How is a needle punched textile made?

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The history of needle punched fabrics go back a long way. The art of making fabrics by entangling fibers together started about 6300 BC and through time has evolved into the state of the art process that exists today. The first needle punch loom was constructed around 1860’s in Europe and today’s equipment is based on this concept.  The speed and quality of non-woven products, along with the possibility of uses, has greatly grown in the 20th century.

The use of these products varies from dryer sheets to engineered geo-textiles and many uses in between. The methods may change from process to process, but the main component common to all needle punching, is the needle itself. These needles can be different in size, but the main function is to grab the fiber and intertwine it with other fibers in a perpendicular motion to the web of income fibers.

The advantage of non-woven products are many and one is that a non-woven will not fray if cut. Because of the method of needle punching and entangling of fibers together, there is no interleaving of materials. Woven or knitted fabrics will start to breakdown at a cut because the integrity of the textile is broken. To prevent this, usually the edge is stitched to prevent this occurrence.

Needle punched textiles can be made in various thickness, which is accomplished by added more layers of webbing and also using different deniers of fibers. Also the amount of needle punching can affect the thickness, which increases the density of the textile. The increased density will give these products some unique properties to be used in some specialized applications.

To add to the versatility of textiles, polymers can be added to these products to enhance their scope of potential end uses. These polymers can be harden to create a rigid textile, or left cured but flexible to suit numerous requirements.

In conclusion, needle punched products (non-woven) should be look to solve some of the potential problems that industry may have. They can vary from materials used in process control to components needed to help manufacture better consumer products.

-N. Chappell

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