Non-woven Fabric Market size is forecast to reach $42 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 7.4% during 2020-2025, owing to the wide usage of non-woven fabrics in various applications such as agricultural coverings, apparel lining, automotive upholstery, carpeting, filters, disposable diapers, hygiene products, roofing, wall coverings and sterile medical products.

The demand for non-woven fabrics are increasing in varied industries due to its extensive set of properties such as absorbency, cushioning, retardancy, excellent thermal insulation, sterility, strength, softness and liquid repellency.

Non-woven fabrics can be designed with specific targeted properties such as can be produced with substantial variations in thickness, mass, voluminosity, elasticity & stiffness.

Also, non-woven fabrics are comparatively quick and cheap to manufacture than the knitted fabrics, which is anticipated to drive the non-woven fabric market substantially during the forecast period.

By Material Type – Segment Analysis

The polypropylene materials segment holds the largest share in the non-woven fabric market in 2019, owing to the rising demand of polypropylene non-woven fabrics from various sectors as, non woven fabric lasts for almost 5 years and they decomposes naturally if placed outdoors.

Also, when burning, it is non-toxic, odourless and leaves no residual substances, so non woven fibre does not pollute the environment. Therefore, non woven polypropylene is taken to be an eco-friendly market. Polypropylene non-woven fibres find extensive applications in construction industry; especially in roofing, tile underlayment, pipelines wrapping, acoustical ceiling, and overall insulation. The product is also used in agriculture and landscaping in root bags, capillary matting, turf protection, weed control fabrics and crops, which is anticipated to drive the non-woven fibres market during the forecast period.

By Technology – Segment Analysis

The spunbond technology holds the largest share in the non-woven fabric market in 2019, owing to its excellent characteristics such as random fibrous structure, high strength to weight ratio, high tear strength, planar isotropic properties, good fray, crease resistance and high opacity.

Spunbonding combines fibre spinning, web forming, web bonding and finishing in a continuous process and thus it is widely used to produce non-woven fabrics from polymers. Also, the fabrics produced in spun bonded non-woven are spun filaments, whose diameters are in the range of 10-35 microns, whereas the fabrics of melt blown non-woven are usually discontinuous and much finer, typically less than 10 microns.

The Spun bonding technique offers superior tensile properties at a weight of fabric while process modifications of filament device, crimp, cross section, degree of bonding etc. and can often produce the required property balances needed to meet end user requirements, which is increasing the demand of spunbond technology for manufacturing non-woven geo-textiles during the forecast period.

By End Use – Segment Analysis

The healthcare application holds the largest share in the non-woven fabric market in 2019 and is growing at a CAGR of 7.7%, owing to the increasing usage of non-woven fabrics in the medical, apparel, and packaging & wipes industry. Non-woven fabric are commonly used to make products in the apparel industry, such as surgical gowns, aprons, drapes, face mask components, wound dressings and others as non-woven fabrics are able to mitigate the risk of spreading drug-resistant bacteria, viral & blood-borne diseases, it is environmentally friendly and disposable without causing harm to the environment.

They are also used in hygiene products, such as sanitary towels, sanitary napkins, tampons, baby diapers, and napkin liners as it provides quick liquid absorption and also provides a dry surface. According to International Trade Centre (ITC), the world export of sanitary towels and tampons increased from 15,784,370 to 16,301,138 in 2018.

China held the largest export market constituting export value of 1,80,586 in 2018. Increasing surgeries and the construction of new medical facilities are the primary driving forces for this market. Non-woven fabrics are affordable alternatives to traditional fabrics as they can be disposed of after each use, which is anticipated to drive the non-woven fabrics market during the forecast period.

By Geography – Segment Analysis

Asia Pacific region held the largest share in the non-woven fabric market in 2019 up to 40%. The growing infrastructural development, rising per capita income of the individuals, increasing birthrate, higher domestic demand along with the availability of low-cost labour is expected to drive the demand for non-woven fabrics in the region.

Rising production of baby diaper influenced by increasing birth rate in Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the key factors driving the demand for non-woven fabric in the region. In 2019, the government of Malaysia allocated a sum of US$ 7 billion to the public health sector, an increase of 7.8 per cent from 2018.

In 2019, Australian Government announced a $5 billion, 10-year investment plan for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as a part of its 2019–20 budgets to support Australian health and medical research. The increasing healthcare investments in various regions of APAC will also lead to increased demand of healthcare apparel and medicines, which will further increase the demand for non-woven fabrics in the market.

Thus, all these long term government investments in the healthcare sectors are anticipated to drive the non-woven fabrics market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.

Drivers – Non-woven Fabric Market

Increasing Demand of Nonwoven fabric from Automotive Sector

The demand of non-woven fabrics in the automotive and transportation industries are increasing for manufacturing parts such as column padding, anti-rattle pads, battery separators, boats, car mats, console box linings, covering materials, panel trims, wheel-well acoustic reinforcements, headliners backing, upholstery backings, window frames and various filters.

Non-woven are used for primary backings, secondary backings and trunk liners as they offer excellent properties such as moldability, flame retardancy, sterility acoustic insulation, absorbency filtration, liquid repellency and bacterial barrier.

Non-wovens are also being widely used in the transportation sector to reinforce tires as they extend the life of the tire, provide strength and durability, and are lightweight and cost-effective, which acts as a driver for the non-woven fabric market.

Increasing Demand of Non-woven Fabrics For Various Applications

There is an increasing demand of non-woven fabrics in the geotextile, medical, packaging, electronics, hygiene and construction industries for greenhouse shading, artificial turf, pavement overlays, fuel cells, sterile packaging, swabs, cable wrap, roadway reinforcements, battery separators, drapes, drainage, and erosion control applications.

The non-woven fabric based geotextiles are flexible and textile-like polymer fabrics of controlled permeability due to which they are being widely used in the construction of roads and for land reclamation. Non-woven fabric reusable bags have become extremely popular with consumers as part of the earth-friendly movement as they are lightweight, sturdy and cut down on the number of plastic bags being used.

The rising demand of non-woven geotextiles from various industrial sectors for various application acts as a driver for the non-woven fabric market during the forecast period.

Challenges – Non-woven Fabric Market

High Cost of Raw Materials Because of Volatility In Crude Oil Prices

The raw materials often used for manufacturing non-woven fabrics such as polypropylene, polyester and polyamides are derived from the crude oil. So, the price fluctuation of crude oil hinders with the price of non-woven fabric raw materials.

According to, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, In the recent year there is been an increase in the price volatility of crude oil, such as the crude oil price decreased from $98.95 in 2014 to $52.39 in 2015 and increased from $43.73 in 2016 to $71.31 in 2018. And because of this uncertainty in crude oil prices the price of non-woven fibre also increases. Thus, the volatility in crude oil prices is expected to be a significant challenge for the non-woven fabrics market manufacturers during the forecast period.

Market Landscape

Technology launches, acquisitions and R & D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the non-woven fabric market. Major players in the non-woven fabric market are DuPont, Kimberly- Clarke, Berry Global Group, Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Freudenberg, Suominen, Johns Manville, Fitesa, TWE Group, Advansa, Toray Industries, Hollingsworth & Vose, Milliken & Company and Fibertex non-woven.

Acquisitions/Technology Launches

In April, 2020 Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Suominen signed a multi-year commercial agreement to renew and strengthen the existing cooperation at the Ställdalen plant in Sweden in order to enhance the Suominen’s ability to serve its customers around the world and cross-qualify production sites on various continents and thus increase their security of supply.

In April, 2020 Advansa launched Adva MegaBond, a next generation available in binding for the non-woven industry, especially wetlaid and drylaid substrates. The binder fibre is supplied in amorphous state and can be used to create a strong, self-reinforcing network that is 100% recyclable in many combinations with other fibres.

Key Takeaways

Asia Pacific dominates the non-woven fabric market, owing to the increasing construction activities in the region due to various government initiatives such as ‘100 Smart Cities’ and ‘One Belt, One Road’ in the APAC Region.

The non-woven fabrics market is witnessing a shift due to several advantages over the woven fabrics such as overlapping of yarns to create pores, better liquid repellence, and high-tech fabrics.

Non-woven fabrics are organised from long fibres, bonded collectively by mechanical, chemical, heat or solvent treatment due to which they are smooth and porous than sheets that are made from separate fibres or from molten plastic or plastic film. These high performance properties are driving the non-woven fabric market during the forecast period.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the growth of healthcare industry is accelerating. The demand for packaging, wipes, and medical apparel is increasing due to which the non-woven fabric is also significantly increasing, which is boosting the non-woven fabric market growth.