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Chinese nonwoven fabric market expands

The Chinese nonwoven fabric market has seen rapid growth in recent years. Spun-laid nonwoven fabrics, mainly used for disposable and consumable medicare and health products, have seen high capacity expansion.

By end-2016, domestic production of nonwoven fabrics was 45 per cent of the world’s total, making China the biggest producer of this fabric. Currently, around 84 per cent of spun-laid nonwoven fabric is applied for producing medical materials, dry and wet cleaning cloth and beauty products and other medicare and health products, 12 per cent for leather base cloth and four per cent for filtration materials, linings of clothes and automobile ornaments and other materials.

PSF and VSF remain the two major feedstock of spun-laid nonwoven fabric, taking up 90 per cent of the total. In recent years, as environmental awareness strengthens and cotton price approaches that of VSF, more cotton has been used to produce such fabric. Zhengzhou Textile Machinery, Qingdao Textile Machinery and Changshu Feilong Nonwoven Machinery are three major spun-laid equipment suppliers in China. Zhengzhou Textile has the largest market share.

Large expansion of spun-laid nonwoven fabric capacity obviously drives the demand of its feedstock. Yet as the fabric produced is homogenized, overcapacity and correspondingly fierce competition take place.