Natural fibers come in animal or plant origin. Animal fibers include alpaca, camel, vicuna, guanaco, guarizo (offspring of a male llama and female alpaca), goats, mohair goats, cows, rabbits, llamas, sheep, pigs, as well as fur and silk. Organic wool washed with wool, recycled flap fiber, tow, recycled wool, recycled wool, shoddy and fiber from silk waste and yarn are called regenerated or artificial fibers of animal origin.
Natural fibers of plant origin (called bast) include fibers of abacus, pineapple, geneken, jute, kapok, kenaf, coconut palm, hemp, flax, manila, ramie, sisal, straw, hamp (crotalyariya) and cotton.
Cotton, which produces the world's most common natural textile fiber, is grown in many tropical and temperate regions. The main producing countries are China, the USA, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt and Australia. The largest consumer of cotton is China, followed by India, USA, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey and Egypt.
Cotton is a white, brownish-white, yellowish-white or bluish-white fibrous substance covering the seeds of some plants of the genus Gossypium, the family malvaceae. Cotton is used to make linen, clothes, decorative, as well as technical fabrics, sewing threads, cords and much more. It is suitable for the manufacture of not only low-grade, cheap types of harsh gauze and printclot, but also a thin canvas, as well as lace and other delicate materials.
Cotton is characterized by the length and thickness (“fineness") of the fiber, as well as its ability to absorb paint. High-fiber textiles are made from long-fiber cotton, and durable from short-fiber.
Linen fabrics, considered the most ancient type of fabrics, are made from the fibrous material of the stems of flax flax - Linum usitatissimus. It has a thin stalk reaching a height of 1 m, small narrow leaves and bright blue flowers. When grown on fiber, flax is often sown so that plants branch only at the upper end and the fiber is longer. When growing on seeds (to obtain linseed oil), flax is sown less often so that it gives more branches with seeds.
Linen fabrics are highly moisture-absorbing, do not have fluff, have a luster and are cool to wear. Until recently, they were considered crumpled, but currently found ways to give flax fiber elasticity. Towels, linens, tablecloths, sheets, draperies, upholstery fabrics, cushioning materials and various items of clothing are made from linen: blouses, sports jackets, skirts, slacks (wide trousers) and children's clothing. In home interiors, linen wallpapers and furniture fabrics are used.
About 680 thousand tons of flax fiber is produced annually around the world. Major manufacturers: Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, France, Egypt, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium and the Netherlands. The best soaked flax in the world comes from Belgium. Water in the Leieux (Lisse) river in Belgium is especially suitable for flaxing. On this river is the famous "city of flax" Kortrijk.
Wool is considered to be a real fiber of animal origin if it is cut from live sheep. The “dead” wool collected in slaughterhouses is in all respects significantly worse than the “live” one.
About 270 thousand tons of sheep wool is produced annually in the world, with about a third of this amount coming from Australia, and the rest from the CIS countries, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, Uruguay, China, Turkey and the USA.
Woolen fabrics made from a mixture of long and short fibers are soft (although they do not crease), but they do not retain sharp folds. Worsted woolen fabrics, or combed wool fabrics, are made only from long fibers. They are smooth, strong, quite durable, but acquire gloss during wear. For the first time, recycled wool gives, as a rule, more durable and more elastic textiles than other types of wool.
Silk is obtained by unwinding cocoons of Asian silkworm caterpillars. Bombix mori. Silk fiber is characterized by brilliance, elasticity, strength and tear resistance. The annual production of raw silk is about 45 thousand tons. The main producers are Japan and China, followed by South Korea, Uzbekistan and India.