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Industry Talk

European nonwovens production grows amid slow economic growth

According to figures collected by EDANA, the overall production of nonwovens in Europe grew by 3.6% in 2015 to reach 2,329,000 tonnes.

18th April 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brussels

Medical/Hygiene, Transport/​Aerospace, Agriculture, Packaging, Construction

According to figures collected and compiled by EDANA, the overall production of nonwovens in Europe grew by 3.6% in 2015 to reach 2,329,000 tonnes, despite an environment of slow economic growth. While the output of the European Union has limited growth, some countries showed strong growth development.

Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director said: “A country like Turkey continued to record double-digit growth, which more than compensated for the decline recorded in some other European markets.”

Divergent trends

Divergent trends can be observed, not only between the different Greater European markets, but also between the various production processes of nonwovens.

The production of fibre based materials for example, including drylaid, wetlaid, and airlaid technologies, recorded an increase of 3.1%, and spunmelt nonwovens recorded the highest growth rate with 4.3%. Nevertheless, the highest growth in tonnes were observed in the drylaid-hydroentangled process, with a 7.0% increase.

“For the first time, the volumes of air-through bonded materials are disclosed in our annual statistics, thanks to an expansion and improvement in the collection of data,” continued Jacques.


Although the main end-use for nonwovens continues to be the hygiene market, with a 31% share of deliveries (717,200 tonnes), the most significant growth areas for nonwovens in 2015, by tonnage sold, were recorded in automotive (+9%), agriculture (+11%), personal care wipes (+11%), food and beverages (+12%), and air and liquid filtration (+17%).

Countering this however, major declines were recorded in interlinings, coating substrates, and some applications for the construction markets.

“Trends in surface area can be different, as the product’s weight is also important. As a result, EDANA also compiles data in square metres, giving our member companies the opportunity to follow this evolution year over year,” said Jacques Prigneaux.

EDANA production statistics

This year EDANA was able to gather information from an increased membership base, due to a number of new members of the association.

“For more than 40 years, the EDANA production statistics have been the cornerstone of intelligence for our member companies, offering a unique view into the industry – the most comprehensive report of its kind in the world – thanks to the exhaustive annual survey and direct input from nonwoven producers,” said Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA.

“EDANA’s leadership in nonwoven statistics gives us both an advantage and a responsibility to provide quality global nonwovens statistics, and we are pleased to work with INDA in authoring and publishing the Worldwide Outlook 2014-2020, which provides current and forecast statistics, supplemented with data from ANFA (representing companies form China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian nations). This global report is for sale from both EDANA and INDA.”

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