Heavy, durable fabrics are highly valued in industrial settings. Products ranging from safety equipment and sports gear to outdoor furniture require sturdy, functional fabrics—which is why many manufacturers turn to industrial woven fabrics. These textiles meld the traditional weaving process with high-performance modern threads, yielding some of the most innovative materials on the market.
Tex Tech offers a full catalog of woven materials—many of which can be customized with additional treatments and coatings—making us a full-service supplier for both general and specialized industrial woven fabrics.
A Breakdown of Industrial Woven Fabrics
Industrial fabrics can typically be divided into two categories: woven and non-woven.
Woven vs. Non-Woven
Woven fabrics have been around as long as humans have been producing textiles, although modern iterations offer far more in terms of function and customization. The weaving process remains the same at its core.
By crossing perpendicular threads over one another in a warp-weft pattern, it’s possible to establish a highly-ordered structure of fibers that resists tearing. Tex Tech uses the most advanced weaving equipment available to quickly and consistently manufacturer tightly woven industrial textiles.
By contrast, while non-woven textiles may look, feel, and perform like fabric, they aren’t considered fabrics in the strictest sense of the word. The difference is in their structure.
In woven fabrics, the threads form a tight-knit grid. In non-woven fabrics, however, the threads form a disordered web or net of interconnected fibers. Non-wovens may be bound together using chemical or thermal methods to enhance strength and other functional characteristics, but they are generally not as durable as a comparable woven would be.
Key Differences Between Woven and Non-Woven
The distinctions between woven and non-woven materials can be boiled down to just two factors:
- Manufacturing technique. As the name suggests, woven materials are created using a weaving process—typically using machines to interlace the warp and weft threads. Non-wovens are generally created by forming and bonding a web of fibers, but the exact process varies. Common examples may include felting, bonding, and laying.
- Structure. A woven fabric has a characteristic, visible pattern to its thread structure. Non-wovens, by contrast, consist of an unordered web of fibers.
While weaving—especially 3D weaving—generally results in a stronger product, various coatings and fibers can result in very durable non-wovens as well. The characteristics of either type of textile largely depend on composition and coatings, so generalizations are not always possible.
Advantages of Industrial Woven Fabrics
Compared to other textiles, industrial woven fabrics carry many significant benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Cost-effectiveness. Industrial woven materials are generally very affordable while offering a substantial return-on-investment in the form of a long-lasting, high-performance textile.
- Environmentally friendly. Weaving already requires very little energy, and many textile manufacturers use advanced thermal recycling technology to minimize the heat waste associated with woven production. The weaving process uses CO2 while returning oxygen back into the environment. In addition, the raw materials for woven fabrics are a renewable resource.
- Low specific weight. Due to their low specific weight, woven materials may often be stiffer than glass while also having a higher specific strength. These qualities are especially important for structural elements that require a high degree of bending stiffness.
- Excellent physical characteristics. While most commonly recognized for their strength characteristics, woven materials may have other appealing physical properties as well. For instance, industrial woven fabrics are typically weather-resistant, won’t absorb water, and are low-maintenance, contributing to their long working life under hazardous conditions.
Applications for Industrial Woven Fabrics
These benefits lend woven fabrics versatility, making them increasingly common in fields as divergent as medical and consumer goods. Examples of the diverse applications of industrial woven fabrics include:
- Filtration materials and membranes for chemical processing
- Oxidized fuel cell materials
- Friction materials, such as for automotive applications
- Seat belts and safety harnesses for automotive, aerospace, and recreational applications
- Upholstery for furniture
- Personal protective equipment and uniforms used by firefighters, divers, and military personnel
- Components of structural composite materials, such as those used to reinforce aircraft
Tex Tech’s Woven Fabric Capabilities
At Tex Tech, we take innovation seriously. By staying up to date with the latest advancements in textile technology, we’re able to offer an unparalleled selection of technical woven products.
Most of our customers find that we already have an ideal material in stock among our 250 performance wovens, which range in composition from basic polyester or polypropylene to specialty fibers like Nomex, Teflon, Rastex, and Kevlar. Further customization is possible through our comprehensive array of mechanical finishes, treatments, and coatings.
In the rare circumstance that we don’t already stock a suitable textile, we draw on our industry knowledge and equipment capabilities to design custom materials to order. No matter how demanding your requirements, we’re committed to exceeding your expectations at every step of the design process.
Our projectile and rapier weaving machines can produce any standard weave pattern requiring anywhere from 4–12 harnesses, and we can weave up to a finished width of 110 inches. Fabric weights vary by application, but range from 1.4–40 ounces per square yard. We’d be happy to discuss whether your specifications fall within our capabilities if you have questions.
A Reliable Textile Partner in Tex Tech
Tex Tech stands as one of the most trusted names in textile manufacturing, leading the global market in high-performance textiles. Our solutions are driven by a standout R&D department that strives to stay at the forefront of material advancements. Thanks to our skilled researchers, engineers, and fabricators, we’ve gained a hard-earned reputation for meeting the most demanding textile design challenges across industries. We hold patents in everything from ballistics technology to fire-retardant airline fabrics, and we never shy away from a new or unique application.
We are one of the world’s leading needle and woven felt manufacturers. We are a market leader in high-performance textiles and specialize in meeting the requirements of difficult and demanding customer applications within the aerospace, defense, automotive, and medical industries, among others.
Tex Tech manufactures more than 7,000 products worldwide. Our top priority is to serve our customers and maintain close working relationships. We’re committed to leading cutting edge development for the next generation of high-performance textiles.