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Nonwoven Materials & Related Products


  • In 2004, the worldwide market for nonwoven fabrics is expected to be 9.1 billion pounds valued at $13.5 billion. Rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 4.8%, the market will reach 11.5 billion pounds in 2009.

  • The best prospects will be found in Asia/Pacific, where growth will exceed (by 1.4 times) that of overall economic growth.

  • The developed nations of North America, Western Europe and Japan currently represent nearly 60% of the global market for nonwoven fabrics.

  • On the materials side, polypropylene fibers will gain market share based on favorable cost-performance relationships. Some exotic, high-performance fibers will gain as well, all at the expense of rayon and polyester.


Textiles and chemical supply in general, and nonwoven products, in particular, in North America are undergoing significant changes. A global recession affected many nonwoven end-use markets and led to greatly diminished demand. At the same time, new entrants and expansions by East Asian producers resulted in additional capacity. In turn, this led to lower operating rates for many producers, a more competitive market and pricing pressures. These drivers will continue. The loss of customer industries to overseas locations (especially China), market maturation, and pressures from rising raw material and energy costs are other challenges. All of these are combining to give rise to structural change.

In the long-term, the North American nonwoven market will recover and expand, as a result of technological advancements, both in the areas of new processes and methods for producing nonwoven materials, as well as in evaluating nonwoven products for various applications. With changes in industry structure and associated challenges in the marketplace, a technology/marketing report with a unified view of materials and applications is needed.

The timely BCC report provides a detailed and comprehensive multiclient look at the global for nonwoven materials and products used in durable and disposable applications as well as potential opportunities for the future. The study includes thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the nonwoven materials and products , as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. Social, political and regulatory issues also are covered, as are international markets.


The report contains:

  • An overview of the chemistry of fibers and other materials, and the processes to manufacture nonwoven fabrics and materials
  • Coverage of specific applications for nonwoven products from geotextiles and home furnishings to fabric softeners and footwear
  • World markets and growth of these applications through 2009 with emphasis on North American markets
  • World markets for polypropylene, polyester, rayon, nylon and other staple and filament fibers that are quantified, assessed and projected, also through 2009
  • Discussion of new and developing technology trends
  • A comprehensive analysis of the industry structure identifying industry leaders along with profiles of the leading companies.


The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on nonwoven materials and products was conducted. These secondary sources included nonwoven and related journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports, information from trade associations, and other publications. A patent search and analysis was also conducted.

In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, unit managers, engineers, and other personnel at the nonwoven materials and products companies. Other sources included academics, fiber and adhesives suppliers, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials, and consulting companies. These were a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.


Calvin Swift has over 20 years experience in competitive intelligence, industrial market research, planning, and marketing at major corporations, market research consultancies and think tanks. He has led, mentored and coached various multi-disciplinary teams providing a full range of economic, market analysis, survey and related advice and services.

He advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed developments in plastics, metals, and other materials. The author has employed scenario analysis to investigate and research the future of industry to identify the impact of globalization, consolidation, demographics, changing industry structure, and technological innovation. His particular interest lies in the interaction of strategy, economic and industry developments, and innovation. He holds a BA and a MA degree in economics, and has completed other studies in administration.


Founded in 1971, Communications Co., Inc. (BCC) is known throughout the world for its technical-economic reports and services. The company has studied major market, economic, environmental, and technological developments that have characterized industry during the past 2 decades to produce reports, newsletters, and conferences. In the process, BCC has focused on advanced materials, high-technology systems and components, and novel processing methods since the development and marketing of these phenomena assert a profound influence on manufacturers and users on a worldwide scale.

BCC clients include almost every major corporation in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. Other BCC reports of related interest to the subject of nonwoven materials and products include: Growing Markets for Nonwoven Filter Media; Protective Clothing and Body Armor Industry: Fire, Chemicals, and Bullets; Biodegradable Polymers; Synthetic Paper Industry; Advanced Controlled Delivery Technology; Biocompatible Materials for the Human Body; Separation Systems for Commercial Biotechnology; Semi-Permeable, Non-Separating Membranes: New Opportunities; Printed Circuit Boards; Advanced Structural Non-Pyrolyzed Fibers; Markets for Advanced Wound Care Technologies; Specialty Adhesives; Bridge and Highway Maintenance: The Cement/Asphalt Binder ; Building and Industrial Air Filtration and High-Performance Films . The company has also conducted reports on a wide variety of other materials issues. Finally, BCC, Inc. also publishes the monthly newsletters Medical Materials Industry Review, Flame Retardancy Industry Review, Nanoparticle News, and Industry in Transition.

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