According to figures released by EDANA, the Brussels-based trade association for the nonwovens industry, production of nonwovens in western Europe grew by 8.8 per cent in 1999 to reach 909,800 tonnes.This means that the output of the western European nonwovens industry has doubled in less than 10 years. And Guy Massenaux, secretary general of EDANA, says that he expects nonwoven production to again grow sizeably in 2000.Polypropylene is the most important polymer used in the nonwovens industry in fibre or granule form, accounting for 492,300 tonnes out of a total of 944,200 tonnes.EDANA estimates that the turnover of the western European nonwovens industry in 1999 at around €3600m, showing no progress in relation to 1998. The industry employs some 15,000 people in western Europe, making engineered fabrics for applications as diverse as surgical drapes, baby diapers, wipes, filtration and roofing.