What are cellulosic fibres (part one): Natural

What are cellulosic fibres (part one): Natural

Stephanie Steele Friday, 1 May 2020

Understanding what cellulosic fibres are as a designer will pave the way towards a better understanding of the raw material you’re working with: from the characteristics to its origin. You’ll be better equipped to work with fibre and fabric production facilities due to the knowledge you’ll have, and be better placed to judge the sustainability and ethics of what you’re intending to work with. Not only that, but having the fundamentals will give you an opportunity to think outside of the box in terms of material innovation or creative design.

Tune in to this lesson on what cellulose is, with a breakdown of the most common natural cellulosic fibres including how they are processed for production, where they are mostly grown, the global output and issues surrounding sustainability and ethics.

In this video you'll learn:

  • What cellulose is and the basic textile science behind it
  • A rundown of all of the natural cellulosic fibres, including:
  • Bast fibres: flax, ramie, hemp, coir and jute
  • Leaf fibres: abaca, sisal and pineapple
  • Seed hair fibres: cotton and kapok

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Next Lesson

  • What are cellulosic fibres (part two): Man-made

    with Stephanie Steele

    Now that you understand what a cellulosic fibre is, along with the feedstock sources of natural cellulosic fibres, we'll now dive in to what the man-made, or regenerated, cellulosic fibres are.

    There are arguably more environmental issues involved in the production of man-made cellulosics, due to chemical input and strain on ancient forests, while natural cellulosics would arguably be more framed by ethical considerations due to the impact on smallholder farmers and traditional craft textiles. This lesson explores certain issues surrounding man-made cellulosic fibres, along with some innovations in play to improve this hefty textile market.

    All of the takeaways can be found in the handy downloadable guide below.