What are natural fibers?
The source of natural fiber is nature and these fibers are present in nature in fibrous form. Owing to the fact that natural fibers vary in length because of the difference in their variety, they are generally short in length with the exception silk. These fibers are so-referred to as staple fibers.
The natural fibers can be further classified as:
Animal/Protein fibers: These fibers can be further divided into the hair fiber and extruded fibers. The category of hair fiber includes the fibers obtained from wool (sheep), Speciality (Alpaca, Cashmere, Llama, Mohair, Vicuna) while the extruded fiber includes silk which is extruded by the larvae of silk moth to form a cocoon and is processed to obtain continuous silk fiber.
Plant/Cellulosic fibers: This category draws its classification from the part of plants that produce the fiber. This category can be further broken down as: seed hair fiber (cotton, kapok, coir), bast or stem fiber (flax, jute), leaf fiber (pina from pineapple leaves, sisal from agave leave), and the miscellaneous ones.
Natural rubber: It is obtained from the latex of the rubber tree. The process briefly includes that slashes are given on the stem and the thick, milky exudate is collected and converted into rubber.
Natural mineral: This class of fibers consists of asbestos which is acquired from rock that is composed of magnesium and calcium. Its characteristic feature is that it is non-flammable but is being replaced because of carcinogenic properties.