Paper Dress


Looking for a way to upgrade your product to the next generation?

From a sustainability standpoint, a disposable garment may now be better for the environment than the textile it replaces. The next generation of nonwovens will be well-accepted into the waste stream — but it still lacks the softness, drape and hand that consumers desire.

Micrex has developed the technology to transform nonwovens from 2D into 3D materials while adding properties such as softness and stretch. Micrex microcreped nonwovens have been used for many years in disposable medical gowns, and more recently as components in more traditional garments.

With Micrex technology you can:

  • Add Softness: resolving a liability of many eco-friendly polymers and sheet structures.
  • Turn 2D into 3D: you can now add three-dimensional effects to your nonwovens. At Micrex, we have been adding three-dimensional properties to textiles for years, and we can add these same popular fashion looks to several grades of nonwovens.
  • Extensibility (comfort stretch): you can add stretch at the same time as a decorative effect – a huge advantage over traditional embossing.
  • Meet industry standards for stitch strength and flammability.
  • Extend Use: several launderings are possible with some substrates.

Micrex is looking to partner with companies who have the global reach to be able to successfully commercialize this technology.

The Paper Dress: Example of a Disposable Product that Didn’t Quite Work

First introduced in 1966 by Scott Paper — the disposable dress was a commercial failure. The nonwoven substrates available at that time made for unappealing products.  The industry turned its focus to disposable work clothes (e.g. surgical gowns, haz-mat suits), and the development efforts of the nonwovens industry followed.

An interesting history of this development is available from the Nonwovens Industry. See also this page for more documentation.

The “paper dress” failed for a number of reasons — in part because the available substrates were:

  1. Harsh
  2. Void of three-dimensional characteristics
  3. Uncomfortable – no comfort stretch.

Perhaps more importantly, the paper dress was the wrong objective. Irrespective of the base material, much of a garment’s cost is in the detail and the tailoring.

The Future of Disposable Products

The next generation of replacement products will be limited-use applications that leverage the improved environmental qualities of an enhanced nonwoven, without adding the burden of extensive labor and detail work.

Examples could include:

  • Table Cloths, Place Mats, Seasonal Window Treatments
  • Aprons, Smocks, Beach Cover-ups
  • Bedding … and maybe the Holy Grail of disposable products, the hospital bed sheet.

Interested in upgrading your product with Micrex technology? We’d like to talk to you.