Fibres are the raw materials which are available in the form of thin, long continuous threads and flexible strands that spun into yarn and made into fabrics.
Fibre crops or plant fibres are also called as the natural fibres as they are obtained naturally and directly from the different sources of plants and their products.
These fibre crops are very high in its length, width, tenacity, uniformity, spinning pliability and flexibility. The different sources of plant fibres are- cotton, jute, coir, hemp and the flax.
Fibres are the sclerenchyma cells that are associated with the vascular tissues and are a component of plant skeleton. The cells are long with pointed ends.
Before the introduction of synthetic fibres, natural fibres were used in the manufacturing of cloth, paper, ropes, etc. The fibre crops were the source of these natural fibres in the manufacturing industries. These fibres are very strong due to the presence of cellulose.
Fibre crops are grouped into three categories: textile fibres, cordage fibres, and filling fibres.
Let us know in detail about the different fibre crops.
Also Read: Fibre to fabric
Process of Fibre Crops
In olden days, the old textiles were recycled to obtain fibres. Nowadays, fibre is obtained from the fibre plant. The type of fibre determines the extraction process to be used.
Microbes are used in retting to obtain bast fibres. The soft tissues are removed from the fibre plant with the help of bacteria.
The hard fibres are obtained by decortication and the soft fibres by ginning process as the machines remove the product from the plant.
Sources of Plant Fibres
Many plants are rich source of fibres. Such plants produce bast fibres, seed fibres and leaf fibres.
Bast fibres can be found in fibre crops such as hemp, hoop vine, papyrus, nettles, etc.
Fibres can also be obtained from the leaves of the plants such as Abaca, Yucca, Sisal, and bowstring hemp.
Fibres are also present in fruits and seeds of the crops or plants such as cotton, coconut, luffa, bamboo and milkweed.
Examples of Fibre Crops
Following are a few examples of fibre crops:
Cotton is plant fiber obtained from the Cotton plant. It is a tropical plant which is mainly grown in regions having black soil and warm conditions.
Cotton is a flowering plant, which belongs to the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. The largest cotton producing states in India Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
The cotton fibres are obtained from the seeds of the cotton plant. It is known as the fabric of life, as it is less of cost, most common type of fabric, easily available, extremely durable, easy fabric to take care of and good for our environment. It is widely used worldwide to make different clothing like shirts, trousers, and other materials.
Jute is a long, soft, shiny fibre obtained for the vegetables.
Jute fibres have been an integral part of the culture of West Bengal, and some portions of Bangladesh. They are mainly composed of the cellulose and lignin. Thus it is also called as a lingo-cellulosic fibre. It is the most affordable natural fibres and has a variety of uses. It is used to make jute bags, sacks, coarse clothes, slippers, curtains, chairs, carpets, table, and floor mats, etc.
Coir is the naturally produced plant fibres extracted from the coconut plant. This coir fibre is mainly produced from the coconut husks and is typically used for making floor mats, brushes and gunny bags or sacks and ropes.
Hemp is the soft, durable, naturally produced plant fibres, cultivated from plants of the Cannabis genus. In modern times, these plants were cultivated for industrial purposes including biodegradable plastics, construction, food, fuel, paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals, etc. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into fiber about 10,000 years ago. Even in today the demand for this product is very high and is used to make ropes, sacks etc.
Flax, which is also known as common flax seeds or linseed. It is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. They are the native to India from the eastern Mediterranean and was extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt. These plant fibres are the oldest among others and have been found 30,000 BC. The fibres extracted from these plants are used to make handkerchiefs, ropes, and high-quality papers.
Also Read: Fibre in Diet
Plant-source fabrics were the first fabrics to be obtained and were long back around 100,000 years ago. Among all the plant source fibres, flax fibres were the first fabrics to be used for making different clothing materials later followed with the cotton, jute, etc. Apart from these plant source fibres, other plants including the palm, rush, reed, and papyrus plant are also used along with flax to make ropes, fabrics, and other clothing materials.
This was a few brief information to the Fibre Crops, its types, and sources. Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more in detail about the Fibre Crops, and how it is obtained by different plant source by watching various interactive YouTube videos.