Fibre Crops

Table of Contents

Fibre Crops Definition

“Fibre crops are the crops grown in fields for their fibres that are used to make ropes, paper, cloth, etc.”

What are Fibre Crops?

Fibre crops or plant fibres are a type of 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 their length, width, tenacity, uniformity, spinning pliability and flexibility. The different sources of plant fibres are- cotton, jute, coir, hemp and flax.

Fibres are the sclerenchyma cells that are associated with the vascular tissues and are a component of the plant skeleton. The cells are long with pointed ends. They are the raw materials which are available in the form of thin, long continuous threads and flexible strands that are spun into yarn and made into fabrics.

Before the introduction of synthetic fibres, natural fibres were used in the manufacturing of cloth, paper, ropes, etc. 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.

Also Read: Fibre to fabric

Let us know in detail about the different fibre crops.

Process of Fibre Crops

In the 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.

Fibre Crops and Fibres Obtained

Different fibre crops and the fibres obtained from them are mentioned below:

  1. Many plants that are a source of fibres produce bast fibres, seed fibres and leaf fibres.
  2. Bast fibres can be found in fibre crops such as hemp, hoop vine, papyrus, nettles, etc.
  3. Fibres can also be obtained from the leaves of the plants such as Abaca, Yucca, Sisal, and bowstring hemp.
  4. 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 fibre 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 are 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 cheap in cost, and the 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 from vegetables.

Jute fibres have been an integral part of the culture of West Bengal, and some portions of Bangladesh. They are mainly composed of cellulose and lignin. Thus it is also called lingo-cellulosic fibre. It is the most affordable natural fibre and has a variety of uses. It is used to make jute bags, sacks, coarse clothes, slippers, curtains, chairs, carpets, tables, floor mats, etc.


Coir is the naturally produced plant fibre extracted from the coconut plant. This coir fibre is mainly produced from 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 fibre about 10,000 years ago. Even today the demand for this product is very high and is used to make ropes, sacks etc.


Flax is also known as common flax seeds or linseed. It is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. They are native to India from the eastern Mediterranean and were extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt. These plant fibres are the oldest among others and have been found in 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 sources fibres, flax fibres were the first fabrics to be used for making different clothing materials later followed by cotton, jute, etc. Apart from these, other plants including the palm, rush, reed, and papyrus plants are also used along with flax to make ropes, fabrics, and other clothing materials.

This was brief information on fibre crops, their types, and sources. To learn more in detail about what are fibre crops, and how are they obtained from different plant sources, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which crops are known as fibre crops?

The crops that are grown for the fibres to make ropes, cloth, bags, etc. for commercial purposes. Cotton and jute are widely grown as fibre crops.


Is coconut a fibre crop?

Coconut is not a fibre crop. The coir obtained from coconut is a fibre crop. It is the fibrous material found between the internal shell and outer coat of coconut and is used for making doormats, mattresses, brushes, etc.


Which fibre crop is known as the “golden fibre”?

Jute is known as the “golden fibre” because of its yellowish-brown colour and high cash value. It is produced in large quantities and has a variety of uses.


How are fibre crops different from silk fibres?

Fibre crops such as cotton and jute are obtained from plants and trees, whereas, silk fibres are obtained from animals such as silkworms, bees, wasps, etc.


Why are plant fibres losing their importance?

Plant fibres are losing their importance because of the increasing demand for artificial fibres such as nylon. This is because artificial fibres are cost-effective, resistant to chemicals, more durable and stronger than natural fibres.

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