Medical Textiles: Properties, Classifications

Medical textiles are versatile fibrous fabrics designed to safely treat wounds and medical conditions. You will generally find one of two main groups of fibers utilized within medical textiles: commodity fibers and specialty fibers.

Commodity fibers are fairly standard and are often made out of materials such as cotton, polyester, or nylon. Specialty fibers, on the other hand, are more unique. Also known as high-performance fibers, specialty fibers are specifically designed to have a wider range of technical uses when compared to commodity fibers. These small-batch fibers each fill a niche within the industry and can be sorted into three groups: high strength, heat resistant, and chemical resistant.

Medical textiles differ from other types of fabrics in that they are designed with medical use in mind. As such, they have a number of properties that make them ideal for use in this field. Medical textiles are typically:

  • Non-toxic
  • Non-carcinogenic
  • Non-allergenic
  • Fully biocompatible
  • Anti-microbial


Since there are such a large range of applications for medical textiles, they are categorized into four different categories :

. Implantable

These medical textiles are biocompatible and designed to be used within the human body. Implantable materials have a wide range of restorative uses—for example, they may be used to replace damaged blood vessels, suture wounds, stand in as artificial skin, or replace damaged heart valves. Since it is absolutely vital that implantable materials pose no biological risks, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) performs vigorous testing to ensure the biocompatibility of these textiles.

. Non-Implantable

While non-implantable textiles are safe for use on the skin, they are never implanted within the body. Some examples of non-implantable materials include bandages, surgical dressings, and gauze—essentially, any type of textile that comes into direct contact with a wound but is not absorbed into the body.

. Extracorporeal Devices

This type of medical textile is used as a stand-in for essential organs that aren’t functioning correctly. Generally, these devices are made from hollow fibers. Examples include:

  • Mechanical lungs
  • Artificial kidneys
  • Artificial livers

. Healthcare and Hygiene

This category makes up a large portion of the medical textiles market. Healthcare and hygiene products are designed to either be washable or discarded after a single use. Some examples include:

These textiles help to prevent infection and contamination in a broad range of healthcare applications.

Medical textiles

Jason Mills Medical Textile Offerings

At Jason Mills, we strive to meet the healthcare industry’s constantly evolving needs. We research, design, and engineer each of our medical textile products to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Our product offerings include anti-microbial fabrics, water repellent finishes using the latest chemical technology, and mesh for IV infusion bag support. We also offer extreme load-bearing fabrics that can be used as patient slings.

To make these products, we offer a range of medical textiles in various fiber types and finishes to ensure the broadest application reach. Our offerings include:

The Benefits of Medical Textiles

In an industry with such demanding needs, medical textiles offer a huge amount of customizability in both their material and their structure. Some of the major benefits offered by our medical textile solutions include:

  • Can be constructed in any 2D or 3D shape (spacer mesh)
  • May be produced in micro- or nano-structures (inherent yarn solutions such as anti-microbial)
  • Customizable mechanical properties (softness, stretch, weight etc.)
  • Versatile functionalities (end uses vary; we can meet your desired outcome through development)
  • Controllable biodegradability (advances in yarn allow for polyester to degrade rapidly in correct conditions)

No matter your unique healthcare application needs, our experts can provide a tailored medical textile. To learn more about our products or capabilities, contact us or request a quote today.

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