Nonwoven fabrics are versatile sheet materials made of bonded or matted webs of fibers. They come in many forms, from plain to printed nonwoven fabric. Printing on nonwovens allows for customized patterns, graphics and text to expand their applications.
Printing methods for nonwoven fabric include:
• Rotary screen printing – A cylindrical screen rotates and pans ink onto the nonwoven web. It’s a fast, economic method for simple designs and solid colors.
• Flexographic printing – Ink is transferred from an engraved roller onto the fabric using rubber plates. It can print fine details at high speeds.
• Rotogravure printing – Ink is transferred from an engraved cylinder onto the fabric, allowing for high-definition printing.
• Inkjet printing – Ink droplets are sprayed directly onto the fabric. It’s a digital method suitable for variable and custom graphics.
Benefits of printed nonwoven fabric:
• Enables brand identification – Printing logos, designs and custom graphics helps identify and differentiate products made using nonwoven fabric.
• Multipurpose functionality – Printing allows nonwoven fabric to serve dual purposes like containing information while performing its primary functions.
• Supports customization – Printed graphics can be customized to specific applications, targets markets or seasonal needs.
Example applications of printed nonwoven fabric:
• Personal care products – Printed nonwovens are used in feminine hygiene pads, adult diapers and baby diapers to add visual interest.
• Medical products – Used in drapes, gowns and face masks printed with product branding, product codes and supplier details.
• Home textiles -Printed on cushion covers, pillow covers, bedsheets and tablecloths to convey patterns and designs.
• Construction materials – Printed nonwoven geotextiles and roofing underlay with product information, installation instructions and brand logos.
• Consumer packaging – Used as printed gift wrapping paper, shopping bags, food packaging, lunch bags and more.
• Industrial fabrics – Printed for technical applications as protective clothing, industrial wipes and filter materials.
Printing allows nonwoven fabric to take on an entirely new dimension beyond its functional qualities. The ability to customize graphics, designs and information to suit specific applications has expanded the use of nonwoven fabrics across industries.