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
CottonMalvaceaeGossypium spp.
– Sea-Island cotton, Egyptian cottonGossypium barbadense
– Upland cotton, bulak, gapas, algodonGossypium hirsutum
– Tree cottonGossypium arboreum
– Levant cotton
Gossypium herbaceum
b. Soft or Bast Fibers
1. FlaxLinaceaeLinum usitatissimum
2. Hemp, marijuanaCannabis sativa
3. JuteMalvaceaeCorchorus capsularis
– Jute, saluyot, tagabangCorchorus olitorius
4. RamieUrticaceaeBoehmeria nivea
5. Sunn hempLeguminosae/FabaceaeCrotalaria juncea
6. KenafMalvaceaeHibiscus cannabinus
7. China Jute, Indian MallowMalvaceaeAbutilon theophrasti
8. Roselle, RamaMalvaceaeHibiscus sabdariffa
9. Aramina, Cadillo, Calut-calutanMalvaceaeUrena lobata
c. Hard or Structural Fibers
1. Abaca, Manila HempMusaceaeMusa textilis
2. AgavesAgavaceae/Asparagaceae*Agave spp.
– Henequen or Mexican SisalAgave fourcroydes
– Sisal, Century plantAgave sisalana
– Maguey, Manila maguey, CantalaAgave cantala
3. Mauritius Hemp, False agave, green aloe, giant cabuyaAgavaceae/ Asparagaceae*Furcraea gigantea, F. foetida; Others: Furcraea macrophylla,
F. cabuya, F. hexapetales
4. New Zealand Flax, New Zealand HempHemerocallidaceae/ Xanthorrhoeaceae*Phormeum tenax
5. Bowstring HempRuscaceae/ Asparagaceae*Sansevieria spp., e.g.
S. thyrsiflora, S. roxburghiana,
S. zelanica, S. longifolia
 (Florida bowstring hemp)
6. CoconutPalmae/ArecaceaeCocos nucifera
7. PineappleBromeliaceaeAnanas comosus
8. FlojaBromeliaceaeAechmea magdalenae
9. CaroáBromeliaceaeNeoglaziovia variegata

* Changes have occurred 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).

The primary source of the list of fiber crops according to the type of fiber: Hill (1972).

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


  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.
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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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