Contact Person: Michelle Yu
Address: No.68,Luhui Road,Taihu Street,Changxing County,Huzhou,Zhejiang
Spunlace is a nonwoven fabric, based on the bonding by waterjets of carded web. bonding by waterjets of carded web. The hydroentangled bonding technology is a system in which water is emitted under high pressure and velocity from closely positioned nozzles onto a web of loose fibers. The intensity of the water stream and the pattern of the supporting drum or belt entangle, spin and curl the web`s fibers about one another. The entangling of the fibers and the friction between the web`s fibers yields a cohesive web. The process makes a nonwoven fabrics with physical properties of softness, high bulk, drapability, stretchiness, good strength and depending upon the fiber used, aesthetics that mimic traditional knitted or woven textiles. The fibers are composed of polyester and viscose in different proportions. The machine width (3200mm) can be slitted from 100mm to full width. Roll lengths as per requirement.
Spunlace nonwovens are employed in both disposable and durable non-woven products. In general disposable spunlace products have seen stronger growth since 2014, as these are mass-market applications, such as baby wipes, and the secondary top sheet of feminine hygiene products. Disposable nonwoven products tend to be more specialised and have higher-margin than durable nonwoven products.
Growing demand for these disposable items among an emergent and aspirational middle classes in Asia make this the largest regional market for spunlace nonwovens and its largest producer. Asia has 277 identified installed spunlace lines with a capacity of about 1,070,000 tonnes in 2019. China alone has almost 200 installed lines and nameplate capacity of over 800,000 tonnes. This will underpin a further growth of Asian demand for spunlace products of nearly 350,000 tonnes through to 2024.
Cotton spunlace, Polyester & viscose spunlace, spunlcace for wipes, spunlcace for facial mask, parallel spunlcace, cross spunlace, plain spunlace, embossed spunlace, mesh spunlace
Four end-use markets
Future expansion and profitability in the spunlace segment will be powered by a combination of both evolution in consumer demand, cost dynamics in supply and innovations in technology. Smithers` expert analysis identifies the following leading market trends:
The largest end use for spunlace nonwovens is wipes. This accounts for 63.0% of all spunlace consumption in 2019, with nearly half of these being used in baby wipes.
Nonwovens used in baby wipes are mainly spunlace due to their strength and softness, an in spite of their being expensive and not fully biodegradable.
Three recent innovations in baby wipes globally are:
`Sensitive` products marketed as having no fragrance, no alcohol, hypoallergenic, with mild, natural lotions)
Regenerated cotton wipes that have taken advantage of the falling cost of recycled cotton as a raw material;
Lyocell-based nonwovens which consumers have come to recognise sustainable base material.
The next fibre innovation in baby wipes may be nonwovens made from bio-based polymers Producers are trialling a spunlace made from polylactic acid (PLA) and negotiating better and more consistent pricing for PLA fibre.
The recent boom in demand for wipes has created an oversupply of high-performance, lower-cost dispersible spunlace nonwovens for flushable wipes – a market once limited by the availability of viable dispersible nonwoven substrates. At least nine new nonwovens production lines entered service between 2013 and 2019 using new technologies for the flushable nonwovens wipes market.
Consequently flushable wipe producers are looking to new flushable wipe markets. The principle technical target is to evolve contemporary technology to improve dispersibility and increase flushability. If a product can be designed with equivalent flushability to toilet tissue, then potential issues with both the wastewater industry and government regulatory agencies will be avoided.
Hygiene is a relatively new market for spunlace. The main applications are in stretch ears for diapers/nappies and the secondary top sheet for feminine hygiene products. It penetration has been restrained by production and cost considerations compared to spunlaid manufacture.
Sustainability is growing in importance for disposable items. The European Union agreed its Directive on Single-Use Plastics, on December 2018. Sanitary napkins are one hygiene product on its initial target list. Hygiene product producers are also keen for more sustainable products that they can sell to consumers concerned about the environment, although price will continue to be an equally important factor to 2024.
There is an impetus on all market participants to contribute towards this goal:
Material suppliers need to identify more sustainable, lower-price fibres and polymers to use in spunlace nonwovens.
Equipment suppliers must reduce their capital expenditure by supplying lines that are optimal for lower basis weight hygiene products.
Spunlace producers must also develop products that use these new raw materials and improved processes to make lower-cost, softer, sustainable hygiene products.
Sales and marketing staff must identify those regions and consumer segments that will pay a price premium for a sustainable hygiene product.
High performance in medical
The first major market for spunlace was in medical applications including surgical drapes, surgical gowns, CSR wrap, and wound dressings. Many of these end-uses have now been taken over by spunlaid nonwovens, however.
Spunlace is unlikely to match the cost of spunlaid nonwovens in this end use; buyers of medical nonwovens who value performance and sustainability must be identified and engaged. To increase spunlace use in medical products, raw material suppliers must identify and supply low-cost, sustainable raw materials that are absorbent and offer structures with higher strength and stretch than current spunlace products.