Fighting COVID-19 with Nonwovens—#Coronafighters

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) at North Carolina State University is proactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to fully leverage and fortify our facilities to produce facemasks that are desperately needed in the coronavirus fight. Join the fight and DONATE NOW.
The challenge in the USA and, indeed, the world is a shortage of both the most critical component – the meltblown nonwoven filtration media – and of the converting capacity to make a facemask.

Thus, with the full support of NC State, NWI is dedicating its meltblown and spunbond large scale pilot facilities and expertise to produce specially designed fabrics that can be delivered to USA manufacturers to assemble facemasks and is also investing in new converting equipment to locally assemble ready-to-use face masks for healthcare workers, and for public use. To learn more, please see the description (*updated* 8/09/20) of face mask technologies and products.

There are many opportunities for collaborators, partners, suppliers, and customers to engage in this fight by contributing to the needs for money, equipment, and materials as captured below.

What’s Needed and How You and Your Company Can Help


  • Cash Donation (online, check, wire transfer)
  • Equipment & Materials Donation


  • Investment support to scale-up nonwoven production, invest in new converting equipment, and increase capacity.
  • Equipment for production and maintenance, e.g., Reicofil Spare Parts for Production, nonwoven belts, SB and MB resins (polypropylene & PLA), forklifts, and product handling and storage equipment.


  • Accelerate time to full production of affordable facemasks that make a difference.
  • Ensures production reliability and resin supply for production.

If you have any questions, please contact nonwovens@ncsu.edu or Lorena McLaren, Executive Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations as lnmclare@ncsu.edu.

Learn More

How Will This Impact Normal Operations and Services at NWI During the Crisis?

NWI continues its efforts on forming filter media for facemasks to help in the current crisis.

We are monitoring the situation carefully and make a decision about how to hold the Fall IAB meeting soon.

Short courses will be offered online for the remainder of the year.  Details will be posted on our website shortly.

Access to facilities continues to be limited.  Starting on July 1, we have started offering virtual trials on our lab and pilot equipment.  Clients cannot be present during these trials.  

  • 1.2-meter wide Meltblown pilot line: Dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Limited virtual trials will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • 1.2-meter wide Spunbond Labs: Dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Limited virtual trials will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Analytical Lab: Open for business.
  • Staple/Carding Lab: Open for business.
  • Fiber Science Lab: Open for business.

Labs and full service will resume fully when possible.  We look forward to continuing to serve your needs.


NWI Expands Its Filtration Testing Capabilities



NWI has expanded its analytical capabilities and is offering services for testing and validation of filter media.  The additions include a new laboratory dedicated to testing masks and respirators.

read more


St Gobain North America partners with NWI to create facemasks 




The History of Masks



The current facemasks are built on two key developments: 1) meltblowing technology for the creation of fine fibers and 2) electrostatic charge.  These technologies date back to the early 1960’s…

read more


The Nonwovens Institute (NWI)

is the world’s first accredited academic program for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics. Based at the Centennial Campus of NC State University in Raleigh, the NWI is an innovative global partnership between industry, government, and academe.

Short Courses

There are no upcoming courses at this time. View All Courses

Upcoming Events

View All Events