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October 05, 2016 • Mike Huber

The Difference Between Woven And Non-woven Geotextiles

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In the hardscaping industry, geotextiles are used to increase soil stability. They are a manmade material typically produced out of polyester or polypropylene. There are five main functions that geotextiles are meant to perform: 1.) Separation 2.) Reinforcement 3.) Filtration 4.) Protection and 5.) Drainage. (For more, read our blog post on 5 Ways A Geotextile Can Improve Your Hardscape Design.) In this blog post, we’re going to explore the key differences between woven and non-woven geotextiles.


Woven Geotextiles
Woven geotextiles are manufactured by weaving together narrow strips of film. They perform the functions of separation and reinforcement. Woven geotextiles are referred to by tensile strength, which is the resistance a material has to breaking under tension. Generally speaking, woven fabrics are more plastic-like in feel and appearance. While they are relatively impermeable and don’t offer drainage, they do have a very high load capacity and are commonly used for roads and parking lots.

Non-woven Geotextiles
The primary functions of a non-woven geotextile are separation, filtration, and drainage. The manufacturing process of these fabrics involves needle punching as opposed to weaving. Non-woven fabrics are referred to by weight (i.e. 3.4 oz. per square yard) and are more felt-like in feel and appearance. They offer permeability and are commonly used in applications where drainage and filtration are of key concern.


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Here's a quick recap of the benefits of each:


  • Separation
  • Reinforcement
  • High load capacity
  • Referred to by tensile strength
  • Impermeable
  • Plastic-like


  • Separation
  • Filtration
  • Drainage
  • Referred to by weight
  • Permeable
  • Felt-like

Using the right type of geotextile for your hardscape application will help improve the overall design and essentially increase its lifespan. Avoid call backs about settling or drainage problems by being informed and using the product best suited for your project. And be sure to download our free Geotextile & Geogrid Pocket Guide for a quick reference on the different types of fabrics and grids available in the market.



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