The global output of nonwovens and other unspun applications such as filling and wadding in 2004 have increased by 7.7% to 5.6 million tonnes. This market was in particular driven by nonwovens, while other unspun uses are expected to have seen a very modest growth.
Unspun applications are primarily -in furniture and other home textiles, but also to a smaller extent in apparel. Anyway, it is a field that is dominated by synthetic fibres. More than 80% of the Western European market accounts for polyester fibres.
In the past two years, the non-woven industry in PR China has witnessed surging production activity by 28.4% on an average annual basis. The 2004 production amounted to 1.04 million tonnes. The industry is forecast to expand about 12% annually throughout this decade. Considerable non- woven production capacity has been installed to feed domestic need for nonwovens.
Exports of nonwovens are relatively small because of low quality. They are not expected to be significant in the near term as most of the material (about 90%) is consumed internally.