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Medical Gown Materials: Fabrics Guideline

Medical Gown Materials: Fabrics Guideline

Personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect healthcare workers fighting pandemics while being comfortable to wear them. Medical gown requires breathable fabric materials that health professionals from being exposed to infectious fluids.

Suppliers must consider multiple factors when designing medical gowns. These include improving product sustainability, decreasing production costs, and providing comfortable gowns that are safe for healthcare users.


Analysis of Medical Gown Fabric Materials

Most medical gowns are made of this material, it is called non-woven synthetic fibers.
As protection levels increase, laminated materials are used to strengthen, reduce permeability, or make it flame retardant.

Sometimes, the barrier properties of single-layer materials may not be enough for certain medical procedures. To create composite materials, additional materials may be added such as coatings, reinforcements, and laminates.
You can also enhance product attributes to increase absorbency, slip resistance, or other desirable characteristics.


4 Kinds of Fabric Commonly used in Medical Gown Materials

  •  Polypropylene (PP)
  •  Polyethylene (PE)
  •  Polyester (PET)
  •  Spunbond Meltblown Spunbond (SMS)


Disposable Medical Gown vs Reusable Medical Gown Materials

Gown Types  Disposable Gown
(Isolation Gown, Surgical Gown)
Reusable Gown
(Isolation Gown, Surgical Gown)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Spunbond Meltblown Spunbond (SMS)
  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Poly-cotton blend

*For Reference Only
The following are some examples of isolation gowns and surgical gowns materials. Based on the usage situation and risk of levels, then select the appropriate material.


Coating and Lamination

Coating and lamination provide additional fluid resistance, including antibacterial, viral, and other functions.



The most basic gown uses a single-layer spun-bond Polypropylene (PP), and It is breathable and comfortable.
It is used for basic patient care and medical or surgical unit maintenance, laundry, housekeeping, and as a barrier to non-hazardous cleanup in a dry environment.

Single Layer Use when the expected risk to fluid exposure is low


Multilayers Fabric Materials

Multilayer fabrics are used for achieving desired objectives.

For example, outer layers are designed to puncture to resist and abrasion, middle layers ensure the resistance of fluid penetration and bottom layers provide comfort to users.

Name SMS
Spunbond Meltblown Spunbond
Spunbond+Meltblown x2+Spunbond Nonwoven
PPSB + PE coating
Polyethylene Coated Polypropylene
Laminated Details Tri-laminated

  1. Spunbond polypropylene (PP)
  2. Meltblown polypropylene (PP)
  3. Spunbond polypropylene (PP)
    layer thickness~0.1mm

  1. Spunbond (PP)
  2. Meltblown (PP)
  3. Meltblown (PP)
  4. Spunbond (PP)

  1. Polypropylene (PPSB)
  2. Polyethylene (PE)
  • High tensile strength
  • Softness
  • Comfortable breathability
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Lightweight

Waterproof and a barrier against bacteria, blood, and other liquids, as well as gas/steam transpiration.

  • Biodegradable
  • Breathable
  • Durable and tear-resistant
  • Dust-free filtration
  • Impervious
  • Liquid repellent
  • Non-irritating
  • Lightweight

Similar to SMS fabric features.

  • Coated with PE film
  • Waterproof
  • heat resistance
  • high tensile strength
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Good moldability
Applications Widely used at high-class protection areas like medical, industrial, laboratory pharmaceutical use:

  • Isolation gowns
  • Patient gowns
  • Lab coats
  • Coveralls
  • Procedure gowns
  • Medical face masks
  • Boot covers
  • Aprons
  • Napkins and diapers
Widely applicable in conditions of fluid exposure ranging from moderate to severe:

  • Isolation gown
  • Surgical gown
  • Surgical Face mask
  • Shoe cover
  • Scrub suits
  • Surgical drape
  • Medical drapes
  • Medical equipment
  • covers
Widely used in the high level of fluid resistant area, to prevent biological hazards or liquid chemicals:


Polyethylene (PE)

Single-layer plastic film that resists fluid. This fabric is very durable, with minimal breathability.
Example of Polyethylene isolation gowns use:
The patient’s blood, sputum, and breath can contain pathogenic bacteria that could pose a threat to their health and safety.

Polyethylene material is used in medical gowns to provide better resistance to fluid exposure.

What is Polyethylene?

It is a manufactured fiber made from polymerized, polyethylene units. It’s often monofilament. However, it can also be made as a continuous filament yarn or staple fiber. Polyethylene yarn is not dyeable. It can be dyed by adding pigments to the melt during extrusion. Polyethylene can come in many different forms. The amount of branching in ethylene polymer units along the main chain will determine the structure. The fiber’s strength is determined by how much branching there is.

Typical nomenclature for polyethylene (PE) includes:

  • Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
  • Low-density PE (LDPE)
  • Medium-density PE (MDPE)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Ultra-high molecular weight PE (UHMWPE).


Polypropylene (PP)

A single layer of polypropylene nonwoven fabric.
It is a soft fabric-like cloth that allows for low fluid exposures. Additionally, it acts as a barrier to harmful agents.

Polypropylene fabric can be affordable, comfortable, and breathable.

What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a plastic that comes in many varieties that has the added benefit of being the least harmful to the environment. Polypropylene, a polymer that is inert and environmentally friendly is gaining popularity across industries.

What are the most appealing features of Polypropylene?

Polypropylene has many great features including:

  • Polypropylene fabrics are very durable and resistant to wear.
  • Among the textile/upholstered, industrial, manufacturing, and medical industries.
  • The fabric is durable enough to withstand long-term, repeated use and resists stains.
  • An excellent insulator because it has the lowest thermal conductivity among all synthetic and natural fabrics.
  • PP fabric is resistant to bacteria and other microorganisms. It also has a high resistance to mildew.
  • It is very difficult to ignite polypropylene fibers. They can be ignited but are not combustible. It can be made fire-retardant by adding certain additives.
  • Polypropylene fibers also have a water-resistant characteristic.
  • When polypropylene fibers are dyed, they resist sunlight and are fade-resistant.
  • These incredible benefits are the reason why polypropylene has become a popular material in many industries around the world.

These incredible benefits are the reason why polypropylene has become a popular material in many industries around the world.


Spun bond -Melt blown – Spun bond (SMS)

SMS fabric has a unique trilaminate structure that provides high tensile strength, toughness.   In addition, SMS is also soft, comfortable, and breathable.  The material itself provides a fluid and particulate barrier to protect users.

  • The spun bond layer is consisting of continuous filament, with good tensile strength and elongation.
  • The melt-blown layer is consisting of continuous microfiber.

SMS is commonly used in laboratories, industrial applications, as well as sanitation and medical fields.


Spunbond+Meltblown+Meltblown+Spunbond Nonwoven (SMMS)

SMMS fabric belongs a kind of laminated nonwoven with four layers. It is composited by two layers spun-bond and two layers melt-blown.
Similar to SMS fabric with an added layer of fluid resistance. Ideal for extended use under moderate to high fluid exposure conditions.


Polyethylene Coated Polypropylene (PPSB + PE coating)

The PP stands for polypropylene which is a thermoplastic. It is strong and can generally withstand high temperatures. Polyethylene is also a thermoplastic very similar to polypropylene.
When the spun-bond polypropylene is combining with PE coating (polyethylene), it offers an extra barrier to chemical resistance and waterproof performance.  This standard fabric is for protection against microbial particulates and lighter fluid in non-toxic workplaces and grim work environments.

Lightweight material with increased fluid resistance protection.

What is Polypropylene Spunbond Nonwoven Fabric (PPSB)?

Spun laid is commonly known as Spunbond Nonwoven Fabric. They are made from the continuous spinning of fibers and can either be directed with air streams or dispersed in a web-like shape. This process can increase the production speed faster.

These are usually prepared in sheets or web structures and bonded with entangled fibers or other filaments using thermal or chemical treatment, depending on the Spunbond Fabric Manufacturer or Spunbond Fabric Supplier.

Non-woven polypropylene fabric is a thermoplastic plastic polymer similar to Polypropylene. However, it is made to look non-woven. It is used primarily in non-woven bags, interlining, face masks, healthcare coveralls, and isolation gowns, etc. It is becoming more popular in the fashion and healthcare industries.

10 Types of Properties: Polypropylene Nonwoven Fabric

  1. Strong impermeability
  2. High tensile strength
  3. Strong chemical resistance,
  4. Corrosion resistance
  5. Mildew resistance
  6. Large temperature range
  7. Long service life
  8. Good stability
  9. Non-toxic
  10. Water resistance


What is PE coating?

PE coatings can provide 3 major properties.

  • Waterproofness
  • Durability
  • Longevity

The main advantage of PE-coated fabrics is in terms of durability and resistance to mold and mildew. Because the fabric’s coating keeps it dry inside, mold growth is not possible.


Medtecs Isolation Gown and Surgical Gown Customize Options

We offer ODM/OEM service to help optimize the development of buyer’s medical gowns.
Medtecs will create your product to the highest standards.
These are the options available for customization:

Fabric Types

  • SMS
  • SMMS
  • PP
  • PE
  • PPSB+PE coating

Taped Seams

  • Serged Seam
  • Bonded Seam
  • Heat Sealed Seam

AAMI Levels

  • AAMI Level 1
  • AAMI Level 2
  • AAMI Level 3
  • AAMI Level 4


Are you curious about how Medtecs’s Cover U and isolation gown can protect your employees and health professionals?

Many businesses have benefited from our services.
We are available to answer any questions. Our experts will help you understand how Medtecs can assist with today’s increasingly complicated safety regulations in healthcare.



  1. A Review of Isolation Gowns in Healthcare: Fabric and Gown Properties. (2015, September 1). PubMed Central (PMC). 
  2. P. (2020, December 24). What is Polypropylene Spunbond Nonwoven Fabric? Is PP Spunbond Nonwoven Fabric Biodegradable? Park Non-Woven – Manufacturer of Non-Woven Fabric. 
  3. Corrosionpedia. (2017, October 10). Polyethylene (PE). 
  4. A. (2021, April 20). What is SMS Nonwoven Material for Disposable Patient Gown? Custom-Made Home & Hotel Textile Manufacturer. 
  5. R.I.C.H.A.R.D.H.O.Y.T. (n.d.). What Is Polyethylene Fabric? Hunker. 
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