Different Types Of Natural Fibres And Their Uses
Fibres used to make fabric may be natural or synthetic. Fibres that are obtained from plants or animals are called natural fibres. Examples are cotton, jute, wool, and silk. Fibres that are made by man from chemical substances are called synthetic fibres. Examples are nylon, rayon, polyester, and acrylic. Let us learn more about plant fibres.
Cotton, jute, coir, silk cotton, hemp, and flax are examples of plant fibres. Denim, used to make jeans, is made from cotton.
The cotton plant is a shrub. It grows well in black soil and warm climate. It needs moderate rainfall. Cotton is a soft fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. A variety of textile products are made from cotton. In India, ‘lchadi’, a coarse hand-woven cloth, is made from cotton.
Jute is a fibre obtained from the bark of the jute plant. It can be grown in different soil types, ranging from clayey to sandy soil. It grows best in loamy soil (mixture of sand, silt, and clay), sandy soil, and clayey soil. It grows well in regions where it rains a lot. Almost 80% of the world’s high-quality jute comes from Bangladesh. Bangladesh, India, China, Nepal, and Thailand are the main producers of jute.
Other Useful Plant Fibres
There are other important plant fibres as well.
Coir: Coir is the fibre obtained from the outer covering or the husk of the coconut. Usually coconuts are left in water for a few months. The husk is then separated from the nut and beaten with wooden mallets to get the fibre. The fibre thus obtained is spun and dyed and is ready for weaving. Coir is used to make several household products like rope and floor covering and also as a stuffing in mattresses and pillows.
Silk: cotton Silk cotton is another plant fibre that is commonly used as a stuffing in pillow, sleeping bag, and life jacket. This fibre is obtained from the silk cotton tree, also called kapok.
The fruits of the kapok tree contain fibres that are light and fluffy (like cotton). When the fruit ripens, it bursts open, releasing the fibres.
Hemp: Hemp fibres are obtained from the stem of the hemp plant. Hemp fibres are used in the production of ropes, carpets, nets, clothes, and paper.
Flax: Fibres obtained from the stem of the flax plant are woven to make a fabric called linen. Flax fibres are also used in the production of rope and high-quality paper.