As women seek a more diverse range of products that they can not only rely on, but that suit their lifestyle choices, the feminine hygiene sector has begun to witness a move away from the dependence on single-use disposables.
Finding a product that feels and fits like underwear – yet still offers the performance and reliability of the more common disposable options – is the aspiration of many. In addition, a growing sensitivity by both consumers and manufacturers to protect the environment through the development – and use – of more sustainable products, it is no surprise that interest in washable solutions – pads and pants – has soared.
New entrants and established players alike are active in this growing market area with many looking for alternative fabric technologies to enhance absorbency and retention performance within their product range. At Technical Absorbents, we have engineered a portfolio of discreet, high performing fabrics – containing our Super Absorbent Fibre (SAFTM) – that are both superabsorbent and capable of being washed and dried multiple times. This makes them perfect as the absorbent core in reusable products.
SAFTM is superior in its ability to absorb and immobilise body fluids when compared with conventional fibres. Its use has previously been limited to within single-use disposable products – until now.
To balance the various performance parameters of the finished product, our fabrics are typically a SAFTM and other synthetic fibres. Our fabric range starts with a discrete thickness of 1.5mm at 190gsm, with options for anti-microbial functionality and/or additional laminates to one or both sides.
External testing has shown that products containing a SAFTM washable fabric still retain a high level of functionality after undergoing a year’s worth of weekly wash/dry cycles – even when using an elevated wash temperature of up to 60°C. However, to help preserve energy and water – and reduce emissions – it is recommended that products containing our fabrics are washed using reduced temperatures or even by hand.
The fabrics are designed to be used as the core layer, allowing the customer to tailor the outer layers to suit their end product requirements. Technical Absorbents doesn’t supply these but can assist customers along their development journey. The fabric technology can also be used in other product applications including incontinence, sweat management, cooling, nursing and maternity.