Cellulose Fibres - Bast Fibres

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Introduction to Bast Fibres

  • Bast fibres/skin fibres are plant fibres collected from the phloem/bast/skin (the 'inner bark') surrounding the stem of certain plants.
  • Some bast fibres are cultivated, such as flax, hemp and ramie. Bast fibres can also come from wild plants like stinging nettles and lime trees.
  • Often, bast fibres have higher tensile strength than other cellulosic fibres and are used in high quality textiles (sometimes blended with cotton or synthetic fibres).
  • Ropes and burlap are examples of products produced from bast fibres.
  • Bast fibres contain structure called a fibre node that represents a weak point in the fibre. Fibre nodes are only present in bast fibres.
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Examples of Bast Fibres

  • Flax (linen)
  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Nettle
  • Okra
  • Ramie
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Uses of Bast Fibres

  • Bast fibres are processed for use in:
    • Carpet
    • Yarn
    • Rope
    • Geotextiles (netting or matting)
    • Burlap
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Bast from Stem to Yarn


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