A novel finite-element modelling code developed to investigate the structural behaviour of nonwoven materials is presented. The technique allows modelling of a nonwoven fabric as a continuous-discontinuous medium with a given pattern of bond points and a large number of constituent fibres with arbitrary orientation distribution. The parametric feature of the code provides automatic modelling of nonwoven materials according to design parameters in a very efficient way. The effect of fibre length is also included for the first time in a finite element model of a nonwoven. The developed code is very flexible and it is possible to be extended to further studies such as damage behaviour. Copyright (C) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.