Bast fibres are collected from the inner bark or bast surrounding the stem of the plant. These fibres have higher tensile strength than other fibres. Therefore, these fibres are used for durable yarn, fabric, packaging, and paper. Examples are flax, jute, kenaf, hemp and ramie. Read more about bast fibres. Hard fibres are collected from leaves, e.g. sisal, banana and agave, or from fruit, e.g. coir around the hard shell of coconuts. More on abaca & sisal coming soon.
The most used plant fibres are cotton, flax and hemp, although sisal, jute, kenaf, bamboo and coconut are also widely used.
Plant fibre is composed mainly of cellulose and cellulose fibres are most commonly used to make paper and cloth. Cellulose produces long, often highly lustrous fibres when suitably prepared.