Technical Absorbents Ltd

We have been leading the way in the development and manufacture of Super Absorbent Fibre (SAFTM) for nearly three decades, and, more recently, SAFTM fabrics and SAFTM spun yarns. Supplying solutions globally, innovation is key and we continue to design new technologies to meet the specific requirements of our growing customer base. Applications for our products span numerous market sectors, including: Healthcare (medical and hygiene); Industrial (filtration and cable); Food (packaging); Environmental (horticulture).

Collaboration is essential and our Product Development team work extremely closely with customers during every step of the process from the initial brief to end product delivery. 

We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of fibres,  fabrics (disposable and washable) and yarns to cater for customers at different stages of the supply chain. Current fabrics include airlaid, needlefelts, thermo-carded, air through carded and nets. Fabrics containing up to 100% SAFTM are available and all can be manufactured using High Gel Strength or Low Shrink fibres if needed for a particular application. 

Eliminating EtO issues with Low Shrink SAF Fabrics

Technical Absorbents Limited (TAL) has developed a new grade of superabsorbent fibre (SAF) specifically for use within a new range of SAF fabrics that are more resistant to shrinkage.

The new SAF was developed in response to the demand from the medical industry for a superabsorbent fabric suitable for use in advanced wound pad dressings. The fibre had to be capable of withstanding the moisture used in the EtO sterilization process that is frequently employed in the production of the pads, in order to ensure product safety and compliance.

EtO sterilization is a low-temperature process (typically between 37 and 63°C) that uses ethylene oxide gas to reduce the level of infectious agents. While generally applied in gas form, however, the EtO is usually mixed with other substances – and often steam.

“Obviously superabsorbents and moisture generally aren’t a good combination at this stage in processing and can cause problems,” says TAL Product Development Director Dr Mark Paterson. “Other methods can be used, but when silicone materials are included, which is more frequently becoming the case, EtO is the preferred treatment method. Regular SAF grades tend to shrink a little and can become hard, which is often not desirable. This innovative SAF grade significantly reduces such potential problems.”

The amount of shrinkage caused by EtO sterilization depends very much on the product design and construction, he adds, but in general, the new SAF has been tested and proven to reduce fabric shrinkage by around 70%. It is suitable for use in all SAF nonwoven formats, whether needlepunched, thermally bonded or airlaid.

While the proprietary process developed at TAL for the production of this new fibre and resulting fabrics was prompted by the specific requirements of wound pad dressings, TAL sees opportunities for its application in other areas as well.

“It’s an extremely flexible fibre that can be easily switched with existing SAF grades when manufacturing fabrics and we have a number of current projects in which we’re exploring other end-uses,” Mark concludes. “We believe this new range could also open up entirely new application areas on the market.”

Eliminating EtO issues with Low Shrink SAF Fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Washable Fabrics

SAF™ Washable fabrics provide the same high levels of absorbency as our disposable fabrics but can be washed and re-used. Such fabrics are ideal for a wide range of moisture management applications, including intimate apparel and bed mats. The fabrics can also be used for evaporative cooling and even some medical cooling applications, e.g. medicine storage.

To withstand laundering, the SAF™ Washable fabric must be positioned between two outer layers, thus creating a three-layer fabric. The outer fabrics* can be tailored as required to suit product design and functional requirement, e.g. one layer can be waterproof and the other water permeable. Once in a final fabric construction, studies have indicated minimal absorbency loss of 20% after 40 wash cycles. If constructed correctly, end garments/products made using a SAF™ Washable fabric can be tumble dried.

The fabrics range from 190-450gsm and are typically a blend of SAF™ and other synthetic fibres. Anti-microbial, flame-retardant and anti-odour finishes can also be added during the manufacturing process.

*We only supply the core fabric but can advise on outer fabrics

Click here to view/buy trial samples of SAF™ Washable fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Washable Fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Needlefelt Fabrics

SAF™ Needlefelt fabrics are capable of absorbing many times their own weight in water/saline. These fabrics are more robust than others within the range. They offer greater strength and integrity due to the nature of mechanical bonding (needling) used during manufacture. They are generally less dense than other SAF™ fabrics, but still offer the same great levels of absorption.

SAF™ long staple fibre grades (52 mm) are typically blended with other synthetic fibres to manufacture SAF™ Needlefelt fabrics. Webs containing up to 100% SAF™ can be produced at a wide range of fabric weights, typically between 150-1,000gsm. Laminates and other finishes are possible.

SAF™ can be blended with a wide range of other fibre types to produce specialist fabrics up to 2.0m wide in the perfect environment. Short order trial runs can be facilitated where commercially viable.

Such fabrics are suitable for a whole range of applications, including filtration, medical, hygiene and packaging.

Click here to view/buy trial samples of SAF™ Needlefelt fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Needlefelt Fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Thermo-Carded Fabrics

SAF™ Thermo-Carded fabrics are cost-effective, thinner materials that still provide high levels of absorbency. They are lightweight, discrete, conformable, and can be manufactured with a number of layers. This makes them ideal for applications that require performance without the bulk.

The fabrics range from 20-80gsm and are typically a blend of SAF™ and other synthetic fibres.

Such fabrics are suitable for a whole range of applications, including medical and hygiene. 

Click here to view/buy trial samples of SAF™ Thermo-Carded Fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Thermo-Carded Fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Airlaid Fabric

SAF™ Airlaid fabrics are capable of absorbing many times their own weight in water/saline and locking it away inside their core. Finishes such as laminates can also be added for additional functionality, e.g. waterproof backing. Such fabrics are ideal for a wide range of applications, including food packaging, medical, hygiene and filtration.

SAF™ short staple fibre grades (6 mm) are typically blended with wood pulp and thermal bondable fibre to manufacture superabsorbent airlaid fabrics.

Airlaid webs within excess of 60% SAF™ fibre content can be achieved at fabric weights of between 80-1,000gsm.

Click here to view/buy trial samples of SAF™ Airlaid fabrics

Superabsorbent SAF™ Airlaid Fabric

Superabsorbent Yarns

52mm and 80mm SAF™ fibres can be spun with other staple fibres to produce these high performance swellable yarns. The denier, decitex, absorption rate and ultimate swell height can meet required specifications by altering the SAF™ grade and fibre blend. Typically, SAF™ is  blended with other synthetic fibres such as polyester, nylon, cellulose and aramids to add strength or additional functionality. 

Commercially SAF™ Yarns are supplied on bobbins, which can be sized to suit manufacturing requirements. They are lightweight and easy to onward process. A standard range of yarns are already available and others can be manufactured to meet specific requirements. 

Small sample cards of individual yarn types can be purchased by visiting

Superabsorbent Yarns

SAF™ Netting fabrics

SAF™ Netting fabrics are truly unique. They are manufactured using a SAF™ spun yarn and woven together to create an open net structure with high integrity. Such fabrics offer an extremely strong yet lightweight absorbent solution. Wicking is also made possible by other carrier fibres in the spun yarns. SAF™ Netting fabrics have already found a home within a range of applications, including horticulture and wound care.

Net sizes can vary to meet requirements and laminates, e.g. PES weave can also be added either side.

Sample can bought at

SAF™ Netting fabrics

Technical Absorbents Ltd Overview