Wipes What, Where, Why & How

Globally preferred wiping fabric technologies

In 2009 spunlace leads with 358,600 tones and $5.5 billion in sales, roughly half of the total market. This is followed by airlaid, which has volumes of 188,287 tones and sales amounting to $2.3 billion in 2009. Other major technologies include carded, wet laid, spun laid, needle punch and composites. In terms of CAGR projections over the 2009-14 period, composites are expected to have the highest CAGR at 8.5%, with the segment growing over a small base. Following this are spunlace at 6.7%, spun laid at 5.1% and needle punch at 4.9%.
Major product through spunlace and airlaid technologies are wipes and in wipes also the major market is for wet wipes.

Global demand for dry/wet wipes

Pre-moistened or wet wipes are normally supplied to the consumer already wet or pre-moistened with a liquid, while the dry wipes are supplied dry, with the understanding that the consumer will add a liquid if needed. In 2009, wet wipes contributed around 71% of the total wipes market. Over time, dry wipes are predicted to gradually gain market share, growing from 29% in 2009 to 30% in 2014. [9]

Raw materials for wiping fabrics [1]:

• Wood Pulp: It is the main raw material for the wetlaid sector. Wood pulp is also used in spun lace – composite / hybrid processes such as “Spun-Pulp-Spun” SPS or “Spun-Carded-Spun” SPC. It is also favorites for “airlaid paper” (short-fiber based) technologies.
• Polyester: It is by far the most common fiber for carded technologies. As

per the application and wipes categories the blend percentage varies. Normally the Industrial wipes are made from 100% Polyester. It is estimated at nearly 43% of the fiber consumed in spun lace.
• Viscose: It is another common fiber for wipes, especially for personal care. Personal care wipes are used on very sensitive parts – baby care, facial wipes etc.It has to be very soft, smooth and silky. Viscose fiber has all these properties and because of these properties viscose fiber is referred as “art silk” in the textile industry. Nonwovens industry producers have been working on developing wipes that will flush. To create a

flushable nonwoven product, the right combination of strength, easy break up and dispersion is required. To be considered truly flushable the wipe must also be biodegradable. Wipes made from viscose fibers have all these properties and thus can be categorized has flushable products.
Household wipes are generally made up of polyester and viscose blended fibers, polyester being the major component.
• Cotton:Environmental consciousness combined with price increases

and shortages in competing materials have created a strong market opportunity for cotton in the nonwoven industry during the past two years, particularly in the wipes market where the addition of cotton can boost absorbency and strength. Cotton has been enjoying a place in the private label baby wipes market, viscose continues to be a dominant fiber in most spunlace applications, despite a global supply shortage that has driven up prices.

Wipes business – Supply chain & strategy:

The wiping fabric manufacturers starts the business by delivering the wipe roll goods to either the branded wipes converters or private label wipes converters. Branded wipes converters after conversion sell their products in their own name. While the private label converters do the conversion for some other branded wipes manufacturers or for some retail giants like Wal-Mart. Over the period of time the wiping fabric manufacturers also start wipes conversion in-house, again for own brand or for some leading wipes brand..


Developed regions like the U.S., Western Europe and Japan will continue to lead the global wipes market because of the large affluent population and lifestyle trends focused on time saving products. Developing regions like China and India will show a rapid growth for wipes – due to the industrial expansions leading to express economic growth.

Opportunities for growth exist however they can only be realized by continuously introducing innovative products. Wiping fabric manufacturers are working hard to make sure their wipes customers have lots of choices when it comes to environmentally friendly products.Some of the categories where we can expect to see future growth are household cleaning wipes, toddler wipes and facial wipes.

Baby care may have marked the beginning of nonwovens market; the marketers are now moving into even more lucrative categories in an effort to expand the use of wipes beyond babies and are reaching to older kids and their parents. Their portability and convenience, coupled with the hygiene aspect of their single usage, has made them very popular with all types of consumers. Clearly wipes are a rags-to-riches success story in the household and personal products industry and we can bet that demand for these products will continue to grow.

Post time: Jan-20-2021