The Global nonwoven fabrics market is expected to reach a whopping $62 Billion by 2026, up from $38 Billion in 2020. The major growth drivers here are increasing applications in the healthcare industry and increasing demand for electric vehicles.
Nonwoven fabric is used to make various products across industries. For example, nonwovens in the healthcare (or Hygiene & Safety) industry are seen in surgical gowns, aprons, face mask components, and wound dressings. They are also used in hygiene products like sanitary towels, baby diapers, and napkin liners. In addition, nonwovens are used for temperature and sound insulation, seating, and liners for the roof and wheel arches in the automotive industry.
The nonwoven fabric market is highly competitive and fragmented, comprising multiple large and small players. For example, in 2021, the top six players accounted for over 22% of the global market. In other words, it’s not a consolidated market where only a few significant players dominate.
We’ve used revenue and significance (contribution) to the nonwoven industry in determining a company’s rank.
When it comes to nonwoven manufacturers, Greycon offers trim optimisation, planning & scheduling and MES solutions aimed at delivering improvements in production efficiencies, material management, sustainability and profitability for nonwovens manufacturers. You can learn more about Greycon’s solution within the nonwovens industry here.
Kicking off with number one, we have the internationally recognised Berry Global. The company’s annual revenue for 2021 was $13.85 billion, an impressive 18.29% increase from 2020. More specifically the company’s sales for the Health, Hygiene, and Specialty business segment (the nonwoven products segment), accounted for 23% of their net sales.
As a leading global nonwoven manufacturer, they produce a variety of products for the babycare, healthcare, cleaning, construction, and agriculture sectors. Material products include Spunbond PP Landscape Fabric, Everist Nanofiber Nonwoven, CottonLoft, and more.
2021 was an excellent year for the German-based nonwovens manufacturer, with sales and profits considerably higher than in 2020. For example, at €10,038.7 million, sales were significantly above the previous year’s figure of €8,840.8 million.
Freudenberg has a workforce of 49,836 employees and produces technical textiles for various applications and markets, including automotive, construction, apparel, and medical supplies. Products include drylaid nonwovens, spunlaid nonwovens, melt-blown nonwovens, wetlaid nonwovens, and more. The company is also committed to sustainability and plans to become climate-neutral by 2045.
DuPont‘s 2021 revenue came in at a whopping $16.65 billion, with organic sales up 14% on 2020. The company produces several nonwoven materials under the brand names Tyvek, Tychem, Sontara, Suprel, Softesse, ComforMax, and Typar. Tyvek in particular massively increased in demand in the face of coronavirus. However, while demand for PPE Tyvek products has slowed in the last year, the company continues to ramp up supplies of the product to other markets, including construction, medical packaging, and graphics.
The major markets they compete in are construction, health care, protective apparel, industrial, filtration, absorbents, home furnishings, geotextiles, graphics, packaging, and footwear.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö is a leading player in sustainable and innovative fibre solutions and a significant player in the technical textiles market. In 2021, the company reported record-high net sales of €3.1 bn. In addition, Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s sold production increased by 6% to a whopping 1,672,000 tons. The company distributes decor papers, health care materials, graphic papers, tapes, wall coverings, and other fibre-based materials. And impressively, renewable fibres represent approximately 95% of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s total fibre use.
Kimberly-Clark‘s revenue for 2021 came in at a colossal $19.4 billion. However, it’s worth noting that the company operates across many different market segments, so revenue alone doesn’t represent its dominance in the nonwoven segment. With that said, Kimberly-Clark is a leading producer and user of nonwoven materials. They use nonwovens in their consumer products like Huggies nappies and other external major markets, including filtration, acoustics, construction, consumer hygiene, industrial, medical packaging, textile linings and wet wipes. In some major news, the company announced in 2021 that they would be partnering with RWDC to develop biodegradable nonwovens for consumer products.
Founded in 1973, Fitesa produces nonwoven materials for the hygiene and healthcare markets. It’s also one of the world’s largest manufacturers of nonwoven spunmelt textiles for the medical, hygiene and industrial sectors. The company operates an impressive 23 plants across 13 countries.
With an approximate revenue of $1.1 billion for 2021, Glatfelter has made significant strides since last year, when it reported a revenue of $916 million. They specialise in airlaid, wetlaid and metallised engineered materials for the global market. Some of their top product solutions include materials for adult incontinence, feminine hygiene, tea bags, and single-serve coffee segments.
Toray specialises in fibre and chemical products, including filament yarns, staple fibres, spun yarns, nylon fabrics, polyester films, engineering plastics, resin materials, and carbon fibre composite materials. In addition, the company is known for its polyester nonwoven fabric called AXTAR. AXTAR can be used in the civil engineering sector to strengthen embankments, in agriculture as anti-weed sheets, or in household products like wrapping bags. In an effort to become more sustainable, the company also manufactures plant-based nonwoven fabric.
With over 8,000 employees and 44 manufacturing and sales sites across North America and Europe, John Manville serves customers in more than 80 countries. The company manufactures nonwoven materials using wet-laid, needle punch, air-laid, polyester spunbond and meltblown production processes. The Denver-based company has annual sales of over $3 billion, making it a major player in the nonwovens industry.
The Connecticut-based company reported a revenue of $860 million in 2021, up from $760 million the year before. Lydall is a global manufacturer of technical nonwoven materials with operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company serves a broad range of industrial markets, including liquid filtration, laundry equipment, business machines, air pollution control, automotive, and home appliances. They aim to create a cleaner, safer, and quieter world through speciality filtration solutions.