list of fiber crops for textile, netting and cordage

Table FC-1. List of fiber crops which are sources of textile, netting, and cordage fibers grouped by type of fiber.

a. Surface Fibers

Cotton Malvaceae Gossypium spp.
- Sea-Island cotton, Egyptian cotton Gossypium barbadense
- Upland cotton, bulak, gapas, algodon Gossypium hirsutum
- Tree cotton Gossypium arboreum
- Levant cotton

Gossypium herbaceum
b. Soft or Bast Fibers

1. Flax Linaceae Linum usitatissimum
2. Hemp, marijuana Cannabis sativa
3. Jute Malvaceae Corchorus capsularis
- Jute, saluyot, tagabang Corchorus olitorius
4. Ramie Urticaceae Boehmeria nivea
5. Sunn hemp Leguminosae/Fabaceae Crotalaria juncea
6. Kenaf Malvaceae Hibiscus cannabinus
7. China Jute, Indian Mallow Malvaceae Abutilon theophrasti
8. Roselle, Rama Malvaceae Hibiscus sabdariffa
9. Aramina, Cadillo, Calut-calutan Malvaceae Urena lobata
c. Hard or Structural Fibers

1. Abaca, Manila Hemp Musaceae Musa textilis
2. Agaves Agavaceae/Asparagaceae* Agave spp.
- Henequen or Mexican Sisal Agave fourcroydes
- Sisal, Century plant Agave sisalana
- Maguey, Manila maguey, Cantala Agave cantala
3. Mauritius Hemp, False agave, green aloe, giant cabuya Agavaceae/ Asparagaceae* Furcraea gigantea, F. foetida; Others: Furcraea macrophylla,
F. cabuya, F. hexapetales
4. New Zealand Flax, New Zealand Hemp Hemerocallidaceae/ Xanthorrhoeaceae* Phormeum tenax
5. Bowstring Hemp Ruscaceae/ Asparagaceae* Sansevieria spp., e.g.
S. thyrsiflora, S. roxburghiana,
S. zelanica, S. longifolia
(Florida bowstring hemp)
6. Coconut Palmae/Arecaceae Cocos nucifera
7. Pineapple Bromeliaceae Ananas comosus
8. Floja Bromeliaceae Aechmea magdalenae
9. Caroá Bromeliaceae Neoglaziovia variegata

* Changes have occured in which several families have been expanded to include previously distinct families. The 2009 classification system of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG III) places the family AgavaceaeRuscaceae, and others in an expanded Asparagaceae (Simpson 2010).

Primary source of list of fiber crops according to type of fiber: Hill (1972).

Addendum: Black fibers from the hair-like margins of the leafsheaths of sugar palm or kaong have been used in making ropes that are resistant to sea water.


  1. FRANCIS JK. 2003. Furcraea foetida (L.) Haw. Retrieved December 16, 2011 from
  2. HILL AF. 1972. Economic Botany: A Textbook of Useful Plants and Plant Products. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd. p. 18-51.
  3. MERRILL ED. 1912. A Flora of Manila. Manila: Bureau of Printing. 491 p.
  4. MOORE R, CLARK WD, VODOPICH DS. 2003. Botany. 2nd ed. International Student Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 919 p.
  5. SIMPSON MG. 2010. Plant Systematics. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA, USA: Elsevier Inc. 740 p.

(Ben G. Bareja December 2011)

Back to Fibers and Fiber Crops I List of Fiber CropsCereal Crops I Grain Legumes / PulsesRoot and Tuber Crops I Sugar Crops I Palms for Sugar I

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