Difference Between Woven and Nonwoven Fabrics

Woven vs Nonwoven Fabrics

Mankind has been making use of fabrics since ancient times. We wear garments made of fabrics, sit on upholstery that is mostly fabric and sleep on sheets made of these fabrics. One of the most common ways of making fabrics is weaving. However, in addition to woven fabrics, there is another category of fabrics that is nonwoven. These fabrics have been around us and also in use for quite some time though many of us do not know the difference. This article attempts to find out the differences between woven and nonwoven fabrics.

Woven Fabrics

Weaving is the very common method of making fabrics, and it has been used since ages to make different fabrics. We are never bothered with the manner in which fabrics are made as long as we get the right color and texture for our dress. However, the fact is that threads or yarn goes through a process called weaving to be converted into a fabric. In weaving, two or more threads run in perpendicular to each other, to make a pattern called warp and waft. Warp threads run up and down the length of the fabric while waft threads run sideways across the fabric and this weaving of the two threads creates a woven pattern call fabric. Waft threads go over the warp thread and then they go under the next warp thread. If you have ever seen a basket maker weaving baskets, you know how a woven fabric is made.

Non-woven Fabrics

Nonwoven materials are not really fabrics though they give us a feel of being fabrics. There is no interlacing of yarn for internal cohesion as in a woven fabric. In fact, there is organized internal structure in a nonwoven fabric. We have been using these products for quite some time now without knowing about them. It is said that Saint Christopher and Saint Clement placed wool in their sandals to prevent blisters while fleeing to escape persecution and at the end of their journey, this wool turned into woolen socks for them. This is the basic principle of formation of nonwoven fabrics and felt is one of the most common examples of such fabrics. Nonwoven fabrics are made by placing together several fibers and pressing them using heat and pressure to create a fabric. Sometimes adhesive is also used to convert fibers into nonwoven fabrics.

What is the difference between Woven and Non-woven Fabrics?

• Most of the fabrics are made by weaving or knitting.

• Nonwoven fabrics are actually not fabrics as they have no internal structure as such.

• Felting and bonding are used to create nonwoven fabrics, whereas weaving requires warp and weft threads to create an interlaced pattern like the weaving in baskets.

• Woven fabrics are much stronger than nonwoven fabrics.

• Nonwoven fabrics are mostly used for interlining or to make hats or other handicrafts.