rayon is the fiber which is most commonly used. Semi Durables are used to make products as table mats. Can be used more than one time.
Made directly from fibers
Variation can be made by using different ways of bonding fibers together.
They show good to excellent resilience.
Good shock absorbers.
Easy to shape
Will not ravel
Edges need not finish
Have good insulation properties with resultant warmth
Will not tear
Breaking load is low
Holes cannot be mended very satisfactorily
There is little or no elastic recovery nor elongation in felt fabrics Should be laundered carefully.
Should not be subjected to pulling or twisting.
Yarn are made out of fibers which are then interwoven to form the fabric Variations can be made by using plain, novelty or textured yarns and may be by weaving them in different ways.
They are not until the woven structure is quite thick.
Not easy to shape
Ravel most in case of man-mades
Edges needs to be finished
Are not sound absorbent
Only in few cases as worsteds
Breaking load is high as compared with some general thickness and weight Can be mended
They have fair to good elastic recovery and elongation
Depends on what kind of fiber, yarn and weave used for the construction
Non-woven fabrics appear in a wide variety of products for apparel, home-furnishings, business, industry and specialized applications such as aerospace. The list of products made from non-woven fabrics is long and growing each year. Some typical end-use items include diapers, handkerchiefs, shirts, dresses, apparel interfacings, bandages, curtains, decontamination clothing, garment bags, industrial apparel, lampshades, map backing, napkins, place mats, ribbons, upholstery backing, window shades, hospital gowns, hospital sheets and many more.
Durable non-wovens have wide applications. these include apparel, such as for caps, interlinnings and interfacings home furnishings, such as for draperies furniture, upholstery, mattress padding, and carpet backing, industrial uses, such as filters, insulation and roadbed stablization sheetings.
Disposable non-wovens are essentially made for one time use; such as dust cloths, may be laundered and reused a few times. General applications include diapers, sanitary napkins, surgical and industrial masks, bandages and towels.
There are many types of non-woven but basically two types of non-wovens are very common: (a) Felts (b) Bonded fabrics
Felts as defined by ASTM are: 'A structure build up by the interlocking of fibers by a suitable combination of mechanical work, chemical action, moisture and heat without spinning, weaving or knitting.' They may consist of one or more classes of fibers (main fiber type is wool).
b. Bonded fabrics:
Bonded fabrics constitue a larger area of non-wovens and this word is used as a constituent of non-wovens.