From disposable shoe covers to filtration materials and a whole host of unimaginable products in between, the non woven industry is big business.
With the demand for non wovens in their current format continuing to grow at a rate of approximately 6% per year, global demand for this product is estimated to be over 12 million tons by 2020, valuing the market at around $50 billion at that time.
This growth is due to three main factors:
This continued growth may not just be associated with the non woven industry and in time, there could be spin offs for other areas of the textile market.
We are now beginning to see how non wovens and their processes may be starting to influence other areas of the textile industry and we look at one example of this.
A perfect example of this is the combination of non woven processes with natural fibres.
Using British wool and non woven processes, Yolanda Leask and her business partner Martin Brambley have created “Cloudwool”. This has resulted in a softer and more flexible product when compared to traditional felting methods and a product which the pair believe will be more economical and sustainable.
As “Cloudwool” (currently patent pending), has been manufactured using non woven processes (such as spunlace) and not the traditional processes that wool is usually subject to, for example, spinning and weaving, this has resulted in economical benefits.
Due to this, Laesk and Brambley believe that its uses are potentially far more extensive. Removing the expensive processes, essentially means that “Cloudwool” could be incorporated into more products where previously wool was too expensive, for example it could replace the down in a quilted jacket.
The product is very much in its infancy and Yolanda and Martin are still considering potential uses for this new economical and biodegradable product. A product which appears to be an excellent combination of utilising new methods with traditional materials.