Deformation behaviour of networks formed by bonded fibres presents significant challenges to specialists in mechanics of materials. In this paper, distribution of fibre strains in a fibrous network was evaluated for various strain levels using an example of a thermally bonded nonwoven material under a tensile load. The study started with the analysis of a reference model of a network with bond points, which is free of the effect of complex material behaviour and orientation distribution of fibres. At the subsequent stage, changes in various parameters such as material properties of fibres and fibre length were added separately into a parametric finite-element model to study their effect on the distribution of strains. The obtained results elucidate the reasons for non-uniformity of fibre-strain distribution under uniform loading conditions. In addition, it was shown that the type of arrangement of bond points, the length and material behaviour of fibres play a crucial role in the character of distribution of strains. At the end of the study, some suggestions are given on the way to obtain a homogeneous distribution of strains throughout the nonwoven structure. Crown Copyright (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.