What Are Narrow Fabrics?

Bond Narrow Fabric Co. began as a distributor of “narrow fabrics” after the Milnes family had diversified from weaving carpets into producing narrow tapes for the military. Those outside the textile industry might wonder what exactly the term “narrow fabrics” includes. Here is a short explanation of the type of fabric we have made our life’s work.

pack webbingBy definition, narrow fabrics are “any non-elastic woven textile having a width of 12 inches or less and a woven selvage on either side.” They are small strips of fabric, often designed for a specific and practical purpose. Cords, braids, and lanyards are commonly used items that are also narrow fabrics. They are woven on special looms, including the recently developed quad axial loom which allows for for the insertion of yarn from four directions and makes both a thinner and stronger product than the traditional layered strips joined with Z fibers were.

Narrow fabrics were initially used in the garment industry on hats, corsets, and lingerie, and in military uniforms as well. Nowadays soldiers will also find narrow fabrics in their pack webbing and parachutes as well as their waist belts, helmets, and body armor.

If you pay attention to the everyday objects in your life, you will see lots of narrow fabrics, from the seat belts in your car, to the leash you walk your dog on, to the tough fabric edging on your mattress.

Recently, as technology has advanced, narrow fabrics have been used to make 3D medical devices such as the woven bifurcate that is used to treat aortic abdominal aneurysms. The strong fabric device is threaded into place to support the artery and reduce the aneurysm. Eventually, as the patient heals, this device will become a part of the artery itself.

During a procedure used to replace damaged heart valves, a narrow fabric medical device is used to fish out any surgical debris after the new valves are in place. The future promises more such medical technology. Other commonly known narrow fabrics used in the healthcare industry include rigid gauze, bandages, and fiberglass bands.

And, of course, narrow fabrics are used to join carpet seams during installation, whether inside the house or on the football field. Our Instabind products, which are used to bind carpet pieces, are all aesthetically pleasing examples of narrow fabrics.

We at Bond Products are proud of the part we have played and continue to play in the U.S. textile industry. Narrow fabrics can be found almost anywhere and have a myriad of uses from everyday to high tech. So the next time you take your dog for a walk or admire the carpet in your living room, remember narrow fabrics!


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