In fact, the number of new lines added by nonwovens producers is currently among the highest the industry has seen in its more than 50-year history. While investments in meltblown are leading the way – with new lines meeting demand for face masks and high-performance filtration media – there are many new spunmelt lines, serving hygiene and medical applications, as well as investments in spunlace to meet growing demand in the disinfectant wipes category.
Now that we are waiting for these new lines to reach commercialization, the question will be how long demand will continue to increase. When masks are no longer part of daily life and consumers are less dependent on wipes, will all these new ranges be necessary?
Most experts say yes. Demand will continue to grow from a high base as consumers continue to rely on the safety features and convenience nonwovens can provide.
This year’s Top Companies report includes 40 nonwovens producers located around the world. While many leading companies are based in established markets like the United States and Western Europe, companies in less developed regions are increasing their role. This year, companies are based in many developing countries such as Brazil, Turkey, China, Taiwan and the Czech Republic. As companies in these emerging markets continue to grow, we will surely see their rankings climb in the years to come.
This year, we said goodbye to a company that’s been on the charts for decades: Low & Bonar. The company was acquired by Freudenberg in early 2019. Additionally, this will be the last year for two other nonwovens leaders. Georgia-Pacific, an early industry innovator, sold the remaining parts of its nonwovens business to Glatfelter Corporation in early 2021, Glatfelter is also in the process of buying another nonwovens leader , Jacob Holm Industries.
As always, each company in this survey is ranked based on its 2020 sales, which have been converted from local currencies to US dollars using the annual average. Many economic factors such as exchange rates and commodity prices can skew the ranking. So while ranking companies by sales is necessary to the nature of this report, it is really the activities of these companies, as reported in their profiles, that should be taken into account. All sales figures have been provided by the companies, except in some cases, such as Kimberly-Clark, Saudi German Nonwovens and Johns Manville, which have been estimated.
Karen McIntyre, Editor
1. Berry Global $2.4 billion
2. Freudenberg Performance Materials $2.3 billion
3. Ahlstrom-Munksjö $1.5 billion
4. Kimberly-Clark $1.3 billion
5. Fitesa $1.13 billion
6. DuPont $1 billion
7. Glatfelter $916 million
8. Toray Industries $902 million
9. Lydall Inc. $764 million
10. Johns Manville $725 million
11. Suominen Corporation $560 million
12. PFNonwovens $500 million
13. TWE Group $475 million
14. Zhejiang Kingsafe nonwovens $450 million
15. Gulsan Group $444 million
16. Hollingsworth & Vose $431 million
17. Avgol $400 million
17. Jacob Holm & Sons AG $400 million
19. Sandler $360 million
20. Nan Liu Company $348 million
21. Fibertex Personal Care $337 million
22. Dalian Ruiguang $320 million
23. Fibertex nonwovens $285 million
24. Jofo Nonwovens $230 million
25. Spuntech $223 million
26. Union Industries $208 million
27. Mitsui Chemicals $201 million
28. Shalag Nonwovens $200 million
29. Asahi Kasei $196 million
30. KNH Enterprises $180 million
31. Hassan Group $184 million
32. Xingtai Nonwovens $175 million
33. Mogul Nonwovens $152 million
34. Halyard Health $140 million
35. Tenowo $135 million
36. Saudi German Nonwovens Co. $130 million
37. Toyobo $127 million
38. Unitika $120 million
39. Georgia-Pacific $100 million
40. Kuraray $97 million