A die-cut, contoured, catamenial napkin of joined-together layers of sheet material assembled into a sandwich which combines a thin, soft, flexible peripheral portion for comfort with a thick central portion for increased fluid-holding capacity. The uppermost layer is a thin batt of intermingled fibers provided with unbonded low density cushion areas separated by spaced bonded areas comprised of compressed fluid-distributing channels of higher density extending generally longitudinally of the batt and intersecting the ends and edges. The central portion of the uppermost layer is upwardly deformed to provide a pad-receiving cavity in which a main fluid-holding element consisting of a relatively thick pad of absorbent material is positioned in intimate physical contact with the uppermost layer while the horizontal face portions of the side and end walls of the central pad are free of contact with neighboring components. The outer peripheral portion of the uppermost layer, and in the preferred embodiment, the lower surface of the fluid-holding element, is adhesively secured to a fluid-impervious bottom layer by a thin discontinuous film of adhesive. Pressure-sensitive adhesive may be used on the bottom of the pad for releasable attachment to a supporting undergarment.