An absorbent article with a central region and two end regions has been patented. The article features a liquid-permeable fluid receiving layer, an absorbent core and a liquid-impermeable outer cover. At least one of the fluid receiving layer, absorbent core and outer cover includes a flexible absorbent binder bound to a first substrate layer at predetermined elongated locations defining one or more elongated channels therebetween. The flexible absorbent binder is formed on the substrate layer at the predetermined elongated locations by crosslinking an absorbent binder composition on the substrate layer. The absorbent binder composition includes a water-soluble ionic polymer capable of sufficient non-radiative crosslinking within about 10 minutes at a temperature of not more than about 120° C., to reach an absorbent capacity of at least one gram per gram using the centrifuge retention capacity test.