Softness is important anytime a material comes in contact with humans.

ppWhat Are Softness, Drape & Hand?

Despite the best efforts of scientists around the world, the definition of softness remains subjective. For example, Asian consumers perceive a smooth surface as soft; whereas, North American and European consumers attribute a cushioning aspect to softness.

Softness is actually a mixture of many different attributes including, drape, hand, and tactile response. For example, drape is different from softness and hand. It is in part the ability for a sheet to form or adjust around an object.

How the Micrex Process can Add Softness to your Sheet Materials:
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Drape does not necessarily imply softness – it is simply decreasing the stiffness of a stiff sheet. Click here to read a complex test method for drape.

The determination of material “hand” – whether subjectively or objectively – is a rigorous process. Recognizing that mechanical properties of a material (bulk, extensibility, etc.) can be manipulated, measurement of hand is usually compared to something else. “Silk like” is an example of a fair description of hand. Sample “A” being smoother and more silk-like than Sample “B” would be another valid characterization of hand. Refer to this book on the topic.

The Micrex Process Softens Substrates to Improve Products

The Micrex Process softens a substrate through “working” or “breaking” the web. Micrex converted products are used as wipes and absorbent linings, are sewn into medical gowns, and are used in a large variety of other applications.

Micrex is an industry standard for high-end products:

Example: Sontara® wiper processed on the Microcreper’s comb roll configuration


  • Increased softness, drape and bulk
  • Fine embossed pattern added to the wiper surface
  • Mechanical process – no chemicals or effluents involved
  • Dry process – no steam or drying needed
  • Result: minimized operating costs
    Sontara® is a registered trademark of DuPont, Inc.

Example: Medical papers processed on our “rigid retarder” configuration

  • Used for surgical gowns, drapes and other “Operating Room” applications
  • Benefits from the Micrex process: improved comfort, reduced noise, improved absorbency