A unitary creped nonwoven web has a hydrophobic uncreped side and a creped side. The hydrophobic side includes looped regions. The creped side includes relatively narrow hydrophilic regions. The looped regions and creped regions act in conjunction with each other to form gradient capillaries, which urge the transfer of liquid toward the hydrophilic regions and away from the hydrophobic looped regions. The creped nonwoven web can be used as a top liner for an absorbent structure, such as a diaper, with the hydrophilic ends facing the absorbent core. When used in this fashion, the creped nonwoven web helps keep the wearer's skin dry.