Purified Cotton™ is also used within the nonwoven industry to create fabrics. These fabrics are created from fibers that are bonded together by different thermal, mechanical, or chemical-based processes. In some cases the fabrics created are 100% Purified Cotton™, while in others the cotton is blended with other fibers. Our cotton for nonwovens is typically used in conjunction with three different processes: hydroentangling, thermal bonding, and needlepunching.
Hydroentangling: Also known as spunlacing, the hydroentanglement process uses high-pressure water jets to strike the fiber, causing them to entangle. This creates a web of fiber that has the characteristics of a fabric, one that can be 100% cotton or a blend. These fabrics are used in a variety of consumer products, including topsheets or coverstock fabric for baby and adult diapers, pantyliners, feminine pads, and wet and dry wipes. To learn more about the hydroentanglement process, visit our topsheet-focused blog post.
Thermal Bonded: Thermal bonded nonwovens are fabrics produced by using heat to melt thermoplastic powders or fibers (polyester, polypropylene, etc.). At the point where two or more fibers intersect, they melt directly to each other. When they cool they are bonded, which imparts strength to the fabric. These blended fabrics can be very lightweight and thin or very heavy and thick. The lightweight fabrics are used in many applications, such as topsheets or coverstock fabric for diapers and feminine pads. Heavier, thicker fabrics are used for insulation, as well as padding/cushioning. You can learn more about the thermal bonding process here.
Needlepunching: In the case of needlepunching, Purified Cotton™ can be used to create durable and nondurable fabrics. In this process, some of the fibers are driven through the web by barbed needles, giving the webs strength by mechanically bonding the fibers together. These fabrics can be blends or 100% cotton, ultimately creating batting for quilts, blankets, and insulation. For more detail about the needlepunching process, check our blog post on the topic.