According to INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, “Nonwoven fabrics are broadly defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fiber or filaments (and by perforating films) mechanically, thermally, or chemically. They are flat, porous sheets that are made directly from separate fibers or from molten plastic or plastic film. They are not made by weaving or knitting and do not require converting the fibers to yarn. The growth of this market is attributed to the increase in the demand for nonwoven products globally due to the surge in demand for masks for COVID-19 prevention. The growth in the end-use industries (such as automobile, construction, healthcare, packaging, agriculture, and textile) has generated new opportunities for the nonwoven fabrics market. However, factors such as volatility in the raw material prices may inhibit the growth of the market.
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MarketsandMarkets expects the global nonwoven fabrics market size to grow from USD 40.5 billion in 2020 to USD 53.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2020 to 2025. The market for nonwoven fabrics is segmented, on the basis of technology, into spunbond, wet-laid, dry-laid, and others (include electrostatic spinning and flash-spun). Spunbond is projected to dominate the market for nonwoven fabrics by 2025. Spunbond is one of the most preferred technologies through which nonwoven fabrics can be produced in higher quantities. In the spun laid process, also known as the spunbond process, polymer granules are melted and later cooled and placed to form a uniform web. The polymers used are polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and rayon. These polymers are extruded and are later filtered and drawn on to a conveyor to form a web. Co-extrusion of the second components can also be done to provide extra properties to the nonwoven fabrics. Spunbond nonwoven fabrics find applications in hygiene products, construction, coating substrates, agriculture, battery separators, wipes, and filtration.
On the basis of application, hygiene is projected to be the largest segment in the nonwoven fabrics market during the forecast period. Nonwovens are used as an alternative to traditional textiles due to their excellent absorption properties, softness, smoothness, strength, comfort & fit, stretchability, and cost-effectiveness. Nonwoven fabrics are used in baby diapers, sanitary napkins, wipes, face masks, adult incontinence products, lens tissues, hand warmers, buff pads, and laundry dry sheets. COVID-19 has increased the demand for hygiene products across the globe, and thereby, the manufacturers are taking initiatives to expand their production capacities for the nonwoven hygiene products in 2020.
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The nonwoven fabrics market is studied for four regions, namely, North America, APAC, Europe, Middle East & Africa and South America. The APAC region accounted for the largest market share in 2019, in terms of both value and volume. Furthermore, the market for nonwoven fabrics in the APAC region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2025, in terms of both value and volume.
Durability, environmental friendly, and the sustainable nature of the raw materials determine their applicability in nonwoven fabrics, and accelerate their demand and need for various applications across different end-use industries. These nonwoven fabrics are widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic for the production of face masks, protective garments, and wipes.
The nonwoven fabrics market has thousands of companies which thrive in their domestic market. A few of the major players are, Ahlstrom-Munksjo (Finland), Berry Global Inc. (US), Kimberly-Clark Corporation (US), Asahi Kasei Corporation (Japan), Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), Freudenberg Group (Germany), and Lydall, Inc. (US). These players have adopted various growth strategies, such as mergers, acquisitions, investments, expansions, new product developments, joint ventures, and agreements to increase their market shares and enhance their product portfolios.
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