Nonwovens are everywhere in the household. In the bedroom, nonwovens can be found in quilts, pillows and many parts of a mattress. In the living room, nonwovens might be underneath couch cushions or be providing shade in window treatments such as curtains in blinds. Nonwovens can be engineered to provide specific functions such as flame retardancy, absorbency, cushioning, stretch, strength, liquid repellence and so much more, and key players in the market continue to develop new solutions to make homes safer and more comfortable.
In bedding and mattresses, nonwovens show off their strength in the form of quilt backings, mattress coverings and spring protection, to name a few. They also can keep people safe by providing a flame retardant or flame resistant barrier fabric.
Adding to its Evolon range of microfilament textiles, Freudenberg Performance Materialsrecently launched super-microfilament textiles, an eco-friendly solution for pillows, duvets, sleeping bags and other quilted products filled with feathers and down.
Because the material’s structure features closely entangled super-microfilaments, which are up to 200 times thinner than a human hair and weigh less than 130gsm, super-microfilament textiles are ideal as high density cover fabric that prevents any loss of filling from even the finest layer of down. This version of Evolon can also mask dark feathers or those that are too thick and prickly.
Dr. Frank Heislitz, CTO, Freudenberg Performance Materials, says that the new Evolon variant offers perfect moisture management and high breathability, an effective barrier against dust particles and mite allergens without requiring chemical treatment, and its barrier properties remain durable, even after many washes. “[Freudenberg’s super-microfilament textiles] offer a high-quality, eco-friendly alternative to conventional fabrics and are the result of years of intensive R&D work conducted by Freudenberg experts,” he explains.
In mattresses and bedding, nonwovens producer Sandler’s sawaflor nonwovens are used as fillings for quilted mattress covers, mattress protectors and upholstered mattress covers, as well as fillings for bedspreads and quilts. In waterbeds, special nonwovens are applied to control the movement of the water filling, making these beds even more comfortable.
“Materials for mattresses and bedding provide for optimum temperature regulation, allowing the skin to breathe and thus helping to regulate moisture levels during sleep,” says Gerhard Klier, sales director Technical Products, Sandler. “The nonwovens combine optimum bulk with a high recovery rate, thus helping to prevent the formation of dents and creases.”
These thermally bonded nonwovens are made of 100% polyester fiber and offer a homogenous structure, recyclability and are washable.
Also supplying the mattress market is Jones Nonwovens of Humboldt, TN. The company produces thermally bonded cross-lapped nonwovens that create cushioning comfort layers for use in furniture and mattresses. Jones also manufactures insulating layers that separate the spring support system/unit from the cushioning layers. Fire barrier products that are used directly underneath the fabric or ticking are also made. These enable mattress manufacturers to comply with the federal open flame regulation that became a national standard in 2007.
The company, which runs three production facilities in Humboldt, TN, Morristown, TN, and North Las Vegas, NV, focuses on creating green, sustainable products.
“Jones Nonwovens has been a recycler long before recycling was a ‘thing,’” says Kenny Oliver, president of sales, Jones Nonwovens.
Jones uses a variety of post-industrial fiber from textile mills, garment manufacturers as well as byproduct fibers from the cotton ginning process, he points out. These fibers are primarily cotton, thus environmentally friendly and sustainable with a very small carbon footprint, and Jones has been able to engineer these fibers into an array of products.
“Performance attributes are excellent and cost is contained due to the very nature of recycled fibers,” he explains. “We also use many other virgin fibers that are sustainable and environmentally friendly—cotton, organic cotton, sisal, wool, kenaf, hemp and others. We are a LEAN manufacturer. This ensures that the marketplace can rely on our cost as being well controlled.”
Oliver says Jones’ design and development team continues to seek new opportunities in the market to meet the needs identified in their marketplace and in fact has discovered some major opportunities in some adjacent markets. As a result, the company plans to add production capacity, which it hopes to have online by early September.