DuPont introduced Sontara in 1973 after a decade of research into spunlaced, or hydro-entangled, fabrics. With five patents in the technology of spun-laced nonwovens between 1963 and 1970, DuPont became an expert in these specialty fabrics.
Spunlaced fabrics are made with a special process in which jets of water with needle-like properties are used to entangle a web of fibers on a flat surface, creating a tear-resistant, matte-like material. Because no adhesives or additives are used in the process, the resulting fabric is practically lint-free and can be used in a variety of applications from hospital surgical gowns and masks to baby wipes. DuPont has also marketed Sontara as clean, absorbent wipes for cleaning airplane windows, preparing race cars for paint layers and in a variety of other consumer cleaning needs.