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The Return of Index

An image of the NIRI booth

INDEX™23 Demonstrates that Business is Back in Full Swing

In mid-April, the global nonwovens community converged at the PalExpo, Geneva for INDEX™23, where 610 exhibitors from 43 countries displayed their products over an extensive exhibition space of 50,000 m2. A considerable surge in exhibitors demonstrated the entire nonwovens industry’s revival with the event also witnessing an increase in attendees – the week-long event seeing over 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries visit the show-floor.

Putting NIRI on the world-stage

Upon entering the exhibition halls, visitors were greeted by the “Nonwovens Journey” an immersive experience that examined the innovative role of nonwovens and how innovation has progressed over time. Showcasing the importance of sustainability and their use in everyday life, the installation allowed visitors to explore the versatility of nonwovens and provided an impressive entrance to the show.

“Attending events such as INDEX™23 allows us to showcase our expertise and latest technologies while gaining valuable industry insights and establishing new partnerships. We are proud to be a part of such a dynamic and resilient industry and look forward to driving innovation and growth in the nonwovens sector.”

Dr. Matthew Tipper, Chief Executive at NIRI

The team from NIRI made the most of the four intensive days, establishing new customer connections and taking the time to catch up with existing clients. As the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition, INDEX™ offered an outstanding opportunity to showcase our latest breakthroughs and innovative developments to thousands of visitors from across the globe.

Sharing the latest insights and developments

The exhibition included side events such as Exhibitor Product Presentations, informative seminars on various topics, country-specific briefings, and a nonwovens tutorial, all presented by industry experts and guest speakers, including NIRI CCO, Dr. Ross Ward – who presented on the topic ‘Disruptive Technologies for Nonwoven Treatments’.

View the full presentation with NIRI’s CCO, Dr. Ross Ward on the Index YouTube Channel.

Ross captivated the audience by providing insights into NIRI’s rapid inline fabric functionalisation technique that allows for covalent bonding of a wide range of compounds for numerous applications. Ross explained that the technique was adaptable and could be tailored to suit the desired functionality, specific application, and intended environment. During the presentation, he also provided examples of how NIRI had utilised the technology to develop wound dressings, blood filters and virus entrapment for PPE.

The INDEX™23 Mobile App and Virtual Platform, which proved successful during COVID-19, offered participants – both in Geneva and following from home – the opportunity to watch these presentations live and interact with speakers, exhibitors, and other participants.

The Impact of INDEX™23 on the Nonwovens Industry

INDEX™23 highlighted the resilience of the nonwovens industry, with an increase in global presence and integrated supply chains across all continents. The event showcased the latest innovations, technological advancements, and sustainability efforts of the industry, which is essential in meeting the ever-growing demand for nonwoven products.

The industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by factors such as the increasing demand for hygiene products, the growing use of nonwoven materials in the automotive and construction industries, and the rising popularity of sustainable and eco-friendly products.

The global nonwovens market is expected to reach $60 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 7.6% from 2020 to 2025. With such a significant market size and growth potential, international business is a critical component of the industry’s success.

Key Trends and Takeaways from INDEX™23

Innovation and Technological Advancements

INDEX™23 highlighted the nonwoven industry’s continued focus on innovation and technological advancements, with the introduction of new products and solutions that address the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. The industry is also investing in digital technologies and automation, which will improve production efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance product quality.

Sustainability Efforts

Sustainability was a key focus at INDEX™23, with manufacturers showcasing their latest initiatives and solutions aimed at reducing the environmental impact of nonwoven products. The industry is investing in sustainable raw materials, renewable energy sources, and circular economy models Emerging Markets

INDEX™23 highlighted the growth potential of emerging markets in the nonwovens industry, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The region is witnessing significant growth in demand for nonwoven products due to increasing population, urbanisation, and industrialisation. This presents a significant opportunity for manufacturers to expand their presence in the region.

Automation for Roll Goods Manufacturers

It was clear to see that plant automation is becoming a necessity for advanced manufacturers of nonwoven roll goods. Multiple exhibitors at the show demonstrated the value of automation within the production processes, showcasing how it can significantly improve efficiency and productivity, reduce waste and downtime, and improve the overall quality of the end product.

Collaboration and Partnerships

INDEX™23 provided a platform for industry players to establish new collaborations and partnerships. The nonwovens industry is highly globalised and integrated, and collaboration is essential in driving innovation, enhancing product quality, and meeting the increasing demand for nonwoven products.

See you in 2026…

“As INDEX™23 comes to a close, we are pleased to announce that INDEX™26 will take place as usual in three years from 21-24 April 2026 – we look forward to welcoming the nonwovens community here again at Palexpo, in Geneva, and discovering how much further our dynamically evolving industry has progressed”.

Magali Fakhry Dufresne, Director of INDEX™