Plant Fibres


Plant fibres can be derived from several parts of plants including stems, seeds, leaves, and fruits. The plant fibres can be obtained from various types of grass fibres and are determined as biodegradable and renewable resources. The fibres that can be obtained from stems are jute, kenaf, bamboo, flax, nettle, and ramie.

Linen is one of the major types of plant fibres, incorporating properties like dull lustre, hard-wearing, strong, absorbent, breathable, keeping the skin cool, and easily creases. The fabrics that are obtained from linen are Huckabuck Holland, and Duck mattress ticking.

What are plant fibres?

The fibres that are obtained naturally from plant parts like leaves, stems, seeds, and fruits are the plant fibres. Cotton is used for making clothes, mattresses, and pillows. The plant fibres are also utilized in order to make paper bags, laundry jute bags, fabrics, and durable yarn. Linen fibres are used widely for their properties like absorbent and breathable, and are utilized for making lightweight clothing during summer.

Tea towels, table clothes, and sheets are also produced from linen. Linen is also a stronger fibre, comfortable to wear, keeps skin cool, and hard-wearing. Cotton can be derived from cotton plants parts like seeds. It is utilized as cotton balls in the field of healthcare and beauty products. Fibres like jute are used widely for making packaging bags, laundry bags and fancy handbags.

Types of fibres

Plant fibres are referred to as natural fibres that can be divided into three major types as mentioned below

Seed fibres

The fibres that are obtained from the seeds of the plants are determined as seed fibres. It includes cotton, kapok, and many more. Cotton is pure cellulose that has properties like breathability and softness that are used widely for making soft and comfortable clothes in summer. Cotton clothes absorb moisture along with keeping the skin cool, and are considered the globe’s natural fibre

Hard fibres

The plant fibres that are generally obtained from leaves of plans are the hard fibres. Coir is formed from the coconut’s hard shell which is also denoted as the major vegetable fibre that has a high concentration of lignin. In some instances, coir is stronger than cotton materials and it is suitable for the dyeing process.

Bast fibres

Bast is determined as the outermost layers of the stem of plants. The bast or the inner bark of plants is often utilized in the harvesting method of bast fibres. The fibres that are obtained from bast include flax, jute, and hemp. Jute is widely used for making varieties of bags. Jute bags replace plastic bags and help in environmental sustainability.

Varieties of plant fibres

Plant fibres can be of various types including natural fibre and synthetic plant fibre. Both man-made and natural fibres are briefly mentioned below.

Natural fibres

  • Cotton − Cotton clothes are preferred on warmer days as they are comfortable to wear. Cotton clothes are softer, durable, and lightweight and are made of cotton obtained from the seed of the cotton plants. Cotton clothes also have varieties like denim and khadi where denim is a quite comfortable material for jeans. Apart from these, cotton is also utilized for making bandages, tents, towels and as an absorbent in medical sectors.

  • Jute − One of the cheapest plant fibres is jute. It is determined as the soft, shiny, and long plant fibres which are spun into strong thread to make jute bags, and other fashion materials. Jute is highly durable, stronger, and biodegradable natural fibres. It is suitable in humid and warm weather and is cultivated in the rainy season.

Man-made fibres

  • Nylon − Nylon is a synthetic polymer that is silky, and is usually made from petroleum. Nylon is a man-made fibre which is formed in a high-pressured or heated environment in a form of a nylon sheet. It is widely used to make clothes, seat belts, fishnets, and many more.

  • Polyesters − Polyesters are the polymers that consist of the esters functional group. It is widely used to make clothes like shirts, jackets, and hats. Bedsheets, curtains, and pillow covers are also made with this man-made fibre.

Importance and uses of plant fibres

Plant fibres have various uses and importance which are obtained naturally from several parts of plants including stems, seeds, leaves, and fruits

  • The fibres that are obtained from plants including jute, cotton, flax, hemp, kenaf, and sisal are frequently utilized in the production of biocomposites.

  • Cotton, coir, and jute, are often used for the production of clothes and other household materials.

  • Abaca is determined as the leaf fibre that is obtained from plant leaves and is used to make ropes, fishing nets, ship ropes, and fishing lines.

  • Jute bags are determined as biodegradable and renewable products that make the environment more sustainable by reducing the usage of plastic bags.


Plant fibres can be of various types including natural fibre and synthetic plant fibre. Natural fibre can be obtained directly from several parts of plants like seeds, stems, leaves or fruits. Natural fibres include cotton, coir, jute, and abaca. Synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon are produced in factories and determined as man-made fibres. Linen fibre is mostly used in making clothes that bring relief during the summer season. Several major types of fibres are often used in everyday life making household materials, garments, and many more.


Q1. What kind of fibres can be obtained from plants?

Ans: The fibres that are derived from plants are called natural fibres or plant fibres. Several types of plant fibres are utilized for daily household purposes and for making useful things, like jute bags, pillows made of cotton, linen clothes, and many more.

Q2. What is cotton fibre?

Ans: The fibres that are obtained from the seeds of cotton plants are determined as the cotton fibres. The fibres are widely used for making soft and comfortable clothes during the summer season as they keep the skin cool by absorbing a higher rate of moisture.

Q3. What are the necessities of fibres?

Ans: Plant fibres are utilized for clothing, carpets production, gunny bags, textiles, and many more purposes. The strongest fibre that is famous for its tensile strength is silk which is obtained naturally from a caterpillar’s cocoon, is silk.

Updated on: 20-Feb-2023


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