Fibre Yielding Plants

Fibre may be defined generally as a strand that is very long in comparison to its width. Or, it is a special type of elongated cells with thick walls corresponding to small cavities with pointed ends.

• The walls of the fibre contains lignin and cellulose.
• They may occur singly or in small group.

Classification of fibre

We can categorise fibres into 6 main groups or classes:

1. Textile fibre
2. Brush fibre
3. Rough weaving fibre
4. Filling fibre
5. Natural fabrics fibre
6. Paper making fibre


1. Textile fibre

Textile fibre is the most important fibre.
• They are connected with industries concerned with manufacture of fabrics.
• They are always long and possess cohesiveness and pliability.
• They must possess a fine, uniform lustrous and readily available.

Textile fibre is classified into 3 sub-classes:

i. Surface fibre
ii. Soft fibre
iii. Hard fibre

i. Surface fibre

• It contains cotton.
• Cotton is the world’s greatest industrial crop.
• Obtained mainly from the pericycle or secondary phloem of the stems of dicots.
• Structural elements found in the leaves of many tropical monocots.
• They may also be found in stems or fruits.

Example: Gossypium arboretum, G. herbaceum, G. hirsutum, G. barbadense (Malvaceae).


• Making of print clothes, fine cotton goods.

• Cotton is used in mattresses.

• Sterilize absorbant cotton. Cotton is used in medicals and surgical purposes.
• Seeds are of great importance and ovary part is utilised.
• Hulls are used as fertilizer and a fruits of xylose.
• Sugar can be converted into alcohols.

ii. Soft fibre

• It is also called bast fibre or phloem fibre or skin fibre.
• It is collected from the phloem or the bast surrounding the stem of certain dicot plants.
• Most of the economically important bast fibres are obtained from herbs. Sometimes they are also collected from wild plants.

Example: Linum usitatissimum (Linaceae).


• Flax is used as cotton.

• Flax was used some 1000 years ago by Swiss lake dwellers.
• They are used in manufacture of linen clothes.
• The finest writing papers, insulating materials.

Example: Corchorus capsularis, C. olitorius (Tiliaceae).


• Used for rough weaving, barlen bags.
• Used for making ropes, bags.
• Used for decorating purposes.
• Jute stick is used as imperfect furniture and doors.

iii. Hard fibre

• This fibre is obtained from the leaves of monocot plants.
• These fibre are long and stiff.
• The leaves from which the fibre is obtained is usually sword shaped, thick, fleshy and
often hard surfaced.

Example: Agave sisalina (Agavaceae).


• The fibre is utilised in the manufacture of cable marine, cordage, industrial ropes and
other form.
• Considerable amount of fibre is also used for making fibre carpet.
• Used in the manufacture of carbon paper.


Example: Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae).


• Coir is a natural fabric.
• Mostly used for cordace, cable, mattresses and floor covering.
• This fibre is considered superior to other fibre for manufacturing cable because of its
light, elastic proportions and it is exceedingly resistant to water.
• Used in paper production.

2. Brush fibre

• It is those type of fibre which is very strong, elastic, stiff and flexible.
• Twit, root, stem, leaves are the source of these types of fibre.

Example: Borassus flabellifer (Arecaceae).


• Used for making brushes, dromes.
• Fibre is also used for making ropes.
• Leaves are used for making fans, umbrella.

Example: Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae).

3. Rough weaving fibre

• Include the stem of leaves, rids, grasses, willows, bamboo etc.
• Used for making mats, baskets and similar types of goods.

Example & use

1) Cyperus compressus
Used for manufacture of mats and culm.

2) Bambusa tulda
Used for making baskets, fans and papers.

3) Clinogyne dichotoma (Morantaceae)
Shitol pati.

4. Filling fibre

• Include those fibres which are used for stuffing cushions, matress and some furnitures.
• They are also employed for manufacturing or stiff for milling purposes, packings or
machine, bearings, delicate objects.

Example & use

1) Bambusa ceiba (bombacaceae)
Used for making pillows, cushions.

2) Calotropis gigantean or giant milk weed (Asclepiadaceae).
Used for making fishing nets, fishing lines and stuffing purposes.

5. Natural fabrics

Example & use

1) Hibiscus tiliaceus
Large shrub or small tree.
Bark is a source of fibre.
The fibre is used for making ropes and mats.

2) Antiaris toxicaria (Moraceae)
Sack tree.
Fibre obtained from bark for cordage, matting.

6. Paper making

Example & use

1) Cyperus papyrus (Cyperaceae)
Chinese first used this for making papers formally.
2) Bambusa sp. (Poaceae)

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