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This study covers the United States market for carded nonwovens, defined here to include materials made from fibers, filaments, and films, which are arranged into webs, batts, or sheets, then bonded together using mechanical, thermal, or chemical means.
Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided for nonwovens production (total) and demand (by market) in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation). Total demand is also shown in square meters and metric tons.
Totals for nonwovens presented in this study include nonwovens sold on the merchant market. Nonwoven goods used in captive production are not included in this data. In addition, the study discusses market environment factors.
Key market breakouts are:
consumer wipes (baby wipes, household care wipes, personal care and other wipes)
personal hygiene (infant diapers, training pants, adult incontinence products, and feminine hygiene products)
other consumer (e.g., dryer sheets, disposable baby bibs, cosmetic pads, tablecloths, napkins)
filtration (air and fluid filters)
electrical and electronics (e.g., battery separators)
furnishings (e.g., mattresses, upholstered furniture)
carpets and rugs
other industrial applications such as industrial wipes, commercial wipes, and protective apparel
How will the COVID-19 coronavirus impact the global economy? The Freedonia Group is tracking recent developments and analyzing their impact in an easy to follow Economic Impact Tracker.
Carded nonwoven growth will be driven by:
product development, including efforts to increase use of sustainable materials
rising demand among key end uses such as the medical and filtration markets as well as geotextiles in the construction market
In the near term, the COVID-19 pandemic will limit gains in industrial segments, as the pandemic forced many “nonessential” manufacturers to temporarily halt operations. However, the pandemic has also boosted demand for nonwovens used in crucial end-use products, such as medical wipes and masks.
Key Opportunities Exist in Product Development of Natural Nonwovens
Nonwovens producers continue to improve their product offerings through such means as the creation of new composites, the use of new fiber blends, and the adoption of advanced machinery to create nonwovens with higher value characteristics.
Consumers increasingly look for products that are produced sustainability and that are made of natural fibers, particularly when nonwovens are employed in the production of consumer products used in close contact with skin. Carded nonwovens in particular stand to benefit from this trend because the web bonding processes used to produce these products allows use of natural fibers.
Growth in Medical, Geotextiles, & Filtration Will Support Demand
While the consumer market is one of the largest outlets for carded nonwoven in 2019, gains will be driven by growth in key non-consumer markets, such as medical, filtration, and geotextiles:
Medical nonwovens are expected to benefit from continued emphasis on limiting HAIs, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While gains for construction end uses, such as geotextiles, were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, they are expected to show stronger gains overall going forward as residential building construction rises.
Demand for filtration nonwovens will grow as consumers remain concerned over air quality and become more aware of the threat of airborne pathogens.
COVID-19 Has Positive Effect on Medical & Consumer Carded Nonwovens in the Near Term
Unlike for many industries in 2020, nonwovens demand in medical and consumer markets has remained strong or even accelerated. Retail stocks of consumer disinfectant wipes were quickly depleted in March 2020, leading to a spike in demand as consumers looked to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus. However, by the second quarter of 2020, wipes started appearing on shelves at limited levels, supporting additional nonwoven demand. Moreover, demand for medical products, like medical wipes, has risen to prevent transmission of the virus within healthcare settings.